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Cork Holiday Guide

Cork is officially Ireland's second city, but it is affectionately known by locals as the 'real capital of Ireland'. It is a city made for discovering on foot, thanks to the River Lee which flows around its centre, creating a compact island that is jam-packed with grand Georgian streets, intersected by medieval alleys and modern architectural triumphs such as the opera house.

Exploring Cork on foot will open out to you interesting waterways, lively traditional bars, modern art centres, historical buildings, fascinating independent shops and some of the best restaurants that Ireland has to offer.

Shopping in Cork

Cork is a shopper’s delight, not least because it still has a number of thriving independent traders that help set its shopping district apart from the interchangeable chains that dominate many other cities. Taking a stroll through the winding alleys around Grand Parade and Patrick Street you will discover many quirky independent retailers offering vintage clothes, handmade crafts and bespoke jewellery. When the shopping becomes too much there are also plenty of atmospheric cafes to relax and discuss your purchases in.

Restaurants in Cork

Cork has the best foodie scene in the country and lovers of fine foods are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out. It’s not just in restaurants, however, where Cork’s love of gastronomy comes to life: a trip to the English Market on Princes Street is enough to work up a hearty appetite in itself, with beautifully presented local produce (cheeses, ham, salmon, buttered eggs, sausages and artisanal breads) mingling with quality imports like olives and wines.

Views of Cork

Some of the finest views of Cork can be enjoyed from two historic buildings: Elizabeth Fort and Cork City Gaol. On Sundays the Elizabeth Fort Market Festival will reward you with more than stunning views: Irish crafts, gourmet food and entertainment are also hosted within its historic walls. The views of the west of the city, including Cork’s university, from the old Gaol make it well worth the bus or taxi ride out to it.

Sport in Cork

Páirc Uí Chaoimh is a 50,000 capacity stadium in Ballintemple. It is the home of the Cork Gaelic Athletic Association, so you can always catch live football here on match days or enjoy a tour of the grounds every Monday and Wednesday.

Nature in Cork

With the tranquil River Lea never far away Cork provides many chances to get away from it all, whilst never being too far away from the amenities of the city. Fitzgerald Park offers tranquillity and natural beauty in the heart of Cork, whilst Lough Park is set around a freshwater limestone lake teeming with wildlife just one kilometre south-west of the city centre. 

Enjoy Cork

With a warm welcome on every corner, modern art galleries, cosy pubs, great restaurants, historic buildings, regular festivals and shops with a difference, Cork has certainly claimed its place as the ‘real capital of Ireland’ in the hearts of its many visitors.


Guide to Exploring Cork


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See all 257 properties in Cork
Clayton Hotel Cork City €138
Reviewed on 14 Aug 2019
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Clayton Hotel Cork City

Clayton Hotel Cork City

Lapps Quay, Cork, Cork
     
    4.4 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    The position of the hotel was great, just a very short walk into the city.

    Rochestown Park Hotel €94
    Reviewed on 18 Aug 2019
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    Rochestown Park Hotel

    Rochestown Park Hotel

    Rochestown Road, Douglas, Cork
       
      4.1 of 5
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      They didn't replace the coffee cups after room service. Clearly they just got a spit and polish instead of running them through the dishwasher.

      Jurys Inn Cork €106
      Reviewed on 18 Aug 2019
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      Jurys Inn Cork

      Jurys Inn Cork

      Andersons Quay, Cork, Cork
         
        4.1 of 5
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        We had a quick one night stay before we continued on our road trip. Front desk staff was quick to check us in, the room was good and the morning breakfast was great.

        Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City €126
        Reviewed on 15 Aug 2019
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        Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City

        Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City

        Southmall, Cork, Co. Cork
           
          4.5 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Great location very comfortable and clean. Staff extremely helpful and very friendly. Lovely breakfast to start your day

          Ambassador Hotel & Health Club Cork €109
          Reviewed on 19 Aug 2019
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          Ambassador Hotel & Health Club Cork

          Ambassador Hotel & Health Club Cork

          Military Hill, Saint Lukes Cross, Cork, Cork
             
            4.1 of 5
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Great location. Great atmosphere. Beautiful room. Staff that goes above and beyond.

            Cork International Hotel €105
            Reviewed on 14 Aug 2019
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            Cork International Hotel

            Cork International Hotel

            Cork Airport Business Park, Cork, Cork
               
              4.7 of 5
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              I liked the close proximity to the airport and the shuttle bus service. The staff were very friendly and helpful.

              Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Cork €84
              Reviewed on 11 Aug 2019
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              Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Cork

              Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Cork

              Ditchley House Little Island, Cork, Cork
                 
                4.2 of 5
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Great location, friendly and helpful staff. The staff in the Kid's club were so kind and enthusiastic. We really enjoyed our stay here.

                The Metropole Hotel €130
                Reviewed on 14 Aug 2019
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                The Metropole Hotel

                The Metropole Hotel

                MacCurtain Street, Cork, Cork
                   
                  4.2 of 5
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  This hotel was beautiful, in great condition, and in a convenient location to public transportation and sites in Cork. The room was clean and spacious. I would recommend staying at the Metropole Hotel during your visit to Cork.

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