FOLLOW US

World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Ireland > Cork

Local time Cork

Currency

Things to see in Cork

Attractions

Crawford Art Gallery

Located beside the Opera House in the centre of the city, Crawford Art Gallery has a permanent collection comprising more than 2,000 art works, ranging from 18th-century Irish and European paintings and sculptures to contemporary video installations. At the heart of the collection is a number of Greek and Roman sculpture casts, brought to Cork in 1818 from the Vatican Museum in Rome.

Address: , Emmet Place, Cork,
Telephone: (0)21 480 5042.
Opening times:

Mon-Wed 1000-1700; Thurs 1000-2000; Fri-Sat 1000-1700.

Website: http://www.crawfordartgallery.ie
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle in Blarney, a village 8km (5 miles) to the northwest of Cork, is among Ireland's oldest castles. It is famous for its stone, the Stone of Eloquence, which is traditionally believed to have the power to bestow the gift of eloquence on all those who kiss it. The grounds are also beautiful with the superb Rock Close, a landscaped garden where stone and nature collide, plus a pinetum, an arboretum, bog garden and the Castle's very own poison garden, which contains toxic plants from around the world.

Address: , Blarney, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 438 5252.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 0900-1830 (May); Mon-Fri 0900-1900 (Jun-Aug); Mon-Fri 0900-1830 (Sep); Mon-Fri 0900-sundown (Oct-Apr); Sun 0900-1730 (summer); Sun 0900-sundown (winter).

Website: http://www.blarneycastle.ie
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

The English Market

The covered English Market is one of Cork's greatest assets, with a wonderful, lively atmosphere and an array of meat outlets, fruit and vegetable shops, fishmongers, Italian and French cheese stalls, fresh bread stands and much more. Traders have gathered here to sell their wares since 1788 and it's still popular with locals and visiting tourists who can spend hours searching for that special souvenir among the clothes, crockery, art and novelty gifts.

Address: Patrick Street and the Grand Parade, Entrances on Princes Street, Cork,
Telephone:
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 0800-1800.

Website: http://www.englishmarket.ie
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Cork City Gaol

The gaol ("open 360 days a year") is a Gothic, and deceptively romantic, Georgian building designed by Sir Thomas Deane (also responsible for the magnificently decorative Imperial Hotel in South Mall). The audio tour gives a chilling representation of harsh prison life, which kept prisoners isolated and silent. Young children were whipped twice weekly and there was scant regard for pregnant women caught stealing rags for clothing. Public executions were performed here and heads displayed outside to instil fear in the public. Opened in 1824, in later years the gaol housed Republican prisoners including writer Frank O'Connor. It finally closed in 1923. There is also an interesting radio museum attached.

Address: Sunday's Well, Convent Avenue, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 430 5022.
Opening times:

Daily 0930-1700 (Mar-Oct); Daily 1000-1600 (Nov-Feb).

Website: http://www.corkcitygaol.com
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

St Fin Barre’s Cathedral

This architectural gem, completed in a Victorian Gothic style, was created by the English architect William Burges. It is famous for its craftsmanship, particularly in the sculpture, marble mosaics and stained glass. The cathedral stands on the site where the city of Cork was founded in the 7th century and is built of local limestone. The interior is made of Bath stone and the walls are lined with red Cork marble. The local names for its spires (whiskey and porter) are testament to the industries that brought prosperity to the city, despite the efforts of Father Mathew, the founder of the Temperance Movement, who preached moderation in alcohol consumption. He is commemorated by a statue in St Patrick's Street.

Address: , Bishop Street, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 496 3387.
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 0930-1730; Sun 1230-1700 (Apr-Nov only)

Website: http://www.cathedral.cork.anglican.org
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Blackrock Castle Observatory

Reach for the stars at the 16th-century Blackrock castle, a former watchtower now combined with an award-winning observatory. The site appeals to budding astronomers and scientists as well as adults and children of all ages, with workshops and educational events throughout the year. The imposing building overlooks the River Lee on the outskirts of the city harbour. While visitors might not be able to afford the current price tag for a trip to the moon, they can send a message into space from here. There are also daily tours of the castle dungeon and turret.

Address: Blackrock, Castle Road, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 435 7917.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 1000-1700; Sat 1100-1700; Sun 1000-1700.

Website: http://www.bco.ie
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

The Titanic Experience

The port of Cobh (pronounced 'Cove'), gateway to Cork city, was the final point of call for the doomed Titanic, which went on from here and sunk during her maiden voyage in 1912. A permanent exhibition, located in the original offices of the Titanic's shipping company, The White Star Line, allows visitors to retrace the footsteps of the 123 passengers who boarded the Titanic here on its fateful journey to America. Afterwards you can stroll in peaceful reflection along the riverside walk in the park that contains Cork Museum.

Address: , Fitzgerald Park, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 481 4412.
Opening times:

Daily 1000-1730.

Website: http://www.titanicexperiencecobh.ie
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Triskel Christchurch Arts Centre

This deconsecrated church, now popular as a gay wedding venue, is also an innovative arts centre. A real community success, there are concerts in the church and gigs in the onsite café, plus film screenings, theatre productions and a number of art exhibitions.

Don't miss the café, Gulp'd, with a brilliant menu of good coffee, cakes and light lunches, owned by music entrepreneur Jimmy Horgan. His cooler-than-cool record store, Plug'd, can be found upstairs.

Address: , Tobin Street, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 427 2022.
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 1000-1700.

Website: http://www.triskelartscentre.ie
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

The Cork Butter Museum

This museum celebrates one of the great Irish success stories: the butter trade. Its accomplishments were central to Cork's prosperity from the late 18th century onwards. At one point it led the world market, trading tens of millions of pounds worth of butter annually. As well as information on the traditional craft of butter making and the development of Ireland's most famous brand, Kerrygold, you'll learn how the trade shaped farming and rural life. Interesting dairy paraphernalia at this quirky little museum includes milk churns, a keg containing one thousand year old butter and a display of butter bricks.

Address: , O'Connell Square, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 430 0600.
Opening times:

Daily 1000-1700 (Mar-Oct); Daily 1000-1800 (Jul-Aug); Sat-Sun 1000-1530 (Nov-Feb).

Website: http://www.corkbutter.museum
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

St Anne's Church

Built in 1722 on a hill above the city, this church has a spectacular bell tower and distinctive Italianate architecture. It is said that a true Cork citizen must be born within the sound of Shandon Bells from St Anne's Church. Visitors can scale the stairs inside the steeple walls to a parapet that has 360-degree views of the city. Moreover, it is possible to play the church's eight bells with the assistance of sheet tune cards. Its clock tower is known as 'the four-faced liar' because each face shows a different time when high winds interfere with the wooden clock hands.

Address: Shandon, Church Street, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 450 5906.
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 1000-1600; Sun 1130-1530 (Jun-Sep); Mon-Sat 1100-1500; Sun 1130-1500 (Nov-Feb).

Website: http://www.shandonbells.ie
Admission Fees:

Yes for entry to the steeple.

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

University College Cork

One of Ireland's oldest universities is still at the heart of the city, with more than 14,000 students and a leading research centre. Within this complex of historic buildings is the Honan Chapel with its famous stained glass windows and the 19th century Crawford Observatory. The Lewis Glucksman Art Gallery aims to explore all aspects of visual culture and presents a range of innovative, changing exhibitions. It also has an excellent bookshop and a basement cafe.

Address: , Western Road, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 490 3000.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 0900-1700; Sat 1200-1700.

Website: http://www.ucc.ie
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Cork Vision Centre

The Cork Vision Centre provides a richly informative introduction to the city's geography and history and includes a detailed 1:500-scale model of the city. See conservation in action and explore Cork's evolution, and learn about its plans for the future inside the aging walls of St Peter's Church.

Address: , St Peter's, North Main Street, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 427 9925.
Opening times:

Tues-Sat 1000-1700.

Website: http://www.corkvisioncentre.com
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Tourist Offices

The Cork Tourist Information Office

Address: , Grand Parade, Cork,
Telephone: (021) 425 5100.
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 0900-1700

Website: http://www.discoverireland.ie

The office provides an accommodation booking service, free guide books, help with itinerary and route planning, multilingual facilities, information about events in the area and often has local craft displays. Tickets and tours can also be booked here.

A digital image at https://illuminoto.com

Book Accommodation

Featured Hotels

SEE MORE

Vienna Woods Hotel

If you're after the charm of countryside living, you'll find it behind the yolk-coloured walls of Vienna Woods Hotel. Surrounded by some 9 hectares (22 acres) of woodland, this 18th century rural retreat is a charismatic and comfortable mid-range choice that mixes vintage furniture with modern facilities. There's free Wi-Fi, beds to lose weekends in and an onsite restaurant that does hearty Emerald Isle grub .

Hotel Isaacs

Most people come to Hotel Isaacs for its infamous Greenes restaurant, which serves up fine Irish dining and excellent wines on a charming little patio. Its rooms don't quite compete with the foodie flamboyance downstairs, but they're clean, spacious and practical, with a price tag that won't melt the credit card. Pick from 47 rooms, which come with en-suite bathrooms, complementary Wi-Fi, cable TV and one of the best locations in the city.

Crawford House

Just a 10 minute walk from the city centre, this smart, modern guesthouse is excellent value for money. Amalgamating three traditional houses, all rooms come with its king-size beds, huge baths and excellent traditional Irish breakfasts, served up in the conservatory. The staff here are lovely too. The quieter rooms are found at the back of the hotel.

Fota Island Hotel

It may be a little bit out of town, but it would be hard for you to swing a golf club anywhere near this 5-star retreat if it were any closer to Cork. The greens on its Championship-standard courses are as fine as the sheets in its ample, luxurious rooms. It has a gym, tennis courts and yoga, if you want to keep fit, plus a fine dining restaurant, complete with terrace, if you don't. Stylish, sophisticated and truly welcoming, Fota Island Hotel is worth blowing the budget.

Castlemartyr Resort

It may be 30 minutes out of Cork, but if you book a room at Castlemartyr Resort, you couldn't have truly envisioned leaving its grounds. This vast country manor dates back from the 17th-century and has the formal gardens to prove it. They, though, don't quite do its elegance justice. Its grace is admired from up close: it's found in the ruins of its 800-year-old castle, in the soothing splendours of its spa, around the 18 holes of its challenging golf course and in the unforgettable dining experience of its Bell Tower restaurant. Rooms, as you may have guessed, are worthy of the most magnanimous guest too.

Clarion Hotel Cork

Down on the promenade, next to the River Lee, the Clarion Hotel Cork is a stylish accommodation choice that isn't shy of stepping into world of avant-garde design. Its sleek rooms are generous and ultramodern, with clean lines and munificent king-size beds, while its fitness centre (including swimming pool and spa) squeezes in everything from aerobics to yoga. Step into its imaginative atrium though, and it's a world of fake grass, flaky croissants, fluffy sofas and strange, egg-shaped seating coves.