Explore our City... St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral Steeped in history, CORK CITY is fast gaining a reputation as one of Europe's hippest cities. Like Venice, the city is built upon water, and the city centre is built on an island in the River Lee, just upstream of Cork Harbour.
The two channels of the River Lee which embrace the city centre are spanned by many bridges, and this gives the city a distinctive continental air.
Exploring Cork is an enjoyable, multi-day pursuit. Ring the Shandon Bells in the 300-year-old tower of St. Anne’s Church, and marvel at the French Gothic spires of St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral. You will discover unique shopping and dining options, including the English Market, with its stalls selling foods from all over the world, and numerous pedestrian walkways and sidewalks flanked by smart boutiques and major department stores. At every corner you’ll come across another panoramic view, another interesting architectural feature and some of the best art galleries, theatres and museums in Ireland.
Things to do around Cork City
Culture & Festivals
Cork is renowned for its culinary flair and vibrant cultural scene. The city was the European Capital of Culture in 2005 and listed by the Lonely Planet Guide among the top ten cites for ‘Best in Travel in 2010’. A strong festival programme attracts the best of film, jazz, folk, choral, literary and musical talent year round. For more information call into the tourist office. You certainly won’t be short of things to do
Cork City Tours
Cork City Tours has a choice of tours for you for family fun in Cork. Choose from the Cork City tour on the hop-on hop-off double-decker bus, or the Jameson Whiskey tour at the historical distillery in nearby Midleton. Jump aboard our – Hop-on/Hop-off Bus Cork City Tours is a popular Cork City sightseeing tour taking in some of the best attractions in Cork with visits to the English Market Cork, Cork City Goal, the Shandon Bells, UCC and other top Cork City attractions. Passengers on our hop-on hop-o bus do their sightseeing in Cork from our red double-decker bus making light work of Cork’s famous hills while seeing all this city has to oer on our city tour. Tours depart across the road from the Grand Parade. (See advertising panels for more information)
Shandon Bells, St Anne’s Church
With its spectacular bell tower and distinctive Italianate architecture, St. Anne’s Church is one of Cork’s most iconic landmarks. It is said that a true Cork City local must be born within earshot of the famous northside bells. T: +353(0)21 4505906
Along the South Mall on the left hand side going towards the City Hall, you will see a series of steps leading up to various oces. The arches under the steps were originally built for boats going to the warehouse behind the dwellings.
Blackrock Castle Observatory
Overlooks the River Lee on the outskirts of Cork City harbour. T: +353(0)21 4326120
Dating from the Middle Ages, the Red Abbey is a National Monument and the oldest structure in Cork City. The square tower was once part of an Augustinian abbey.
Cork City & County Archives
Seamus Murphy Building, 32 Great William O’Brien St, Blackpool, Cork. home to an extensive archive of various documents. These include record holdings relating to all aspects of Cork history. www.corkarchives.ie/aboutus.
T: +353(0)21 4505886
Designed by Paine Brothers in the 1830’s. It has a most imposing entrance from Washington Street.
St. Finbarr’s South Church
Is the oldest Catholic church still in use in Cork City. It was built in 1766 and extended in 1809 to accommodate an increase in attendance. It features a work by renowned Irish sculptor, John Hogan. T +353(0)21 4272989
Cork Butter Museum
Churn up the history of butter making at this unique museum located on O’Connell Square, within earshot of the Bells of Shandon, in nearby St Anne’s Church. T: +353(0)21 4300600
Cork City Gaol & Radio Museum Experience
Sundays Well, Cork. Tel: 021 – 4305022 – www.corkcitygaol.com Cork City Gaol is located 2km n/w from Patrick’s Street and while the magnificent castle like building is now a major and unique visitor attraction, this Gaol once housed 19th century prisoners. Visitors get a fascinating insight into day to day prison life at a time when the high walls ensured no escape and denied law abiding citizens the opportunity to see one of the finest examples of Ireland’s architectural heritage.
The Jameson Experience, Midleton – is where distilling took place from 1825 until 1975. Learn how Jameson became the worlds largest selling Irish whiskey. A guided tour includes a visit to the grain stores, water wheel building, and still house where you will see the largest pot still in the world. Taste the famous Jameson brand after your tour and maybe become a certified Irish whiskey taster! The Malt House Restaurant and Jameson Gift Shop are open all year round. Tours 7 days per week, all year. Exact times Ph. 021 4613594.
Cork Public Museum
The collections at Cork Public Museum, in Fitzgerald Park, cover the economic, social and municipal history of the city and surrounding area from the Mesolithic period onwards.
T: +353(0)21 4270679
Is the original site of the 1902 International Exhibition held in Cork and named after Lord Mayor, Edward Fitzgerald. Located on the banks of the River Lee, the park on Mardyke Walk is in the same grounds as the Cork Public Museum. T: +353(0)21 4270679
Bishop Lucey Park
Was opened in 1986 during the Cork 800 celebration year. Immediately inside the gates you will see a portion of the old city walls which have been excavated and restored.
Was opened in 1936 and replaced the previous structure which was burned down on 11 September 1920. It is located in the heart of Cork City and now houses Cork City’s administration. T: +353(0)21 4966222
Crawford Art Gallery
Emmet Place – This Gallery was built in 1724 as the Custom House, when this street was then the King’s Dock. It operated as a Custom House up to 1832. While you are at the Art Gallery note the Queen Anne style house frontage across the road, which has been restored.
Cathedral of St. Mary & St. Anne
Known locally as the North Cathedral, is located in the heart of historic Cork City. The house of worship celebrated its dedication in 1808, though the site’s first church was constructed in the 1730s. T: +353(0)21 4304325
St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral
Stands on the site where the city of Cork was founded in the 7th century. A five-minute walk from Grand Parade, the cathedral features splendid stained glass windows, marble mosaics and rich sculptures. T. +353(0)21 4963387
St. Peter’s Church
Event and Exhibition Centre – This unique, historical and beautiful space in the heart of Cork City is a must see. www.stpeterscork.ie/visitor-info/. Tel. 021 427 8187
University College Cork UCC
Dates back to 1845 and its seamless combination of the old and new provide an inspiring place to visit in Cork City. UCC is located on the western part of Cork city, about 1km from the city centre. There is also a Visitors Centre at the heart of the main campus and it is the starting point for regular walking tours at the university . T: +353(0)21 4901876
Cork English College
Saint Patrick’s Bridge, Cork. Tel :021-4551522
www.corkenglishcollege.ie – Cork English College was established in 1978 and since then has taught English to thousands of students. CEC IS AN OFFICIAL EXAMINATION CENTRE FOR CAMBRIDGE, TOEIC, BULATS & IELTS Cork English College is recognised by ACELS (Accreditation and Co-ordination of English Language Services), a service of Quality and Qualifications Ireland, for English language teaching (ELT)
Fota Wildlife Park
Fota Wildlife Park – is set on 100 acres on the scenic Fota Island in the heart of Cork Harbour. It’s a unique place where you can come face to face with free roaming animals from all parts of the world. So if it’s a kangaroo that hops in front of you or a ring tailed lemur which jumps down from a tree, each visit is sure to bring its own fantastic memories. The recently opened Asian Sanctuary features Asian Lions, Sumatran Tigers and Indian Rhino. Facilities include cafés, play areas and a gift shop. Accessible by train and car. Visit fotawildlife.ie.
The English Market
Opened in 1788 and influenced by the covered markets built in English cities, the market was completely restored in the early 1980s. Today both tourists and locals enjoy a diverse range of Irish food and culinary delights on oer – including quality meats and fish, herbs and spices, fruit and vegetables, cakes, cheeses and much more. The Queen’s Visit – HM Queen Elizabeth II visited Cork’s English Market on the final day of her Irish visit. The Queen met traders and staff at the market, which is one of Cork city’s top attractions. www.englishmarket.ie features lots more information including details of the market traders, recipe ideas, history and a gallery. The English Market is open to the public from 8 am to 6 pm, Monday to Saturday