Cork Tourism And Travel Guide
16.5° C / 61.6° F
April to September
2 to 4 Days
Cork Airport (8 kms)
Kent Railway Station
Cork is the second-largest city in Ireland after Dublin and one of the most vibrant areas in the country. Situated along Ireland’s southern coast, the city is essentially an island that divides River Lee into two channels before it meets the sea at Cork Harbour. Initially just a monastic settlement, which came into being after St. Finbarr established a monastery here, the city was expanded when Viking settlers founded a trading port here in the year 915. Cork was a city once fully walled; the remnants of the medieval town centre can still be seen on the north and south Main Street. Cork usually does not get the same attention that cities like Dublin and Belfast do; however, this is a town that is packed with historical masterpieces and cultural attractions that will make for a brilliantly interesting trip. Explore tourism in Cork and plan out your trip soon with the help of this travel guide.
How to Reach
Cork Airport is situated just around 8 km away from the city centre and has numerous national air carriers that fly to over 50 destinations across Europe. There are no flights between Cork and Dublin though, and no direct flights flying from India to Cork. Travellers from India can fly to Cork via connecting flights with one or more stopovers. Buses and taxis are easily available from outside the airport.
The Irish Rail operates services from Cork to Dublin, Midleton, Tralee, Cobh and Mallow. Cork’s main railway station is Kent Station, which offers convenient access to the national rail network. It is situated just a 10-minute walk away from the city centre and has buses and taxis regularly available at the station.
The M7 and M8 motorways connect Cork to Dublin. The bus services Eireann, Aircoach and GoBus have several daily services between the two cities. There are buses running between Cork and Waterford, Limerick, Killarney and Galway as well. Cars can also be hired from rental companies by those interested in driving themselves to Cork from the aforementioned cities.
Brittany Ferries are the primary service provider in the region and operate daily services between Cork and Roscoff (France) and Cork and Santander (Spain). Ferries can also be taken from Dublin and Rosslare, which offer daily services between Ireland – UK. P&O Ferries, Stenaline and Irish Ferries are the operators available from these ports.
Weather & Best Time to Visit
Summer (June – August):
Typically, the most popular time to visit Cork is during summers, which experience temperatures averaging around 15⁰C - 20⁰C. Tourist crowds are aplenty during these months who visit to make the most out of the warm and sunny weather. Most outdoor activities and local attractions are best enjoyed during this time since the daylight hours are considerably long and allow maximum opportunities for sightseeing.
Spring (April – May) & Autumn (September – October):
Spring and autumn are shoulder seasons that are often considered better times to visit Cork than the summers. The tourist crowds are quite less and there are good deals available in most hotels and accommodation options. The weather also remains quite pleasant and while occasional rain can be expected, warm and sunny afternoons are also quite frequent.
Winter (November – March):
Usually considered to be the off-season, winters in Cork are associated with shorter days and quieter streets. Tourists usually avoid this season since the weather is usually too cold to enjoy much of any outdoor attractions. However, travellers who don’t mind chilly and occasionally snowy days might be able to find some places worth spending your vacation in. Winters are also a great time to indulge in some shopping and make the most out of the holiday sales and festive deals.
Things to Do
Grab a Bite at the English Market:
The English Market is a covered food market in the heart of Cork City. It popularly sells a variety of items like meat, fruits and vegetables, artisan bread, spices, cheese, and fresh seafood. But it mainly garnered worldwide attention when Queen Elizabeth II visited it during her trip to Ireland. The Farmgate Restaurant here is a great place to stop by for tea or coffee while enjoying some of the local food.
Stroll Through St. Patrick's Street:
St. Patrick’s Street is Cork’s main shopping hub. Shopping isn’t the only reason locals and tourists alike prefer to gather here; it is not uncommon to see groups of friends and families gathered here chatting and hanging out on the pedestrian walkways and lounging on the street furniture. St. Patrick Street is also the venue of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade held on 17th March.
Learn Butter-Making at Cork Butter Museum:
Cork was once home to the largest butter market in the world. During its glory days in the 1800s, the Cork Butter Museum exported top-quality butter to over four continents. The museum documents, the making, and also the production and sale of butter in County Cork. One of the highlights among the exhibits of the museum is the 1000-year-old keg of bog butter.
Explore Fitzgerald Park:
The Fitzgerald Park has been constructed on a former marshland that was reclaimed from the River Lee. It was named after Edward Fitzgerald, Cork’s Lord Mayor who proposed the plans for the park during Cork’s International Exhibition in the year 1902. The well-known ‘Shakey Bridge’ connects the park to the Sundays Well Road. There is also the Cork Public Museum and the café Teahouse here worth checking out.
Where to Shop
One of the most charming aspects of Cork is that it manages to maintain its traditional warmth even in its retail sector without succumbing to the swarm of high-street shopping. You’ll still find all the big brand names in places like Mahon Point Shopping Centre and the Merchants Quay Shopping Centre, but the true spirit of shopping in Cork lies in its farmer’s markets. The best ones to visit here are the English Market, Skibbereen Farmers Market, Bandon Farmers Market and Clonakilty Farmers Market. Stock up on some high-quality woollens from the Blarney Woollen Mills, which produces clothes from locally sourced yarn and wool. Some of the best stores for souvenir shopping are Kilkenny Shop, Cork Craft & Design, and Carroll’s Irish Gifts.
Where to Eat
Perrotts Garden Bistro is a Mediterranean dining hotspot in Cork that may seem a little pricey but is totally worth its dime. Sushi lovers need to visit Paradiso and The Ivory Tower; while The Ivory Tower specialises in Asian cuisine, Paradiso features a lot of other items on its menu apart from sushi that are made from locally sourced ingredients. Nash 19 is a brilliant café known for its breakfast menu, whereas Electric is worthy of a visit for its contemporary take on classic dishes.