Touring Around the Town
Cork is the perfect city break destination. Easy to get to with Cork Airport just 15 minute drive from the friendly city centre. 2.5 hours from Dublin and just 30 minutes to Kinsale and the start of the Wild Atlantic Way. Below are a couple of reasons why Cork is the ideal location for your next city break, we’ve designed a mini tour for the short-stay visitor as well as a list of highly recommended bars, restaurants and cultural hot spots.
Food glorious Food!
Cork sits at the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean nestled in between rolling valleys of excellent farming land. Locally sourced fresh produce is served in abundance throughout the city and there is a great multicultural and contemporary cuisine on offer including arguably the best Japanese restaurant in the country Miyazaki, fabulous vegan and vegetarian Indian food at Ayer’s Café, sumptuous Nepalese cuisine at Thali and the very best of our local produce in the Farmgate Café in the English Market. Pub grub, brunch spots, BBQ joints and excellent contemporary cuisine such as the wonderful Ivory Tower will ensure you’re well fed and energised for city adventuring!
Walking the Historic Spine.
Walk in the footsteps of our medieval ancestors along the Historic Spine. If you just have a couple of hours in our fair city we recommend starting your trip with the beautiful St Anne’s church in Shandon or the impressive 17th century Elizabeth Fort. Both offer a wonderful aerial view of the city, perfect to understand the intricate layout of Cork. Each has its own fascinating history, with guided tours available in the Fort, and the novel opportunity to ring the church bells in St Anne’s. The Historic Spine is a mile long stretch of Old Cork that connects these two iconic buildings. Right in the centre of the spine, on North Main Street sits our visitor attraction the City’s oldest Church- St Peter’s Cork. No longer a religious building, our buzzing venue offers a mixture of local arts and history exhibitions as well as boasting some of the best coffee in town and its very own secret garden! Our friendly staff can offer top touring tips, local recommendations and stock an impressive array of city centre maps, walking trail brochures and much more. At St Anne’s in Shandon there is plenty of neighbouring activities including a tour of the Butter Museum that tells the fascinating story of Cork’s dairy trade, once the world’s largest exporter of quality dairy produce. All along the route of the Spine you’ll be treated to hidden historic gems of 18th century architecture and a nod to the medieval laneways of North Main Street. If that’s not enough hidden behind the quays of the Southside of the river, 5 minutes from Elizabeth Fort sits Nano Nagle Place, a wonderful new exhibition centre that illustrates the life and times of Nano Nagle and an insight into everyday life in Cork during the 18th century. Walking the Historic Spine will give you a great taste of the heritage of the city and it can be done in as little as 90 mins!
Cork City Craic.
It is a well-known fact that Cork has some of the best pubs in Ireland, each with a unique vibe and many boasting live music every night of the week. Check out the The Lee Sessions website for up to date listings of excellent traditional Irish music around the city. If trad isn’t up your street check out Jazz on Sunday afternoons in the Franciscan Well, Thursday night blues in The Corner House and bluegrass on Tuesdays in the fabulously cosy Callanan’s….or feast on the best of contemporary music at Coughlan’s of Douglas Street, The Cork Opera House or the Triskel Arts Centre(also on the Historic Spine!).
The Lee Sessions.
Arts in the Heart of the City.
On last count the city of Cork boasts 53 Festivals, averaging more than 1 a week! The quantity doesn’t affect quality with the City recently being listed as the number 1 small city in Europe for cultural vibrancy. Fantastic, local festivals such as Cork Midsummer Festival, Cork Jazz Festival, Cork Film Festival, Quarter Block Party, Cork Harbour Festival, Sounds From a Safe Harbour, Dragon of Shandon and the Coal Quay Festival enrich the city and provide excellent entertainment and cultural activities for a diverse audience to enjoy. Search the ever helpful Whazon! Guides for excellent monthly event listings and look out for Cork.ie kiosks around the city that offer multi-lingual event info for Cork (there’s one in the Cork Tourist Office and another in St Peter’s Cork!) Daily staples of Cork culture include the beautiful Everyman Theatre in the Victorian Quarter of Cork, The Crawford Art Gallery on Emmet Place about 5 minutes from St Peter’s Cork, right in the hub of the high street buzz and the visual treat that is the Glucksman Gallery, modernist architecture built on the grounds of historic University College Cork.
The above is just a suggestive sample of what’s in store for those who visit Cork City, Cork is very much an explorers paradise, meander around the pretty streets and you’ll be sure to discover a hidden gem.