The Best Attractions in Cork · 1.Blarney Castle, 26 gardens · 2.University College Cork (UCC) · 6.Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland after Dublin. It is located on the southern coast of Ireland and is connected to the sea by the port of Cork and a narrow channel called Passage West. Cork and the adjacent coast have a strong maritime and commercial tradition, which is reflected in the city's tourist attractions. Finbarr (Fin Barre) established a monastery in a small swampy area, where the cathedral of the same name is now located.
During the following centuries, the city survived and prospered, despite Viking raids and subsequent occupation by English forces. Nowadays, many of Cork's tourist attractions look back on its long history, and you'll discover that it's a vibrant and lively city with lots to do. Plan your trip with our list of the top tourist attractions in Cork. Initially conceived in the early 18th century by wealthy merchants, presumably eager to separate their fellow citizens from their money, St.
Patrick's Street has remained Cork's main shopping centre ever since. Just a couple of minutes' walk from the English Market and known locally as Pana, this wide, curved street has lots of elegant shops and is considered to be one of the best places to go shopping in Ireland. One of the most popular is the luxury Brown Thomas department store. Several architectural styles reflect the change of the last two hundred years or so.
It dates back to 1786 and has been rebuilt several times since then, St. Europe has no shortage of cathedrals, and some of them are also impressive. The Fin Barre Cathedral in Cork is sure to take your breath away. Patrick's Street will take you to the Anglican Cathedral.
The neo-Gothic building is located on a religious site that has been a place of worship since the 7th century. This original building was maintained until the 12th century. In the 16th century, a cathedral was erected, but it was demolished in the 19th century. The cathedral's resounding cameras are brightly illuminated through the stained glass panels.
One of the best features of the interior is its elaborate pipe organ. The organ was built in the 19th century with more than 4,500 pipes. Fitzgerald Park, named after Edward Fitzgerald, the mayor of the city who organized the Cork International Exposition in 1902, is an oasis of tranquility on the outskirts of Cork City. It still conserves the original pavilion and the ornamental fountain from the time.
In the gardens, visitors will find a cafeteria, sculptures, a skate park and a water lily pond. The picturesque Daly Bridge, built in 1926 and known locally as Shaky Bridge, connects to Well Road on Sunday. Across the Lee River, on the north side of the city, St. Ana Church (172) is known for the famous Shandon bell tower.
The church still has its original 18th century bells, which have become one of the city's must-see places. The Torre de Ana is a distinctive landmark on the city's skyline, with its red sandstone façade (north, 26% east) and white limestone (south, 26% west). Visitors have the opportunity to ring the bells from the first floor, see the inner workings of the clocks, see the bells first-hand and enjoy spectacular 360-degree views of Cork City and the surrounding area from the balcony; although it's a matter of climbing 132 steps, it's worth the effort. In nearby O'Connell Square, the Cork Butter Museum follows the long history of Irish butter-making.
Located in the old butter market in Cork, the highlight is an extensive collection of vintage butter wrappers. Built more than six centuries ago by Irish chieftain Cormac MacCarthy, the castle attracts tourists from all over the world. Inside the castle, visitors can climb the battlement to kiss the famous stone and enjoy the views, and also explore the huge stone building, including the dungeons. You can also stroll through the castle grounds to find gardens, the Steps of Wishes, the Badger Cave, the Witches' Stone and the Witch's Kitchen.
Afterwards, shop for Irish sweaters, crystals and gifts at the nearby Blarney wool mill. The pretty fishing village of Ballycotton, about 40 minutes' drive from Cork, is a favorite getaway for its beaches and seafood restaurants. It's also a popular destination thanks to the beautiful walk along the Ballycotton Cliffs. This impressive five-mile trail runs along the cliff-top path from the village of Ballycotton to Ballyandreen Beach, and offers spectacular views along the way.
A journey of about five hours, the trail leads between the rolling meadows of the East Cork countryside and the cliffs with beaches below. The permanent collections of the Crawford Art Gallery contain paintings, sculptures and prints, as well as handicrafts, stained glass and ceramics. The sculpture galleries include Greco-Roman molds by Antonio Canova and Irish and European sculptures that date back to the 19th century through modern works. The museum's collection of paintings is extensive, with works that range from the 16th century to the present, with a special exhibition dedicated to female artists.
The gallery also frequently offers creative walk-in events, including presentations and hands-on experiences. The Crawford Gallery Cafe is a popular place to eat or have coffee for tourists and locals alike. Located on the banks of the River Lee, where it connects with the port of Cork, the numerous battlences and sturdy fortifications of Blackrock Castle seem to embody the castles of fiction and fantasy. Built in 1828, it is now owned by Cork County Council and houses an observatory and visitor centre.
The observatory has a planetarium, a cinema and several interactive exhibits. The facility also hosts visiting exhibits that explore science, nature and space, and also sponsors a variety of special events. Just under half an hour's drive south from Cork, and just outside the picturesque west of Cork, lies the picturesque town of Kinsale, where you can fish and sail on the high seas. Historic Kinsale, once a medieval fishing port, is one of the most picturesque resorts on Ireland's southwest coast.
Visitors will find plenty of cafés and restaurants to suit all tastes, and the surrounding landscape is simply stunning. In recent years, the city has also become a world-class golf destination. Other activities include heritage city walks, an annual gourmet festival, a wine museum and, in neighboring Summercove, the 17th-century Fort Charles. A few kilometers by car east of Cork City, this 70-acre wildlife park is home to animals that, as far as possible, can roam freely in their natural environment, where visitors can observe and interact with them.
You may be accompanied at your picnic table by ring-tailed lemurs (although, of course, you shouldn't feed them), and giraffes roam freely around the central enclosure. In the 6th century, Spike Island was the site of a monastery and, more than a millennium later, it was fortified as the 24-acre star-shaped fort of Fort Mitchel. Its main use since then has been as a prison of one kind or another. Visitors can tour the entire complex, see several prison cells used from the mid-19th century to the 1980s, and hear the stories of some of the famous prisoners.
Inside the deep tunnels of the fort there are defense guns, and in the artillery gun park there are weapons, from cannon to modern military equipment. Along the way, you'll learn about history and enjoy views of Cork Harbour and Cobh. Go back in time with a visit to 17th-century Fort Elizabeth. Shaped like a star, this historic structure is located on the Lee River, not far from St.
Steeped in history, the fort was first used in 1601 to reinforce the city walls of Cork. It also played an important role in 1690 during the siege of Cork, when the city was in the hands of Jacobite forces that were being attacked by Wilhelmot soldiers. Today, it's a remarkable look back at centuries of Cork's history. Visitors can stroll along the fort's walls on a guided tour or with an audio guide.
The best part? Admission is completely free and offers one of the best views of the city. One of the most historic structures in Cork is its Red Abbey, located in the center of the city, just off Douglas Street. This red Augustinian abbey dates back to the 14th century. A bell rises 20 meters above the ground and is one of the oldest memories of Anglo-Saxon settlements in Cork.
All that remains of the abbey is the tower, and it has been protected as a National Monument of Ireland. The original abbey that was located in this place was a monastery that operated during the 17th century. It was later transformed into a sugar refinery, which eventually caught fire. Travellers who venture south from Dublin to Cork by train, bus or car can stop off in Waterford, approximately halfway between the two cities and well connected to both cities.
North of Waterford, Kilkenny is brimming with old world charm, with its terraces of elegant Georgian houses. To the east of Waterford, in the sunny south-east of Ireland, lies the coast of Wexford. To see more of the beautiful East Coast, travel west from Cork to the Killarney Lakes and then explore the legendary Ring of Kerry. North Cork is Limerick, with its museums and 13th-century castle.
The most popular time of year to visit Cork City (and Ireland in general) are the summer months. The days are long, with sunsets late at night, and the season offers an opportunity to enjoy the heat and the sun. Locals are also looking forward to the festivities in December, when the city of Cork feels very festive with decorations and celebrations. Annual events include the Cork Summer Solstice Festival, the Cork Film Festival in November and the Cork Jazz Festival in October.
Cork has a compact urban center that is ideal for exploring on foot. A local bus service is available, but most visitors find that walking between points of interest is an easy option. Bike rental is also a good option for people looking to cover ground quickly. Renting a car makes sense for those looking to explore beyond Cork City and into County Cork.
Yes, Cork City is worth visiting. Some people skip the city of Cork in favor of the capital of Dublin or Galway, but this thriving city on the banks of the River Lee has a lot to offer. Visit museums, galleries, historic sites and a growing food and cocktail scene during a visit. Both Galway and Cork are gateway cities to the natural beauty of the surrounding counties.
Many travelers choose to visit the city of Galway and also visit the Cliffs of Moher and Burren. Visitors to Cork often explore the coast of County Cork, which includes fishing villages such as Kinsale and the whiskey distilleries in Midleton. Based on our booking details and supplier information for the past 30 days, this experience is likely to sell out through Viator. Cork is an easy city to get around, although some of its main tourist attractions are a little scattered.