Europe Insider Tips

Insider Guide to Cork, Ireland

Cork is the largest county and second largest city in Ireland. It’s a vibrant city with pubs, music on the street, local shops, restaurants and coffee shops. Sitting alongside the River Lee with Cork harbor large enough for cruise ships to dock for the day, the city has festivals happening almost every weekend; the most popular one at the end of October being the annual Jazz Festival. With a long history and locals willing to talk to you and tell you all about Cork, you will find a mixture of so many people coming around the world living, working or going to school there. It’s a city that is meant to be seen.

Where to Eat
There are many places to eat in Cork. If you want some real pub food just walk into any of the local establishments. There is Son of a Bun, a popular burger place on McCurtain Street . If you stay around Oliver Plunkett Street you will find something to eat with a variety of restaurants Italian, burgers, Chinese food. A good place for pizza is the Franciscans well on the north mall, they do the best stone cooked pizza around.

If you want a place to sit and enjoy traditional Irish music at Oliver Plunkett. The best thing about Irish pubs is that the locals are always up for a chat. That before you get your drink they will know everything about you. There is a few spots for watching sports-you get the American sports at the Mardyke. Other popular places include Rearden’s, The Silly Goose, The Courtyard and Suas Rooftop Bar. If you are looking for a place to sit, watch a match, dance or even go clubbing, Cork has it.

Where to Shop
St Patrick’s Street is where all the shopping is; there is Brown Thomas, the favorite Penneys for the Dunnes, all your major department stores. High street stores like Topshop, River Island, New Look and H&M, and my favorite Only Ireland are down Opera Lane off Patrick’s Street.

Things to Do
Walk the whole city or go on the hop on hop off bus. There is a lot to do in Cork city, besides drinking and eating. There is the Fitzgerald Park, the Prison to learn about the history, and Crawford art Gallery. And after you’ve seen whole city adventure off to the sea-side towns of Cobh or Kinsale. There’s the train station that can take you to Dublin, the bus station is right there to take you anywhere in Ireland or to the Airport were you can rent a car and see the coast of Cork. Cobh was the last point of departure for the titanic. There is the titani museum and this wonderful cathedral to go see. Kinsale is a real boating town with boats coming there year round, even George Clooney’s yacht has been docked there. There are tons of places to eat and drink which isn’t very unusual for Ireland.

Where to Stay
There are many different hotels, B&Bs and even Airbnb options in Cork. My favorite place to stay is near Patrick’s Hill because you get a really good view of the city.

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