Sitting snug inland on the River Lee, you’ll find Cork’s buzzing city centre. Awaiting you is a wealth of historic attractions of medieval, early modern and Georgian origin.
Found on the mouth of the river, which wraps around the city centre, sits the distinct fortress of Blackrock Castle. Moving closer to the middle of the city you’ll discover the awe-inspiring Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, a triple-spired example of French neo-gothic architecture. On the north side, you can step back in time as you cross the threshold of the eerie 19th-century Cork City Gaol.
Cork is also a delight for foodies. The city’s famous covered English market, which has been trading since 1788, sells all sorts of amazing fresh produce, and the famous Jameson Distillery is located in nearby Midleton. Every drop of Jameson is produced here and it’s the perfect place to learn about one of Ireland’s most famous exports.
To the south east of Cork is the pretty city of Cobh (pronounced Cove), the departure point for millions of Irish people who emigrated to North America between 1848 and 1950. It was also the final port of call for the Titanic. Strung across a steep hill, Cobh is filled with brightly coloured houses and is overlooked by the beautiful St. Colman’s Cathedral.
When to go
Although Cork can be visited any time of year, spring and autumn are your best bet for pleasant weather without the crowds that come in the height of summer. Aim for April to early June or September to October.
What to do
- Explore contemporary Irish art among the early 18th-century walls of Crawford Art Gallery
- Discover the history behind Blackrock Castle
- Travel back in time and uncover the city's eerie past at Cork City Gaol
- Shop for fresh produce at Cork's English market