[Cork, Ireland] The complete guide to the 2nd Capital of Ireland

How is Ireland?
Honestly, before visiting Cork I always had an uncertain answer when people ask me.

After visiting Cork, I would definitely recommend you to visit this lovely country, and you should definitely give Cork a visit.

About Cork Ireland

Cork is the 2nd biggest city in Ireland but it doesn’t have that bustling city feeling like Dublin, instead, a more authentic “real Ireland vibe”.

Cork had a long maritime history and the Port of Cork is the second-largest natural harbor in the world. Moreover, Cobh-the last stop where Titanic departed is a part of Cork as well!

Map of Cork

Cork travel guide

Where is Cork Ireland

Cork is located in the southern part of Ireland which is 3.5 hours from the Capital Dublin and  3 hours from Galway.

The main attractions, which I will be introducing you to below, could be easily visited in a day. Though I personally recommend you to stay 2 or 3 nights and give its nearby towns- Cobh, and Kinsale a visit.

See also:
Cobh| a day in Titanic’s last stop
| Tripadvisor see what other’s say

Weather for Cork Ireland

Cork weather

From the chart, you can tell that Cork has more rainy days compared to Dublin and the average temperature is 1-2 degrees lower. Anyway, it’s not a huge difference just bring what you would like in Dublin- a light waterproof jacket and a pair of comfortable water-resistant boots which Palladium from France/mark is my all time favorite!

Cork Transportation

Getting from Dublin to Cork

I chose Aircoach to get from Dublin to Cork

  • Price: €15 Single/ €24 Return
    📌You can choose whether to buy your ticket online in advance or when boarding. In case that the bus could be full, I chose to buy online a week before my trip.
    📌Frequently asked questions about Aircoach
  • Duration: 3hrs nonstop
  • Bus stops in Dublin
    They got plenty of bus stops in Dublin, even at the airport. Check their website
  • Bus stop in Cork
    Patrick’s Quay (Which is also where to board when returning to Dublin)
  • Experience
    I am 163cm and the seat fits perfectly. It is pretty spacious and comfy enough for me to sleep peacefully for 3 hours.
    🎫Book your Aircoach ticket now
Day trip from Dublin to Cork
If you’re planning to give Cork just a short visit, it’s doable as well!👆🏻Book a tour and enjoy your trip calmly
Patrick’s Quay-Aircoach bus stop at Cork |📍Go to google map

Getting around in Cork

  • Leap card is also accepted here, you can even use it for Train!
    Benefits of using Leap card:
    📌30%off the original ticket price
    🎟Where to buy Leap card in Cork
    📌You can top up your Leap card easily online
    Apple users/ Android users
  • Bus rides in Cork are between 2~6 euros(Original price).
  • Taxis in Ireland
    You can use Uber in Ireland and the type of rides you’ll meet are regular taxis.
    Personally, I used more Free Now app (Previous My Taxi)| Apple user download/ Android user download

If you’re going to visit the below places👇🏼, I would say that you won’t have to use any of the above public/private transport because they are all within walking distance.

Where to visit in Cork 

1. The English Market

The English market is one of the most well-known markets in Ireland which has 200 years of history, though what you see today is different from how it looked like hundred years ago.

In 2011 Queen Elizabeth II also gave it a visit, but that’s definitely not why this market is called the “English Market”😂.

Actually, The English market wasn’t this market’s official name in the early years, it was the way people called it.

In 1788 Cork Corporation started this “market with roof” project which was trending in England, not far from it was St. Peter’s Market known as “the Irish Market”. So to differentiate them people named this market “the English market”.

English market today is known for its fresh products, in fact, they inherited this from hundred years ago. The English Market was always a high-end market that “high-end people” visited. Even during the Great Famine, you could still encounter potatoes without Potato blight here.

📍Google map

Book your guided historical tour

Recommendations in the Market:

The chocolate shop:  they have a big variety of chocolate selection, each around €1

The Farmgate Café:

farmgate cafe  the english market cork

I didn’t get to visit it this time since their famous bread and butter pudding were sold out, if you plan to visit be sure to go earlier. 


 More Pictures from The English Market

2. Street Art 

If you’re addicted to taking photos (like I am🤭), I’m sure that the Street arts in Cork won’t disappoint you! 

This is my favorite one in Cork so far, located right next to the entrance of the English market

Colorful Stairs

📍Google map

Randomly stumbled across this one. This is how Cork shows its charm. Not as intense as Dublin, but it is the small surprises around every corner👌🏼

Remember to double check it on the google street view before you go, the last time I checked the colors faded already pretty much.

📍Google map

This one is just 5 minute’s walk from Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral↓

3. Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral 

Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral cork Ireland

Where Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral stands today was once a monastery since the 7th century which survived until the 12th century. What you see today was built in the mid-19th century.

See also :
St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow| Another church that was completely demolished on-site and rebuilt into another

Like Cork itself, Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral has that peaceful atmosphere that you will feel comfortable just hanging around. Behind the cathedral, you can find people picnicking and enjoying the afternoon with friends or families. 

  • Entrance Fee: €5 (2017)
Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral
聖芬巴爾座堂 科克景點


4. Elizabeth Fort 

The Elizabeth Fort in Cork was built in 1601 for defense purposes, as time went on it was used also as a prison and police station.

Although today what you’ll find would be pretty…empty, but Elizabeth fort witnessed and was part of the love-hate relationship between Britain and Ireland.

In the Irish War of Independence, it was used as a base for Britain to fight against the Irish Republican Army, then burnt down when Anti-treaty forces retreat the city. During WWII an air-raid shelter was built within the fort to offer protection in case of bombings.

5. Cork City Gaol

Cork city gaol was built to substitute the former old Gaol, overpopulated and not hygienic. In 1923 Cork City Gaol stepped down from prison and after 4 years transferred to a radio station- also the very first radio station in Cork.

  • You can choose to visit with their tour guide or go around yourself, they will give you a detailed guide map which personally found it already pretty informative.
  • Latest prices and timetable
The first thing you’re gonna see when you enter the Gaol
There are some specific prisoners who have to leave their clothes out of their cell before going to bed, guess why;)

Where to stay Cork Ireland | Price high to low
Accommodation with River view
The River Lee Hotel | 4 start Hotel next to the River
River View apartment suite | self-serviced apartment next to the river

Imperial Hotel | Luxury atmosphere that deserves to be on your gram
Lancaster Lodge | Clean, basic, and Free Car parking!
Lee point | Student accommodation for budget travelers

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cork ireland to do

If you ask me the reason why I like Cork so much, I really can’t come up with any specific reason. It’s just the pleasant feeling that the city gives you and makes you feel so calm and it feels like home! The cozy feeling is blended into every corner of this city.

For those who are visiting Cork for the first time, I would highly recommend you to stay 2, 3 nights and embrace Cork’s atmosphere as much as you can. Not to mention it’s nearby Kinsale and Cobh, both towns are totally worth a day trip.

I would say that until the time I visited (2017), Cork still gives you an Irish authentic vibe…unlike messy Dublin at night (which I enjoyed as well😂)

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Things to do in Cork Ireland

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