The Republic of Ireland’s second city, Cork is every bit as cosmopolitan and enthralling as the capital Dublin is for visitors. Through the centuries, Cork has grown from a small, unassuming merchant town with a significant religious history to a city that offers much of what similar places of its size offer throughout Europe.
In Cork, you might like to go for a bit of retail therapy on St Patrick’s Street, or stroll along the banks of the River Lee, which splits the city in two. Or perhaps you would prefer to head out into the Munster countryside. The weather in Cork is better during the summer, when it can be as pleasant as anywhere on the Mediterranean, if you’re lucky!
Being a city with narrow and tightly-packed streets, it’s best to get around Cork in a smaller car. On the steep inner-city streets, they’re usually powerful enough. Driving in Cork Road Driving Side: L Urban Speed Limit: 31mph Rural Speed Limit: 50mph Motorway Speed Limit: 75mph
St Finbar’s Cathedral, just a short walk away from Elizabeth Fort, was built in the 19th Century. It’s arguably the finest landmark in Cork, revealing a lot about the Saint, his good deeds and his impact on the area.
Elizabeth Fort is another place worth visiting. Although hard to find straight away, once you get there, you can get great views of the Cork skyline. On Sundays, a market festival is held there where you can buy food and craft goods made in Ireland.
The Cork Film Festival, which takes place at the beginning of November every year, is a great event where films made in Ireland and all over the world are premiered and screened. It’s over 50 years old, and is one of the city’s cultural highlights.
Pairc Ui Chaoimh, a 50,000-capacity stadium in Ballintemple is home of the Cork GAA team. Here, you can catch a game of either Gaelic Football or Hurling, both of which are physical yet thrill-a-minute sports which enjoy huge popularity here.
Although the main roads leading to the centre of Cork are in great condition, the narrow streets in the city centre are sometimes steep and narrow. Drive on them with caution.
The Cork Tourist Office is on Grand Parade in the centre of the city. It’s open from 9.15am-5pm from Money to Saturday, but closes between 1pm-2pm each day.
Cork is one of the safest cities in Ireland, but be sure to stay safe at night, especially when there are large crowds of revellers from bars and nightclubs around.
Ideal car: Hatchback
Being a city with narrow and tightly-packed streets, it’s best to get around Cork in a smaller car. On the steep inner-city streets, they’re usually powerful enough.
Cork Airport is the second largest in the Republic of Ireland, boasting a terminal that has 18 aircraft stands and two main runways. It’s open for 24 hours a day every day of year barring Christmas Day and has over 60 routes in and out of the airport. By road, there is a link between the airport and the M8 Motorway. Otherwise, you can go to or from Cork Airport from the south end of the N27 from the north, west or east of Cork. The airport is just less than six miles away from the city centre.