5 Great Ways to Spend a Day in Cork City - ConnollyCove (2023)

Wondering how to spend a day in Cork City? Well, you have come to the right spot as we have the 5 best things for you to do.

Located in the South of Ireland, Cork is a county that is famously referred to as both the “real capital” and “foodie capital” of Ireland. When you think of County Cork your mind may wander to the song “The Banks of my lovely Lee” or the cork saying “How are ya Boi”. And although these are synonymous with Cork that is not all the capital city of the Rebel County has to offer.

In this Article we will look at

  • How to Get to Cork City
  • Spend a Day in Cork City: Activities
  • Take a trip to the English Market
  • Go Shopping on Opera Lane
  • Art and Culture in Cork City

How to Get to Cork City

5 Great Ways to Spend a Day in Cork City - ConnollyCove (1)

Before you look at things to do in Cork city it is important to ensure you know how to get there. Cork City is easily accessible by train and bus. From Heuston Station in Dublin you can take the train to Kent Station in Cork in just over 2:30 hrs.


From Galway Ceannt Station it can take roughly over 4 hrs to get to Cork by train as you have to make stops in Limerick Junction and Colbert station on route. Kent Station in Cork city is a short walk away from the city centre. Bus Eireann also run Expressway buses that will bring you straight into the city. It is quite easy to get around this bustling city by foot, bike, bus or car.

1. Spend a Day in Cork City: Activities

If having fun and playing games is how you want too spend a day in Cork city then why not try out one of the cities amazing entertainment centres.

Go Bowling in the Leisurplex

If you are looking for a place to pass away a few hours with friends or children the Leisurplex is the perfect spot. Here you can enjoy bowling with your family and snooker or pool with your friends. The Leisurplex also has an amazing arcade centre with old and new games for all to enjoy. There is also a soft play area for younger kids.

Spend an evening at the Mardyke

The Mardyke Entertainment Centre is similar to the Leisurplex but more suited to older groups. Here you and friends can enjoy ping pong, bowling, darts, pool and snooker. There is also pub quizzes here and you can enjoy food and drink. This is definitely a fun way to spend a day in Cork City.

Have a walk in Fitzgerald Park

If you like to get out in nature and walk with fabulous scenery why not head over to Fitzgerald Park. You can also view Dermot Gavin’s impressive Sky Garden structure on display in the park. When you leave the park why not go across the water on the Shakey Bridge to bring you back into the city. During the Summer this public park is vibrant with people playing in the green, having picnics with friends and walking with their pets.

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2. Take a trip to the English Market

5 Great Ways to Spend a Day in Cork City - ConnollyCove (2)

If it was worth the visit by the Queen of England it is certainly worth a visit from you. If you have ever watched the Cork tv show “Young Offenders” you may recognise the English Market as the place that Conor and his mam worked at. Here you will see fish mongers, butchers, green grocers and more. The English Market is one of the best covered markets in Ireland. This charming and unique market is steeped in culture and it is a must when you spend a day in Cork city.

3. Go Shopping on Opera Lane

If shopping is how you want to spend a day in Cork City you will not be disappointed. Opera Lane in Cork has many high street stores for you to choose from. Shops such as H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, Office, River Island and Next will allow you to shop and browse for hours on end. Brown Thomas, Superdry, Primark (Penney’s) and other stores are also all close by making it the perfect place to do all types of shopping.

4. Art and Culture in Cork City

If you want to soak in Cork culture for the day and visit the artistic experiences the Rebel county has to offer then we have a few options for you.

See a performance at the Opera House

The Opera House is a fabulous place to go see a performance whether a pantomime, comedy act or musical act is what you fancy, you will not be disappointed. The Opera House hosts many amazing acts each year. Watching a show surrounded by the gorgeous interiors of the Opera House is something special and it is sure to be an experience enjoyed by everyone. This is a great way to spend a day in Cork city and after the show you can simply walk across to the beautiful Italian restaurant Luigi Malones for some delicious food.

Go to the Cork City Gaol

If you are interested in history we would recommend a visit to Cork City Gaol. This prison once held hundreds of 19th Century prisoners. You can walk and explore the wings and corridors of the Gaol with a tour guide who will give you the history behind everything you see. Tour guides will also tell you about all the famous prisoners that once stayed at Cork City Gaol and the story behind their arrest. You will see life like statues of prisoners in their cell. The Cork City Gaol is also child friendly and we think it is an interesting and fun way to spend a day in Cork city.

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Shandon Bells Tower

The Shandon bells Tower is definitely worth a visit when you are in Cork city, not only is the tower iconic to Cork but it also offers a beautiful viewpoint of the city from the tower balcony. What’s even better? You can ring the bells yourself and hear them chime through the church and tower. Although you do have to climb 135 steps, every step is worth it.

Crawford Art Gallery

If you want to spend a day in Cork City appreciating art then heading to Crawford Art Gallery is a must. This art gallery really exceeds expectations with their beautiful collections and amazing sculptures. This Gallery holds many different exhibitions throughout the year so have a look at their website to see what kind of exhibitions are in place during your visit. This is a place for all ages to enjoy as their are fun activities held for children and art lovers alike. It is also free to enter the Crawford Art Gallery as they work on donations only.

5 Great Ways to Spend a Day in Cork City - ConnollyCove (3)

5. Spend a Day in Cork City: Food & Drink

Cork is well known for being the “Food capital” of Ireland and when you visit Cork you will see exactly why. Whether it is breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner, Cork city has a restaurant or café to suit your needs and wants.

Crawford and Co.

A must for any lovers of bottomless brunch. If you are planning on doing Crawford and Co.’s bottomless brunch then make sure you don’t have any important plans for the afternoon and eat a hearty breakfast because trust me when they say ” endless “prosecco” they mean endless prosecco. For €25 you get endless prosecco with orange juice for two hours. You can then add a delicious brunch dish to keep you full and satisfied while you sip on bubbles. The staff here are very attentive and chatty which really adds to the atmosphere of the restaurant.

Dwyer’s of Cork

Dwyer’s is a fabulous vintage styled restaurant which has amazing music and also offers bottomless brunch. The food and cocktails at O’Dwyers will have your mouth watering. You will come to Dwyer’s for the food but you will stay for the bubbly atmosphere that is created by the friendly staff.

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Eat at the Marina Market

We have to recommend the Marina Market if you are looking for a place to grab a bit to eat and drink. Corks largest indoor market is located by the marina in Cork is home to many different vendors offering a variety of food and drink. Some examples of vendors you will find in the Marina market are Hansum, Dinky Donuts, Oak Fire Pizza, No Sin, Prataí and White Rabbit to name a few. The Marina market is also pet friendly so bring along your furry friends as you pass away some time with friends and family.

There is also an indoor karting circuit close by which is great fun no matter what age. Live out your Formula One driver dreams racing around the track and then go over to the Marina market after to fuel up after the race.

Sophie’s Rooftop

Located right beside Kent Station, Sophie’s Rooftop is the gorgeous rooftop bar of the Dean hotel. This restaurant is definitely worth a visit no matter what time of the day. The interiors of Sophies Rooftop is classy and elegant from the table you sit to even the bathroom! When you visit you have to get a classic picture on one of the Sophie’s Rooftop swings just to prove you were actually here.

Now that you have many ways to spend a day in Cork city why not book your flight, train or bus and give the Rebel county a visit!

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How do I spend a day in Cork city? ›

Just across the River Lee, the Shandon area of the city is a maze of winding streets just waiting to be explored.
  1. St Anne's Church. Shandon Bells Tower St Anne Church Cork City Cork. ...
  2. Cork Butter Museum. ...
  3. Take a food and drink break. ...
  4. Cork City Walking Tour.

How many days do you need in Cork Ireland? ›

A weekend in Cork is the perfect amount of time to spend in this glorious city located in Ireland's southern region! With two days, you can explore the historical and cultural sites of the city, try some of the food that makes Cork the country's foodie capital, and even take a day trip to Blarney Castle & Gardens.

Why visit Cork Ireland? ›

Visit Cork and you'll find a true blend of old and new. Contemporary art in historic buildings, chic cocktails in the Victorian Quarter and people of all ages revelling in the atmosphere. Discover colourful towns, a buzzing city and stunning, remote coastlines - County Cork has all you need for the perfect escape.

Is Cork city worth a visit? ›

Known as Ireland's second city, or Ireland's “real” capital, Cork is often skipped over in favor of destinations like Dublin or Galway, which is a shame because it has a lot to offer. The city is packed with enough cathedrals, museums, and galleries to keep you entertained.

What is the nicest part of Cork? ›

The city centre is hands-down the best area to stay in Cork because it's right in the middle of everything. By staying here, visitors don't have to rely as much on public transportation and can practically walk to all of the main attractions, including pubs, monuments, restaurants, and more.

What is special in Cork? ›

Top Attractions in Cork
  • Blarney Castle & Gardens. 7,510. Historic Sites • Castles. ...
  • The English Market. 3,086. Flea & Street Markets. ...
  • Nano Nagle Place. 519. History Museums. ...
  • Cork City Gaol. 1,835. ...
  • University College Cork (UCC) 947. ...
  • Blarney Stone. 623. ...
  • St Fin Barre's Cathedral. 998. ...
  • Glenview Gardens & Fairy Trail. 196.

Is Cork a walkable city? ›

Cork has a compact city centre which means that it is very easy to get around on foot. Cork is also a city that is full of culture and history.

How walkable is Cork Ireland? ›

Cork City is compact and very walkable — it even has the second-largest natural harbor in the world. You would definitely need a car for exploring the county, as public transport — especially in the countryside -- isn't amazing, but while you're in the city, on foot is best.

What month is best to visit Ireland? ›

The best time to visit Ireland is between March and May, and September to November, when it's not as crowded as it is in summer, or as cold as it is in winter. That said, Ireland has a mild, temperate climate and although it's rainy at times, you can visit all year round.

Can you get around Cork without a car? ›

By Bus. Buses are a great way to travel especially on longer journeys. Bus Éireann operate a huge number of routes from Cork city centre to all parts of Cork including towns and villages on the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland's Ancient East.

Should I visit Galway or Cork? ›

While Galway offers street entertainment, Cork stages the best music concerts. For a fantastic food experience, Cork edges Galway. However, if you want to enjoy the city with minimal movement, go to Galway. Whether you should go to Cork or Galway depends on your interests and what you want to experience.

What does Cork mean in Irish? ›

Cork city is located on a large wetland area. In fact, this is where the city and county gain their common name. The Irish translation, Corcaigh, means 'marsh'. The main area of the city is located on an island close to where the River Lee flows into Lough Mahon.

How long is the Marina Walk Cork? ›

Discover this 7.2-mile loop trail near Anglesea Street, County Cork. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 2 h 21 min to complete.

Where do the rich live in Cork? ›

Cork City Southside €340,559 (T12 Eircode area) Carrigaline - €332,000. Watergrasshill- €317,857. Clonakilty- €307,627.

What is the main shopping street in Cork? ›

The city centre boasts big name stores throughout the traditional shopping area of Patrick Street as well as Princes Street, Oliver Plunkett Street and North Main Street. The large shopping centres in Cork City include Merchant's Quay, Paul Street, French Church Street and North Main Street.

Which city is best in Cork? ›

Kinsale is arguably one of the best-known towns in Cork and it has lots to boast about as a famous port, noteworthy battleground and the site of the sinking of the Lusitania.

What is Cork a nickname for? ›

The Rebel County

Are Blarney Castle Gardens free? ›

It is €13 for an adult, €11 for a senior/student, €5 for a child(8-16) and €32 for a family. any children under 8 are free. over a year ago. 11 months ago.

Can I kiss the Blarney Stone? ›

No matter which origin story you believe, all agree on one thing: kissing the Blarney Stone bestows on the kisser the gift of gab. This means you'll leave the Castle with great eloquence and skill at flattery once you've puckered your lips and kissed the stone. And it's no easy feat to kiss the stone.

What are the disadvantages of Cork? ›

Cork is vulnerable to damage

Since cork is such a soft flooring material, it's more susceptible to damage than other types of flooring. Dog and cat nails will scratch a cork floor, and heavy furniture and appliances can leave permanent indents.

Is Cork cheaper than London? ›

Cost of living in Cork (Ireland) is 31% cheaper than in London (United Kingdom) This comparison is based on abundant and consistent data. It is based on 1,477 prices entered by 279 different people.

Is Cork a friendly city? ›

Cork has been voted the third friendliest city in the world by Condé Nast Traveller in their August 2018 poll.

Is Cork cheaper than Dublin? ›

Cost of living in Cork (Ireland) is 27% cheaper than in Dublin (Ireland) This comparison is based on abundant and consistent data. It is based on 1,008 prices entered by 119 different people.

How long is the train journey from Dublin to Cork? ›

Dublin to Cork Train Information

Most of the travels in between the two destinations are direct and only take up to three hours to complete.

Is it easy to get around Ireland without a car? ›

Getting around Ireland without a car is completely doable. Plus, it might also be a considerable cost-saver since you won't be incurring the cost of a rental car and the added insurance you are required to take while driving around Ireland. Travel to Cork from Dublin on Irish Rail.

Can you wear shorts in Ireland? ›

The most important thing when deciding what to wear in Ireland is to always look presentable and avoid anything too revealing, like crop tops or short shorts. You will be cold and look inappropriate. In general, day-to-day Ireland style is casual but always polished.

What is the rainiest month in Ireland? ›

Rainfall is extremely common throughout Ireland. The wettest months, almost everywhere are December and January. April is the driest month generally but in many southern parts, June is the driest.

What US cities fly direct to Ireland? ›

Popular flights with American Airlines
  • New York (JFK)to. Dublin (DUB) 03/01/23 - 03/07/23. ...
  • Miami (MIA)to. Dublin (DUB) 02/14/23 - 02/21/23. ...
  • Chicago (ORD)to. Dublin (DUB) ...
  • Raleigh (RDU)to. Dublin (DUB) ...
  • Orlando (MCO)to. Dublin (DUB) ...
  • Los Angeles (LAX)to. Dublin (DUB) ...
  • Seattle (SEA)to. Dublin (DUB) ...
  • Orange County (SNA)to. Dublin (DUB)

Can you drive in Ireland with a US license? ›

As a visitor to Ireland you can drive on a driving licence from any state outside the EU/EEA for up to one year provided the driving licence is current and valid. However, on taking up 'normal residence' in Ireland you must either exchange your driving licence or apply for a driving licence in Ireland.

Are there Ubers in Cork? ›

We are extremely proud to launch Uber in Cork where we have been seeing increased demand for our services,” said Kieran Harte, General Manager of Uber in Ireland.

Is there Uber or Lyft in Cork Ireland? ›

Technically, yes, the Uber app exists in Ireland but it is not normal Uber. Ireland has prohibited Uber from hiring out private cars and only allows licensed taxi and limousine drivers to operate. So, when you order a car from Uber you will simply be hiring a taxi pick-up.

What should you not forget to go to Ireland? ›

Don't Forget Travel Insurance!
Ireland Packing List
  • Noise Canceling Headphones. One of my best packing tips for Ireland is to take noise-canceling headphones! ...
  • Backpack. What about your Ireland backpack? ...
  • Travel Pillow. ...
  • RFID Credit Card Holder. ...
  • Sunglasses. ...
  • Travel Purse. ...
  • Portable Phone Charger. ...
  • Compression Socks.
Jan 19, 2023

What is the friendliest city in Ireland? ›

Galway: The 'Friendliest, Most Charming City' From Lonely Planet to The New York Times, Galway has been voted the 'friendliest' and 'most charming' city by a number of global publications.

What do they call the bathroom in Ireland? ›

The Jacks. In Ireland, 'the jacks' means 'toilet', most commonly used to refer to public bathrooms.

How do Cork people say hello? ›

Hey girl/Well lad. This is a very well known Cork greeting. You'll always hear this around Cork, usually said in a happy upbeat tone. Everyone in Cork is greeted by a “hey girl” or anything from a “well lad” to “well kid to “well bud”.

What does Feck mean in Ireland? ›

The most popular and widespread modern use of the term is as a slang expletive in Irish English, employed as a less serious alternative to the expletive "fuck" to express disbelief, surprise, pain, anger, or contempt. It notably lacks the sexual connotations that "fuck" has,.

Is walking allowed in Marina Beach? ›

Marina Beach Activities

Walking along the beaches during sunrise and sunset is a pleasant experience for all.

How long is the straight road in Cork? ›

The Carrigrohane Straight is a straight segment of road that stretches for 2.75 miles (4.43 km), from the edge of Cork west to Carrigrohane in County Cork, Ireland. It is just over 140 years old, and now forms part of the N22 National Primary route between Cork and Tralee.

Where does the Marina walk start? ›

By Metro: Get down at Damac Properties Station and walk for 5-10 minutes to reach the marina promenade. You can also get down at Jumeirah Lakes Towers metro stations and walk towards the place. 2. By Tram: Take a tram to Dubai Marina Mall Station and walk towards the marina promenade.

Who is the richest person in Cork? ›

He was listed among the World's Top 200 Billionaires in 2015 and was Ireland's richest native-born citizen for a period of several years.
Denis O'Brien
Denis O'Brien in 2014
Born19 April 1958 Cork, Ireland
EducationUniversity College Dublin Boston College
4 more rows

What celebrity is from Cork? ›

Birth Place Matching "Cork, Cork, Ireland" (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)
  • Cillian Murphy. Actor | 28 Days Later... ...
  • Sarah Greene. Actress | The Guard. ...
  • Fiona Shaw. Actress | Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. ...
  • Jack Gleeson. Actor | Game of Thrones. ...
  • Siobhán McSweeney. ...
  • Megan Cusack. ...
  • Edward Mulhare. ...
  • Alison Oliver.

How much are house prices in Cork? ›

Three-bed semi-detached homes in the county now cost an average of €217,500, up 6% on the December 2021 average of €206,000, the REA Average House Price Index shows. Similar homes in the city now cost an average of €355,000, up 6% on the December 2021 average of €335,000.

What is the most famous shopping street? ›

While it may have recently been invaded by suburban mall favorites likes the Disney Store, Abercrombie & Fitch and H&M, Fifth Avenue remains New York's (and the world's) best shopping street.

What is the oldest street in Cork City? ›

Keyser's Hill, which goes from French's Quay to the gate of Elizabeth Fort of Barrack Street, is reckoned to be the oldest 'street' in Cork and could go back as far as the first recorded Viking settlements.

Is Cork city worth visiting? ›

Known as Ireland's second city, or Ireland's “real” capital, Cork is often skipped over in favor of destinations like Dublin or Galway, which is a shame because it has a lot to offer. The city is packed with enough cathedrals, museums, and galleries to keep you entertained.

Is Cork city walkable? ›

Cork has a compact city centre which means that it is very easy to get around on foot. Cork is also a city that is full of culture and history.

What is the main shopping street in Cork city? ›

Opera Lane

This street is one of the most popular with those looking for shopping breaks, Cork.

Do you need a car in Cork Ireland? ›

Cork City is compact and very walkable — it even has the second-largest natural harbor in the world. You would definitely need a car for exploring the county, as public transport — especially in the countryside -- isn't amazing, but while you're in the city, on foot is best.

What is Cork called in Irish? ›

Cork (Irish: Corcaigh [ˈkɔɾˠkɪɟ], from corcach, meaning 'marsh') is the second largest city in Ireland and third largest city by population on the island of Ireland.

Where did Sofia Vergara stay in Cork? ›

The A-list couple chose not one but two gorgeous Cork hotels to visit during their stay. Vergara shared a photo of herself outside the city's iconic Hayfield Manor, just a stone's throw from UCC and, of course, a certain chipper.


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