Cork has a thriving cultural scene that was acknowledged internationally when it was named the European Capital of Culture for 2005. Several festivals are held annually in the city giving the visitor an opportunity to experience a wide range of music, theatre and film.
Image: Cobh, Ireland (County Cork)
Places to see
Cork Vision Centre. This is in a former church on North Main Street. It has a large scale model of the city, hosts artistic exhibitions and has plentiful free tourist info which should help your understanding. Free admission.
Elizabeth Fort. From South Gate Bridge, go up Barrack Street and turn right. The walls Elizabeth Fort are open Tuesday to Sunday, offering fantastic views of the city below, guided tours are available.
St. Finbarr's Cathedral. This is just a few minutes away from Elizabeth fort and much easier to find. A fine 19th century Gothic building. Visible from the back is a golden angel with a trumpet high upon a tower.
Shandon Church. The tower and its bells are symbols of the city, and overlook it from the north. Visitors are allowed to ring the bells, with guidelines available to play meoldies of commonly known tunes. This church is situated in a conservation area.
Lewis Gluckman Gallery. This piece of modern architecture is situated within the grounds of University College Cork. Within is state of the art technology to protect and display major exhibitions of international art, along with facilities for workshops, film screenings, lectures and art classes. A café is situated on the ground floor.
Cork City Gaol. Slightly outside the city centre, this attraction is very much worth the visit. It can be reached by using the city sightseeing bus, by taxi or by a 30 minute walk. There is a small admission fee, but it is worth every cent. The Gaol also provides fine views of the west of the city, including the University.
Opera Lane and City Shopping. Great shopping on Opera Lane with big brands as well as lots of quirky small boutiques on Cork's side streets.
University College Cork. Take a stroll through the college which is open to the public and take in the variety of architecture here, from the newly constructed extension of the Boole Library to the newly repointed limestone Honan Chapel which is popular for graduate weddings.
University College Cork. This 50,000 capacity stadium is in Ballintemple and is home of Cork GAA. It is open on matchdays and Monday and Wednesday for tours.
The Lough Park, Lough Road, Cork. Open 24 hours. Situated 1km south-west of Cork city centre and is one of Cork's most fascinating amenities. It is a small freshwater limestone lake in a shallow depression. The Lough receives its water from springs and from water percolating from the ridge to the north on which stands the Lough parish church. It teems with wildlife and the central island provides a safe haven for the numerous types of wildfowl stocked in the Lough. The Lough delights a wide range of people of all ages who engage in such activities as jogging, walking, reading and nature study. There is also a restaurant and bar at the southwestern end, both with good views of the Lough. The Lough was declared a Public Wildlife Refuge in 1881 and is one of Ireland's oldest protected areas. free.
Things to do
Learn traditional Irish dancing (Céilí by the Lee), Crane Lane, Phoenix St. Mondays 20:00 - 21:30. Céilí is a traditional Irish social gathering, with music and dancing. Lessons are available every Monday in the Crane Lane bar on Phoenix Street. Beginners are welcome and no partner is required. A fun and friendly way to experience traditional Irish culture.
Fitzgeralds Park. Running beside the river Lee, the tranquil setting of Fitzgeralds park is a place for locals and visitors to relax in quiet natural surroundings with Cork history museum located in the park. Its a must see for nature lovers.
Leisure World Cork. For those rainy days, Leisure World have three pools in Cork to choose from.
Midsummer Festival. A month long festival featuring theatre, music, art, poetry and much more, throughout the city. Mid June - Mid July.
Film Festival. Established more than 50 years ago, the festival features an impressive selection of Irish and international films. Beginning of November.
Jazz Festival. One of the largest jazz festivals in Europe that consistently attracts top acts from around the world. Last weekend in October.
Watch a Gaelic Game. During the Munster Championship in the summer, a number of games are played in Páirc Uí Caoimh, while smaller games are played all throughout the year.
League of Ireland Football. Watch a Cork City F.C. football match during the FAI League of Ireland season from March to November. Turner's Cross Stadium is located 1.5km south of the city centre. Home matches take place on Friday nights at 7:45PM.
Sail Cork, East Ferry Marina (3 mi east of Cobh). Teaches dinghy and cruiser sailing, powerboating and navigation. Courses are run all year round and are available for juniors and adults.
Rugby. Musgrave Park the auxillary stadium for the 2 Times European Champions Munster.
Fota Island Golf Club, Fota Island, Cork. Fota Island Golf Club boasts 3 challenging championship golf courses set amid a stunning 780 acre island. Fota Island successfully hosted the 2014 Irish Open which was won by Finland's Mikko Ilonen.
Cork County Cricket Club, Richard Beamish Grounds, Mardyke, Cork. Munster’s premier and most successful cricket club located in the heart of Cork City. Cricket has been played at the Mardyke since 1874 and continues to be home of cricket in Munster with a large and vibrant membership encompassing all ages and abilities.