A Modern City Steeped In History
The city of Cork is the Republic of Ireland's second-largest conurbation. With a history stretching back 1,400 years, it began as a secluded monastery, founded by Saint Finbarr, Cork's patron saint. The city centre is built on a small island between two channels of the River Lee, which splits and later reconverges leading out onto Cork Harbour, one of the largest natural harbours in the world. Visitors to Cork often go to see the famous Blarney Stone at the castle. It's said that who kisses the stone shall receive the gift of eloquence!
When To Visit Cork
Despite Ireland's reputation as being wet and cold, Cork is one of the sunniest cities on the island. That being said, the weather can be somewhat unreliable and there is frequent rainfall. Temperature-wise, it's relatively mild and it rarely drops below zero even in winter, though it can feel colder than it is on a windy day.
Cork plays host to a variety of cultural events. From mid-June to July the Midsummer Festival is a month of culture, arts and events, celebrated at various venues across the city. October sees the Cork Folk Festival, which features some of Ireland's top musicians, and the Jazz Festival. The annual Film Festival begins in November.
Cork - Before You Get There
Driving around the city centre, with its many bridges and one-way systems can be confusing at first. Parking charges apply in the centre and should cost around EUR2 for an hour during the day. In general, Cork is a cheaper city than London for most things. A basic meal in a restaurant costs around EUR12 and a beer about EUR3.
Cork Airport Transfers, Hotels and Transport
For those arriving at Cork International Airport, the 226A bus, operated by Bus Éireann, takes passengers to the bus station. The journey takes around 30 minutes and costs about EUR7.50. A taxi from the airport to the centre will cost between around EUR30-35.
Cork has accommodation to suit all budgets, with a shared room in a cheap hostel in Cork will set you back by around EUR12 a night and a three-star hotel is approximately EUR90.
Cork city centre is small enough to explore on foot, though you can buy a single bus ticket for around EUR2 or a day travelcard for about EUR5. Tickets can be bought on the bus.