Cork is one of the major cities in the Republic of Ireland and recent developments have turned it into a vibrant, cosmopolitan destination, attracting growing numbers of travellers. Visitors can indeed enjoy a variety of sights, including cathedrals and old forts, admire eclectic architecture and modern art, or simply relax in the city's beautiful parks and along the River Lee.
The weather in Cork is mild but quite unreliable all year round, and rain is frequent. The city is however one of the sunniest in the country and winters are not too harsh as temperatures rarely fall below zero. Various cultural events are held throughout the year, starting with the Cork Midsummer Festival in June and followed by the Cork Folk Festival and the Jazz Festival in October, as well as the Film Festival starting in November.
The city centre is actually on an island, surrounded by the River Lee, and parking charges apply during the day, at EUR2 per hour. Prices are mostly cheaper than in London, and travellers can have a basic meal in a restaurant for around EUR12 and a beer for about EUR3. Culinary specialities in Cork include drisheen (a kind of black pudding) and a variety of cheeses.
From the airport, visitors can reach central Cork by taking bus 226A bus, which goes to the bus station. The journey is about 30 minutes and tickets cost around EUR7.40. Taxi fares range from approximately EUR30 to EUR35.
Travellers can lay their head at night in some of the city's hostels, with beds in shared rooms starting at ca. EUR12. Otherwise, a room in 3-star hotels is around EUR90 per night.
As the city centre is very small and compact, it can be explored on foot. For those wishing to use public transportation, single bus tickets are about EUR2, and day travelcards are available, costing around EUR5. Buses travel to the suburbs, which makes it easy to discover other areas of the city. Tickets have to be purchased when boarding the bus. Taxis are also widely available all around town, and they offer metered, standard fares.