Cork is a historical city that has grown into an urban hub with a cool student vibe. It was founded in the 6th century as a monastic settlement and was taken by Vikings soon after who transformed it into a port town.
When to Go There
July to September are the warmest months but being by the coast, the temperature is a bit colder on the coast so whatever time of year it is – think layers. You may be hit by the chilling wind and rain so it is worth having a good quality rain jacket and coat with you no matter which season it is. During winter temperatures can be single figures and the wind and humidity can be a big chill.
What to See and Do
The Church of St Anne is one of the most beautiful landmarks in the region. Built in 1722, the church features an antiquate architecture with a high ceiling, stained glass windows and a stone baptismal font. Climb your way up to the bell tower for a stunning view of the city and surrounding areas. You can have a go at ringing a tune across the city on the eight famous Shandon Bells.
The Cork City Gaol was was built high up with the idea that it would help contain ‘gaol fever.’ The former prison is now a museum, which contains wax works and provides a multimedia tour of how life was in prison almost 200 years ago. There is a small radio museum with interesting artefacts, including a microphone that was used by John F Kennedy when he visited Cork in 1963.
Take a trip out 20 minutes out from Cork city to the pretty harbourtown Cobh (pronounced Cove) which in East Cork. The area is enriched with history. Almost 2.5 million Irish people emigrated to North America during times of poverty and famine between 1848 and 1950 from the port in Cobh. The port was the final stop for the RMS Titanic before the horrific ending to the maiden voyage. The port was also a place where convicts set sail to hold out their sentence in Australia. Check out the Heritage centre which will tell the story of immigration from Cobh. Also, the Titanic Experience Cobh uses audioguide to retrace the steps of the 123 passengers that boarded the Titanic at Queenstown. The tour takes you on a journey of excitement and horror that the passengers would have experienced in 1912. Cobh offers a range of outdoor activities such as fishing, sailing, bird watching and harbour tours.
There are plenty of cafes and restaurants for all tastes. The Old English Market is an attraction and food stop in itself. Located in the middle of the city centre the market is bustling with customers buying fresh organic produce from local growers. It is a great place to stop for lunch and a coffee.
How to Get There
Cork is accessible by most forms of transport. There are 16 trains from Dublin each day. Coach services from Dublin can be quicker and cheaper than the train, there are a few companies that offer this service. If you have a car the journey is about 2 hours and 30minutes in normal conditions. There are lots of connections with the major European airline companies to Cork airport