Cork might officially be Ireland’s second city, but it’s better, if in your next visit you don’t suggest that to one of its highly proud residents. Cork picturesque setting along the River Lee, and its dedication to the arts and good food and drink, make it a convincing rival to Dublin. On long summer days, Cork’s compact size makes it a perfect city to tour on foot.
ARTS + FUN
Crawford Art GalleryEmmet Place, Cork
Crawford Art Gallery, a National Cultural Institution and regional art museum for Munster, is dedicated to the visual arts, both historic and contemporary. Located in the heart of Cork city, beside the Opera House, the Gallery is a critical part of Ireland’s cultural and tourism infrastructure, welcoming over 200,000 visitors a year, the admission to the Gallery and to exhibitions is free. The Gallery´s permanent collection comprises over 2000 works, ranging from eighteenth century Irish and European painting and sculpture, through to contemporary video installations. The Gallery´s highlight is a collection of Greek and Roman sculpture casts, brought to Cork in 1818 from the Vatican Museum in Rome. And even if you’re not in an arty mood, the Gallery’s Café and Shop are both worthier of a stop by.
The Pavilion13 Carey’s Lane, Cork
This is the place to be in Cork when the night comes, where you can find a mellow lounge with good beats downstairs, and the choice venue for live acts and club nights upstairs.
Saturday night’s Go Deep sessions present both up-and-coming and veteran Irish and
International D.J.’s, some joined by live performers. The lofty barrel-vaulted ceilings of the
Club space serve as a stylish reminder of the building’s original incarnation as one of the first
Cinemas in Cork, opened in 1921. Franz Ferdinand in 2012, Yann Tiersen and Lloyd Cole in 2010, and Kanye West in 2009, all played here.
St. Anne’s ChurchChurch Street, Cork
This church was built in 1722 of sandstone and limestone, a red and white color combination so popular among residents that they designed the city’s flag to match. For the best view of the city, wind your way up the tower’s stone stairs, alerting the city to your arrival by ringing the eight bells you’ll find along the way up.
St. Fin Barre’s CathedralBishop Street, Cork City
Situated near the heart of Cork, St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral is the most recent ecclesiastical site located where the saint is believed to have founded his monastic school in the 7th century. The present Neo-Gothic cathedral, designed by English architect William Bruges, is made from Cork limestone and marble, as well as Bath stone. This Church of Ireland cathedral was consecrated in 1870. Noteworthy features of its magnificent interior include stained glass windows depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments, marble mosaics from the Pyrenees while the sanctuary ceiling portrays Christ, surrounded by angels. The building contains more than 1,260 sculptures, a particularly ornate pulpit and even a 24-lb cannonball, a legacy of the Siege of Cork in 1690.
EAT + DRINK
Boqueria Tapas & Wine Bar6 Bridge Street, Cork
Boqueria is a family-owned Cocktail, Tapas, and Wine Bar, situated in the very heart of Cork that serves up Spanish tapas, with a nod toward classically Irish ingredients, in a converted pub.
With influences that mainly come from Spain, with a cosmopolitan, and cool twist.
With menus to taste and share with friends, even vegetarian, a selected Spanish wines list, and plenty of cocktails, to enjoy!
The Ivory TowerThe Exchange Buildings, 35 Princess Street, Cork
Run by Seamus O’Connel, is one of Cork’s most imaginative fine dining experiences. Located in the heart of Cork City, this intimate first-floor dining room is a true hidden gem. The restaurant is well-known for its sushi and Japanese food and for its 5 course fine dining menu. It is also one of the only restaurants in Ireland to offer a menu based exclusively on traditional Irish food.
English MarketPrinces Street, Grand Parade, Cork
The origins of this market trace back to the times of King James I in 1610, and has been officially trading since 1788. The rebuilding of the Princes Street Market following a fire in 1980, and the arrival of new traders in the mid 90’s, ushered in a new vibrant era for the Market. A mix of traditional Cork fare and exciting new foods from afar, combined with long standing family-run stalls contribute to the unique appeal and atmosphere of this market. Long recognized by locals as a place to meet, eat and shop, the English Market offers tourists and locals alike a tantalizing range of Irish food. Culinary delights include quality meats and fish, herbs, spices, fruit, vegetables, baked delicacies and special cheeses.
Debenhams12 – 17, Patrick Street, Cork
Debenhams is a British Department Store’s, with a central location where you can find almost everything, from clothes, to household appliances. Located in a picturesque building, which used to be Roches Stores, until 2006, you can still find that inscription over the main entrance.
Clarion Hotel CorkLapps Quay, Cork City
The Clarion Hotel Cork is a four-star hotel with a central location, situated along the River Lee and facing the City Hall. The hotel also features two restaurants, Augustine’s a modern French and Italian eatery, and Kudos which prepares Asian cuisine as well as European dishes.
You can also find here, the SanoVitae Health & Fitness Club, that has a fully equipped gymnasium, weight equipment, aerobics studio, 18m swimming pool, children’s pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and more. Additionally, guests can release tension and stress at Essence Spa, which offers massages, facials and beauty treatments.
The River Lee HotelWestern Road, Cork City
The River Lee Hotel is one of Cork City’s most luxurious accommodations. Completely refurbished and attractively decorated, the four-star hotel is a nice choice for both business and pleasure. The hotel’s Weir Bistro and Bar are two of the city’s finest establishments with food and drink ranging from hearty Irish breakfasts, to full à la carte dinners. A property of The Doyle Collection, the hotel provides stunning views of Cork, great food, and state-of-the-art technology.
By Leonel Souto