Cork City, Ireland Travel Guide

Cork City is a unique city sitting on an island and surrounded by the two channels of River Lee. In fact, many of the streets here are built over waterways, so expect to go over different bridges during your stay. The town center is located upstream from the second-largest natural harbor in the world – Cork City Harbour.

Revel in this historical town architectural splendor by taking a city tour. Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral is a must-see if you are in Cork City. The cathedral looks like a castle with its gothic designs and three spires. Dating back to the 17th century, this gargoyle-adorned cathedral is made from marble, bath stone, and limestone. Check out the intricate carvings and the magnificent stained glass scattered throughout the complex.

Take a trip to Cork City Gaol for a different look at the city’s past. It is a prison that was originally opened in 1824, holding both women and men, but it became the Women’s Gaol in 1878. During the Irish War of Independence and the British control, many women were imprisoned here. In 1923, the gaol was closed, and it is now the site of the first radio broadcasting station of the city. During your visit, learn fascinating stories of the past and take a guided tour of the prison grounds.

You can shop in the English Market of you are looking for more exciting things to do. This market has roots dating back to the 16th century and is considered one of the oldest in the country. Saunter around the several vendors selling cakes, cheese, meat, fresh poultry, and many more. A feast for your stomach and eyes, you will find local crafts, treats, and even souvenirs at this bazaar.

Head to the popular Blarney Castle if you can cruise for 6 miles northwest of the city. Probably, you have heard of the legend which says you will receive the gift of eloquence if you kiss the Blarney Stone, so why not try it? Apart from puckering up, there are other magical spots in this city, including Wishing Steps and the Witch’s Stone. Venture into the dungeon, view the ruins of the court, and explore the surrounding meadows.

Often, all the attention is on Dublin, but many residents here believe Cork City is the “original” capital of Ireland. Decide for yourself if this harbor city deserves that title by paying a visit.