Top 5 Things to Do in County Cork

There is so much to see and do in Cork it is hard to whittle it down to just 5 things, but if you only have a day or two in the city, here are the top five things that we would recommend to do in Cork.

Ring the Shandon Bells

Take the opportunity to become part of an ancient tradition in Cork City and climb the bell tower of St Anne’s Church and ring the bells. 

Shandon Bells, County Cork

Shandon Bells, County Cork

Located in the historic Shandon area of the city this unique experience will allow you to ring out Waltzing Matilda or Amazing Grace to the city below.

Visit the English Market

The oldest market of its kind in all of Europe this market was visited by Queen Elizabeth II in 2011.  The market is filled with artisan foods from local suppliers and farmhouse cheeses to suit every palette.  A must see on your Ireland holiday if you are to experience some of Irelands finest culinary offers.


Free day out at the Crawford Gallery

The Crawford Gallery is situated just off Patrick Street and has been in existence since 1884.  In 1818, Cork Society of Arts were gifted the famous Canova Casts by the Vatican Museum.  These iconic plaster casts, including The Belvedere Torso, The Laocoon and The Disc Thrower, are on permanent display at the Crawford Gallery and are a beautiful example of casting.  To top it off admission to this unique exhibition is free!

Experience a traditional Irish music session

Now on every tourists must see list, and for good reason, this quintessential ‘Irish experience’ will fire the blood inside your veins.  Visit any traditional pub in Cork city and you will probably find that a group of musicians have taken over a corner.

Most pubs will welcome visiting musicians so if you are wanting to join in a session, we would head to Sin É which has a reputation amongst fiddle players for being one of the best sessions in town.  If you arrive to find not a fiddlers in sight, head to the Corner House next door, or An Spailpín Fánach where you can be guaranteed a great music session and an even better pint of stout.

Take a Tour of the City

English Market, County Cork

English Market, County Cork

Irish people love to talk about where they live and nowhere more so than Cork city.  The city is filled with charming stories and a vibrant history that is just waiting to be explored during your holiday in Ireland.  Cork City Tours offer tours on open-top double decker buses with informative guides that run regularly from various points in the city.  The route will take you through main streets, passed the Quays and city centre landmarks where your assigned guide will tell you everything you need to know about the city of Cork.

If you are a culinary fanatic, we would recommend the Cork Fabulous Tasting Trail which is led by Alice Coyle.  The three hour tour stops at outdoor and indoor markets, pubs, cafes and restaurants and samples some of the best cuisine that Cork has to offer.  If going on this tour, we would suggest skipping breakfast to be sure to fit in all the food you will be offered to sample.

If you are looking for a touch of history to your holiday and fancy doing things at your own pace – you can pick up a free audio guide at Cork City Library which will take you round the most famous literary locations in the city.

There is so much to do on your holiday in Cork that you may never want to leave!

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