The Essential Beginners Guide To Cork

Every year, more than 30,000 students enroll in the two main educational institutions of Cork – University College Cork & Cork Institute of Technology. Cork is also known as Ireland’s Tech capital, so many multinational and national companies hire skilled employees from different countries who come in and make Cork their home. Add to that, Cork receives tourists all year from different parts of the world. If you’re someone who is new to Cork, this blog is for you. This blog aims to induct you to Cork, the best city in Ireland!

1. Visit the English Market

You cannot come to Cork and not visit the iconic English Market, a place which even The Queen of England couldn’t resist from paying a visit to. Walk around the market, grab some fresh meat, vegetables, fruits, or condiments. Grab a bite at O’Flynn’s Gourmet Sausages if you like hotdogs, or try some wonderful cakes at Hassetts. Or just simply walk around, and soak in the flavours and the ambiance. There is no better way to start your journey in Cork than by paying a visit to English Market.

2. Visit the Blarney Castle and Gardens

Take the 215 bus from the city and head over to Blarney Castle and Gardens for an idyllic afternoon. The castle is believed to be built around the 1200s and is famous for the legendary Blarney Stone. If you want the gift of gab, be sure to kiss the stone! Then take a nice stroll in the lush gardens of the castle, ending the day with a coffee and some scones at the café.

Book your tickets to the castle online to save a few bobs.

An adult ticket to the Blarney Castle costs €16 online and €18 on the spot.

3. Plan a day trip to Fota Island and Cobh

Cork is incomplete without a visit to the lovely port town of Cobh, earlier known as Queenstown! Hop on to a train to Cobh from Cork Kent Station in the morning. The ticket would let you get down to Fota before you head to Cobh. A return ticket from Cork to Cobh costs around €10. Enjoy a lovely morning amidst nature and the beautiful animals of Fota Wildlife Park. The cost of an adult ticket to Fota is €16.90 and a student ticket costs €12.50. Say hi to the kangaroos, giraffes, tigers and lions, and relive your childhood.

Then take the train and go to Cobh. Cobh, which was named Queenstown by the British, is the second-largest natural harbour in the world. You’ll get to see majestic cruise ships standing on the port. Cobh was also the last port of call for the RMS Titanic before it sank on its maiden voyage in the Atlantic in 1912.

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I’d suggest two absolutely unmissable things in Cobh – visit the Titanic Experience (Adult tickets for €10 and student tickets for €8.50), and hire a self driven boat for €50 an hour (4 people per boat) to get your adrenaline pumping and experience the magical town of Cobh. On your way back to Cork, eat some delicious fish and chips in one of the many restaurants in Cobh and pay a visit to the St. Colman’s Cathedral.

4. Visit one of the MANY parks in and around Cork City

If you are like me, who needs a regular dose of greenery, head to one of the many parks around Cork City. There’s the Lough, the Atlantic Pond, Fitzgerald Park, and many more. My personal favourite is a little out of the city – the Ballincollig Regional Park.

Go for a run, or an outdoor picnic with your friends. These parks really helps settling into a new place, welcoming everyone with open arms.

5. Take a stroll in the city by night

Walk into the city centre for a stroll at night time and witness the raw beauty of Cork. Do check out the Mary Elms Bridge on River Lee for a moment of calm amidst the chaos. If you are thirsty, go for a fresh pint of Franciscan Well – a famous cider brewed in Cork.

This for me, would be the perfect induction to Cork, a city full of colours, food, music and drinks.

There’s a saying amongst Corkonians – Ireland has two places, Cork, and NOT CORK! There is a reason why Cork’s beauty won’t wash out from your mind once you visit. The charm of this lovely Rebel County makes anyone fall in love with them in the first chance.

Written By: Rohini Roy –

Rohini Roy @TheIrishTrail

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