Nathalie Cornish, Product Manager

"Food lovers will adore the choice of faire in Cork, from the abundance of local produce at the English Market to the fantastic eateries scattered throughout the city. Burn off those calories with a walk to the nearby hillside suburb of Shandon, offering great views of Cork as well as plenty of galleries, shops, and cafes tucked among its quaint squares and lanes."

Cork at a glance

Referred to by its inhabitants as the ‘real capital of Ireland’, Cork is a short break destination with a youthful vibe and regional culture that gives it a distinct atmosphere all its own. The heart of the city is literally its own island, separated on all sides by the River Lee, while narrow 17th century streets and cultural landmarks combine with modern shopping centres, restaurants and pubs to create a rich short break experience.

Cork evolved from a settlement that sprung up around a monastery founded on the banks of the River Lee by Saint Finbar some 1,400 years ago. Acting as an outpost for descendants of settlers from Wales, Normandy and England, the city’s early history was ridden with hostile encounters from the surrounding Gaelic countryside, causing it to be at one time completed housed within a fortified wall, some of which still remains today.

Major universities in Cork give the city a youthful flare with plenty of art centres, cafés and shops renewing the city to modern standards. But don’t let the contemporary attractions fool you into believing nothing of the old Cork remains. The city thrives on a pride for its own culture and history. Georgian buildings still preside over much of the city, while popular sites such as the Blarney Stone and St Fin Barre’s Cathedral continue to attract a multitude of visitors each year.

Traditional music is also an integral part of the city, with a history dating back to the Cork’s founding. The Music Library, established in 1978, works to preserve musical traditions, with regular recitals held each year. There are also many pubs and bars throughout the city that play host to live music nights.

Perfect if you’re looking for:

  • A weekend short break
  • Art, culture and music

Getting around

Cork’s small city centre is easily explored by foot.  For those looking to venture further out into the suburbs or neighbouring towns, there is a Citybus network, with most buses departing from St Patrick’s Street.

Get your tailor-made city break itinerary

Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Cork designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:

  • All travel and transfers on days of your choice
  • Accommodation from our handpicked range of Cork hotels, to suit your budget and requirements

Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.

Important information
Population 119,230
Languages English
Currency Euro
Visa Information No visa required for EU citizens
Average temperatures

(monthly highs °C)

Interesting facts

Hop in a taxi to Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone.

Distance from airports
Cork 8 km
Railway stations
Cork Kent

Things to do in Cork

Cork is a city with a very rich historical and archaeological heritage - much of it still in evidence today.

  • Cork City Gaol: A fascinating insight into day-to-day prison life during the 19th century.
  • Crawford Art Gallery: The Gallery´s permanent collection comprises over 2000 works.
  • Cobh Heritage Centre: An exhibition of the origins, history and legacy of this lovely seaside town and its special connection with the Titanic.
  • St Fin Barre's Cathedral: Consecrated in 1870, it’s one of Cork's main landmarks with a magnificent interior.
  • Blarney Castle: Built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland's greatest chieftains. Kiss the Blarney Stone and you'll never be lost for words!