What to Do in Cork City Ireland

What to do in Cork City, Ireland: Visit University College Cork
What is there to do in Cork City? West Cork may be famous for its foodie culture and scenery but resist the urge to skip Cork City if you’re visiting Ireland or if you live in Dublin and just fancy a weekend break. The so-called People’s Republic of Cork has a vibe all its own with great craic. Some Corkonians would argue that Cork City has even more to offer than Dublin. Read on for our favorite free things to do in Cork City plus recommendations on great places to eat and cultural opportunities that will easily fill a weekend.

Free Things to Do in Cork City

Stroll the English Market in Cork City

Given the turbulent 800 year relationship between England and Ireland, it's somewhat surprising that one of the top free Cork attractions is called the English Market. History aside, this old Victorian era food hall has great atmosphere and fantastic eats.
What to Do in Cork City Ireland: The English Market

Stroll through the University College Cork (UCC) Campus

University College Cork is one of the top universities in Ireland. It also happens to have a gorgeous campus. Take a stroll around and explore the old observatory, the grey brick buildings of the quad, and see old runes on display that are hundreds of years old.
University College Cork

Take a Photowalk in Cork City

If you are favored by sunny weather, definitely take time for a Cork City photowalk. Cork's architecture features gothic churches, historic pubs, and Georgian classic design and edgy street art. The interesting people you meet also add to the picturesque charm.
What to do in Cork City: Take a photowalk and check out the religious sculpture on the local gothic churches

Cork City's Unusual Museums

Lock Yourself Up at Cork Gaol

We trekked up a hill above Cork city for a visit to Cork Gaol. Wax figures stood guard and videos cast upon the wall told stories of what life was like in the prison where hardened criminals met with debtors. Even some Irish revolutionaries spent time here. It was fascinating to stroll around and take in a bit of history. If these walls could talk...
Cork Gaol

Cork City's Butter Museum

County Kerry may be famous for butter but Cork City was once situated at the crossroads of butter-related commerce with farmers from throughout the countryside descending on the local Butter Market to sell their product and see it shipped around the world. Today, the Butter Museum is located next to the historic butter market in the Shandon neighborhood of Cork City. It was fascinating to see historic waxy butter labels on display. I even got to help churn butter by hand as part of a daily hands-on show. I've never seen another museum like it in the world. Cork's Butter Museum is definitely worth a visit.
Things to Do in Cork City: Historic butter wrappers at the Butter Museum

Find A Bit of Culture in Cork City

Be Everyman and Catch a Show

The Everyman Palace Theatre has a richly decorated interior and sumptuous red velvet chairs and curtains. If there is a show on, definitely catch it. You're in for a treat.
Everyman Palace Theatre, Cork, Ireland

Check out the Cork Film Festival

Cork City boasts the Cork Film Festival every November. Many of the films have a local flavor. My friend Aoife actually screened her short film Oscar, a documentary short about a devoted dog and his sea-ferry captain companion at the Cork Film Festival so we had a chance to walk the red carpet ourselves.
Cork Film Festival

Where to Eat in Cork City

Dine in Style at Cafe Paradiso

Dublin can be a bit challenging for vegetarian foodies. Not so in Cork City. Cafe Paradiso, the top vegetarian restaurant in the country proves that vegetarian cuisine can be both imaginative and delicious. Even those that normally eat meat (like us) seek this place out.
Vegetarian cuisine at Cafe Paradiso in Cork, Ireland

Get Treated to a Pint by a Local in Cork City

"Ah, go on, so!"  I love the characters you find in the pubs in Ireland and this is particularly true in Cork.  I asked this guy (I soon learned that his name was Tom) if the seats next to him were free and he proceeded to talk my ear off for an hour and insisted on buying us a pint of beer. He slapped a 50 EUR note into my hand and wandered off to the loo. What a hoot.  Tom was a typical Cork man with the gift of gab.
Keep Calm, You're in Cork Now, Like

Pay Tribute to Depeche Mode at Cork City's Cafe Depeche

Down near University College Cork is a small coffee house with a singular theme. It's all about Depeche Mode.  Their music plays all day and their album covers grace the walls. I'm not sure if the barista was even alive when the band got together but no bother, We love Depeche Mode!
Cafe Depeche in Cork, Ireland

Join the Craft Brew Revolution at Cork's Franciscan Well Microbrewery

Franciscan Well is one of the original brews in Ireland that started what seems to be a craft beer revolution. Stop by the brewery in Cork City for a mighty fine pint and perhaps a pizza if you're feeling peckish.
Franciscan Well Brewery in Cork, Ireland

A Day Trip from Cork City

Take a Titanic Adventure to Cobh

If the weather is fine, a day trip to Cobh from Cork City is just the thing. Take the train into town, climb the hill, and imagine waving farewell as the Titanic steamed out of port on her fateful maiden voyage. There is a museum in the train station devoted to Titanic and other ships that passed through these waters. The Lusitania also met her end just offshore.
Cobh, Ireland

Is Cork City Ireland Worth Visiting?

As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Cork City that make the trip worthwhile. Many people pass the place over in favor of a drive through the wild West Cork countryside but Ah, go on, so. Stay a while.

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What to Do in Cork City Ireland

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