Catch the Train from Cork to Cobh for a Great Day Out in Ireland

Cork to Cobh (pronounced Cove) is an easy day trip in County Cork and one of the best things to do near Cork City. Cobh is famous for being the last port of call for the Titanic before she departed on her fateful maiden voyage across the Atlantic. 
Cork to Cobh: statue of a man in a small boat

Getting from Cork to Cobh

How far is Cork to Cobh? We hopped on the Cork to Cobh train at Cork Kent Station and after just 26 minutes duration we were deposited by Irish Rail at the Cobh train station. Pay 10.10 EUR per person for round trip day ticket between Cork and Cobh.

Things to do in Cobh

Are you wondering what to do in Cobh? Read on to discover all the fun things to in Cobh on a day trip from Cork City.

Enjoy the Views from St. Colman's Cathedral

Cork to Cobh: St. Colman's Cathedral
We looked up the hill above the train station and saw a beautiful old wall and spire.  Since it was a gorgeous day (and knowing Ireland, this could change at any moment), we decided to go for a walk about town before stopping in at Cobh Heritage Center. We faced a steep climb but the promised views at the top made it all worthwhile.
Cork to Cobh: Steep staircase and spire
In the distance, we could see St. Colman's Cathedral, an easily identifiable landmark for sailors and landlubbers alike. We wound our way toward St. Colman's and passed the Bishop's Residence. 

An elaborate convent sat just beyond a low wall and well-coiffed hedge. Helpful signage pointed us in the right direction. We looked back down toward the harbour, our eyes guided by brightly colored homes stacked on the hillside. 
Cork to Cobh: Colorful buildings against a black and white sea

Seek out Bishop Ahern's Close, a small residential Cul de Sac in Cobh with great views of iconic St. Colman's Cathedral. Take some time to walk over to St. Colman's Cathedral itself and admire the views over Cobh. I had a little fun with Snapseed to show off those gorgeous Cobh colors! We took a moment to admire the colorful homes stacked on the hill from a different angle.  It looked like Cobh's answer to the 'Painted Ladies' of San Francisco. The gorgeous harbour swept out in front of us.
Cork to Cobh by Train: colorful houses in Cobh

Photograph the Deck of Cards Houses

The Cobh "Painted Ladies" are actually known as the Deck of Cards Houses. We hoofed it up the very steep West View Hill to get a close up view of Cobh's famous deck of cards houses. These houses each resemble a house of cards which is how they earned their nickname.

Cork to Cobh: Colorful Deck of Cards Houses on a black and white background

Wondering where is the best place to photograph Cobh's Deck of Cards Houses? It turns out that the viewing spot is on Spy Glass Hill in Cobh. Lift your phone above the irritatingly tall stone wall. Or, buy the dilapidated home currently for sale and the view is all yours! I wish I'd brought my selfie pole to Cork!

The Crescent

As we were trying to find best vantage point to see Deck of Cards houses in Cobh, we stumbled upon The Crescent, a Victorian-era semicircle of pristine white homes. This is not a great place to view the deck of cards, but a great place if you love doors like me. You'll find fantastic views of St Colman's too!

The Victorian Crescent in Cobh Ireland

Cobh Harbour

Cork to Cobh by Train: Historic Titanic advertisement
We descended the footpath in front of St. Colman's down to the harbourfront.  Here we spotted signs of Cobh's place in history with references to the Titanic and other 'floating palaces' on the outside of local pubs. The colorful storefronts overlooking the harbour shown in the sun. We turned around on the square and looked back up at St. Colman's where we'd started. Our eye was drawn to Market House with the spire of St. Colman's sitting immediately above it. It was perfect timing for a late breakfast so we took a seat inside. A country kitchen interior welcomed us. We grabbed a spot at the window and looked out at the quaint and colorful facades of Cobh Town. A bit of coffee, a scone, and some porridge fortified us for the day. Continuing our exploration, we walked along Cobh Harbour past rows of shops and colorful homes.
Cork to Cobh by train: Market House Facade

The Beach in Cobh

Cork to Cobh by Train: Historic chimney on the beach
Eventually, we came to an intersection where we would have had to choose between the high road and the low road. We decided to follow neither and turned toward the beach and 'The Bench' instead (a seat overlooking the harbour where Titanic sailed out to sea). We carefully picked our way down to the rocky beach.  An old brick was worn smooth by the pounding of the waves. We looked out at the water and down the beach back toward town. We could see the deep water channel where Titanic must have passed. We strolled back into Cobh Town past colorful fishing boats. Just beyond, we discovered Kennedy Park with its distinctive old time Victorian gazebo. A fascinating sculpture sat facing the sea.
Cork to Cobh by train: Victorian gazebo in Kennedy Park

Visit the Cobh Titanic Experience

Cork to Cobh: Titanic Experience Ticket
The absolute best thing to do in Cobh is book a guided tour of the Titanic Experience for 11 EUR per adult. Assume the identity of 1 of 123 passengers that boarded the Titanic in Cobh. I was Nellie O'Dwyer, a 23 year old traveling alone in 3rd class. 113 of those who boarded Titanic in Cobh were 3rd class passengers. There were just 3 first class and 7 second class passengers who embarked the ship in Cobh. The Titanic Experience tour takes about 1 hour with timed entry every 15 minutes. 
Cork to Cobh: Heartbreak Pier
You'll go through a multimedia experience of boarding the ship via tender. You'll see typical cabins and a life boat. We got to see Heartbreak Pier, the departure point from Ireland for over 1 million Irish Emigrants. It was positively haunting to stand in the footsteps of Titanic passengers. At the end of the Titanic Experience, find out the fate of your passenger. Nellie O'Dwyer survived the Titanic shipwreck only to die 2 years later in childbirth. To me, that was almost sadder them dying at sea.

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Are you interested in exploring places with ties to the Titanic? Why not visit Belfast where Titanic was built? The Titanic Museum in one of the top things to do in Belfast. Alternatively, you could head over to Liverpool for a day which is home to the head office of the White Star Line, Titanic's managing company.

Grab a Pint of Murphy's or Beamish Stout

When in Cobh, don't go for Guinness, try Murphy's or Beamish Stout instead. Or why not one of each? We bought 2 pints for just 8.70 EUR. It's been ages since we've spent less than a fiver on a pint. You'll find great value pints at Kelly's Bar in Cobh less than a 5 minute walk from Cobh train station.

Things to do in Cobh: Pints of Beamish and Murphy's Stout

Cobh Heritage Centre

Cobh Heritage Centre
We ended our half-day visit to Cobh back at the train station to travel back in time and learn about The Queenstown Story at the Cobh Heritage Centre. Cobh was called Queenstown before Irish independence.  The museum was housed in a bright airy space in the Victorian-era train station. We learned about the history of Cobh from pre-famine times, through the years of massive emigration when crops failed, through the more modern seafaring tragedies like that of Titanic and Lusitania which was a torpedoed near Cork during WWII. 
The Queenstown Story at Cobh Heritage Centre

Is Cobh Worth Visiting?

Cobh is well worth a visit if you find yourself in Cork City with some time to spare. The Cork to Cobh day trip is especially worthwhile if the weather is nice like it was during our visit.  After exploring for a few hours, we boarded the Cobh to Cork train for our return journey.

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Catch the Train from Cork to Cobh for a Great Day Out in Ireland
Catch the Train from Cork to Cobh for a Great Day Out in Ireland
Take the train from Cork to Cobh for a day. Learn about a Cobh day trip from Cork City. Explore the Titanic history in seaside Cobh Ireland.
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