Kickstart your morning with your daily dose of caffeine and a gut-busting full Irish breakfast at the Linen Weaver. Once you have given your stomach enough time to digest your breakfast, wander through the narrow historical alleyways of the Huguenot Quarter. Snap up some photos for some well-earned likes for your Instagram feed while listening to live music, then duck in and out of small locals shops for some unique Irish souviners.
After you finished exploring, it’s time to turn the corner to one of Cork’s photogenic areas. In Emmet’s Place, you will spot some architectural masterpieces with the likes of the Cork Opera House and the Crawford Art Gallery. Walkthrough the doors of the Crawford Art Gallery for free and witness the amazing art that is on offer. Art lovers can spend hours here taking in the amazing contemporary and historical displays.
As you exit the building with a smile on your face, you will be greeted with Cork’s main shopping street. Directly in front of you is Opera Lane where you can find stores such as H&M and Tommy Hilfiger. After passing through, you will come to Cork’s main street. Window shop along the winding St. Patrick Street before moving onto the vibrant Oliver Plunkett Street and indulge in the Irish atmosphere that spans the length of the street.
Turning off Oliver Plunkett Street you will come to Cork’s most sought after attraction, The English Market. This indoor market first opened its doors all the way back in 1788. Today you can stroll along the maze-like paths picking up handmade crafts, local delicacies, and trying out some traditional Irish foods. Pick up whatever you fancy for a picnic and take a short 15-minute walk to the beautiful and peaceful Fitzgerald Park. Be sure to make an appearance at the Cork Public Museum which is conveniently located in the here.
After a delicious lunch surrounded by nature, it is now time to head back towards the city center. On your way out of the park, you should snap up a picture of Cork’s iconic “Shaky Bridge” (It really is shaky). Once you arrive at the gates of St. Finbars Cathedral, you will instantly notice a striking similarity with the Notre Dame in Paris. Admire the exquisite Gothic architecture of this 19th-century masterpiece, and if it is a warm summer day take a moment to relax in the lovely gardens here.
The next attraction is located just a stone’s throw away. Walking up to the entrance you will see just how well preserved the Elizabeth Fort is. This 17th-century landmark is jam-packed with history. Originally built as a defensive fortification on high-ground outside the city walls, the city eventually grew around the fort. It later took on various other roles including use as a military barracks, prison, and even a police station.
As the sun starts to set its time to cross the river and step foot in the Shandon District, one of Corks most historical areas. Here you will find the symbol of Cork, Shandon Bells. What may surprise some people is the fact it looks very similar to Big Ben in London, but also its 4 clocks seem to be saying the wrong time. Since this is the case, locals have dubbed it “the 4 faced liar”. Standing beneath the dominating tower is the Butter Exchange, which was once the world’s largest!
As you’re now situated in the Shandon District, this is the perfect opportunity to head for Cork’s coolest pub, the Franciscan Well. This hip bar creates its own craft beer in its own brewery at affordable prices! Not only do they serve tremendous drinks but they also hand-make their own pizzas out in its fairytale beer garden. An Italian man who now lives in Cork claims it is the only place outside of Italy where he will order a pizza. If that’s not a compliment to their pizza, I don’t know what is!
For more information on visiting Cork, click on the link down below.
LINEN WEAVER: Full Irish breakfast 6.90 EUR
HUGUENOT QUARTER: Free
EMMET’S PLACE: Free
CORK OPERA HOUSE: Free entry, Tickets for shows vary.
CRAWFORD ART GALLERY: Free
OPERA LANE: Free
ST. PATRICKS STREET: Free
OLIVER PLUNKETT STREET: Free
ENGLISH MARKET: Free entry
FITZGEARLD PARK: Free
CORK PUBLIC MUSEUM: Free
SHAKY BRIDGE: Free
ST. FINBARES CATHEDRAL: Gardens free entry, Tours 6 EUR
ELIZABETH FORT: Free entry
SHANDON DISTRICT: Free
FRANSISCAN WELL: Shandon stout (pint) 4.90 EUR
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