Cork is a vibrant and creative city. Found in the south of Ireland, on the River Lee, Cork is close to the coast and you won’t have to travel far from the city centre to find yourself in some wonderfully wild surroundings. The city itself is compact but with plenty to see and do. From excellent food to impressive architecture; it’s a city worthy of a short break. If you still need convincing, here are our top five reasons to visit Cork.
Ireland might not immediately spring to mind as a top foodie destination but Cork has some excellent markets that are worth travelling for. One of the best known, but tucked away, is the English Market. This picturesque covered market, with vaulted ceilings, sells all manner delicious local produce. If you’re after fresh vegetables or flowers, Coal Quay Market is your best bet and or some impressively good vegan cheese head over to Mahon Point Farmers’ Market. Additionally there are some top-notch cafes and restaurants serving up some seriously good grub if you’re looking to sit down and relax.
Some of the best coffee roasters in Ireland are based in Cork; so there is no shortage of exceptional fresh coffee here. With a hipster scene blossoming in this otherwise traditional city you can take your pick of independent coffee shops. Whether you’re looking for a quick caffeinated pick-me-up or you’d rather while away the morning watching the world go by, there will be a cafe for you. The Farmgate is above the English Market; allowing you to hit two birds with one stone. For a locally hand-roasted coffee your best bet is Cork Coffee Roasters.
The Colourful Streets
Cork is certainly a photogenic city. Even if the skies are grey you’ll be treated to a rainbow of colours along the streets. From brightly coloured houses to colourful street art; there is something around every corner. Keep your camera at the ready for Cork has some of the most instagrammable cityscapes in Ireland. It’s ideal for a budding photographer or simply anyone who enjoys colourful surroundings.
Cork Butter Museum
Cork has a long history of butter making; once it was the biggest butter market in the world. It might not have the dominance it once had, but the Butter Museum is a fascinating way to learn about this aspect of Cork’s past. There is an extensive display of butter wrappers, so you can see how they changed across time. Learn about the butter trade, the importance of cattle in early Ireland and the craft of butter making. This museum offers a different, and interesting side to Cork.
St Finn Barre’s Cathedral
St Finn Barre’s Cathedral is an impressive building which you shouldn’t miss on a stroll around Cork. This is particularly spectacular Cathedral with gargoyles, spires and stained glass. This spot is where Fin Barre founded a monastery back in the 7th century. If you’re short on time, just viewing it from the outside will give you a good impression of how spectacular this structure is. However, if you have time, take a tour of the inside. There is much to see, including quirky features such as a cannonball which was blasted into a spire in 1690.