Skip to Content

25 Best Things To Do In Cork City, Ireland (For 2024)

There are several things to do in Cork City. Cork surely has a long history behind it. Being one of Europe’s oldest cities, Cork has gone through several developments which made it a hub for tourists nowadays.

READ MORE: Best Hotels In Cork City.

Cork is close enough to other major cities in Ireland that a day trip can be done if you don’t have enough time. It is about 3 hours from Dublin, 2 hours from Limerick and Galway and 2.5 hours from Shannon.

If you’re eyeing to tick off Ireland’s second-largest city on your list, here are the best things to do and see in Cork City.

25 Best Things To Do In Cork City, Ireland (For 2024)

25 Best Things To Do In Cork City, Ireland (For 2024)

1. Fancy the 16th-century art in the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork

Crawford Art Gallery Cork City

The Crawford Art Gallery holds an array of art pieces from the 16th century until the present. It features paintings, sculptures, and prints on all three floors of the building.

While there are permanent exhibits, the gallery also has open doors for special exhibits which are only available for a certain season.

It also offers presentations and hands-on experiences.

Opening Times

Monday–Saturday 10.00am–5.00pm

Late opening Thursdays until 8.00pm

For an updated schedule, click here.

Admission Fee


Contact Information

Address: Emmet Place, Cork, Ireland T12 TNE6

Phone: +353 (0)21 480 5042


2. Take a stroll along MacCurtain Street, Cork

The vibrant and busy MacCurtain Street will need no explanation why tourists add this to their list of things to do in Cork City. This street has a lot to offer whether you’re just up to grab a pint or craving for a slice of pizza, MacCurtain Street has everything you need.

You can find Japanese, Turkish, and Indian restaurants to feed your nightly cravings. After a sumptuous meal, head over to Everyman Theater for an entertaining play or to the Mother Jones’ flea market for some awesome finds.

3. Revisit the city’s history in Cork Public Museum

Cork public museum

This Georgian House in one of the most popular parks in Cork City hosts a variety of artifacts which could help you take a tour back to the city’s past. The Cork Public Museum exhibits items from the Bronze Era, War of Independence, etc.

You can also find examples of Cork silver and needlepoint lace in this museum.

Opening Times

Tuesday to Friday – 10 am to 4 pm

Saturday – 11 am to 4 pm

Sunday 2 pm – 4 pm

Admission Fee


Contact Information

Address:  Fitzgerald Park, Mardyke, Cork, Ireland


Phone:+353 21 427 0679

4. Check out fresh produce at the English Market in Cork

The English Market is one of Europe’s popular indoor food markets where you can find fresh produce from farms across Ireland

You can find various traders in the market from small stalls to large businesses selling all sorts of food items like meat and fish, herbs and spices, sauces and oils, fruits and vegetables, chocolates and cakes, and cheeses and pasta.

Souvenir items like t-shirts are also sold here. You can also find family secret recipes shared by some traders in the market. So if you fancy working in the kitchen and preparing one of a kind meals, a visit to the English Market pays a lot.

5. Make Irish butter in Cork Butter Museum

Cork Butter Museum

If you’ve had enough getting to know Cork City’s rich history, why don’t you visit what used to be the largest butter market in the world? Cork Butter Museum is the home of gold and creamy Irish butter.

In this museum, you can learn a few techniques on how to make butter traditionally and peek through its collection of butter wrappers. If you want a small, inexpensive, yet fun thing to do in Cork, this Butter Museum is worth a shot.

Opening Times

Mar to Oct: Daily, 10:00am – 5:00pm.

Group tours & off-season visits by prior arrangement. For more information, click here.

Admission Fee

Full €4.00, Seniors/Students €3.00, Children €1.50

Family group, under 12’s no charge.

Contact Information

Address: The Butter Museum, O’Connell Square, Shandon CorkT23 H004


Phone: 353 (0) 21 4300 600


6. Take a trip to the Cork City Gaol

Cork City Gaol

Of course, Cork City also has unusual tourist attractions which turned out to be one of the best experiences in the city. The Cork City Gaol used to be the city’s home for lawless citizens until it was closed in 1923.

From 1824 until 1923, this prison witnessed a lot of history which is now the main highlight of the guided tours in Cork City Gaol.

It also has a picnic area for families who want to stay after the tour, a souvenir shop for those who want to take home badass pieces of the prison’s history, and a cafe for those who want to take a break.

Opening Times

Apr-Sept 9:30 am – 5:00 pm

Oct-Mar 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Admission Fee

Adults: €10.00

Student: €8.50

OAP: €8.50

Child: €6.00

Family ticket: (2 adults and up to 4 children)

Contact Information

Address: Convent Avenue, Sunday’s Well, Cork City, Ireland.


Phone: 021-4305022

For more information, click here.

7. Listen to nonstop traditional music in Sin E

One of Cork City’s heritage pubs, Sin E welcomes guests with classic and traditional Irish music. Get an authentic Irish vibe if you spend a night here.

Guests usually enjoy listening to nonstop Irish music with a glass of drink but if you prefer to munch on something while here, you can also bring a few munchies with you. Hot foods are not allowed though.

Sin E is one of the top spots where you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day so it would be a great thing to tick off from your list if you happen to be here during this huge Irish celebration.

Opening  Times

Monday to Saturday -6:30-12 am

Sunday  – 5:30 pm- 11:30 pm

Contact Information

Address: 8 Coburg Street, Cork City, Ireland

Phone :  +353 21 450 2266

8. Be mesmerized by St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral

Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral

Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral is a neo-Gothic cathedral built for the devotees of the city’s patron saint. This cathedral is surely difficult to miss most especially when you’re walking along Dean Street at night.

The three spires of the cathedral and its architectural style give the city’s skyline a mystical touch.

The interior of the cathedral is also as breathtaking as the exterior so whether you’re in Cork City as a pilgrim or as a tourist, the Cathedral should make it to your list of things to do in Cork City.

Opening Times

Monday to Saturday -9:30 am-5:30 pm

Sunday -1pm-2:30 pm

 Sunday- April to October – 4 pm – 5 pm

Admission Fee

Adult – €6.00

Seniors & Students with I.D. – €5.00

Children under 16 – Free

Contact Information

Address:   Cathedral Office Library,  House Dean Street, Cork Ireland


Phone : +353-21- 4963387

9. Meet the Four-Faced Liar of the Shandon Bells

Cork City’s beloved landmark, the Shandon Bells is your gateway to the most breathtaking view of the city. Once on top of the 132 steps, tourists can also ring the bells where the largest of which weighs 1.5 tons.

Another interesting fact about this landmark is that the four clocks on each face of the tower never display the same time thus being named “The Four-Faced Liar”.

Opening Times

March to April & October

Monday- Saturday- 10 am- 4pm

Sunday -11:30 am – 4pm ( last entry  -3:40 pm)

June to September

Monday – Saturday – 10 am – 5 pm

Sunday – 11:30am -4:30 pm (last entry 4:10 pm)

November to February

Monday  to Saturday – 11 am- 3 pm

Sunday 11:30 pm- 3pm ( last entry 2:40 pm)

For more details of your visit, click here.

Admission Fee

Adults:     €5.00

Seniors:     €4.00 (over 65 years of age)

Students:   €4.00 (anyone holding a valid student card and over 16 yrs)

Children:   €2.50 ( five to fifteen years of age, under-fives, go up for free)

Family:   €12.00 (based on two adults and up to four children under 16 yrs)

Contact Information

Address: Shandon Bells  Church St. Shandon, Cork City


Phone : +353- 021-4505906    

10. Spend an afternoon at Fitzgerald Park

Fitzgerald Park Cork

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and head over to Fitzgerald Park. This park will introduce you to the glassy waters of River Lee, historic sculptures like the bust of Michael Collins, a hero of the Irish War of Independence, and a rose garden perfect for picnics.

Cork City’s one and only pedestrianized bridge are also in the park popularly known as the Shakey Bridge.

Opening  Times

November  to  February- 8.30am – 5 pm

October & March– 8.30 am- 6pm

April & September – 8.30 am – 8pm

May & August: 8.30 am – 9 pm

June & July: 8.30 am- 10pm

Admission Fee


Contact Information

Address: Mardyke, Cork, Ireland

Phone : +353 21 492 4333

11. Experience an Irish nightlife at Hi-B Bar

If you’re in the city to experience the nightlife, Hi-B Bar is the top spot for you. Add this to your list of things to do in Cork City and you will surely have the best night in Cork.

Mobile phones are not allowed inside too which makes it the best place to socialize without any distractions.

Truly one of Cork’s hidden gems, HI-B bar has a list of extensive beers you can try.

Opening Times

Monday to Thursday -3 pm – 11 pm

Friday to Saturday  – 2 pm – 12: 30 am

Contact Information

Address: 108 Oliver Plunkett St, Centre, Cork, T12 E6CX, Ireland

Phone : +353 21 427 2758


12. Look over the city from Elizabeth Fort

elizabeth fort cork

If you want to take more breathtaking views of the city, head over to Elizabeth Fort. This 17th century star-shaped fort was originally a built to defend the city during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. It was also once turned into a women’s prison during the War of Independence.

Its redevelopment turned it into a tourist attraction where tourists can now take a good look of the city.

Opening Time

October to April  – Tuesday –Saturday 10 am-11pm

Sunday 12 pm- 5pm

May to September – Monday  – Saturday 10 am- 5 pm

Sunday -12pm- 5pm

Admission Fee


Contact Information

Address: Elizabeth Fort, Barrack Street, Cork City

Phone:+353- 021- 4975947


13. Develop an eye for contemporary arts in Triskel Arts Center

The Triskel Art Center also has an interesting history that you might want to know. This cultural hub in the heart of Cork City offers a lot of things like the Triskel Christchurch which is now acting as the main auditorium after it has been refurbished from an old Georgian Church.

It usually hosts Classical and Jazz concerts, art exhibits, movies, and other cultural events. This art center also has a contemporary art room known as the Triskel Gallery Space. The Makeup Bar and a Script Cafe Bar also share the space.

Opening  Time

Monday – Saturday 10 am- 5 pm

Sunday – 1pm -8pm

Open until 9 pm for all evening events

Contact Information

Address: Triskel Arts Centre Tobin St., Cork City

Phone: 021- 427 2022


14. Feel the soul of Cork in St. Patrick’s Street

st patrick's street cork

Another attraction you might want to check is Cork City’s main shopping hub. Also located in the heart of the city, this one is not hard to miss.

When the weather is good, you will usually find locals gathering and chit-chatting over great food. This is where you can also find a lot of places to stay in Cork.

15. Call it a wrap at The Roundy Bar

To wrap up your day, enjoy a relaxing evening with live music and comedy at The Roundy Bar. Whether you’re someone who has an eye for independent records or someone who just want to end the day with a good laugh, this bar can easily be located in the heart of Cork City.

Upstairs, it has Plugd Records, an independent record shop for those who love music. Roundy Bar can also host parties for up to 80 people.

Opening Time

Monday- Thursday -9am -11:30 pm

Friday –Saturday-  9 am- 12:30 am

Contact Information

Address: 1 Castle St, Centre, Cork, T12 RX09, Ireland

Phone: +353 21 241 7888


16. Explore the Nano Nagle Place

Nano Nagle Place operates as a museum devoted to the life of Nano Nagle, a notable Irish lady regarded as a pioneer in the field of education and recovery.

She is most recognized for founding seven schools for impoverished children in Cork City. She has established social reintegration programs that allow the city’s impoverished to have access to the same possibilities as the affluent.

17. Visit Shandon Bells & Tower, St Anne’s Church

Shandon Bells & Tower, St Anne's Church

St Anne’s Church Shandon, erected in 1722 and home to the famed Shandon Bells, is a historic structure that has served as a place of worship for almost 250 years.

Shandon’s Bells originally rang out throughout the city in 1752. The eight bells were cast in Gloucester, England, and each has its own inscription.

The tower also houses one of Europe’s biggest caged clocks, dubbed as the ‘four-faced liars’ due to its occasionally erroneous time telling. At the pinnacle of the tower is a gilded salmon an old Christian emblem and a sign of salmon fishing in the Lee River.

18. Tour Rebel City Distillery

Rebel City Distillery, Cork City’s initial distillery in 50 years, is the producer of multi-award-winning Maharani Gin as well as Ireland’s sole absinthe. They provide tours and samples as part of the Spirits School Experience.

Rebel City Distillery selected this historic location as its home, relying on past inventions to inspire future developments. Robert Barret will open his boutique distillery in 2020 with his wife and father drawing on his wealth of industry knowledge.

To book this tour click here.



19. Enjoy Indoor Activities at Awesome Walls Cork

Awesome Walls Cork is Ireland’s latest and most technologically advanced indoor climbing gym. You’ll desire to keep coming back for more whether you’re a total novice or a seasoned rock climbing athlete. If you are interested in attempting rock climbing, Awesome Walls Climbing Centre Cork is the best place to go.

They provide a secure atmosphere as well as competent instruction to aid you on your road to a fun and adventurous climbing future.

Their educated and experienced personnel are always there to assist you throughout your climbing experience, from solving questions about climbing to providing tips and advice on training and pushing your grade.

20. Wander at Collins Barracks Military Museum

Collins Barracks arose from the threat that Revolutionary France brought to Britain and Ireland. In action, the British government planned to build more barracks around the British Isles.

The townland of Rath Mór in Cork was chosen as the location for additional barracks facing the city. Since their establishment, the barracks have served as an important staging point during several major battles.

The Military Museum first opened its doors in 1985 in the Clock Tower Block. The Museum was relocated in 2005 to the ancient Guard Room directly inside the ancient Main Gate.

Its goal is to explain the tale of the barracks, the origins and traditions of the Defense Forces, and General Michael Collins.

21. Go on a Shopping Spree at Mahon Point Shopping Centre

Mahon Point Shopping Centre has approximately 60 high street businesses, restaurants, and cafés, in addition to a 13-screen cinema and other recreational amenities.

Mahon Point has a combination of local and foreign retailers, as well as a 13-screen cinema, in an all-weather setting with public transportation, free parking for automobiles and buses, and complementary lunches for coach drivers.

Mahon Point offers a free indoor recreational area, along with an award-winning vendors’ market with complimentary Wi-Fi.

22. See the Daly’s Bridge

Daly’s Bridge

Daly’s Bridge, also known as the Shakey Bridge in Cork City, is a steel suspension bridge that crosses the north channel of the River Lee. It connects Sunday’s Well to the north with Ferry Walk in the Mardyke neighborhood to the south.

It was built in 1926 by the London firm David Rowell & Company. It has remained Cork City’s sole suspension bridge.

Daly’s Bridge has been placed on the Record of Protected Structures, where it has creative, ancient, social, and scientific special interest categories, as well as a Regional importance rating.

23. Try the Floatation Therapy at Zero Gravity Float Cork

Floatation therapy, commonly referred to as sensory deprivation, is a holistic method that helps you to disconnect from your everyday worries and achieve a state of deep relaxation.

You’ll float easily on a calming Epsom saltwater solution within our cutting-edge float pods, devoid of exterior disturbances. This sensory-free area is ideal for relaxing, meditating, and resetting your mind.

They employ the Dreampod Max, one of the largest but most sophisticated Float tanks available on the market today, a Pod that appeals to somewhat larger users like athletes, those with mobility challenges, and anybody else who appreciates the extra room.

24. Head to Lewis Glucksman Gallery at the University College Cork

University College Cork

The Lewis Glucksman Gallery serves as a cultural and educational facility that fosters visual arts research, development, and discovery.

The Glucksman, situated on Western Road at the primary entrance of University College Cork, is a distinguished structure that has display spaces, teaching facilities, a riverfront café, and a gallery store. Dr. Lewis Glucksman is honored by the Lewis Glucksman Gallery.

25. Have a Fun Night at the City Limits Comedy Club

City Limits Comedy Club, currently in its 28th year, is widely recognized as one of the top comedy clubs in the world.

City Limits is the ideal size for a comedy show, large enough for 200 people yet intimate enough to feel the performers’ excitement in their eyes. Come in and witness for yourself this fantastic club.

Where to Stay in Cork City

Bru Bar & Hostel

Location: Victorian Quarter 57 MacCurtain Street, Cork, Ireland

Bru Bar & Hostel in Cork has a common lounge, patio, and bar, as well as complimentary WiFi across the hotel. The hotel is 1.5 kilometers from Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, 2.6 kilometers from Páirc U Chaoimh, and 3.1 kilometers from University College Cork.

Evening entertainment is provided, as is a communal kitchen. Bed linen is provided in the guest rooms. The hostel serves a continental breakfast every day.

Price per Night:

  • $39 – $88



  • Non-smoking rooms
  • Facilities for disabled guests
  • Free WiFi
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Bar
  • Good breakfast

Bed in 4-Bed Female Dormitory Room For 1 (1 night): $39 Price (Includes taxes and fees)

Notable Inclusions:

  • 1 bunk bed
  • 20 m²
  • Private bathroom
  • Free WiFi

Hayfield Manor

Location: Perrott Avenue, College Road, Cork, Ireland

Hayfield Manor is a premium hotel with a beauty salon and an excellent restaurant set in lush gardens about 18 minutes walk from Cork city center.  Cork International Airport is 17 minutes distant by car.

The spacious rooms have a comfortable orthopedic bed as well as a marble bathroom containing designer products. The rooms also have a flat-screen TV with a DVD player, free Wi-Fi, and air conditioning.

Guests may unwind in the lovely grounds or indulge in luxurious beauty treatments at the spa. The Hayfield Manor Hotel also has a heated indoor pool, a sauna, and a private hot tub.

Price per Night:

  • $346 – $466


  • Indoor swimming pool
  • Fitness centre
  • Spa and wellness centre
  • 2 restaurants
  • Facilities for disabled guests
  • Room service
  • Free Parking
  • Bar
  • Fabulous breakfast

Deluxe Bedroom For 2 (1 night): $525 Price (Includes taxes and fees)

Notable Inclusions:

  • 1 large double bed
  • Private suite
  • 51 m²
  • Garden view
  • Air conditioning

Cork City Travel Tips

Summer is the Best Time to Visit Cork

The greatest time to visit Cork coincides with the best time to visit the rest of Ireland. Because of Ireland’s pleasant weather, most visitors will come during the summer months. In the summer, everything is certain to be open, so there are no disappointments.

It’s less crowded in the spring and fall, and the weather is still pleasant. Even though Cork does not get snow, fewer visitors will arrive during the winter months. This part of Ireland enjoys pleasant weather all year, so you can visit Cork at any time of year.

Join a Walking Tour

This guided walking tour is an excellent opportunity to become acquainted with the city. The trip is led by a local guide who will take you to some of Cork’s most popular attractions.

Furthermore, the trip is limited to only 20 individuals, ensuring that you get an intimate encounter with the city.

This journey is ideal for families, couples, and individuals traveling alone. Wear comfortable walking shoes because the trek will take two hours.

Try Cork Food

Clonakilty black pudding is a meat, onion, and blood dish. Although it may appear weird, black pudding is a traditional Irish meal. It’s made around an hour away from Cork City in a town named Clonakilty.

Tripe & Drisheen is a meal comprised of beef tripe cooked alongside onions mixed with drisheen, a sheep’s blood, and meat sausage. The English Market is the best place to get this.

Stop at Some Live Music Venues

Cork has a number of great live music venues you definitely are not going to want to miss. Every night of the week, you can find live music at most of these establishments.

In addition to the few sites listed here, practically any Cork bar will have some type of live music playing.

There are lots of Free Attractions in Cork City

There are several free activities in Cork City. All of the listed attractions are either free or relatively inexpensive. Don’t pass over these fantastic sights.

[adinserter name=”Block 1″]


6 Awesome Things To Do In Cahir, Ireland - Ireland Travel Guides

Friday 10th of December 2021

[…] architecture. Because of this, there are several awesome things to do in Cahir and if you are in Cork City, it can be a good side trip from […]

Cork Butter Museum: History And All You Need To Know - Ireland Travel Guides

Sunday 29th of August 2021

[…] The Cork Butter Museum is located in the Shandon section of Cork, the historic market center of the city. It is beside the entrance to the old Cork Butter Exchange and one of the best places to see in the city.  […]

10 Best Restaurants In Cork City, Ireland - Ireland Travel Guides

Sunday 29th of August 2021

[…] Its vibrant restaurant culture is one of the best things about Cork. […]

Wild Atlantic Way Itinerary For 7 Days - Ireland Travel Guides

Monday 26th of July 2021

[…] From Dublin to Cork, leave the capital early to beat the morning rush and head South to Cork. […]

Ireland Bucket List: 50+ Top Things To Do In Ireland For 2021 - Ireland Travel Guides

Saturday 24th of July 2021

[…] is a town in County Cork, Ireland. Originally a medieval fishing port, historic Kinsale is one of the most picturesque and […]

Comments are closed.