About Cork

Since Cork was founded by St. Finbarr over 1000 years ago it has grown from a trading merchant city to a cosmopolitan vibrant 21st century city of today. Rich in history and tradition yet increasingly urbane and sophisticated, the ever-evolving city of Cork is a vibrant place with a unique blend of contemporary style and old world charm. The fiercely proud and independent locals like to claim Cork is "the real capital" of Ireland.

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Set on an island in the River Lee, Cork's streets expand up the river banks on either side to the ornate French Gothic spires of St. Fin Barre's Cathedral and the soaring tower of the Church of St. Anne's where you can ring the famous Shandon Bells.  Many fine buildings line the city streets, from the imposing City Hall to its poignant 19th-century City Gaol.

Pedestrian laneways and narrow streets, small boutiques, gourmet food shops, top-notch restaurants and a host of interesting pubs and clubs fan out across the city centre, as well as a wide selection of contemporary galleries, acclaimed museums and cutting-edge theatres hosting the best from the national and international arts scene.

Live music spills out the doors of the city's traditional watering holes and modern bars, and a strong festival program attracts the best of film, jazz, folk, literary and musical talent year round. Renowned for their friendliness and enthusiasm, the people of Cork create a buzzing atmosphere in the city. The numerous city parks are popular for outdoor games and gourmet picnics sourced at the central and celebrated English Market, a covered system of stalls selling everything from fine cheeses to exotic home-baked breads. Elsewhere the Coal Quay market is the place to unearth hidden treasures, rummage through the bric-a-brac and find the ultimate souvenir of the city.


Festival map available from programme launch in May!


Cork is the perfect spot from which to explore Ireland's Ancient East! From the city's maritime and merchant past, to the history-soaked neighbouring towns of Cobh and Crosshaven, why not plan your visit to Cork by visiting the Ireland's Ancient East website, by reading all about Cork in the Lonely Planet guide - Cork was featured in their top ten places to visit in 2010 - or the Rough Guide, who selected Cork Midsummer Festival as one of their top Cork experiences.

Once you arrive, the tourist office on Grand Parade can answer any questions you have: Failte Ireland, Aras Failte, Grand Parade, Cork City.

T: +353 (0) 21 4255100
F: +353 (0) 21 4255199
E: corkkerryinfo@failteireland.ie

Pick up a copy of Whazon, available widely across the city, for a guide to events, pubs and restaurants.

Getting To Cork

By Road

From Dublin: M8
From Limerick/Shannon/Galway: N20
From Waterford & Wexford: N25/E30
From West Cork: N22 or N71

By Bus

Bus Eireann will bring you to Parnell Place bus terminus in the city centre. See www.buseireann.ie for nationwide routes.

Aircoach serves Cork Airport, Dublin and Belfast. See www.aircoach.ie

By Air

Airport information and flight details and schedules are available at www.corkairport.ie. Bus Eireann & Aircoach operate a regular bus service between the airport and the city centre running every 30 minutes or so, journey time 25mins approx.

By Rail

Kent Station is a 10 minute walk to the city centre. See www.irishrail.ie

By Ferry

Brittany Ferries www.brittanyferries.ie brings you close to the city from Roscoff (France) between April and October. www.irishferries.com also have a French route: Cherbourg - Rosslare. A direct seasonal ferry service to Cork is available from mainland Europe, through Roscoff - www.brittanyferries.ie


We have partnered with Q-Park to provide an exclusive discount at their safe and secure car parks in Cork. Pre-book online and use promo code CMF15 to receive 15% discount on the online prices. Pre-book online at www.q-park.ie.

An Essential Guide to Cork City

Crawford Art Gallery

Crawford Art Gallery

Crawford Art Gallery, a National Cultural Institution, is dedicated to the visual arts, both historic and contemporary.The Gallery is located in the heart of Cork City, beside the Opera House and welcomes over 200,000 visitors a year. Admission to the Gallery and to exhibitions is free.

Glucksman Gallery

Glucksman Gallery

Located at the main entrance to University College Cork on Western Road, the Lewis Glucksman Gallery is cultural and educational institution and award-winning building that includes display spaces, lecture facilities, a riverside restaurant and gallery shop.

University College Cork

University College Cork

UCC was established in 1845 as one of three Queen’s Colleges at Cork, Galway and Belfast. UCC is one of the top ranked universities in the island of Ireland and is ranked among the top third-level institutions in the world.