The Irish Travel Guide to Cork – Hotels, Attractions, Pubs and More

If Cork is on your mind, then this Irish travel guide is for you. Cork has always been very popular with tourists and locals alike and for good reason. The second largest city in Ireland, Cork has a rugged coastline, a bustling city life and many attractions to showcase.

Cork is indeed a people-pleaser, if we may say so. Think castle (good with kids), a whiskey distillery, historical monuments, and a thriving food scene (that pleases everyone!). Need we say more?

But first, let’s get you sorted with your accommodation. And then, our Irish travel guide to Cork will give you plenty of options to experience the city in a unique and fun way.

The Metropole Hotel

Cork travel guide

In the heart of Cork City Centre, the Metropole Hotel Cork is just a short stroll from the city’s business district and many excellent shops, boutiques, theatres and galleries. It’s a very iconic hotel and has been known for its hospitality for over 125 years.

During your stay at the Metropole Hotel Cork, you can relax in one of 98 tastefully decorated bedrooms, equipped with everything for a comfortable stay.

At the rear of the hotel is the Riverview Restaurant, with some unique views overlooking Cork’s famous River Lee and the city centre.

The Riverview Restaurant is open each morning for an a la carte breakfast, with a wide variety of hot and cold options. The Riverview Restaurant is also available for private functions. Because this lovely hotel ticks so many points, it makes it to our Irish travel guide to Cork.

Find a booking link here.

Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa

Cork travel guide

Cork’s most luxurious hotel offers new standards of style and service to both business and leisure travellers. Located on Little Island, the hotel is just a 10-minute drive from the city centre and Cork International Airport.

Featuring Ditchley House, a Victorian-style building dating back to the nineteenth century, the hotel is a fusion of old-world charm and new-world cosmopolitan and sophisticated style. The property, which is nestled on 9 acres, welcomes guests with its tree-lined entrance and 300 car parking spaces.

If you would like to say at Radisson Blue while in Cork, find a booking link here.

The Montenotte Hotel

Cork travel guide

With fantastic city views, The Montenotte Hotel is just one km from Cork’s city centre. In a tranquil location, it offers spacious modern rooms, a pool and free parking.

According to its website, it was built within a former 18th Century residence of a Merchant, The Montenotte Hotel has a rich heritage that has been preserved throughout the years and updated with a contemporary twist.

Bright rooms all have en suite bathrooms with baths and showers. They all feature TVs, hairdryers, irons and tea/coffee-making facilities. Wi-Fi is available in public areas of the hotel. Apartments are serviced fortnightly.

Perched high over the city, the Panorama Restaurant & Terrace provides fantastic views and has a full a la carte menu available every day. Guests can enjoy afternoon tea whilst taking in the views of Cork City.

The Montenotte has superb leisure facilities including a gymnasium, sauna and hot tub. Aquarobics and swimming lessons can be taken in the 20 m pool. A worthy addition to our Irish travel guide to Cork, isn’t it?

If this hotel has caught your fancy, find a booking link right here.


Cork Guided Historical Tour

Cork travel guide

This guided historical tour will help you experience Cork in a really interesting manner.

Let’s see what you would get out of this Get Your Guide Tour and why it makes it to our Irish Travel Guide to Cork.

You will set out on a walking tour accompanied by a local guide. In a one-hour stroll through the city centre, you will learn about Cork’s history as a transatlantic and European trading hub. Walk along the curved main street, following the route of the river beneath it. Marvel at Cork Opera House and across the river, see the shape of Shandon church, with its distinctive red and white brick bell tower and clockfaces. Next, stroll down Carey’s Lane to visit the Huguenot cemetery, before heading to Coal Quay and Cornmarket Street.

Along the widest street in Cork, Grand Parade, see Bishop Lucy Park, the Berwick Fountain and the National Memorial. Hear about Nano Nagle and her extensive humanitarian work in bringing education to the poorest classes while standing on a footbridge named in her honour. Then, explore St Finbar’s Cathedral, the South Gate Bridge and Elizabeth Fort. See the boathouse entrances in the leading business quarter of the city known as South Mall. Finish the tour on Princes Street, at the main entrance to Cork’s fascinating English Market.

Find a booking link here.

Cobh – Cork to Blarney Castle Excursion

Blarney's Castle and other views on Corbh Cork excursion

In this excursion by Viator, make the most of your time in port on a shore excursion from Cobh and discover county highlights, including Blarney Castle, Kinsale, and Cobh Cathedral. Enjoy round-trip transportation for seamless transfer between dispersed locations, and gain insight into the region from your guide’s onboard commentary. Benefit from tailored departure times according to the duration of your docking. Avoid hidden costs with included admission to Blarney Castle Learn about Cork’s history and culture from your driver-guide. Enjoy free time to intimately explore Kinsale and Blarney. Plus maximize your time in port with a comprehensive sightseeing itinerary. Sounds perfect, isn’t it?

If this sort of excursion interests you, find a booking link here.

Jameson Whiskey Distillery – Skip the line ticket

An inside view of the cellars at Jameson Experience in County Cork

The Jameson Experience in Ireland’s County Cork offers a true taste of Irish history. On this tour of the old Midleton distillery, you’ll learn about the distillation process, visit a restored 19th-century warehouse where Jameson is aged in oak casks and even have an opportunity to sample some of the finished product. Your visit begins with a short video detailing the history of Jameson, the world’s best-selling Irish whiskey.

If this interests you, (and who doesn’t like a Jameson Whiskey Distillery tour), find a booking link here. Once you experience the tour, you will understand why it is a must-do thing on the Irish Travel Guide to Cork.


Cork travel guide
A photograph from The River Club in Cork

These are a few of our recommendations. If you head to any of these places for a bit to eat and a pint to drink, we’d love your feedback.

The River Club  

Elbow Lane and Smokehouse 

Café Spesso 

Pubs that play Irish music  

Sin é 

Crane Lane 

Vicarstown Bar 

Enjoy your trip to Cork, and you may also want to check out our 24 hours in Cork here.

(Please note: The photographs accompanying the various offers, accommodation options, and places to eat are all from the official vendors and suppliers of these services.)

Prerna Shah
Prerna Shah
Prerna Shah is a media and content professional with over a decade of experience in both print as well as digital. She pursues her love of a good story and storytelling by writing features, blogs, essays and interviews.

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