Things to Do

1560-Spike-Island-Ferry-Departing-Cobh

The Vibrant City of Cork and its surrounding areas has many attractions and much to offer the visitor.

Cork is Ireland’s Festival capital with over 24 major festivals every year.  Local and international artists come to perform in Cork’s Guinness Jazz Festival and in the Cork International Choral Festival. For those looking for a taste of culture, plan your trip around the Cork Midsummer Festival, the Cork Arts Festival or the Cork Film Festival.  See http://www.cork.ie/events/festivals/ for further details and a full list of  Festivals.

Cork’s Crawford Municipal Art Gallery houses a permanent collection covering the 17th century to the modern day. Highlights include works by Sir John Lavery, Jack B Yeats, Nathaniel Hone and a room devoted to Irish women artists from 1886 to 1978.

Whilst in the city be sure to visit the markets including the English Market for local produce, with cheeses, ham, buttered eggs, sausages, bread and smoked salmon and also seek out the Coal  Quay Market for home-baked pastries, organic goods, furniture, clothes and instruments.

Cork is steeped in history which can be explored through its many museums. Not to be missed is the Cork City Gaol and Radio Museum which has an audio tour highlighting the harshness of the 19th-century penal system and in the former Governor’s House the Radio Museum explores the impact of its invention on the city and on our lives. Other museums to visit are: the 16th century Blackrock Castle Observatory, the Cork Public Museum in Fitzgerald Park and the Cork Butter Museum to name but a few…

Attractions around and beyond the city:

Attached to Cobh railway station is the Cobh Heritage Centre, a dramatic exhibition of the origins, history and legacy of Cobh. Exhibitions include: mass emigration including conditions on board early emigration vessels, the Great Famine, and on how criminals were transported to Australia for petty crimes.

Spike Island

Visit Ireland’s very own Alcatraz.  Spike Island is situated off the beautiful harbour town of Cobh and sits on 104 acres. This historic island offers visitors a unique historical experience. Discover and learn about the islands monastic, penal, military and social history with fascinating guided tours and self guided tours where you can also explore the nature of the island on a scenic walkway which offers stunning views of both the harbour and the fort.

Ferries leave daily from Cobh, click here for full schedule and prices.


Fota Wildlife Park

Fota Wildlife Park is set on 75 acres of the scenic Fota Island in the heart of Cork Harbour, and is home to nearly 30 mammal and 50 bird species.


Blarney Castle

Situated just 8 km from Cork City in the picturesque village of Blarney was built nearly six hundred years ago and its extensive grounds host the famous Blarney Stone, The Rock close, The Arboretum and the Blarney House and Gardens.


spikeislandThings to Do