Coming to Cork City but only have a day to see it all? What to see? What to do? A somewhat challenging question given the wide variety of great attractions that all lie within easy walking distance of our boutique Cork City hotel but nonetheless, a question that we are frequently asked at the Hotel Isaacs reception desk. With this in mind, we have put together our perfect day in Cork City for you.
8 am: They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Begin your day sunny side up with a delicious breakfast at our award-winning Greenes Restaurant. Is there any better way to start the day than sipping your morning coffee with the backdrop of Cork City’s own waterfall? Tip: Make sure you try the banana bread. Sure to become your new food obsession.
9 am: Set off on a stroll down the North Mall Riverside, a beautiful morning walk encompassing many bridges, coffee shops, and vintage stores. While away some time on one of the many benches overlooking the city or perhaps take a diversion up the steps to the Shandon Quarter, one of the city’s oldest quarters. Climb the 132 steps to the top of the Shandon Bell Tower and see spectacular 360-degree views of the city at 36.65m/120ft. If that’s not starting your day off on a high note, I don’t know what is. Stock up on some homemade sweets at Linehan’s Sweet Shop, one of the oldest sweet shops in Ireland. You will need the sugar rush to climb the hill to the City Gaol later.
10 am: Spend an hour and a half exploring one of Cork City’s major attractions: the Cork City Gaol. Don’t worry, it no longer houses real prisoners but they do an excellent job of recreating nineteenth-century prison life. Admission also includes entry to the radio museum upstairs. Yes, very quirky but definitely worthwhile.
11:30 am: Fancy a breath of fresh air after the confines of prison life? A mere ten-minute walk will get you to the pretty park of Fitzgerald Park. Children will love the newly designed playground and the duck pond whereas those in search of more educational experience can pass some time at the free Cork Public Museum, which provides a history of the city from the Stone Age right up to the present moment.
1 pm: All that walking and learning made you hungry? Fear not, hop into Cork’s number one visitor attraction: the English Market. Dating back to 1788, the English Market is sure to satisfy every possible dietary need you may have. The Farm Gate Restaurant upstairs is the perfect spot for lunch although beware, it fills up very fast (it’s that good). Closed Sundays and bank holidays.
2 pm: No visit to Cork City would be complete without at least getting a selfie in front of the imposing nineteenth-century neo-gothic masterpiece that is St Finbarr’s Cathedral. Entry to the cathedral is €6. Definitely a must for all those who appreciate good architecture!
2:30 pm: Adjacent to St Finbarr’s Cathedral lies the hidden gem that is Elizabeth Fort. Boasting free entry and magnificent city views, it gives a good overview of the city’s history as well as an air-raid shelter.
3 pm: Venture to the nearby Nano Nagle Place Centre, Cork’s newest visitor attraction commemorating the life of the pioneering “Lady of the Lamp”, Nano Nagle who established a network of schools in Cork during the Penal Laws as well as founding the Presentation Sisters. This fun and interactive exhibition takes the visitor on an evocative journey through 18th century Cork City. The centre also contains peaceful gardens for visitors to relax in- a true oasis of calm in the heart of Cork City.
5:30 pm: After an active day, wind down with a cocktail at our award-winning cocktail bar Cask. You’ve earned it! The menu changes every twelve weeks so it’s always local and in season. I’m especially loving the strawberry and raspberry themed cocktails currently on offer. Deciding which one to choose may very well be your most difficult decision of the day.
8 pm: Lose yourself in a feast for the senses at Greenes Restaurant where residents of our Cork City hotel enjoy a 15% food discount. Reservation is highly recommended to get a table with the view of our beautiful waterfall.
10 pm: Once you're full after your meal go relax in your newly renovated apartment. Enjoy the space to lounge on the couch while watching tv or even gather around the table to continue chatting with a glass of wine or games. Too full and tired to stay up? Why not watch tv in bed and relax?
For the best rate guarantee contact us today to make your reservation or visit our website to talk to our friendly staff and make a booking today.
Colette is a hotel receptionist working at Hotel Isaacs Cork. Her favourite part of the job is meeting the many guests coming from all corners of the globe and sharing with them all the wonders that Cork City and County has to offer. One of her great passions is travelling and exploring new places especially museums, galleries and castles. "One of the things I feel very strongly about is how so many people in Ireland are completely unaware of some of the hidden treasures right on their door-steps. When people go abroad, they push themselves to see all the cultural delights on offer but too often, they have no idea how great what is right in front of them, readily available every day is. I came to Cork as a student in 2008 and I too limited myself and didn't push myself to explore. It took a friend to take me off and show me how truly amazing this city and county is and this is what I want to share with my guests and readers.