Free Things to Do in Cork City this Summer

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Can you believe it’s already July? Where did June go? Maybe it’s a case of time really flying when you’re having fun! We certainly are having lots of fun this summer at our boutique hotel. Greenes Restaurant diners are loving the chance to dine alfresco by our waterfall and Cask Bar has just launched its summer menu. We admit we are a little bit obsessed with it.

Travel has well and truly bounced back, and we are loving the buzz of having a busy hotel, meeting people from all around the world again, hearing their stories, and best of all, helping them make the most of their stay with us. If you still haven’t made a summer plan to come to the Rebel City, allow us to give you just 10 reasons why a trip to Cork should be top of your travel bucket list. All of these ideas are within walking distance of our city-centre hotel and best of all, completely free. Happy Exploring!

Dating back to 1724 and bang in the centre of Cork City right beside the Opera House, lose yourself in over 3000 works of art, ranging from eighteenth-century Irish and European painting and sculpture through to contemporary video installations. The gallery hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions as well as talks and activities for children. For something a little different, why not pop by on Thursday evenings at 6:30 for a free tour of the gallery? Date night with a difference perhaps?

Fitzgerald’s Park

What better way to spend long summer days than a trip to Fitzgerald’s Park? There’s a brand new playground for the kids, a duck pond, a sky garden (designed by Diarmuid Gavin no less), and lots of pretty walks and places to stretch out for a picnic. The park also hosts an eclectic summer program with various free festivals and concerts to suit every taste.

Cork City Self-Guided Walks

Cork is a walker’s paradise and our city-centre location means you never have too far to walk to your destination. Pop into Cork City Tourism Office to pick up some recommended walking trails around the city. Choose from a Cork City Street Art tour, the Shandon Mile walk, the River Lee Bridges Walk, or South Parish. Each walk will take you to distinctly unique parts of the city.

University College Cork

A leisurely 25-minute walk from Hotel Isaacs is our very own mini-Oxford-style university. Founded by Queen Victoria in 1845, the beautiful campus grounds are well worth a visit. Don’t forget to explore the Honan Chapel to marvel at its famous stained glass windows and floor of half a million mosaics.

Glucksman Art Gallery

Nestled in the serene grounds of University College Cork, this free gallery goes out of its way to make art accessible to all. With an ever-changing collection and a super cool craft shop, this gallery is worth a visit if only to admire the stunning views of the lower university grounds and marvel at the truly unique architectural design of the building.

Cork Public Museum

History heads will love delving into the history of Cork with their display of over 40,000 objectives dating back as far as Mesolithic times right up to the present day. This free museum really packs it in covering a huge variety of the political, cultural, and social history of Cork City and County.

The Lough

This 4-hectare lake is renowned for its unique coarse angling but locals love it best for its serene walks and wildfowl reserve. The perfect place for an evening stroll or simply to watch the sun go down!

Elizabeth Fort

With fantastic views of St Finbarr’s Cathedral, Elizabeth Fort is a 17th-century star-shaped fort just across the bridge from the city-centre. Climb onto the battlements for some spectacular views of the city or take a guided tour to learn more. Don’t forget to check out the bomb shelter too.

The English Market

No article about Cork would be complete without a mention of its number one visitor attraction – The English Market. Dating back to 1788, surviving wars, pandemics, and centuries of political instability, this indoor food market will arrest your senses on a whole new level. Warning! Don’t expect to leave empty-handed.

Marina Walk / Blackrock

Grab your bikes or take the leisurely 2km pedestrianised walk to Blackrock Village where you can explore Blackrock Castle Observatory. Pass the newly opened Marina Market or take a picnic to enjoy by the riverside.

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