Top 10 Things To Do In Cork City

Table of Contents

Holiday season is upon us and one of the most common questions we get asked at Hotel Isaacs is for recommendations on some of the best things to see and do in Cork City. It’s a challenging question because the Rebel City simply has so much to offer from amazing bars and restaurants to stunning city walks to some of the best high-street and independent stores. Suffice to say, our list is constantly changing. Anyway, for this entry, we thought it might be helpful to give you some of our current top ten things to do in Cork to help you plan your next trip to our boutique hotel. All of these attractions are within walking distance of our city-centre hotel and of course, at the end of a long day of adventure, revitalise with a refreshing cocktail in Ireland’s number one cocktail bar- Cask (right across our courtyard). We like to keep things easy!

1. Shandon Bell Tower:

Short on time but still want to see the whole city? A mere 10 minute walk from Hotel Isaacs is one of the city’s best loved attractions-the Shandon Bell Tower. Simply follow the goldie fish at the top of the tower and get your cardio in with a 132 step climb to the top to be rewarded with a bird’s eye view of our favourite city. Don’t forget to ring the famous bells of Shandon on your way up and pop into Saint Anne’s Church on the ground-floor, one of the city’s oldest churches dating back to 1722.

2. Butter Museum:

If weird and wonderful museums are more your thing, check out the Butter Museum. Conveniently located at the base of the Shandon Bell Tower, this unique offering celebrates one of the greatest success stories of Ireland, the butter trade. Of course, our Rebel City was at the heart of the action with our internationally successful Butter Exchange in nineteenth century Cork. The museum even hosts a keg of 1000-year-old butter. Don’t forget to top up your energy levels on the way back with a trip to Shandon Sweets, one of the city’s oldest traditional sweet shops dating back to 1929.

3. English Market:

It’s survived it all! Wars, famines, economic downturns-the English Market continues to proudly serve the people of Cork and it’s always top of any visitor’s bucket list to the city. Whether it’s some tempting pastries, fresh fish or artisan cheese- you can be guaranteed that the English Market has what you’re looking for.

4. University College Cork:

Founded in 1845, the superbly picturesque grounds of the university campus are well-worth a visit regardless of whether or not your student days are well behind you. From the beauty of the President’s Garden and quadrangle to the eeriness of the Stone Corridor and its majestic ogham stones to the Hiberno-Romanesque style of the Honan Chapel and its famous Harry Clarke stained windows, expect the history, culture, art and architecture of the surrounds to impress you. For an even greater deep-dive, join one of the daily tours of the campus (just €5).

5. St Finbarr’s Cathedral:

Perhaps one of the city’s most recognisable monuments, traverse back in time to where the city began with the founding of a monastery on this site by our city’s founder, St Finbarr in the 7th Century A.D. Today, the neo-gothic three-spire church is one of the city’s biggest visitor attractions especially for lovers of architecture. Guided tours take place on the hour from 10am-5pm and are highly recommended to fully appreciate the unique features of this masterpiece.

6. Fitzgerald’s Park:

One could argue that every season brings something unique to the pretty grounds of Fitzgerald’s Park but we especially love the spring time vibes with the flowers coming into bloom, watching the new ducklings in the pond, sitting by the river in their sky garden. History buffs should check out the public museum in the centre of the park for a comprehensive history of the city.

7. Crawford Art Gallery:

Spanning a collection of over 3000 works, including eighteenth-century Irish and European painting and sculpture as well as video installations and a regular changing programme of exhibitions, talks and events, a visit to this city-centre gallery is a must for any art-lover or indeed, anyone looking for some respite from the bustling shopping streets of the city. Their Thursday evening free guided tour at 6:30pm is a unique way to start your night out.

8. Cork City Gaol:

Perched overlooking the city, take a journey into the past and imagine what life was like for prisoners in the 19th and early 20th centuries at the Cork City Gaol. With both self-guided and tour-guide options available, don’t forget to explore the radio museum on the roof of the building too.

9. Nano Nagle Place:

Often described as an oasis of calm in a busy city, no trip to Cork would be complete without a visit to Nano Nagle Place and the chance to learn about this pioneering ‘Lady of the Lamp’ who set up the Presentation Sisters school network around the world. The complex houses an award-winning museum, regenerated heritage buildings, walled gardens, a design shop and Cork focussed book store.

10. Marina Market:

Take a stroll down the Marina and visit Cork’s largest market. Boasting cuisine from all around the world, arts, crafts and an exciting programme of events including Dog Festivals, Book Fairs and Dance competitions- you simply never know what you’ll see. Extend your day by walking out to Blackrock Castle for an exploration of their planetarium and a history of the cosmos.

Meet our Author

Select Your Dates
Check In
Sep 2019
Check Out
Sep 2019
Reasons to stay
  • Always at least €10 cheaper
  • No payment needed today
  • Free cancellation
  • Free gift from Shandon Sweets