It’s hard to try and squeeze everything Cork has to offer in a few days but we have put together a handy travel guide with everything you need for a 3 day staycation in ‘Real Capital of Ireland’.
From enjoying the sights & sounds of the city, to kissing the Blarney Stone, to visiting the Titanic’s last Port of Call Cobh, Cork has everything for a staycation this year!
DAY 1 – EXPLORE THE CITY
THE ENGLISH MARKET
No trip to Cork is complete without a visit to the famous English Market, the oldest covered market in Europe, and is a great way to start off your day in Cork! Found in the heart of the city, the market best known for showcasing the best of what Cork have to offer with artisan bakeries, speciality butchers, gourmet cheese mongers and so much more! There are also some delightful small boutiques there to pick yourself up something special. If you are visiting, make sure you stop at the Toonsbridge Dairy Shop to pick up some of their fab cheeses & gorgeous home-made cannolis! The market is open Monday – Saturday from 8am-6pm.
NANO NAGLE PLACE
From the English Market, discover a one-of-a-kind heritage museum Nano Nagle Place, a tranquil haven in the heart of Cork City. Learn about Nano Nagle’s life and how she influenced education in Ireland and around the world. Make time for the heritage tour, a stroll through the lovely gardens, a visit to the bookshop on site, and a stop at the delicious Good Day Deli. Nano Nagle Place is located on Douglas Street, a 5-minute walk away from Patrick Street.
ELIZABETH FORT AND SAINT FIN BARRE’S CATHEDRAL
From Nano Nagle Place, take a 5-minute walk over to Elizabeth Fort, that dates back to the 17th century and played a huge role in Cork City’s history. You will also get a fantastic view of the city from here!
Just a short walk from here, you will find Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, a gothic style church which is dedicated to the patron saint of Cork, St. Fin Barre.
THE MARINA MARKET
Opening in September 2020, The Marina Market has already established itself as staple in Cork City as it breathes new life into one of the city’s oldest industrial areas. Located on the banks of the River Lee and only a short distance from the city centre, visitors will find an all-weather purpose market with vendors showcasing cuisines from all over the world to hand-made local crafts.
Grab a coffee in the outdoor coffee dock Guji and take a stroll through the stalls! Opening hours change seasonally so make sure your check out their website!
FITZGERALD’S PARK & THE SHAKEY BRIDGE
If you want to rest up for a bit, take a walk down to Fitzgerald Park, where visitors and locals alike can enjoy a riverside picnic or coffee on the banks of the River Lee. Located along Mardyke Walk, the Cork Public Museum and Sky Garden, Natural Foods Café, a waterlily filled pond and a range of sculptures, are all situated in the park.When you’re finished, head over to Cork’s much loved ‘Shakey Bridge’ which is the only pedestrian suspension bridge of its kind in Ireland!
THE CITY’S STREET ART
While on your travels, make sure you keep an eye for the number of vibrant & unique pieces of street art located all around the city. Shane O’Driscoll’s colourful mural on Harley Street is located right next to The Metropole Hotel!
DAY 2 – CORK’S HARBOUR ISLANDS AND BEYOND
THE HERITAGE TOWN OF COBH
The picturesque seafront town of Cobh is a lovely way to spend a few hours on a sunny day. As you stand in the shadow of St Colman’s Cathedral, one of Ireland’s tallest towers, grab a coffee in one of the many cafés on the waterfront and watch ships pass by.
From here you can visit the Cobh Heritage Centre, which is housed in a beautifully renovated Victorian railway station, to learn about the towns past, including the Irish Emigration story, the Titanic, and even to trace your ancestors! Cobh is also a great base to visit a number of different sights & attractions.
With a past of being the world’s largest prison discover 1300 years of Irish history at Spike Island. Spike Island, is only a 15-minute ferry ride from the town of Cobh and has a mysterious and fascinating history. There are a number of museums and exhibitions on the island dedicated to its history, as well as breath-taking views from the ‘Ring of Spike,’ and a 5km walking path.Our advice; book your ferry & tickets in advance as it proves to be a massive hit with tourists & locals alike!
FOTA WILDLIFE PARK
Fota Wildlife Park is not just for families! Known for being one of Cork’s top destinations for first dates, the park is an easy going way to spend an afternoon! Easily accessible from the city from car or rail, spend your time getting to see animals up close from all over the world. When you’re finished head over to Fota House and visit its stunning Arboretum and Gardens for a relaxing & tranquil walk, which hosts a collection of rare & exotic trees.
JAMESON WHISKEY DISTILLERY
The Jameson Distillery in Midleton is consistently ranked as one of the best things to do in Cork and it’s not hard to see why. Providing a world-class experience for those seeking a whiskey wonderland, tours are conducted by Jameson Brand Ambassadors and include a deep dive into the history of Jameson, an incredible sensory room, masterclass in whiskey tasting and a complimentary drink at the bar! It is an ideal way to spend an afternoon while on your trip to Cork and is often cited as the highlight of trips from whiskey lovers & foodies!
DAY 3 – THE HISTORY OF SHANDON & BLARNEY
Start your final day in Cork by heading to Audley Place, at the top of St. Patrick’s Hill for one of the best views of the city! Grab a coffee on the way from Cork Coffee Roasters and watch the city go by. You’ll recognise this spot from The Young Offenders!
EXPLORE THE HISTORY OF SHANDON
Head across to Shandon, an area of the city laced with history. Visit St. Anne’s Church where visitors can ring the Shandon Bells. This it will be as unforgettable moment of your trip as it is breath-taking—and we say that literally! To get to the top, visitors must climb 132 steep stairs, but the panoramic views of the city from the top make the climb worthwhile. A 2 minute walk from here you can see the childhood home of the first person processes in Ellis Island, Annie Moore & a plaque dedicated to her. And finally, see something different to your usual attractions and visit the Butter Museum, a nod to the 1800s, and give insight into the importance of this industry to Cork over the years!
Located 20 minutes away from Cork City, Blarney Castle attracts visitors from all over the world every year to kiss the mythical Stone of Eloquence on top of the castle. However, there is more to the castle than just the famous stone. Blarney Castle hosts a number of stunning gardens and several rock formations for you to explore. While you’re there, pop into Blarney Woollen Mills for stunning hand-made gifts and a coffee!
Book your stay today!
Have we convinced you to choose Cork for your staycation this year? Check out some of our offers we have available here and start planning your Cork getaway!