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Cork is situated on the banks of the River Lee in the south of the country. With a city population of 119,418 in 2006 it is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland, and the third largest on the island of Ireland once Belfast in the North is included.
Car ferry services depart from Ringaskidd to Roscoff. Ferries sail to/from Ringaskiddy through Cork Harbour and past Cobh - the last port of call for the Titanic.
Cork Airport (ORK) is the country's second busiest airport after Dublin Airport, and 4th busiest on the island of Ireland. The airport is located 8km south of the city centre, connected by the N27 Kinsale Road. The destinations focus on Britain and the rest of Europe. There are currently no flights available to/from Dublin.
Shannon Airport (SNN) may be useful for some travellers. There are direct flights to Shannon from the United States and a smaller selection of European cities. Shannon is connected to Cork in 2 hours 25 minutes by Bus Éireann and CityLink bus services.
The train service in Ireland is operated by Irish Rail, which provides rail services from Cork to Dublin, Cobh, Midleton, Tralee and Mallow. All other towns and cities are accessible through connecting trains.
The main inter-city road network in Ireland has received a lot of investment in recent years. The M7 and M8 which connect Cork to Dublin is now entirely motorway with 2 lanes in each direction. Approximate journey time is 2 hours 30 minutes in good conditions.
Cork has a small city centre and is entirely walkable. A visitor will most likely be staying, eating, drinking and touring in the city centre and will unlikely need to use public transport.
There are bus services to the residential suburbs. Most buses leave from St. Patrick's Street or nearby streets such as South Mall, Grand Parade and Merchant's Quay. A guided bus tour departs from the junction of Grand Parade and South Mall at regular intervals and provides an interesting tour of the main highlights of Cork for those who do not have a lot of time on their hands.
There are numerous Taxi ranks located throughout cork city, fares are calculated on a meter and all taxis are the same price. Fares are also negotiable for longer out of town trips. Most drivers also offer fixed priced guided tours.
What to see
Cork Vision Centre. This is in a former church on North Main Street. It has a large scale model of the city, hosts artistic exhibitions and has plentiful free tourist info which should help your understanding. Free admission.
Elizabeth Fort. From South Gate Bridge, go up Barrack Street and turn right. The walls Elizabeth Fort are open Tuesday to Sunday, offering fantastic views of the city below, guided tours are available.
St. Finbarr's Cathedral. This is just a few minutes away from Elizabeth fort and much easier to find. A fine 19th century Gothic building. Visible from the back is a golden angel with a trumpet high upon a tower.
Shandon Church. The tower and its bells are symbols of the city, and overlook it from the north. Visitors are allowed to ring the bells, with guidelines available to play meoldies of commonly known tunes. This church is situated in a conservation area.
Lewis Gluckman Gallery, . This piece of modern architecture is situated within the grounds of University College Cork. Within is state of the art technology to protect and display major exhibitions of international art, along with facilities for workshops, film screenings, lectures and art classes. A café is situated on the ground floor.
Opera Lane and City Shopping. Great shopping on Opera Lane with big brands such as H&M & New Look as well as lots of quirky small boutiques on Cork's side streets such as Azure Jewellery " Amity and samui.
University College Cork. Take a stroll through the college which is open to the public and take in the variety of architecture here, from the newly constructed extension of the Boole Library to the newly repointed limestone Honan Chapel which is popular for graduate weddings.
Páirc Uí Chaoimh This 50,000 capacity stadium is in Ballintemple and is home of Cork GAA. It is open on matchdays and Monday and Wednesday for tours.
What to do
Learn traditional Irish dancing, Crane Lane, Phoenix St. Céilí is a traditional Irish social gathering, with music and dancing. Lessons are available every Monday in the Crane Lane bar on Phoenix Street. Beginners are welcome and no partner is required.
Fitzgeralds Park. Running beside the river Lee, the tranquil setting of Fitzgeralds park is a place for locals and visitors to relax in quiet natural surroundings with Cork history museum located in the park. Its a must see for nature lovers.
Blackrock castle and observatory.
Leisure World Cork. For those rainy days, Leisure World have three pools in Cork to choose from.
Cork Rebel Pub Crawl
Cork has a thriving cultural scene that was acknowledged internationally when it was named the European Capital of Culture for 2005. Several festivals are held annually in the city giving the visitor an opportunity to experience a wide range of music, theatre and film.
Midsummer Festival. A month long festival featuring theatre, music, art, poetry and much more, throughout the city. Mid June - Mid July.
Film Festival. Established more than 50 years ago, the festival features an impressive selection of Irish and international films. Beginning of November.
Jazz Festival. One of the largest jazz festivals in Europe that consistently attracts top acts from around the world. Last weekend in October.