Cork is possibly unique in that its centre can be found on an island in the middle of the River Lee. Yep, this Irish city is one in a million! Expect arty, laid-back vibes with a large dose of Irish wit and charm, quirky coffee shops, gothic architecture, art galleries, castles and the lively bustle of a university city.
The hostels in Cork make sociable bases and you’ll find some have their own pubs or bars. If you fancy a night of live music, then look no further than your Cork hostel – if you choose to stay in a lively venue. Have your free breakfast on a split-level courtyard, before chatting to the hostel staff about where to go next. Wash the contents of your backpack in the on-site laundry while catching up with friends online using free Wi-Fi. Choose a dorm (mixed or female-only), or a private room, depending on your travel needs.
Most hostels can be found just outside of the city centre, therefore across the River Lee as the centre is on an island. Stay in the Victorian Quarter near St Patrick’s Quay for a quirky range of shops and pubs. A bridge will lead you to the city centre. With many independent businesses, this area feels a little like a village within the city. Pick a hostel in Shandon on the north-side of the city if you fancy visiting the impressive Shandon Castle or one of the many ale-houses. Or if you fancy staying somewhere modern, you can’t find much more modern than the new district of Horgan’s Quay. It’s an area rich with history, yet its redevelopment is sleek in design.
If you just want to eat and drink your way around Cork you’d be a very happy traveller. Cork’s breweries are world-famous with both Murphey’s and Beamish in the city, as well as many newbies popping up each year. The markets are filled with delicious treats, we’d recommend the English Market for your smoked fish and artisan cheeses. Kayak on the River Lee, go to the Jazz festival, visit a castle, admire the street-art, explore the gaol, pop in one of the many contemporary art galleries or even check out the Butter Museum.
Walking Cork is relatively easy as the city is fairly compact, but you could also kayak around the city centre perimeter. There’s also a good bus service that runs throughout the city and if you plan on doing a few trips it’s worth buying the ten-journey pass from Bus Éireann. This service also runs to and from Dublin and other Irish cities. You can arrive by plane into Cork airport, which is only ten minutes from the city centre. Or come via the ocean, on a train or of course by car. See it’s very accessible, now there are no excuses not to visit!