5 Great Ways to Spend a Day in Cork City

Spend a Day in Cork

Updated On: December 12, 2023 by   Ciaran ConnollyCiaran Connolly

Wondering how to spend a day in Cork City? Well, you have come to the right spot as we have the 5 best things for you to do.

Located in the South of Ireland, Cork is a county that is famously referred to as both the “real capital” and “foodie capital” of Ireland. When you think of County Cork your mind may wander to the song “The Banks of my lovely Lee” or the cork saying “How are ya Boi”. And although these are synonymous with Cork that is not all the capital city of the Rebel County has to offer.

In this Article we will look at

How to Get to Cork City

spend a day in cork city
Walk to the top of Patricks hill to get a panoramic view of Cork city

Before you look at things to do in Cork city it is important to ensure you know how to get there. Cork City is easily accessible by train and bus. From Heuston Station in Dublin you can take the train to Kent Station in Cork in just over 2:30 hrs.

From Galway Ceannt Station it can take roughly over 4 hrs to get to Cork by train as you have to make stops in Limerick Junction and Colbert station on route. Kent Station in Cork city is a short walk away from the city centre. Bus Eireann also run Expressway buses that will bring you straight into the city. It is quite easy to get around this bustling city by foot, bike, bus or car.

1. Spend a Day in Cork City: Activities

If having fun and playing games is how you want too spend a day in Cork city then why not try out one of the cities amazing entertainment centres.

Go Bowling in the Leisurplex

If you are looking for a place to pass away a few hours with friends or children the Leisurplex is the perfect spot. Here you can enjoy bowling with your family and snooker or pool with your friends. The Leisurplex also has an amazing arcade centre with old and new games for all to enjoy. There is also a soft play area for younger kids.

Spend an evening at the Mardyke

The Mardyke Entertainment Centre is similar to the Leisurplex but more suited to older groups. Here you and friends can enjoy ping pong, bowling, darts, pool and snooker. There is also pub quizzes here and you can enjoy food and drink. This is definitely a fun way to spend a day in Cork City.

Have a walk in Fitzgerald Park

If you like to get out in nature and walk with fabulous scenery why not head over to Fitzgerald Park. You can also view Dermot Gavin’s impressive Sky Garden structure on display in the park. When you leave the park why not go across the water on the Shakey Bridge to bring you back into the city. During the Summer this public park is vibrant with people playing in the green, having picnics with friends and walking with their pets.

2. Take a trip to the English Market

Spend a Day in Cork
Spend a day in Cork city at the iconic English Market.

If it was worth the visit by the Queen of England it is certainly worth a visit from you. If you have ever watched the Cork tv show “Young Offenders” you may recognise the English Market as the place that Conor and his mam worked at. Here you will see fish mongers, butchers, green grocers and more. The English Market is one of the best covered markets in Ireland. This charming and unique market is steeped in culture and it is a must when you spend a day in Cork city.

3. Go Shopping on Opera Lane

If shopping is how you want to spend a day in Cork City you will not be disappointed. Opera Lane in Cork has many high street stores for you to choose from. Shops such as H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, Office, River Island and Next will allow you to shop and browse for hours on end. Brown Thomas, Superdry, Primark (Penney’s) and other stores are also all close by making it the perfect place to do all types of shopping.

4. Art and Culture in Cork City

If you want to soak in Cork culture for the day and visit the artistic experiences the Rebel county has to offer then we have a few options for you.

See a performance at the Opera House

The Opera House is a fabulous place to go see a performance whether a pantomime, comedy act or musical act is what you fancy, you will not be disappointed. The Opera House hosts many amazing acts each year. Watching a show surrounded by the gorgeous interiors of the Opera House is something special and it is sure to be an experience enjoyed by everyone. This is a great way to spend a day in Cork city and after the show you can simply walk across to the beautiful Italian restaurant Luigi Malones for some delicious food.

Go to the Cork City Gaol

If you are interested in history we would recommend a visit to Cork City Gaol. This prison once held hundreds of 19th Century prisoners. You can walk and explore the wings and corridors of the Gaol with a tour guide who will give you the history behind everything you see. Tour guides will also tell you about all the famous prisoners that once stayed at Cork City Gaol and the story behind their arrest. You will see life like statues of prisoners in their cell. The Cork City Gaol is also child friendly and we think it is an interesting and fun way to spend a day in Cork city.

Shandon Bells Tower

The Shandon bells Tower is definitely worth a visit when you are in Cork city, not only is the tower iconic to Cork but it also offers a beautiful viewpoint of the city from the tower balcony. What’s even better? You can ring the bells yourself and hear them chime through the church and tower. Although you do have to climb 135 steps, every step is worth it.

Crawford Art Gallery

If you want to spend a day in Cork City appreciating art then heading to Crawford Art Gallery is a must. This art gallery really exceeds expectations with their beautiful collections and amazing sculptures. This Gallery holds many different exhibitions throughout the year so have a look at their website to see what kind of exhibitions are in place during your visit. This is a place for all ages to enjoy as their are fun activities held for children and art lovers alike. It is also free to enter the Crawford Art Gallery as they work on donations only.

Spend a Day in Cork

5. Spend a Day in Cork City: Food & Drink

Cork is well known for being the “Food capital” of Ireland and when you visit Cork you will see exactly why. Whether it is breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner, Cork city has a restaurant or café to suit your needs and wants.

Crawford and Co.

A must for any lovers of bottomless brunch. If you are planning on doing Crawford and Co.’s bottomless brunch then make sure you don’t have any important plans for the afternoon and eat a hearty breakfast because trust me when they say ” endless “prosecco” they mean endless prosecco. For €25 you get endless prosecco with orange juice for two hours. You can then add a delicious brunch dish to keep you full and satisfied while you sip on bubbles. The staff here are very attentive and chatty which really adds to the atmosphere of the restaurant.

Dwyer’s of Cork

Dwyer’s is a fabulous vintage styled restaurant which has amazing music and also offers bottomless brunch. The food and cocktails at O’Dwyers will have your mouth watering. You will come to Dwyer’s for the food but you will stay for the bubbly atmosphere that is created by the friendly staff.

Eat at the Marina Market

We have to recommend the Marina Market if you are looking for a place to grab a bit to eat and drink. Corks largest indoor market is located by the marina in Cork is home to many different vendors offering a variety of food and drink. Some examples of vendors you will find in the Marina market are Hansum, Dinky Donuts, Oak Fire Pizza, No Sin, Prataí and White Rabbit to name a few. The Marina market is also pet friendly so bring along your furry friends as you pass away some time with friends and family.

There is also an indoor karting circuit close by which is great fun no matter what age. Live out your Formula One driver dreams racing around the track and then go over to the Marina market after to fuel up after the race.

Sophie’s Rooftop

Located right beside Kent Station, Sophie’s Rooftop is the gorgeous rooftop bar of the Dean hotel. This restaurant is definitely worth a visit no matter what time of the day. The interiors of Sophies Rooftop is classy and elegant from the table you sit to even the bathroom! When you visit you have to get a classic picture on one of the Sophie’s Rooftop swings just to prove you were actually here.

Now that you have many ways to spend a day in Cork city why not book your flight, train or bus and give the Rebel county a visit!

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