As the second-largest city in the Republic of Ireland, Cork has been recently revitalised into a cosmopolitan hub, although still maintains its happy traditionalisms that Ireland is known and loved for. From cosy pubs with live music nights to artisan restaurants serving hearty grub, the locals here are guaranteed to welcome every visitor with open arms.
Liberal, youthful and cosmopolitan are words often used to describe Ireland’s second largest city. With recently spruced up streets and stretches against the waterfront full of artisan cafes, restaurants and bars, it’s easy to forget you’re in Ireland. But Cork is a city which is still traditional at heart – you won’t struggle to find snug pubs with live music sessions, restaurants serving hearty Irish dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, and a general air of pride and welcome from the locals.
Cork city centre can be found on an isle on the River Lee, which snakes through the city, and around Cork’s heart. Here, waterways make up a big part of the city’s charm, partnered with Georgian avenues, 17th century alleyways set against modern masterpieces like the opera house. Cork is not short of cultural sights either, with the St Fin Barre Cathedral, the Cork City Gaol and the English Market providing plenty of opportunity to immerse yourself in.
Start your exploration of Cork on St Patrick’s Street, from the St Patrick’s Bridge which is towards the North Channel of the River Lee. This will lead you through the main shopping and commercial area of the city, and continues on through to the Georgian Grand Parade, and heads to the river’s South Channel. Both the North and South quarters of St Patrick’s Street are known to be the most lively, brimming with pubs, cafes, shops and restaurants all fitted within grids of narrow lanes and streets. Get lost here, and sink into what Ireland is all about.
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