Putting on a show is not high on the priorities of Ireland’s second city. This is a place that values its freedom, stands by its quirks and doesn't let it get to its head.

Sights? There’s the butter museum, maybe. Or the covered market. Or the tower of Shandon’s church. But it’s when you’re standing in one of the Old Town’s countless pubs, chatting away to some total stranger, that you’ll really start to understand why Corkonians are so in love with their city and their “rebel county”. So if you come to south-west Ireland, be sure to give yourself time. Time for a chat, a tea, a beer...

  • Be sure, too, to make your way out to the true edge of Europe – the rugged and stormtossed Atlantic coast. And don’t be daunted by the wind and the weather: It’s all part of the landscape!

    And, anyway, Ireland’s a place where wild and mild are pals: magnolias, roses, wild strawberries and salmon on the one hand; cliffs, bare hills and seaweed on the other. If you’re a fan of both, then Cork and its county are just the place for you.

    Unadorned. Cork’s raw streetscapes like this reflect the rebellious spirit of Ireland’s second city.

Good to know

  1. Tips in Ireland are usually somewhere between 10 and 15 per cent, given discretely, without fuss.

  2. Irish roads are often very narrow, bordered by stone walls and difficult to negotiate. Drive carefully!

  3. Gusting wind and unpredictable waves have claimed more than one victim here. Hazardous - not just for coastal fishermen!

  4. The Irish love to ask how you are, it's an excuse for a good chat. Enjoy the small talk, it's part of the Irish experience.

  5. If you order a full Irish breakfast, be prepared for a giant portion: bacon, sausage (including black pudding), eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms.

Get some fresh air! Outdoor activities in and near Cork