Located just inland of Ireland’s south-east coast, Cork is a city of rich historical and cultural background. Home to a wide array of sights and activities from the iconic Gothic spires of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral to the Blackrock Castle Observatory, this Irish city is bursting with attractions and exciting day trips, whether it be at sea or on land. Watch an entertaining performance of Irish song and dance, go diving off the coastline or enjoy dynamic nights out amongst Cork’s finest hotspots. Explore below our full list of things to do in Cork.
Best Bar: Soho Bar (77 Grand Parade) is a sports bar by day with contemporary DJ's playing music late into the night.
Best Restaurant: The menu at The Cornstore (Coal Quay, Cork) has huge variety. You’ll have to book if you want a table here.
Best Shop: Home to the cream of Irish and international brands, Brown Thomas (Patrick Street, Cork) has everything from fashion and accessories to cosmetics and homewares.
Best Kept Secret: The English Market has various stalls selling fresh food with a café upstairs on Saturdays.
Pulses of Tradition
Showcasing a selection of world class musicians, singers and dancers, Pulses of Tradition is a breath-taking display of the very best of Irish entertainment. Whether it be ancient or modern, tap dancing or set dancing, the banjo or the accordion, the show caters to all lovers of traditional Ireland. Their performances have been celebrated for their talent and energy, making it an occasion not to be missed.
The show’s home is Triskel Christchurch, and they hold the performance every Thursday and Saturday at 8pm. There are also some fun-filled dance workshops, at 6pm on Thursdays and Fridays, 8pm on Tuesdays and 4pm on Saturdays, where you can learn to move just like an Irish folk dancer!
Triskel Christchurch is only a fifteen minute walk from the Jurys Inn Cork.
The Everyman Theatre is a favourite in Cork, appreciated for its fantastic atmosphere and intimacy. The 650 seater auditorium is grand and richly decorated, with the balcony and lower floor stalls ringing of its Victorian heritage.
The Everyman has played host to a number of nationally and internationally successful productions, such as Neil LaBute’s ‘Wrecks’ and ‘Dublin Carol’ by Conor McPhereson, take a look at the full list of shows to plan a visit!
If you fancy a pre-theatre dinner, drop into any one of the restaurants running a dinner and theatre package with The Everyman, such as Greenes Restaurant or Gourmet Burger Bistro. The Everyman Theatre is a ten minute walk from our hotel.
Cork Opera House
Built by trustees of the Royal Cork Institution, Cork Opera House is the only purpose built opera house in the country. The lavishly decorated auditorium seats one thousand and the impressive stage is one of the largest you can find in Ireland.
Cork Opera House has hosted a number of big productions, such as Jaws, Scala & Kolacny Brothers, and Mogwai, take a look at the schedule of what’s on now to plan your visit. The House Café, located in the foyer of the building, serves up a delectable choice of light bites and main meals, and if you fancy a drink before the show, pop into the main bar and choose from a wide range of beers, ciders, wines and cocktails!
The Cork Opera House is located just off the River Lee, less than ten minutes from Jurys Inn Cork.
City Limits Comedy Club
The City Limits Comedy Club & Nightclub is one of Ireland’s most prestigious comedy venues, and is now heading towards its twentieth birthday. Having seen the birth of the careers of many comedic greats such as Jason Byrne and Dara O’Briain, the venue’s 200 seat auditorium gives the performer and their audience an enjoyable and intimate experience.
After a night of non-stop laughter, head to the nightclub for the perfect end to the evening, and rub shoulders with the rising stars of comedy in Ireland.
The City Limits Comedy Club is a short ten-minute walk from our Cork hotel.
Fota Wildlife Park
Fota Wildlife Park is one of, if not the most popular tourist destinations in Cork, and it’s not hard to see why. The park works hard to conserve a selection of wildlife from all over the world, restoring and protecting populations of incredible and exotic animals. Discover and learn about the wide range of animals and plants, from cute cheetah cubs to fully grown giraffes and lemurs!
With record visitor numbers since its redevelopment in 2010, Fota Wildlife Park also has a plethora of exciting activities for the whole family, including a children’s play area, face painting, arts & crafts, and African drumming activities.
Grab lunch at the Savannah or Oasis cafes, and peruse the Serengeti Gift Store for an adorable stuffed animal to round off a terrific day out! The Wildlife Park is around a twenty-minute drive from our hotel in Cork.
Enjoy an unforgettable experience on one of the most striking coastlines in Ireland with Ocean Escapes. Absorb the sights of Fort Camden, Spike Island, and more, and depending on the weather, you’ll be able to spot a variety of wildlife, from different species of birds to whales, sharks and dolphins!
With one and two hour discovery trips available, Ocean Escapes provide an invigorating adventure for the whole family! You can find Ocean Escapes in Salve Marine, a twenty-five minute drive from Jurys Inn Cork.
East Cork Adventure Centre
If you’re looking for an adrenaline-fuelled experience, look no further than the East Cork Adventure Centre. Offering a variety of activities such as paintballing, archery, kayaking, crazy golf, a hundred metre water slide, obstacle course, and so much more, this is a destination of fun and excitement for all ages.
This adventure centre is just a half hour drive from the Jurys Inn.
Cork Sea Safari
Cork Sea Safari offers some of the best harbour tours in the country. Head out on a RIB, also known as a rigid inflatable boat, and see major attractions like the Rochespoint Lighthouse, Crosshaven, Cobh, and many more! Embark on the half day visit to the coastal town of Kinsale to enjoy a close up view of the stunning cliffs, caves, and islands, as well as wildlife spotting along the way.
There are a number of different tours available, all of which give you the opportunity to explore the scenic coastline and enjoy a memorable day out amongst the locals. Find Cork Sea Safari at Lapp’s Quay, only a few minutes’ walk from Jurys Inn Cork.
Blackrock Castle Observatory
The Blackrock Castle Observatory is the perfect place to discover, engage, and learn in an exciting day out for the whole family. The Cosmos at the Castle exhibit lets you explore the mysteries of space and life on a giant cinematic screen, where you can play the Comet Chaser on Ireland’s first ever interactive theatre. The tour allows you to uncover the ancient history of the castle, visiting the tower and gunnery (a national monument), or gaze into the starry future with the exciting BCO Planet Search Programme.
After a day of exploring the heavens, you can savour a gourmet coffee and tasty meal at The Castle Café, or pick up one of a host of fun and informative souvenirs, like model rockets, futuristic binoculars, and other gadgets at the Sky Shop. Find all this and more, only a ten minute drive from our hotel.
Cork City Gaol
For one of the most unique experiences in Cork, visit Cork City Gaol, a former prison and now one of the biggest attractions in Ireland. The castle-like building houses remarkably life-like wax figures of notorious prisoners, as well as patches of original graffiti from the Gaol’s older days, offering a striking and informative look into the rich history of Cork.
Cork City Gaol also offers a self-guided tour of the adjoining Radio Museum, with an audio visual accompaniment in up to thirteen different languages. Around the grounds you’ll find a picnic area and the Gatehouse Café, offering up delicious food and drink before you head to the souvenir shop for a variety of goodies!
The Gaol is just off Convent Avenue, a short ten-minute drive from our Cork hotel.
Crawford Art Gallery
A National Cultural Institution, the Crawford Art Gallery gives a fascinating insight into the rich and colourful artistic history of Ireland as well as the rest of Europe. With over 200,000 visitors a year, this gallery is dedicated to the visual arts, with a selection of beautiful paintings and sculptures dating back to the eighteenth century.
The gallery also holds a number of modern video installations, displaying the fine balance of contemporary and historical art that gives Crawford Art Gallery its glowing reputation. With a café serving delicious food and drink, the atmosphere of the gallery is welcoming and a worthwhile visit for everyone in the city.
You can find Crawford Art Gallery a ten-minute walk from Jurys Inn Cork.
Collin Barracks Military Museum
The Collin Barracks Military Museum is an honourable recognition of Cork’s military history. Located in the Old Guard Room, the museum offers three themed exhibitions – the History of the Barracks, Michael Collins, and Peacekeeping. See a collection of captivating items and objects from times of war in an engaging and educational display, and share in the electric atmosphere of the garrison.
The museum is on Old Youghal Road, a short ten-minute drive from our Cork hotel.
Cork Butter Museum
Following the trend of attractions unique to Cork, the Cork Butter Museum is an institution that celebrates the thriving success of Irish trade. Follow the story of Cork’s dairy industry and explore the gallery dedicated to the butter-making business, including a keg of butter over a thousand years old. The museum also offers an insight into the Butter Exchange, a vital part of Ireland’s international trade industry, on the fun and informative tour.
Cork Butter Museum is situated on O’Connell Square, about fifteen minutes from the Jurys Inn Cork.
Blarney Castle and Gardens
Visit Blarney Castle and Gardens with the whole family and discover legends, mystery, and intrigue amongst the vast grounds and castle building, from the underground dungeon to the Witch Stone, which is believed to be a haunt of the Witch of Blarney.
The Castle also has a number of interesting and picturesque gardens, including the Poison Garden, which is home to a collection of poisonous plants from all over the world, and the beautiful Herbaceous Border, displaying a range of colourful shrubberies and flowers that will give anyone a lift. No visit to Blarney Castle is complete without seeing the famous Blarney Stone, said to reward whoever kisses it with ‘the gift of eloquence’.
After exploring the castle and gardens, you can stop by the Blarney Castle Shop for souvenirs from their unique collections, including ‘The Gift of the Gab Collection’. Blarney Castle is about a twenty minute drive from the Jurys Inn Cork.
Records and Relics
Step into the past at the quirky Records and Relics shop, housing an array of vinyl records from 20s Jazz and 80s Punk to more modern titles, and everything in between! The quaint little shop also boasts a collection of vintage clothing, antiques, and retro collectibles, making it a must visit for fans of music from decades gone by.
You can find Records and Relics just next to the River Lee, about a twenty-minute walk from our hotel.
Mahon Point Shopping Centre
If you’re looking for a universal shopping destination in Cork, Mahon Point Shopping Centre offers a myriad of outlets in fashion, food, beauty, and more. The centre is also home to the thirteen screen Omniplex cinema, where you can pick up a movie-meal deal, or alternatively, you can visit the farmers market, which runs every Thursday morning and offers over fifty stalls of the county’s best local produce.
Mahon Point Shopping Centre is on Jacob’s Island, about a ten-minute drive from the Jurys Inn Cork.
The English Market
Trading since 1788, The English Market is considered an institution in Ireland as one of the oldest and most famous covered markets in the country. Situated in the city centre, the market offers a myriad of stalls with local foods and recipes, as well as a range of crockery, t-shirts, novelty items, art, and more. Peruse the stalls, talk to locals, sample a food plate, and take in the sounds and sights of this traditional market.
The Market is around a ten minute walk from our Cork hotel.