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Things to do in Cork

Our most recommended things to do in Cork

From Cork: Ring of Kerry Guided Day Trip

1. From Cork: Ring of Kerry Guided Day Trip

Explore the mystical Ring of Kerry on a full-day guided tour from Cork. See the picturesque village of Waterville, Killarney National Park, panoramic views of Dingle Bay, and other famous areas of ancient Ireland. After meeting your guide, enjoy a scenic drive to one of Ireland's most colorful and charming villages. You will see two village squares and a beautiful bridge in the village center. Pass through Killorglin, the home of the ancient Celtic festival known as the Puck Fair.  Next, take in the amazing views of Dingle Bay, famous Inch Beach, and on a clear day, possibly even the Blasket Islands off the wild Atlantic coast. You will admire the picturesque little village of Waterville that sits overlooking Ballinskelligs Bay and the Skellig Rocks with their early Christian monastery. Charlie Chaplin loved Waterville and was a frequent visitor. See the statue in his honor, unveiled in 1998. Continue to the most beautiful and admired national park in Ireland, and take in the views of the Lakes of Killarney and the Black Valley during stops at Molls Gap and Leprechaun Crossing. Your next stop will be at the lovely 18-meter-high waterfall that cascades through the wooded Friar's Glenn and admires this site of natural beauty. Finally, take some time to relax in Killarney and grab some refreshments before departing for Cork.

Cliffs of Moher and More: Full-Day Tour from Cork

2. Cliffs of Moher and More: Full-Day Tour from Cork

Your tour on Ireland’s west coast begins in the morning with a check-in at the Bridge Street tourist office in Cork city. Head off on a drive to Limerick, the capital of the mid-western region, with a stop on the banks of the River Shannon. Continue on the way to the Cliffs of Moher, where you’ll have a stop to explore this site of incredible natural beauty. Receive a complimentary ticket to see the award-winning Atlantic Edge exhibit, which examines the mighty Cliffs of Moher from a variety of perspectives. Next, your driver will take you along the Atlantic coast, as you enjoy stunning views of Galway Bay and the Aran Islands. Travel through the Burren region, and take in the unusual sight of its unique rocky landscape. Then you’ll make a short stop at Bunratty Castle before the pleasant return drive to Cork city, passing through the rolling hills of the Golden Vale en route. Arrive back in Cork in the evening.

Cork: Jameson Experience Whiskey Tour

3. Cork: Jameson Experience Whiskey Tour

Set on 15 acres of lovely grounds, the Jameson Experience is both an education and a cultural experience as soon as you step through its doors. You will discover the largest pot still in the world, the Angels Share, and of course, the finest of Irish whiskeys. Daytime tours operate 7 days all year round, except selected dates at Christmas. The journey begins with an audiovisual presentation, followed by a 1-hour guided tour through the original distillery. Your experience ends at the Jameson Bar with a glass of Jameson, a 3-part comparison whiskey tasting, and the chance to become a "Qualified Irish Whiskey Taster." After your tour, feel free to browse the Distillery gift shop, where you will find exclusive Jameson gifts to take home, such as the Jameson Distillery Edition, a superb whiskey exclusively for sale at Midleton. Make it even more special by having your bottle personalized as a great gift or memento of your visit.

Blarney Castle Full-Day Tour from Dublin

4. Blarney Castle Full-Day Tour from Dublin

Visit Ireland’s most famous castle on a full-day tour from Dublin. Enjoy free time to explore the city of Cork and visit Blarney Castle. Stroll in the footsteps of St Patrick at the Celtic Crosses and Round Tower. Meet your guide at Paddy's Palace in Dublin and hop aboard a comfortable and climate-controlled van for a scenic drive through green fields and dairy farms of the Golden Vale of County Cork. Enjoy panoramic views of the Galtee Mountains and County Tipperary. Stop in Cork on banks of the River Lee and spend an hour of free time exploring the city at your own pace. Have the option to visit the historic English Market, or marvel at the architecture of St. Finbarre’s Cathedral. Drive on to Blarney Castle, home of the legendary Blarney Stone. It’s said that if you kiss the stone you will receive the “gift of the gab” for 7 years. Pucker up and kiss the stone or snap a picture.  Explore the castle grounds and gardens to discover the Witch's Cave. Take advantage of the tax free shopping at the Blarney Woollen Mills and craft shop. Step back in time at the evocative Celtic Crosses and Round Tower. Depart for Dublin on a path through the Golden Vale of County Tipperary and arrive back in the city at night. 

Cork: Guided Historical Walking Tour

5. Cork: Guided Historical Walking Tour

Set out on a walking tour accompanied by a local guide. In a one-hour stroll through the city centre you will learn about Cork's history as a transatlantic and European trading hub. Walk along the curved main street, following the route of the river beneath it. Marvel at Cork Opera House and across the river, see the shape of Shandon church, with its distinctive red and white brick bell tower and clockfaces. Next, stroll down Carey's Lane to visit the Hugenot cemetery, before heading to the Coal Quay and Cornmarket Street. Along the widest street in Cork, Grand Parade, see Bishop Lucy Park, the Berwick fountain and the National memorial. Hear about Nano Nagle and her extensive humanitarian work in bringing education to the poorest classes while standing on a footbridge named in her honour. Then, explore St Finbar's Cathedral, the South Gate Bridge and Elizabeth Fort. See the boathouse entrances in the leading business quarter of the city known as South Mall. Finish the tour in Princes Street, at the main entrance to Cork's fascinating English Market.

Dublin: Full-Day Tour to Cork, Cobh and Blarney Castle

6. Dublin: Full-Day Tour to Cork, Cobh and Blarney Castle

Escape the hustle and bustle of Dublin on a full-day tour south to the vibrant city of Cork. Kills the Blarney stone at Blarney Castle, admire Georgian buildings in the city center, and visit Cork Harbor to see a Victorian era train station and transatlantic terminal.   Depart by train from Heuston Station in the early morning for the InterCity service to Cork City. Upon arrival, head to Blarney Castle, where you can kiss the famous Blarney Stone and acquire the gift of eternal eloquence. Relax with some free time to shop and enjoy lunch in Blarney village. Head to Cork for a short city tour of Ireland’s southern capital, famous for its arts, music and literature scenes.  Built on the site of a 6th-century monastic settlement, the city center is full of Georgian buildings, 17th-century alleys, and dynamic new architecture. Continue your journey along Cork Harbour to Cobh, location of the Queenstown Story Heritage Center.  Set in a beautifully-restored railway station of the Victorian age, it was also the transatlantic terminal that served as the point of departure to the New World for generations of Irish emigrants, from the time of famine up to recent years. Transfer back to Cork City center to catch your return InterCity train back to Dublin, with a scheduled arrival at Heuston Station at in the evening. 

Cliffs of Moher and Blarney 2-Day Tour from Dublin

7. Cliffs of Moher and Blarney 2-Day Tour from Dublin

Experience the dramatic landscapes of the southwest of Ireland on a 2-day budget tour to the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle, and more. Kiss the famous Blarney Stone, enjoy panoramic views across the Atlantic Ocean, and stay in the historic city of Cork to enjoy the local life up-close. Day 1: Dublin - Rock of Cashel - Blarney - Cork Depart Dublin at 08:00 for a relaxing drive through scenic County Cork. The first stop will be the world famous Rock of Cashel. One of Ireland's most evocative sites, you can stroll in the footsteps of St. Patrick flanked by ruins, Celtic crosses and round towers and feel the soul of Ireland. The Rock of Cashel was the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster until they donated the complex to the Catholic Church almost 1,000 years ago for use as a cathedral. The site is one of the best examples of medieval architecture in Europe. The next stop is Ireland's second city, Cork. Here there is time to visit the English Markets recently visited by Queen Elizabeth II, that offer a wide range of local produce from artisan meats and cheeses and all that is good about Irish fine fare. This is an ideal place to enjoy lunch. In the afternoon you will go to the quaint town of Blarney to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone (optional) at the medieval stronghold of Blarney Castle. Learn the story behind the tradition as you explore the castle’s dungeons, caves and hidden bedrooms. Return to Cork, where you will spend the night. Day 2: Cork - Burren - Cliffs of Moher - Dublin Start the day with a drive through the beautiful Golden Vale, home to some of the best farm land in Ireland. Stop in Limerick to see the River Shannon and get some fine photos of King John's Castle. Continue west to County Clare, enjoying views of the wild Atlantic Ocean as you drive along the West Coast. Marvel at beautiful beaches of golden sand, looking out for dolphins and whales. Admire the lunar landscape of The Burren, where Alpine, Arctic and Mediterranean flowers grow side-by-side. Hear inspiring tales of how the Irish overcame the horrors of the Great Potato Famine of 1845-49, when over 1 million Irish fled to all 4 corners of the earth to escape. Upon arrival at the Cliffs of Moher, gaze in awe at the sheer majesty of the cliffs and crashing waves. See why world surf champ, Kelly Slater, came here for the award-winning surf movie “Wave Riders.” En route back to Dublin, enjoy a short photo stop at the 15th-century tower house of Bunratty Castle.

From Dublin: Galway and Kerry 3-Day Budget Tour

8. From Dublin: Galway and Kerry 3-Day Budget Tour

Discover the majestic beauty of the Ring of Kerry and South Ireland on a 3-day budget tour by bus to Gaelic-speaking Galway and the Cliffs of Moher. Mix with local characters, and learn the legends of the “Emerald Isle” up close and personal. Enjoy an unforgettable night in Killarney, Ireland’s party capital. Dormitory style accommodation is provided in hostels, with the option to stay in B&B or apartment-style accommodation for those that crave a bit more privacy. Day 1: Dublin - Connemara - Galway Depart Dublin for Galway, traveling towards the west of Ireland, and stopping en route for a comfort break. Enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Irish midlands. Experience the rugged wilderness of Connemara as you drive over dramatic mountains that have been the setting for countless Hollywood movies. Continue along the Connemara coastline to Galway City. Find a nice pub in Galway Bay to listen to some traditional Irish music before retiring for the night. Day 2: Galway - Cliffs of Moher - Kerry Experience the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean as you drive down the west coast. See beautiful beaches of golden sand, keeping a lookout for dolphins and whales along the way. Follow the route of the Atlantic Way, the world’s longest coastal touring route. Explore the lunar landscape of The Burren, the only place on earth where Alpine, Arctic, and Mediterranean flowers grow side-by-side. Then, discover the crown jewels of Ireland at the Cliffs of Moher. See why the cliffs were chosen as a backdrop for the film "The Princess Bride," and why world surf champ Kelly Slater shot the award-winning surf movie "Wave Rider" there. Spend the night in Kerry, where nightlife offerings include the chance to sing a few of the songs your guide will have taught you during the day (please note that on some tours, accommodation will be in Cork, depending on availability). Day 3: Kerry – Blarney Castle - Dublin Take in some highlights of the Ring of Kerry (which typically include Moll's Gap, Leprechaun Crossing, Killarney National Park, Lakes of Killarney, Torc Waterfall) before enjoying time at leisure in Killarney. Many guests enjoy an (optional) horse and carriage or horse ride. The journey back to Dublin takes you on a leisurely drive through the heritage town of Adare, with its fabulous thatched cottages, and the Golden Vale, Ireland's finest agricultural land with its rolling fields and pastures. Return to Dublin by 19:00 approx.

Cork: Fastnet Rock Lighthouse and Cape Clear Island Tour

9. Cork: Fastnet Rock Lighthouse and Cape Clear Island Tour

Take the ferry from Baltimore or Schull and cross the beautiful waters of Roaring Water Bay. Arrive in the wonderful north harbor on Cape Clear Island and go by shuttle bus to Cape Clear Heritage Centre. There, learn the history of the island and Fastnet Rock. Spend some time exploring the island and its walking trails, stop at the spectacular lookout points and spot the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse in the distance. Be sure to enjoy some fresh island produce during lunch at one of the island’s bars and restaurants. After lunch, re-board the ferry and sit back as the experienced captain takes you further into the real Wild Atlantic Way. You might even catch a glimpse of whales and dolphins in the water. As you circumnavigate the tallest and widest rock lighthouse in Ireland and the UK, learn its history and importance from the onboard audio system. Hear about the “Teardrop” of Ireland, the last glimpse of the country that the immigrant ships saw before they headed over the horizon to the New World - America. Once Fastnet Rock has been circled twice (so that all passengers can get the perfect photo), head for home and enjoy the spectacular scenery until reaching the final port.

Best of Ireland 6-Day Backpackers Economy Tour

10. Best of Ireland 6-Day Backpackers Economy Tour

Mix with local characters, and get a unique insight into Ireland’s legends, landscapes and people on a week long tour of the island, north and south. Explore city life in Belfast, Derry and Cork, go to the rocks of the Giant's Causeway, walk along the Cliffs of Moher, tour the Dingle Peninsula, and enjoy a glass of the black stuff at the Guinness Brewery in Dublin. The tour takes in the highlights of Ireland’s four corners, including all the sights of Northern Ireland, and includes a night at a traditional Irish pub, plenty of opportunities to dance the night away, hikes through bogs and castle ruins, and much more. Day 1: Dublin - Belfast Depart from Dublin at 9:00 AM, and begin your adventure at Drogheda, where you'll see the preserved head of St. Oliver Plunkett in St. Peter’s Cathedral. Cross the border at South Armagh. A fascinating evening in Belfast awaits. Learn why “Lonely Planet” described the capital of Northern Ireland as one of the top 10 “Must-See” destinations on earth. You can take an (optional) Black Taxi tour to see the Peace Wall and political murals. With accommodation in the Downtown area of the university area, great nightlife will be on your doorstep, while the peaceful Botanic Gardens are a short stroll if you prefer to relax among the scent of roses. Day 2: Belfast - Derry Today you will cruise the beautiful north coast. See - and cross, if you dare - Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge (seasonal and subject to a small optional charitable donation to the National Trust). Then, trace the footprints of Celtic giants as you walk the Giant's Causeway, Ulster's number one attraction since 2 million BC. Marvel at an estimated 60,000 hexagonal columns of basalt rock, formed by violent volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. Your guide will wax lyrical about how the giant warrior hero, Fionn McCool, built it to fight off the pesky Scots – according to local legend! You'll have plenty of time to take the high or low road hikes, before setting off for Dunluce Castle, ancestral home of the McDonnell clan. Learn how the castle came to ruin in 1639, when the kitchen collapsed into the sea during a great feast, and about the ghosts of the staff said to still linger. Spend the night in Derry, a jewel of a city for history buffs. Your accommodation will be in the ancient streets of the Downtown area, perfectly placed for the traditional music night at Peadar O'Donnells pub. Day 3: Derry - Galway Start the day with a hearty breakfast before an in-depth walking tour of Derry's historic walls (1601). Learn why the city is officially known as Londonderry, and the story of the long bloody siege of 1689. Go to the popular Bogside district, scene of the Bloody Sunday massacre of 1972, and inspiration for U2's classic anthem “Sunday, Bloody Sunday.” Next, drive through enchanting Sligo, visiting the sacred grave of the Irish poet and Nobel laureate, WB Yeats. Experience the archaeological richness of Ireland's northwest coast, before spending the night in Galway, the nation’s party capital. Your guide will take you to a cozy pub in the Latin Quarter for a glass of Guinness to the beat of electrifying Irish music and the sweet sound of the Gaelic language. Day 4: Galway - Dingle Today you will have the wild Atlantic Ocean by your side as you travel down the west coast, passing golden sand beaches, and maybe even a few dolphins and whales. Run around the lunar landscape of The Burren, the only place on earth where Alpine, Arctic, and Mediterranean flowers grow side-by-side. Hear about the horrors of the great Potato Famine of 1845-49 that saw more than a million Irish flee to the 4 corners of the globe. Next, gaze in awe at the Cliffs of Moher, and see why they were used as the “Cliffs of Insanity” in the movie “The Princess Bride.” Cross the River Shannon to Limerick, setting for Frank McCourt's blockbuster book, “Angela's Ashes.” Tonight you'll stay in your very own Irish pub, the Randy Leprechaun! Located in Annascaul on the Dingle Peninsula, it will be a great chance to mix with the locals and enjoy the characters of a genuine small village away from the tourist traps. Pull up a stool by the fire or dance the night away. In the morning, you can always take a swim with Fungi the Dolphin in Dingle Harbour, if you’re feeling brave. Day 5: Dingle - Killarney Take a short drive to the Gaelic-speaking fishing village of Dingle for some free time to shop and lunch in the charming center. Then, enjoy a scenic tour around Slea Head, with loads of time off the bus to take photos, or even take a wee hike. Your guide will tell you the folk stories and songs of the region as you visit Sleeping Giant Island and the famous 3 Sisters Mountains. Go for an (optional) horse-led car ride through Killarney National Park, and experience a tradition that has continued since the 1800s. You will spend the night in Killarney, a tour favorite for its huge range of activities on offer. Listen to traditional music, or discover great bars, restaurants and nightlife just steps from your hostel. Try singing a few of the songs your guide taught you during the day! Day 6: Killarney - Dublin Cross the Cork and Kerry Mountains, and kiss the Blarney Stone on top of Blarney Castle. Located in the rebel county of Cork, Blarney Castle is one of the most famous tourist sites in Europe, with great shopping opportunities. Kissing the Blarney stone isn't everyone's cup of tea, but a tour of the castle’s dungeons, caves and hidden bedrooms provides a great insight into a 12th-century masterpiece. Whether or not you need the gift of the gab, said to be yours after kissing the stone, dangling off the 300-foot battlements while being held by a middle-aged Irishman is too good an offer to turn down! After lunch, visit the beautiful Golden Vale, Ireland's finest agricultural land, and marvel at rolling fields and fresh pastures. Make your way through the battlefields of "Braveheart" for the tour’s grand finale in Dublin; a visit to the Guinness Storehouse. Say cheers to your guides and fellow travelers with a pint of the black stuff before you say your goodbyes.

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Frequently asked questions about Cork

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Cork?

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What people are saying about Cork

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 1,292 reviews

Thank you for everything ! John was very nice and made this experience a very nice day. We had a lot of hitchhiking, the trip was rich in anecdotes and explanations. The driver drove very well, he was very friendly and caring. Thank you for this discovery. All the landscapes were absolutely beautiful even in the winter season. We had come with some reluctance and a priori and we are finally totally convinced. We absolutely recommend this tour!!

It was incredibly convenient, I could manage my time, I could observe every building as long as I want. And I don’t even need to check the rout every minute, because the guide is really clear and helpful)

We had such a good time! We had 3 different guides, Brian jj and John. JJ was the best and was very funny! The b&b was the only downside of the whole two days!

Wonderful excursion with an awesome guide who told us many very interesting stories. I recommend this tour if you want to discover this beautiful country

That was awesome!! The guy who guided the tour was awesome too!