Cork
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Cork Culture & History

Cork: Jameson Experience Whiskey Tour

1. 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.

Cork: Full-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off City Sightseeing Bus Tour

2. Cork: Full-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off City Sightseeing Bus Tour

Experience the vibrancy of Cork city and enjoy visits to its must-see attractions, all at your own convenience. Hop on and off the bus as many times as you want and join the tour at any of the stops along the route.  Your tour begins in the heart of Cork city at the Grand Parade, the location of the world-famous English Market. Hop off at the next stop for St. Patrick’s Street shopping district, home to local and international brands plus restaurants and cafes.  Travel onward to the Victorian Quarter and connect to local rail services including Cobh at Kent Station. View the iconic City Hall before continuing toward Shandon where you can try your hand at ringing the bells in the Cathedral of Saint Mary and Saint Anne. Take a trip back in time and visit the old Cork City Gaol (Jail), which opened in 1824.  Stroll around the campus of University College Cork (UCC) and admire the beautiful quadrangle and stone buildings. Lastly, visit the Gothic Revival St. Fin Barre's Cathedral and try to spot the “Golden Angel.”

From Cork: Guided Full-Day West Cork to Mizen Head Tour

3. From Cork: Guided Full-Day West Cork to Mizen Head Tour

Immerse yourself in Irish culture on this day trip filled with fantastic photo opportunities. Starting in the historic city of Cork, travel by coach to Ireland’s most southwesterly point and view the dramatic cliff scenery of Mizen Head. As you drive through picturesque villages and towns, expect to see some awe-inspiring scenery as Ireland shows off its spectacular landscape. From the meeting point in Cork, travel first to Gougane Barra, home to Ireland's oldest National Forest Park and famous for St. Finbarr's Oratory, its stunning 19th-century church. Enjoy panoramic views of where the River Lee rises. Then, wander through Bantry, one of West Cork's most vibrant market towns, and do some shopping or sit down to a traditional cup of Irish tea and perhaps a scone. The next part of the journey takes you to Mizen Head, Ireland’s most southwesterly point — the edge of Europe and a signature key discovery point on the Wild Atlantic Way. Admire the cliffs of Mizen Head that rise high above the Atlantic Ocean, where the currents meet and the waves from the Atlantic crash into land. Before returning to Cork city, discover Clonakilty, an iconic Irish town. Visit a museum, an Irish pub for a pint of Murphy's, or simply wander the colorful streets. You'll return to the city of Cork in the evening, where you'll be dropped off at the original meeting point.

Cork: City Cycle Tour

4. Cork: City Cycle Tour

Go beyond the glass and open your eyes to some of the best parts of Cork City. Discover the rich history of the city, some of its beautiful parks, and a few of Cork's hidden secrets. This tour is guided by experienced guides and takes advantage of the parks, riverside pathways, and cycle lanes to give you the most enjoyable experience. Enjoy a peaceful cycle through Cork's parks and green areas, and enjoy the beauty while hearing the history of the city. Visit some of the many churches and cathedrals of Cork city, including its Elizabethan-aged fort. Learn about Cork's long history and some of its most famous individuals. Hear how cork influenced Ireland and the wider world. Hear about cultural and sporting Cork, its most famous actors musicians, and artists.

From Cork: 9-Hour Guided Ring of Kerry and Killarney Tour

5. From Cork: 9-Hour Guided Ring of Kerry and Killarney Tour

Take a 9-hour guided bus tour of the enchanting county of Kerry and admire magnificent scenery from soaring hills to rolling landscapes scattered with traditional stone walls. Enjoy the unsurpassed, rugged coastline and the buzz of the traditional town of Killarney. Board your bus at the meeting point in Cork, then feel Irish rural life from days gone by coming alive at your first stop at the Kerry Bog Village in Glenbeigh. Wander through thatched cottages, visit a traditional farmhouse, and meet the resident Irish wolfhounds. You might even choose to treat yourself to a little something to drink at the Red Fox Inn. From Glenbeigh, travel around the Iveragh Peninsula, along the most beautiful stretch of coastline. The next stops are at Waterville and Coomakista, two of Kerry’s most scenic spots with panoramic views stretching from the mountains to the sea. Look toward the ocean and catch a glimpse of the iconic Skellig Islands, Celtic pyramids reaching out from the sea. These natural monuments were famously featured in the recent Star Wars movie. Make your next stop on the famous Ring of Kerry in Sneem, a picturesque Irish seaside village nestled in the sheltered waters of Kenmare Bay with wonderful choices for a traditional Irish lunch. Choose bacon and cabbage — an Irish staple — or, since you are beside the sea, freshly-caught fish served with chips. Lunch is at your own expense. After the lunch stop, prepare for a drive you will never forget. Verging deep into the MacGillycuddy's Reek mountains and the moody Black Valley, numerous scenic viewpoints can be found along the route: Moll’s Gap mountain pass, Ladies View lookout (a favorite spot of Queen Victoria), and even a Leprechaun crossing. Along the shores of Lough Leane, drive through the woodlands of Ireland’s last native oak trees. Then, arrive in Killarney, often voted the most beautiful town in Ireland. Killarney has so much to offer. Opt to spend your time seeing the surrounding area from a traditional horse and cart or walk the streets soaking up the atmosphere. Finally, hop back on the bus for the return journey to Cork where you will be dropped off at the starting point.

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, departing by train from Heuston Station at 06:40 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! Then, relax with some free time to shop and enjoy lunch in Blarney village. Next, return 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 20:20.

Cork: 1.25-Hour Guided Walking Tour

7. Cork: 1.25-Hour Guided Walking Tour

Feel the city of Cork come alive on this interactive walk. Learn about the unique history, friendly people, colorful culture, and traditions specific to Cork with a passionate guide. Delight in stories from the past and present in a group of no more than 40 people. As you set off on the walk around the 800-year-old city, experience the smells and sounds of the world-renowned English Market bustling with foodie finds. Stroll along the busy lanes of the 18th Century Huguenot Quarter and visit Burges' magnificent French Neo-Gothic cathedral. The 1.25-hour walk takes place in the city center and introduces you to Cork by the River Lee. As you go, explore the history of Cork, from monastic times into the 21st century. Through the joy of storytelling, you'll also learn about other areas and places of historic interest including Shandon and University College Cork. A good walk generates a good appetite and your guide will help you discover a variety of places to eat, drink, and enjoy live music and the best entertainment Cork has to offer during your visit. Your guide will also make sure you have a wonderful day, no matter the weather.

Cork: Fastnet Rock Lighthouse and Cape Clear Island Tour

8. 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.

Cork: Guided Historical Walking Tour

9. 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.

Cork: Cape Clear Island Tour

10. Cork: Cape Clear Island Tour

Take the ferry from Baltimore or Schull Harbour and cross the beautiful waters of Roaring Water Bay. Feel the fresh sea air against your face on a spectacular journey through some of Carbery’s Hundred Isles, some of which are inhabited. Scan the spectacular scenery and look out for whales and dolphins. Cape Clear or Cléire is the largest of these Islands and lies 6 miles from the mainland along the Wild Atlantic Way. With a population of 130 people, Cape Clear is Ireland’s most southerly inhabited island and is one of the few Gaeltacht speaking (Irish speaking) islands in the country. Arrive in the wonderful north harbor on Cape Clear Island and take a shuttle bus to Cape Clear heritage center. There, explore the history of the island and the interactive display about Fastnet Rock. This wild and romantic Island offers visitors an insight into a way of life that has long since disappeared from most of Ireland. Spend some free time exploring Cape Clear. Wander the walking trails, enjoy the spectacular lookout points and spot the 159-feet tall Fastnet Rock Lighthouse in the distance. Enjoy some fresh island produce during lunch at one of the island’s bars and restaurants before heading back.

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What people are saying about Cork

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 431 reviews

Convenient and well-planned, this trip was perfect. I enjoyed the grounds at Blarney Castle the most. I took a beautiful walk along the less touristy edge of the property where I found many locals taking walks alone or with friends or young children. After Blarney we got to see a unique pit-stop that isn't on every tour, perhaps because our group was so small at only three people, of a Cobh cemetery. The cathedral of Cobh was truly spectacular, I was more impressed by this cathedral than any other I've seen in Europe. We only drove through Cork and I thought this would be disappointing but honestly all of the other stops are much more interesting coming from Dublin and having already experienced a city of a similar size.

Well-planned trip, smooth transition between the railway and tour bus and every spot is visiting. Excellent guide and driver. Fair time allowed for each spot for a good travelling experience. Only if the people joining the trip can be punctual in EVERY spot will make it perfect. The trip itself was great.

The 6 day trip across Ireland was awesome! You can see a lot of Ireland in a very short time. Price-performance was also great and the guide was a real local with lots of funny anecdotes. Can definitely be recommended!

This guided tour was amazing. Jonathan was a wonderful host. He gave us a lot of info about the places we visited. Overall I enjoyed this trip

The best was the bus driver. Made the tour much better!