Cork Travel Guide

Browse 30 travel reviews, 31 travel blogs and 1,476 travel photos from real travelers to Cork.

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Cork Overview

Cork come from the Irish term "Corcaigh" meaning "swamp". Straddling the River Lee with the actual center of the city on an island created by a branching of channels, Cork stands as a major Irish seaport in the heart of Munster province, and is the second largest city in Ireland, as well as the third most populated city. Cork has a population of 119,418, while the addition of the suburban areas contained in the county brings the total to 190,384. Known for centuries due to its rebellious nature and its breeding of rebellious men, Cork County is known by many as “the Rebel County”, with a great many locals considering Cork to be the real capital of Ireland. Regardless of its past as a center for uprisings and political rebelliousness, Cork has stood the test of time for centuries, leaving behind a variety of buildings stretching back to medieval days.

Cork is renowned for its annual festivals, and is considered to be one of the most culturally-oriented Irish destinations for people who want an up-close-and-personal taste of what it truly means to be Irish. From the month-long Midsummer Festival in June and July to the Elizabeth Fort Market Festival every Sunday in August and September, there is always something going on to take you away from the city’s beauty.

But beyond the festivals are the wonders of the city. From the University College Cork building to places like Elizabeth Fort, Red Abbey, or St. Finbarr’s Cathedral, there is a mixture of medieval and Gothic sprinkled throughout, giving the visitor a chance to wander Cork through the pages of history. With the River Lee winding its way through and the depth of the harbor itself, Cork has been a major entry and exit point for Ireland for centuries. These days it is home to places like the Heineken Brewery, as well as the European headquarters for Apple Inc., and Pfizer and Novartis both take up a chunk of the local economy. All in all, Cork stands out as a truly modern Irish city that has managed to hang onto its culture and its pride despite moving full-steam ahead into the 21st century.

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