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Top 21 Things To Do In Cork

In no particular order, here is a list of the top 21 things to do in Cork, experiences to make your stay unique.

#1 Cork City Gaol

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See one of the finest examples of Ireland’s architectural heritage and gain a fascinating insight into daily prison life in the 19th century.

#2 Fota Wildlife Park

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Walk amongst animals from all over the world. No holiday to Ireland or Cork is complete without spending a couple of hours exploring Fota Wildlife Park, its inhabitants and the amazing scenery of an Island that is located right at the heart of one of the biggest and most beautiful natural harbours in the world.

#3 Ring The Shandon Bells

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Get your hands on a piece of real Cork history. Ring the famous bells then climb the 132 steps to see across the rooftops of the city from 120 feet up.

#4 Blackrock Castle

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Situated in an historic 16th century castle and nestled in the River Lee Harbour, a trip to CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory is filled with fun and educational things to do for kids, families, school groups and science enthusiasts.

#5 Blarney Castle

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The famous castle, built nearly 600 years ago, is a must see when visiting Cork. Home of the Blarney Stone, which according to legend, when kissed bestows the gift of eloquence.

#6 English Market

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At the heart of the city is one of the oldest covered markets in the world. Its many varied stalls have attracted millions of visitors, amongst them the Queen of England. Considered by Rick Stein to be ‘the best covered market in the UK and Ireland’ it is an essential stop while in Cork.

#7 Cork Butter Museum

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Discover the history of Ireland’s most important export and
visit the world’s largest butter market.

#8 Crawford Art Gallery

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Art lovers won’t want to miss out on the beautiful Crawford Art Gallery with over 2500 works, ranging from eighteenth century Irish and European paintings and sculptures, through to contemporary video installations, all housed in the magnificent 18th Century building

#9 Spike Island

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Take the ferry from Cobh to Spike Island to visit the historical fort come prison. Guided tours are available and it’s also pleasant to stroll around the island itself with its delightful views of Cork harbour.

#10 Triskel Arts Theatre

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Triskel Arts Theatre is the self proclaimed principle centre for the arts in Cork City. Theatre, cinema, live music, visual art and events are all enriched by the beautiful setting of the 18th Century Christchurch building

#11 Cork Opera House

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The best live entertainment in Cork for 160 years, Cork Opera House is the place to go for theatre, concerts, dance, musicals, films, opera and much more. Also incorporating The Half Moon Theatre for more intimate events, there’s always something worth seeing.

#12 St. Finbarre's Cathedral

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Not to be missed on any visit to Cork is this gothic cathedral designed by noteworthy architect William Burges. Its flamboyant grandeur includes spires, gargoyles, elaborate sculptures and even a cannonball embedded in a tower during the 1690 Siege of Cork. Occasionally hosts classical music recitals too.

#13 Golf

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Cork is a golfer’s paradise and the county is home to some truly exceptional courses. From the breathtaking links at the Old Head of Kinsale, perched on the edge of the wild Atlantic, to the outstanding natural landscapes of Fota Island Golf Club, home of the Irish Open for many years, one is never far from a world class golf course in Cork

#14 The Jameson Experience

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Take a tour of the famous distillery at Midleton with more than two centuries of tradition and craft to appreciate. Getting to taste the various whiskies is, of course, also a very good reason to visit.

#15 The Titanic Experience

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Located in the original White Star Line ticket office where the infamous ship picked up its last 123 passengers before embarking on that fateful journey, the Titanic Experience endeavours to recreate the events and atmosphere of the Titanic’s maiden voyage to New York. The town of Cobh, where it is situated, is also well worth a visit with its quaint pubs, many colourful Victorian buildings and magnificent cathedral.

#16 Greyhound Racing

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If you're looking for something different for a great night out, you’ll find it at Curraheen Park Greyhound Stadium. Nothing beats the excitement of greyhound racing which can also be enjoyed from the comfort of the bar or restaurant, with table- side betting.

#17 Fishing

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With some of the best deep sea, shoreline and river fishing, Cork is a fisherman’s heaven, Take a charter boat out of the harbour to catch blue shark, ray, bass, cod and much more. Fly fish in Ireland’s finest salmon river, the Blackwater. Or take yourself off to one of our many beaches or cliffs to reel in the mackerel.

#18 Cork City Historic Walking Tours

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Trace the 800 year history of Cork City, the current day sights and sounds of this vibrant city and the characters of Cork. At the same time discover the best places to eat, drink and hear some live music.

#19 Franciscan Well Tour

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Craft beer is having a renaissance period in Ireland right now and the country’s number 1 craft brewery is a great place to learn all about the process and sample its results. Tours and tastings run Monday to Friday from 6:30pm but the brew pub is open lunchtime till late every day, serving pizzas and of course, Franciscan Well craft beers.

#20 The Everyman Theatre

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Just down the hill from the Montenotte Hotel, the Everyman is one of Ireland’s leading middle scale presenting and producing theatres. The beautiful 650 seat theatre is a jewel of late Victorian architecture. A listed building, the theatre is steeped in history and is a favourite with audiences and performers alike for its intimacy and atmosphere.

#21 Patrick's Street Shopping

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St. Patrick's Street, affectionately called 'Pana' by older Corkonians, is the main shopping street in Cork and the heart of the city. Since its redevelopment in 2004, it has twice won the award as Ireland's best shopping street. It has a quirky mix of old and new shops, markets, cafes, pubs and restaurants, all within a comfortable stroll of each other.

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