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May 06, 2019



As Corkonians, we are very passionate about our city. We know we offer a selection of exciting and unique things to do and attractions for our visitors to enjoy. Yet, life is like a bungee jump-you have yet to know what it feels like or experience the thrill, but you know it is going to be exhilarating. We love to brag about how amazing our city the “real capital” is. Here we have taken the time to give you our list of “Cork Before You Die”

There is so much to do once you scratch the surface of the city. To help you, we’ve put together a bucket list of 13 (not unlucky for you!) attractions, tips & tricks aimed at those who want to get to know the city and county enjoy some of what Cork has to offer.

Also Read Top 20 Things to do in Cork

1. Catch a film

Enjoy a different movie each night in Cork's only hotel with an in-house hotel cinema. Relax at the end of a busy day with a drink in our state of the art, 50-seater cinema 'The Cameo'. During your stay with us enjoy a complimentary movie, which are themed each month. Another unconventional cinema, Triskel Christchurch. Because the screen is in a church, they are limited to showing two films a day. But how often do you get to sit in a pew and watch a movie in restored 18th century church?

2. Visit the Crawford Art Gallery

Located in the city of Cork, Crawford Art Gallery is open seven days a week and free to enter, Crawford Art Gallery, is home to a collection of national importance and is a must see for locals and tourists alike. The Crawford Art Gallery offers a range of free, family-friendly activities every Sunday, including guided gallery tours, musical performances, kids' art workshops and storytelling sessions. Having earned the status of a “National Cultural Institution” back in 2006, it has steadily become a key establishment for the research and study of art in Cork. Crawford Art Gallery is a perfect rainy day place to go when in the city.

3. Kiss the Blarney Stone

A first-time trip to Cork wouldn’t be complete without a visit to this famous Irish stone. For over 200 years the tradition of kissing this stone has been woven into the fabric of Irish folklore. Originally pilgrims would be lowered by their ankles to kiss the stone! However times have changed, visitors merely lower themselves backwards whilst holding onto an iron rail. Once you have kissed the legendary Stone of Eloquence, take a wander through acres of sprawling parklands which include gardens, avenues, arboretums and waterways.

4. Cork Opera House

A trip to this city wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the world-class Cork Opera House. Cork Opera House has had a glorious history of both culture and architecture dating back to its inception in 1852. Showcasing an impressive program of international sensations in the world of opera and theatre, this is the perfect place to spend a night on the town, when in town.

5.Experience a place of Punishment, once called “Ireland’s Hell”

Spike Island is an island of 103 acres in Cork Harbour, Ireland. Originally the site of a monastic settlement, it has been host to a 24 acre Fortress, the largest convict depot in the world during the Victorian era. Today the island is dominated by an 18th-century star fort named Fort Mitchel, the star-shaped fortress which became a prison holding for over 2300 prisoners. The island's strategic location within the harbour meant it was used at times for defence and as a prison. Take the scenic 15 miniute ferry from Cobh and enjoy fully guided tours of the island and fortress.

6. A concert with a “pew”

Enjoy a concert with Live at St.Luke’s, a truly spectacular environment. This venue is a former church, where the acoustics are outstanding and guests are seated on original church pews. For a little more comfort we advise perhaps bringing a cushion! During your stay with us in the award-winning Montenotte Hotel, take the short walk to St.Luke’s cross which is located a brief 450m from the property. Making the unique Montenotte Hotel the perfect choice for a pre-concert dinner while taking in the spectacular views of Cork city and beyond.

7. Take a stroll

After a busy day, whether at meetings in the city or shopping in Cork’s many malls, we invite you to wander through our Sunken Victorian Garden and enjoy the aromatic scents of lavender, myrtle and rosemary while the soothing sound of our fountain relaxes both mind and body. Or enjoy a visit to Fitzgerald’s Park, built for Cork’s International Exhibition, this beautiful park features sculptures, a Cork Museum, the Riverview Café, a waterlily covered pond, and a bridge famously known as the ‘shaky bridge’ which goes over the River Lee.


8. Enhale the scents from around the world in The English Market

Forget the Queen, it was the Young Offenders that made the English Market famous! Serving the Cork city since 1788, spoil yourself with a delightful array of local produce. It also has a legion of celebrity fans – with chef Rick Stein quoted as saying that “this is the best covered market in the UK and Ireland” . The market is still best known for its fresh fish and butchers, and it serves many of the city's top restaurants. So be sure to stroll around the stalls and sample some of the local artisan food, chatting to the producers as you go.

9. Go West

The West Cork Farm Tours are five local family farms where the owners are only too delighted to welcome you, show you what their farm is about and explain the intricacies of farming whether it be Dairy, Beef or Pork. Each farm is more than a commodity, it’s a way of life where no two days are the same! All the farms are located in/near Clonakilty, Rosscarbery and Skibbereen, Co. Cork which is approximately a one hour drive from The Montenotte Hotel.

10. Take in a Show

Soak up the history of the beautiful Everyman Palace. This listed building is a jewel of late Victorian architecture, which celebrated its 120th birthday in 2017. The building is steeped in history and the auditorium is a favourite with audiences and performers alike for its intimacy and atmosphere. Or visit the only purpose built opera house in the country which also has one of the largest stages in Ireland, Cork Opera House.

11. Have you visited an Urban Oasis?

Nano Nagle Place is an unexpected oasis in the centre of bustling Cork city. The heritage experience engagingly describes life in 18th century Cork before going on to tell the story of how Nano Nagle worked tirelessly to help and educate the poor and needy of the city. The visitor can then interactively explore how the congregation she founded, the Presentation Sisters, travelled across the globe to continue her work. This attraction celebrates Nano Nagle of the Presentation Sisters’s vision of empowerment through education, community inclusion and spiritual engagement for a contemporary world. The complex houses a heritage experience, gardens, a café, shop and the beautifully regenerated convent buildings are home to several educational charities. 

13. Listen to the Sound of Music

The boy choristers in the 17th century were called pueri symphonie. The present choir consists of boy choristers, girl choristers, choral scholars and lay vicars choral. The boys attend choir practices are Wednesday 5.30p.m. – 7.00p.m. and Friday 4.30p.m. – 5.30p.m, don’t forget to leave a donation! Situated near the heart of Cork, St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral is the most recent ecclesiastical site located where the saint is believed to have founded his monastic school in the 7th century. . The building contains more than 1,260 sculptures, a particularly ornate pulpit and even a 24-lb cannonball, a legacy of the Siege of Cork in 1690.

14. Visit the Hobbits

Glenview gardens is a beautiful 3 acre garden with amazing designs and fun for all the family in West Cork. Full of surprises, each garden style flowing into the next, including: Chinese, Japanese, Mediterranean, woodland and bog gardens. Wander over the birch mound, which is surrounded by the wildflower meadow, into the walled kitchen garden to view the seasonal vegetables.  The kids will have great fun visiting the Hobbit House built right through the birch mound or searching for the fairy houses in the Fairies woods.


Whether you’re in Cork for the weekend or longer, there’s so much to do once you scratch the surface of the beautiful. Cork is a culturally vibrant city located in the Southwest of Ireland with lots of things to do and places to see. Only a couple of hours drive from the Dublin capital and various access points, Cork makes for a great additional stop on an Irish trip or weekend away. Also did you know that Cork was voted the world’s third friendliest city in 2018 and Europe’s culturally vibrant city in 2017? With some of Europe’s and the world’s leading tourist attraction, Cork most certainly is a city to experience before you die. We will keep adding….you keep visiting! #StayUnique

Please do share the airticle with your friends. Since you are interested to travel to Cork we are sure you will like to read our article on  Top 20 Things to do in Cork

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The Montenotte blog


Yes… the largest Sculpture Exhibition in Ireland is now open at The Montenotte Hotel

By Ray Kelleher – Director of Sales & Marketing

A stunning Sculpture Exhibition has been installed at our hotel this week, here at The Montenotte Hotel, in the sunken Victorian Gardens and will be on-site for the next four weeks, in association with the prestigious amazing The Kildare Gallery.

In keeping with our company’s commitment to support Irish art and culture, 38 sculptures by 18 Irish artists, including Bob Quinn, Stephanie Hess and Donnacha Cahill have now adorned the gardens. The works range in themes, scale and materials including ceramic, bronze, bog oak and copper steel.

With so many events, including showcase events like Bloom, cancelled, our exhibition is now the largest outdoor exhibition of its kind in Ireland this year!

We now encourage as many locals and visitors as possible to visit the Sculpture Exhibition and wander around the wonder of these secret gardens, which were only recently rediscovered and restored to their former glory of 100 years ago.  Your body and mind will truly relax as you peruse the art, breathe in the aromatic scents of lavender, myrtle and rosemary, and listen to the soothing sounds of the water fountain.

You can also take in the spectacular views of the exhibition, Victorian Gardens and Cork city from a high from the recently refurbished Panorama Terrace. We just ask that you pop to the hotel reception and register your details to gain access.

For myself, I am only just with the hotel less than 2 weeks and there is no doubt that this is one of Ireland’s most instragrammable hotels and the sculpture exhibition enhances this.

We hosted a press call to launch the exhibition with the Lord Mayor Cllr Joe Kavanagh and the Lady Mayoress Stephanie this week and our General Manager Brian Bowler commented , “We are delighted to host such a magnificent Sculpture Exhibition in association with the Kildare Gallery, after a hugely successful inaugural event in 2019.  It’s part of our ongoing ethos to support Irish artists, and it has never been more important to do, as the arts community has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. To see these incredible sculptures against the backdrop of our re-discovered sunken Victorian gardens is a stunning sight to behold”.

It was also great to meet Ruth Liddle from the Kildare Gallery who is the curator of the exhibition. I feel my artistic knowledge has grown since I arrived at The Montenotte Hotel.

The Sculpture Exhibition will run until September 26th.  All of the pieces are available to purchase with The Kildare Gallery and for more information about visiting the exhibition see here

Ray Kelleher
Director of Sales & Marketing
The Montenotte Hotel

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~ Launch of our call and collect ‘Pure Cork Afternoon Tea’ ~
~ This special treat is perfect for cocooning loved ones and will support local producers and charity Our Hospital Heroes ~

Does lockdown have you pining for dainty finger sandwiches, fluffy scones and mouth-watering desserts? If you have a special occasion coming up, want to treat cocooning loved ones, or host a small socially distanced garden gathering when restrictions are eased, fear not, as Cork’s we have put Afternoon Tea back on the menu with the launch of a new call and collect service - available from Saturday 16th May! Orders will be taken from Friday 14th May. 

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This Saturday, on February 1st, I ventured down to Cork for a weekend break in the picturesque and beautifully modern, Montenotte Hotel.
As they say, January is the only month with twice as many days as the rest. Maybe it’s the post-Christmas, back to reality, dark at 4pm aspect, but January really does drag. The first day of Spring was the perfect time for a trip away. Matt drove and we arrived to check-in at 2pm, bringing the total journey time to just under 3 hours.

As always, if anyone has any questions regarding the stay, please do let me know. I am always happy to answer!
All my foodie love,

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