Cork Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Cork

Cork is one of the biggest city in Ireland,also called “The Rebel City”. The cultural diversity of the city attracts thousand tourists every year. Find out what can you visit if you decided to go there by browsing this list of top tourist attractions.
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Cork Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Cork Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: Ireland » Cork (See other walking tours in Cork)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
Author: Caroline
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Father Mathew Statue
  • St. Patrick's Street
  • St. Peter and Paul's Church
  • English Market
  • Oliver Plunkett Street
  • Elizabeth Fort
  • St. Fin Barre's Cathedral
  • University College Cork
  • Fitzgerald Park
  • Cork City Gaol
Father Mathew Statue

1) Father Mathew Statue

The Knights of Father Mathew was a Catholic temperance society that originated in Ireland and promoted complete abstinence from intoxicating liquors. It was founded in Cork in 1838 by Theobald Mathew, a Capuchin friar – generally known as Father Mathew. Under his influence, branches the organization spread throughout Ireland, though it was badly disrupted by the Great Irish Famine. A biography, written shortly after his death, credits Mathew's work with a reduction in Irish crime figures of the era. The landmark statue of Father Mathew is located at north end of St. Patrick's Street.
Sight description based on wikipedia
St. Patrick's Street

2) St. Patrick's Street

St. Patrick's Street, the main street of the city which was remodelled in the mid-2000s, is known for the architecture of the buildings along its pedestrian-friendly route and is the main shopping thoroughfare. It is dominated at its north end by the landmark statue of Father Mathew. Cork's main shopping street is the most expensive street in the country per sq. metre after Dublin's Grafton Street. Since its redevelopment in 2004, it has twice won the award as Ireland's best shopping street. St Patrick's Street is colloquially known to some locals as "Pana".
Sight description based on wikipedia
St. Peter and Paul's Church

3) St. Peter and Paul's Church

A hidden gem that cozily resides on St. Patrick's street in Cork and dates to mid-18th century – an era when it was prohibited for Catholic churches to be built on the main road. Nevertheless, this brilliantly designed church will manage to grab your attention, standing as a brilliant specimen of Neo-Gothic architecture.

St. Peter and Paul's Church was designed by Edward Welby Pugin whose father, Augustus Pugin, was responsible for reviving the Gothic style in architecture. Uncharacteristic to Gothic architecture, however, this church lacks a spire, due to insufficient funds and for fear that the structure would fail to support its weight.

Though the church impresses on the outside, the true beauty of the design and structure is found on the inside. With pillars of red marble and strong wood framework, the interiors are surely worth admiring. A few special mentions go to the high-raised altar designed by Ashlin, the intricately carved Russian oak pulpit and the stained glass windows that give the church an artistic feel and make the entire experience worth remembering.

Why You Should Visit:
The attention to detail in the architecture is exquisite.
Lots to see and lots of photo opportunities.

Free to visit or leave a donation.
English Market

4) English Market (must see)

The English Market is a municipal food market in the center of Cork city, Ireland. It stretches from Princes Street to the Grand Parade, and combines Princes Street Market and Grand Parade Market. The market is regarded for both its mid-19th century architecture and locally produced artisan food.

The market has become a tourist attraction, has developed an international reputation, and has been described by chef Rick Stein as the "best covered market in the UK and Ireland".

The term English Market was coined in the 19th century to distinguish the market from the nearby St. Peter's Market, which was known as the Irish Market. There has been a market on the present site since 1788 when it was opened as a meat shambles and known as "new markets".

Today the market centres around a cast iron fountain, and is typically entered via either a tripartite facade on Princes Street, or a bayed entrance from the Grand Parade. The market is known for its interior; which consists of a gabled central bay, central archways, and stained glass lunette windows.

A variety of different fresh produce from around the world can be bought in the English market. The market is still best known however for its fresh fish and butchers, and it serves many of the city's top restaurants. It is a source of local specialities such as drisheen, spiced beef, and buttered eggs.

Queen Elizabeth II visited the market during her 2011 state visit to Ireland as did Charles, Prince of Wales during his visit in 2018. Both were served by fishmonger Pat O'Connell. In 2016 and 2017, the English Market was used as a location for the film The Young Offenders and the subsequent TV series of the same name.

Why You Should Visit:
Clean and charming old-fashioned market with a wide choice of top quality Irish food. Ideal for local self-catering, but also for some quick sampling.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 8am-6pm; closed on Sundays
Sight description based on wikipedia
Oliver Plunkett Street

5) Oliver Plunkett Street

Oliver Plunkett Street (Irish: Sráid Olibhéir Pluincéid) is a key shopping street in Cork, Ireland. It was originally laid-out in the early 18th century as the city expanded eastwards beyond the original city walls. It was the only street in Ireland on a shortlist for the 'Great Street Award 2016' by London's Academy of Urbanism. The street runs in a straight line from Custom House Street to Grand Parade. Between Grand Parade and Parnell Place, the street is a shopping street. With the exception of the secondary entrance to the Penneys department store, most retailers on the street are small standalone retailers. However, there are a number of chain retailers that operate smaller stores too. This section of the street is also home to Cork's main Post Office. A small lane, known as Market Lane, provides access to the English Market.
It is also one of a number of nightlife centres in Cork - although there are more bars and restaurants on the neighbouring sidestreets than on Oliver Plunkett Street itself.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Elizabeth Fort

6) Elizabeth Fort

Elizabeth Fort is a 17th-century star fort off Barrack Street in Cork, Ireland. Originally built as a defensive fortification on high-ground outside the city walls, the city eventually grew around the fort, and it took on various other roles – including use as a military barracks, prison, and police station. Since 2014, the fort has seen some development as a tourism heritage site, reportedly attracting 36,000 visitors during 2015. The walls of the fort have been accessible to the public on a regular basis since September 2014.
Sight description based on wikipedia
St. Fin Barre's Cathedral

7) St. Fin Barre's Cathedral (must see)

Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral, (Irish: 'Ardeaglais Naomh Fionnbarra') is a cathedral of the Church of Ireland in Cork city, Ireland. The site of the cathedral has been a place of worship since the 7th century. The three spires of the cathedral are one of Cork's main landmarks. A Medieval Cathedral was situated on the site prior to the 18th century building, but few traces of it are visible.

The cathedral was damaged during the Siege of Cork in 1689/90, when it came under fire from the nearby Elizabeth Fort. When the steeple was demolished in 1865, a 24-pound cannonball from the siege was discovered, which is now on display in the cathedral.

Architect William Burges began work on the present Gothic Revival cathedral in 1862. Burges gave a Resurrection Angel, made of copper and gold leaf, which is located on the pinnacle of the sanctuary roof. There is a local superstition which states that if ever the angel falls, it would signify the end of the world.

Why You Should Visit:
Majestic Victorian cathedral with magnificent stained glass and lots of exterior detail.
Houses an enormous organ with all pipes on display.
Beautiful garden and labyrinth.

Climb up the steep, dark staircase to be rewarded with a simply stunning view of Cork.
Sight description based on wikipedia
University College Cork

8) University College Cork (must see)

Found as a college in 1845, Queen’s College Cork, became a university in 1908 and was renamed in 1998 as University College Cork, better known as UCC. With over 17,000 registered students, UCC is well known for its quality of education. What is surprising is that the University also serves as a famous tourist spot for visitors in Cork. The UCC Visitor’s Centre also runs guided tours of the University buildings on a daily basis. These tours are a useful insight into the history and culture of the college.

Overlooking the valley of Lee, Deane and Woodward built the Tudor Gothic Quadrangle and the university’s early buildings. The Stone Corridor of the Quadrangle is a collection of Ogham Stones. Believed to be gravestones of the renowned members of the Celtic tribe, these stones belong to at least the third century, if not earlier.

Set up in 1880, The Crawford Observatory has an equatorial telescope along with a siderostatic one. One can visit this site to get answers to some astronomical questions and gaze at some lighter stars in the sky. Later, one can stroll freely in the President’s garden, which was out of public limits until the 1960s. Some trees in this garden like the Redwoods, oaks and beeches date back to 1800 when the university was founded.

Like the city, the University too has fascinating buildings and stories associated with them. A guided tour on your visit has much more to tell.

Why You Should Visit:
Arguably the most particular campus culture you will see in Ireland.
Gardens and outdoor spaces are praiseworthy, making this a great location to get away from the traffic and tourist areas.

The Glucksman Gallery on campus is listed among the '1001 Buildings You Must See Before You Die'...
Sight description based on wikipedia
Fitzgerald Park

9) Fitzgerald Park (must see)

If you enjoy taking long strolls where you are surrounded by nature and get to encounter the works of prominent artists, then Fitzgerald Park is for you.

Just about 20 minutes by walk from the City Centre, the Fitzgerald Park offers its visitors a pleasant change from the city. Home to the Cork Public Museum, the park is a perfect destination for a sunny day or a bank holiday where children can run around, play and you can bask in its scenic beauty. Situated on the banks of the River Lee, the Fitzgerald Park offers a perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Unwind with its picturesque beauty and relax by taking a long walk along the river. The Fitzgerald Park has long been a popular destination among both locals and visitors, who love to spend their time away from the busy city life.

The park was named after Edward Fitzgerald, who served as the Lord Mayor of Cork between 1901 and 1903. Spread over 18 acres of land, you get to see a beautifully planned park and also catch a glimpse of the works of some of the finest artists like Seamus Murphy, Edward Delaney, Marshal Hutson, Joseph Higgins, James Horan, and Oisin Kelly.

Why You Should Visit:
A very friendly place to have a picnic, read a book, attend performances and much more.

Check locally for events and free gigs happening on the lawn.
Cork City Gaol

10) Cork City Gaol (must see)

Transport yourself to the 19th century and get a feel of how the prisoners were detained back then. Located 2 km from Patrick’s st. is the Cork City Gaol, one of the main visitor attractions of Cork. This fortress stands as an example of the city's brilliant architectural and historical heritage.

A hit amongst all aged visitors the City Gaol lets you in on the day to day activities and lives of those who were kept prisoners in the facility. The City Gaol makes an extra impact with its life-sized wax models, sound effects and other image presentations. A self-guided tour with sound aid is available in 12 different languages which include French, Germany, Italian, English, Irish, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Dutch, Japanese, Swedish, and Spanish. With prior notice, you can also arrange for a personal guided tour and even a night visit at the City Gaol. Educational programs can also be arranged with the museum authorities with prior intimation. If you are planning on a visit between May to September, check for the open top bus facility that picks and drops visitors from the Gaol.

Take home memories and mementos at the souvenir shop and have a fun time with family and friends at the Cork City Gaol.

Another fun visit to the same location is the Radio Museum. The Radio museum exhibits a 6 CK Radio Broadcasting studio along with many artifacts that are sure to take you on a nostalgic ride.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the best attractions in Cork and Ireland as a whole.
Not too expensive, with also some great views of the city.

Bring something warm to wear, as the thick walls keep the building pretty chilly.
Note, also, that if you're not the fittest, you may want to get a taxi or tour bus to the location, as there are some steep hills to climb.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-4pm

Walking Tours in Cork, Ireland

Create Your Own Walk in Cork

Create Your Own Walk in Cork

Creating your own self-guided walk in Cork is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Cork Heritage Pub Trail

Cork Heritage Pub Trail

A truly fun way to explore the city, the Cork Heritage Pub Trail takes you on a journey through time while enjoying great pints of Irish ale and hardy pub food. The city of Cork has a long history, and some of this history can be found in its modern pubs. From an old pharmacy to a former gentleman’s club, modern establishments make good use of the antiquated architecture and each pub included on...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles