University College Cork

About Cork, Guide and Top Tourist Attractions
(Cork, County Cork, Ireland)

Cork is Ireland's third city, after Dublin and Belfast. It is located on the southwestern coast of Ireland, where tourists often flock to enjoy the clean harbour view and watch for docking ships and boats.

Cork gets its name from the Irish word cocrach, which means marshy place. The City straddles the River Lee, making it a primary seaport. The river flows into Cork Harbour, the largest natural harbour in the world. Its location is central to its economy - the City thrives largely on harbour operations, although in recent years have seen a surge in the pharmaceuticals industry as well.

Cork locals (fondly called Corkonians) are noted for their unique accent, characterised by rising and falling intonations. They are said to be the most talkative of the Irish, as well as the most friendly and hospitable.

Cork has a diverse and vibrant culture, with music, film, dance, and theatre getting ample subsidy from the City government. Institutions such as the Cork School of Music and the Crawford College of Art and Design keep a constant flow of new talent in the city, and several art galleries and concert halls are the first venues for many promising Irish artists.

What to do in Cork

For a quick overview of the City, first-time visitors can join a walking or boat tour around the City. West Cork Tours offers day tours around West Cork, where historic castles and coastal retreats abound. You can also go on a whale-watching tour, offered by West Cork Marine Tours, where you can watch and even swim with minke, humpback, and fin whales.

Cork is famous for its live music events, usually staged at such venues as Cyprus Avenue and Reardens. Nightlife in Cork is always buzzing, with such clubs as Club FX and Freakscene providing the perfect party atmosphere for young tourists.

If you are in Cork around mid-October, you can catch the Cork Film Festival. Easily one of Ireland's premier cultural events, the festival includes films of all types and genres, from big-budget commercial flicks to independent and experimental films.

Tourist Attractions

Cork is home to several architectural masterpieces, the most famous being the Shandon Church tower. With a red and white sandstone finish, the tower dominates northern Cork. Its main point of interest are the clocks built onto all four sides, which seem to show different times when viewed from the base. This has earned it the nickname 'Four-faced Liar,' coined by the Corkonians themselves.

Also worth your time is Saint Finbarre's Cathedral, a fantasy-like mix of pointed towers and rounded walls. Named after Cork's patron saint, the Cathedral has undergone several restorations since its early medieval days. Today, the Cathedral houses the Organ, a 130-year-old wooden organ, and the Resurrection Angel, a copper and gold leaf statue located at the pinnacle of the tower sanctuary.

The Cork city hall offers a great nighttime view. Fronting the River Lee, the sprawling limestone building is lit up in the evening and reflects off the water. The result is a majestic play of soft yellow light on the dark waterĐa sight definitely worth seeing.

Cork University

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