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Cork, the precious gem of the Republic of Ireland, Cork the revolutionary – a fair description for a city that fought more than any other for the Irish Independence. If you wish to see the liveliest city of Ireland, you will definitely want to consider searching for cheap air tickets to Cork, “Ireland’s real capital”, as its proud residents never forget to state. Extending around River Lee, Cork’s historic centre attracts many travellers, visitors and locals seeking to shop, wander around or visit some interesting and exciting sites and museums. Organise your accommodation in Cork and don’t miss out on the chance to know better a city of such historical heritage, natural beauty and cultural consistency. And with so welcoming locals, in Cork, you’ll feel at home!
The name “Cork” stems from the Irish phrase “Corcach Mór Mumhan”, meaning “Munster’s great swamp”.
Cork knew many conquerors and invaders; from the Vikings to the Normans and the English, they all tried really hard to invade the city. Hence its strong and extensive fortifications; Cork is one of the most heavily fortified cities of medieval Ireland.
Modern Cork is a fully competent rival of the Irish capital, even though noticeably smaller.
With a population of 125,000 and growing and holding the title of the “European Capital of Culture 2005”, Cork went through a major restoration process; it now emerges more modern, cutting-edge and beautiful than ever.
Cork is also a popular university town, with the student population giving the city a distinct youthful energy. Visit Cork and see for yourself, this is a true Irish gem!
Cork’s airport (Aerfort Chorcaí) is located 6 kilometres south of the city centre and can be reached by bus.
You can get around Cork by bus (Bus Eireann). Fares start at 1.80€ and minimum taxi fare costs around 4.10€.
You couldn’t start your day in Cork in a better way than with a visit to the Crawford Art Gallery, one of Ireland’s best galleries!
Collections span a period of time from the 17th century till today and include masterpieces by famous Irish artists like Jack B. Yeats, Nathaniel Grogan, William Orpen, Sir John Lavery and James Barry.
Next stop, the fairy-tale Blarney Castle, famous for its Blarney stone; some say it’s part of Jerusalem’s western wall, sole remnant of Solomon's Temple, others it’s part of the Stone of Scone, used in the coronation of the Scottish and English monarchs.
This beautiful castle is more popular for its mysterious stone; legends say that whoever kisses it while hanging upside down, will receive the gift of eloquence!
The second most recognisable landmark of Cork is the Church of St. Anne, also known as the Shandon Church. You can see the church’s bell tower from every corner of the city; you can even ring the bells yourself, once you climb to the top!
Head to the English Market to shop meat, fish, fruit, vegetables and traditional Irish delicacies. The market dates back to 1610, making it an authentic “old” experience!
You couldn’t leave Cork without visiting the Cork City Gaol; but be prepared for a very strong and moving experience. What now is a famous tourist attraction and a marvellous building, once served as a prison. In these cells many significant personalities of the Irish War of Independence, among others, were imprisoned, of whom you’ll know all once you’ve gone through the guided tours and seen audio-visual presentations, amazing life-sized wax figures and original memorabilia of the inmates.
For the record, the prison was closed down in 1923 and was re-opened as a radio station, in 1927. The radio wing is now a Radio Museum worth taking a look at before you go.