The Republic of Ireland’s second-largest and third most populous city, Cork is nevertheless second to none in the eyes of Corkonians, who refer to the city on the River Lee as the “real capital of Ireland”. County Cork, which takes its name from the city, is sometimes known colloquially as “The Rebel County” in reference to its role in the Irish War of Independence and even today its inhabitants are known among their countrymen for their pride and sense of identity.
In recent decades, Corkonians have gained another reason to sing the city’s praises (yet another reason to take cheap flights to Cork). The county has become renowned as a foodie mecca, with excellent local produce and top eating establishments such as the restaurant of Shanagarry’s famed Ballymaloe House gaining international acclaim for their mastery of traditional Irish cuisine. Cork’s gastronomic prowess is such that it is even one of the reasons given for the city being named by Lonely Planet as one of the top ten cities in the world to visit.
Cork’s climate is mild, with rain throughout the year and low likelihood of either extremely warm or extremely cold conditions. The city is, however, one of Ireland’s sunniest, with an average of 3.8 hours of sunshine every day. The summer months of June, July and August are generally the warmest and driest and the winter months of December, January and February usually the coldest and wettest.
The summer months of July and August are Cork’s busiest in terms of tourism as this is when the weather is usually warmest and driest.
The winter months usually comprise Cork’s quietest period for tourism, as this is when the weather is coldest and wettest, and this is reflected in accommodation and travel prices and availability. However, the months immediately surrounding the July and August peak months (May, June and September) often enjoy favourable weather but are outside the high season’s crowds and price increases.
The city of Cork has a relatively small town centre, with major tourist attractions, nightlife, restaurants, and shops within easy walking distance of each other.
For those wishing to travel to the outer and largely residential suburbs however, there are bus services departing from the Parnell Place bus station or main shopping thoroughfare Patrick’s Street.