Places to see in cork city

Car Rental Ireland provides you with cheap car rental in the heart of Cork City centre. We also provide you with access to up to date information about best activities in around Ireland with our car hire located at specific locations for your ease of pick up and drop off.

Cork City (Corcaigh in Irish) located on the south coast of Ireland, it is a second-largest city in Ireland and the largest city in the province of Munster.

Cork City is one of the oldest cities in Ireland and has a rich archaeological record. Cork was built on estuarine islands in the marshy valley and gradually developed up to the steep hills rising to the north and south. The earliest recorded settlement was the 7th-century monastery founded by St. Finbarrs.

The city continued to develop throughout the 13th and 14th sentries as an important port. By the fifteenth century, the city was dominated by wealthy merchants such as Galway, the Tirrys and the Skiddys who also held civic positions. The fortunes of the city did decline however in the late 15th century when the gaelisiced nobility took on a stronger role. The sixteenth century was, in general, a turbulent time in Ireland and in 1690 the medieval walls were damaged by siege and later demolished to what was then ground level.

The 18th century was a time of a great prosperity and change. A visitor to the city will find themselves crossing many fine bridges as a result. Cork City’s main thoroughfare St. Patrick’s Street was once a river channel which was culverted and filled in during the 18th century.

Above ground, there are surviving ancient structures such as Red Abbey Tower (15th century) and Elizabeth Fort (early 17th century). However, the buried archaeology of Cork embraces every era of Cork’s development.

This was a really short history overview of Cork City. Here is the list of Car Rental Ireland recommended places in Cork City when you are visiting;

Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral

St Finbarres Cathedral

St Fin Barre's Cathedral is dedicated to him, the cathedral is one of the iconic building in the centre of Cork City, it is free to view but sometimes you could be requested to help with the upkeep but after seeing the impeccable condition of the building you will see why this amazing building been around for so long.

Church of Anne Shandon

Just fifteen minutes' walk from the main street, St. Anne's Church, better known as Shandon or the Four Face Liar because of its four sided clock tower, telling different times before being modernised, is a local treasure. This church has been described as, “The most important ecclesiastical structure of any period, within the Cork City”. You can enjoy the unique experience of ringing the world famous Shandon Bells from the first floor. Climb 132 steps and see spectacular 360 degree view.

St Anne's Church

Crawford Art Gallery

This space is beautiful, and the fact that is a free venture around many floors art from various styles makes it well worth stopping in. Crawford Art Gallery is a National Cultural Institution and regional art museum for Munster, dedicated to the visual arts, both historic and contemporary. The permanent collection comprises over 2500 works, ranging from eighteenth century Irish and European painting and sculpture, through to contemporary video installations.

Crawford Gallery

Cork City Gaol

Cork City Gaol is a former prison that because of a museum in nowadays. It is very interesting place to visit. You receive an audiobook as you walk around which explain each part of the jail and introduce you to some of the inmates. You are allowed access to most parts of the jail which shows you what life in the jail must have been like. The grounds are also quite pretty.

Cork city Gaol


If you are a fan of a Titanic movie you definitely need to visit this small village next to Cork City, Cobh. There is a lot to see and learn about the titanic and its visit to Cobh. Cobh, known from 1849 until 1920 as Queenstown, is a tourist seaport town on the south coast of County Cork, Ireland. One of the major transatlantic Irish ports, the former Queenstown was the departure point for 2.5 million of the six million Irish people who emigrated to North America between 1848 and 1950. On 11 April 1912, Queenstown was famously the final port of call for the RMS Titanic when she set out across the Atlantic on her ill-fated maiden voyage.

Spike Island

Spike Island is home to Fortress Spike, the fortress built to defend an empire that became the largest prison in the world during the famine years. Over 2300 prisoners were crammed onto this beautiful 104 acre island but this is just a small part of the Spike Island story.

First a monastery in the 6th century, then a smugglers paradise, before work began on the fort which would see Winston Churchill describe Spike as 'the sentinel tower of the defences of Western Europe'. The Fort would house both the British and Irish military for over 100 years before it became a prison again in the 1980’s.

Today visitors can enjoy a short and scenic ferry ride before seeing the 1850’s Punishment block and modern prison cells, Irelands largest military gun park, the 6" harbour guns set deep in the forts tunnels, the 24 acre star shaped Fort Mitchel and the beautiful 104 acres of this ancient island. Will you escape from Fortress Spike?

Spike Island, Cobh

Fota Wildlife Park

Fota Wildlife Park is one of Ireland’s top ten visitor attractions and a perfect place to visit for people of all ages. Fota Wildlife Park is not like an ordinary zoo. Wherever possible the park has chosen animals that thrive in a free-range environment, which allows them to roam free, while mixed with other species and with us human visitors! These species are also able to adjust to the Irish Climate. Fota Wildlife Park is a great day out for all the family, there is a good mix of spots to relax and leave the children play while you have a picnic or get something to eat from one of the cafes.

Blackrock Castle

Blackrock Castle Observatory is located along very nice walk line by the harbour, you can stop inside the castle and have a coffee or tea, dinner or lunch. Kids and adults will like it. Blackrock Castle is a castellated fortification located at Blackrock, about 2 km from the centre of Cork City on the banks of the River Lee in Ireland. The observatory was originally developed as a coastal defence fortification in the 16th century to protect upper Cork Harbour and port.

Blackrock Observatory

Cork Butter Museum

The Cork Butter Museum is a museum that documents the history of butter production and sale in County Cork, and is housed in the former Cork Butter Market. This place is really important part of the Irish history. Just two floors and about 6 rooms, it does not take very long to visit this museum - a bit longer if you watch the video and read all the information. The section on the 'bog butter' was particularly interesting and also the butter labels. Parking is available close by but the streets are narrow so you need to be careful.

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