12 June 2021
By Roger Jones
Thinking about visiting Ireland soon? We’ve come up with a list of the top ten best tourist spots to visit in Cork in 2021. The second-largest city of Ireland has so much to offer tourists, from gift-giving stones to grand castles and cheese-making water buffalo.
Keep reading to find out why you should take a trip this year to Cork.
1. Blarney Castle
One of the most iconic sights in Cork, Blarney Castle has a storied history that has drawn thousands of tourists to its walls over the years. Exploring the castle grounds transports you to a different time when lords ruled over the rolling green hills of the surrounding countryside.
The Blarney Stone is here as well, with many tourists only making the journey to grant the stone a kiss in return for the gift of the gab. If you haven’t kissed the Blarney Stone, have you even really been to Ireland?
2. English Market
Food markets around the world are hotspots for residents and tourists alike to gather and share the fruits (and veggies) of the local land. However, few markets have a history like the English Market.
This local produce market survived famine, strikes, war, and economic recessions, thriving and giving back to the community in times of crisis. You can choose from a wide variety of fresh produce grown right in Cork’s backyard.
It’s a stunning example of classic architecture as well, so you should make it a priority to visit even if you don’t need a head of cabbage for dinner.
3. Beara Way Cycling Route
If you want to get out of town and experience the natural beauty of Cork County, then rent a bike and head off to the Beara Way Cycling Route. It’s a 138 km (86-mile) circular loop that takes you around the stunning Beara Peninsula.
Striking green hills and rocky outcrops line the coastal edge, with fantastic sunrise and sunset points to enjoy along the way.
4. Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral
Out of the many cathedrals in Cork, Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral is, in our opinion, the most incredible one around. The beautiful spires, stained glass, furniture, and mosaics are all prime examples of Gothic Revival architecture at its finest.
While Saint Fin Barre’s was only constructed and consecrated in the mid-19th century, the cathedral grounds have been a place of worship since 606 AD!
5. St. Patrick’s Street
No good vacation is complete without a good round of shopping. With modern and traditional shops to choose from, St. Patrick’s Street has remained a commercial hub for Cork since the early 18th-century.
From sweets and treats to clothing and handbags, St. Patrick’s has it all.
6. Fota Island
Home to the only wildlife park in Ireland, Fota Island has rapidly grown into a must-see tourist attraction for nature lovers and golf enthusiasts.
Take a short boat ride from Cork Harbour to enjoy the pristine green of the estate’s golf course and snap some photos of the native animals.
7. Macroom Buffalo Farm
Ever wonder farmers make mozzarella cheese? Well, wonder no more. The Macroom Buffalo Farm offers tourists the unparalleled opportunity to witness the mozzarella production process.
Buffalos wander the grounds while farmers maintain the livestock using traditional Irish practices that date back centuries.
8. Cork Opera House
Interested in getting an authentic cultural experience while you’re in Cork? Check out the Cork Opera House. They have opera shows a few times a week with incredible singers and dancers to entertain hundreds of tourists and locals alike.
9. Shakey Bridge
Want to live life on the wild side? This is the only suspension bridge in all of Cork, and tourists from around the world come to test their luck on its wooden planks.
While it might not actually shake when you walk on it, you can tell all your friends at home that it did, right?
10. Mutton Lane Inn
After you’ve visited all of the tourist spots we’ve listed above, it’s time for a well-deserved pint of Guinness. What better place to wet your whistle than the oldest pub in Cork?
The Mutton Lane has served its patrons since 1845 and is an example of some of the unique architecture in Cork. It’s in an alleyway near the English Market, so swing by for a drink after you’ve gotten your supply of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Plan Your Trip to Cork in 2021
With restrictions loosening and people getting back out onto the streets, it’s time to start planning your next vacation to Cork.
Hopefully, this list of the best tourist spots to visit in Cork has helped you figure out exactly what to do when you touch down. Let us know below which is your favourite!