Ireland’s second city is first in every important respect, at least according to the locals, who cheerfully refer to it as the ‘real capital of Ireland’. The compact city centre is surrounded by interesting waterways and is chock full of great restaurants fed by arguably the best foodie scene in the country.
The River Lee flows around the centre, an island packed with grand Georgian parades, 17th-century alleys and modern masterpieces such as Cork Opera House. North and south of Patrick St lie the city’s most entertaining quarters: webs of narrow streets crammed with pubs, cafes, restaurants, and shops.
Cork’s dynamism is reflected in contemporary buildings, bars, and arts centres. The best of the city is still happily traditional, though – snug pubs with live-music sessions most of the week, excellent local produce and a genuinely proud welcome from the locals.
Whether you’re traveling from New York or New Ross, Cork is serviced by planes, trains and busses which will drop you right to the Guinness Cork Jazz action.