Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland. The city is situated on the banks of the River Lee in the south of the country. The city centre was originally built on marshland, hence the name which came from the Irish word Corcaigh, meaning, marsh. Cork Airport or Aerfort Chorcai is the main gateway to the city via air. It is one of the three principal airports in Ireland, along with Dublin and Shannon. Located 6.5km south of Cork city, the airport handled 2.34 million passengers in 2012, earning the title of the state's second busiest airport in terms of passenger numbers.
Despite being a small city, Cork still has a lot to offer that tourists wouldn't be able to see and experience in other, bigger cities. Visit St. Finbarr's Cathedral, a fine 19th century Gothic building which boasts a statue of a trumpet-wielding angel. The Shandon Church's tower and its bells are iconic to the city. Visitors can ring the bells with guidelines available to play melodies of famous tunes. The Cork City Gaol is also a must-see for tourists. It offers fine views of the west of the city and can be reached through the city sightseeing bus, by taxi, or via a 30-minute walk. The Pairc Ui Chaoimh is a 50,000-capacity stadium located in Ballintemple and is home to Cork GAA, open on matchdays or Mondays and Wednesdays for tours. Be fascinated at a small freshwater limestone lake in the Lough Park that receives its water from springs and from the ridge to the north on which stands the Lough parish. Lough is one of Ireland's oldest protected areas, and was declared a Public Wildlife Refuge in 1881. Admission is free. Nature lovers will also enjoy a tranquil and relaxing afternoon at the Fitzgeralds Park, beside which runs the Lee River, and is also home to Cork History Museum. Cork is also famous for its numerous festivals. In fact, it was acknowledged as the European Capital of Culture for 2005.
How to get around within Cork
One can get around Cork via taxi. There are numerous taxi ranks located throughout the city and the fare is metred, except for longer, out of town trips when fares could be negotiable. You can also get around by bus. There are bus services to the residential suburbs and most buses leave from St. Patrick's Street or nearby streets such as South Mall, Grand Parade, and Merchant's Quay. If you prefer, you can also hop on a guided bus tour that departs from the junction of Grand Parade and South Mall at regular intervals. The bus tour provides a fun tour of the main highlights of the city. When travelling a little further outside the city, Cork has a good carpooling community, called Carma. Moreover, going back to basics is fun especially when visiting a foreign city like Cork. Try walking around town to have a closer encounter with the place.
How to get there
Enter the city by plane by going through Cork Airport, located 8km south of the city centre, and connected by the N27 Kinsale Road. Taxis are readily available at the taxi rank right outside the entrance of the Arrival Hall, and Bus Eireann route 226 links the airport to the city centre. Entering the city by boat is also possible. Car ferry services depart from Ringaskiddy, about 15km southeast of the city, to Roscoff. Ferries sail to and from Ringaskiddy through Cork Harbour and past Cobh. Irish Rail operates the train services in Ireland which provides rail services from Cork to Dublin with 16 trains a day, Cobh with 22 trains, Midleton with 20, Tralle with 3direct and 6 with one exchange, and Mallow. All other towns and cities are accessible through connecting trains. Bus Eireann is the main nationwide bus carrier in Ireland. It runs a stopping service from Dublin to Cork every two hours, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. If driving to Cork, the M7 and M8 which connect Cork to Dublin is now entirely motorway with two lanes in each direction, and the N20 from Cork to Limerick is mostly single carriageway with one lane in each direction.
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Airports near Cork
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