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The Republic of Irelandís second city, Cork is every bit as cosmopolitan and enthralling as the capital Dublin is for visitors. Through the centuries, Cork has grown from a small, unassuming merchant town with a significant religious history to a city that offers much of what similar places of its size offer throughout Europe. In Cork, you might like to go for a bit of retail therapy on St Patrickís Street, or stroll along the banks of the River Lee, which splits the city in two. Or perhaps you would prefer to head out into the Munster countryside. The weather in Cork is better during the summer, when it can be as pleasant as anywhere on the Mediterranean, if youíre lucky!

Ideal car

Hatchback. Being a city with narrow and tightly-packed streets, itís best to get around Cork in a smaller car. On the steep inner-city streets, theyíre usually powerful enough. Driving in Cork - Road Driving Side: L, Urban Speed Limit: 31mph, Rural Speed Limit: 50mph, Motorway Speed Limit: 75mph.

Important things to note

Although the main roads leading to the centre of Cork are in great condition, the narrow streets in the city centre are sometimes steep and narrow. Drive on them with caution.  The Cork Tourist Office is on Grand Parade in the centre of the city. Itís open from 9.15am-5pm from Money to Saturday, but closes between 1pm-2pm each day. Cork is one of the safest cities in Ireland, but be sure to stay safe at night, especially when there are large crowds of revellers from bars and nightclubs around.

Highlights & hotspots

St Finbarrís Cathedral, just a short walk away from Elizabeth Fort, was built in the 19th Century. Itís arguably the finest landmark in Cork, revealing a lot about the Saint, his good deeds and his impact on the area. Elizabeth Fort is another place worth visiting. Although hard to find straight away, once you get there, you can get great views of the Cork skyline. On Sundays, a market festival is held there where you can buy food and craft goods made in Ireland. The Cork Film Festival, which takes place at the beginning of November every year, is a great event where films made in Ireland and all over the world are premiered and screened. Itís over 50 years old, and is one of the cityís cultural highlights. Pairc Ui Chaoimh, a 50,000-capacity stadium in Ballintemple is home of the Cork GAA team. Here you can catch a game of either Gaelic Football or Hurling, both of which are physical yet thrill-a-minute sports which enjoy huge popularity here.
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Revised: August 11, 2017