Ireland: Having Craic in Cork

A traveler to Cork, Ireland learns how to have a good time the Irish Way.

Hiking is a great way to escape the crowds.
Salt spray and ocean breeze make for a dreamy seaside hike in Ballycotton, County Cork. Photo by Stephanie Mork

Cork is one of the best places for pub hopping as well. One of the main streets, Oliver Plunkett Street, is overflowing with great pubs for all [legal drinking] ages. An Spalpain Fanac is just off Oliver Plunkett Street, but worth the couple extra minutes walk for the local atmosphere, good beer and live music every night of the week. This pub is what one might imagine Ireland is like with its local Cork charm; it’s the real Irish deal.

A trip to Ireland is not complete without staying at a bed-and-breakfast to receive genuine Irish hospitality and get the most important meal of the day, a full Irish breakfast. My favorite B&B’s are the Blue Dolphin on Western road, right next to UCC and the Auburn House on Wellington Road just a stones throw from St. Patrick’s Street. A typical Irish breakfast is served at each of these B&B’s which includes but is not limited to: porridge, fried eggs, scones, bacon or sausage, Irish soda bread, fried vegetables and tea. Usually this could be enough to eat until about 2 pm in the afternoon. A breakfast fit for a king!

Saint Patrick’s Street in the center of the city is home to some of the best shopping in Cork. There are shops and cafes for every interest and for those who don’t like shopping there are places to walk and sit near the River Lee with a cup of hot tea in hand. On every street, there are cafes, restaurants, and pubs that are all worth a stop in. Let’s just say Ireland wins for hospitality and brewing a good beer.

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