7 Best Cork City Sites To Visit During Your Hop-On Hop-Off, Cork City Bus Tour

“I’m here for just a couple of days, what should I really see in Cork City?”

Without a doubt, this is one of our most frequently asked questions at the Hotel Isaacs reception desk. Let’s face it: we’ve all been there! We’ve arrived to a place with little or no research and don’t know where to begin. We feel overwhelmed. FOMO (fear of missing out) is starting to attack.

We know we can’t do everything but we sure want to try. The great news is that our boutique hotel, located in the heart of Cork’s vibrant Victorian Quarter, not only boasts a thriving shopping, dining and entertainment scene (Charlie Chaplin and Laurel & Hardy all performed in the Everyman Theatre directly opposite us) but is also within walking distance of all of the city’s many great attractions meaning no time is wasted trying to find parking spaces or navigate yourself around.

Cork City

Nevertheless, one of the best ways of getting a quick overview of the city is to jump on the Cork City hop-on, hop-off bus conveniently located at the bottom of our street. The tour takes just over an hour, is reasonably priced (just €15 for adults and €13 for seniors/students), tickets are valid for 24 hours and you’ll also be provided with a factual commentary as you “cruise around the town”. To make things easier for your trip, we have selected the top stops to disembark at on your tour:

1) The Heart of Ireland’s Food Capital: The English Market

Beloved by locals and visitors alike, no visit to Cork would be complete without a visit to this bustling indoor food market serving the city since 1788 and home to Cork’s infamous tripe and drisheen.

2) The St Patrick’s Street

For those in search of some retail therapy, St Patrick’s Street, the adjoining Oliver Plunkett St and Opera Lane are sure to satisfy all your shopaholic cravings. Make sure not to miss the Huguenot Quarter and the remains of the city walls on display at the peaceful Bishop Lucey Park. Who says shopping can’t be a little bit educational?

3) The Shandon Quarter

One of the oldest parts of the city, the Shandon Quarter was once the centre of industrial life with the biggest butter market in the world in the 18th century. Find out more in the quirky butter museum or for those who fancy some panoramic views, a climb up the Shandon Bell Tower is well worth the effort. Known locally as the Four-Faced Liar, it was the largest four faced clock in the world until the arrival of Big Ben. The North Cathedral and Cork’s only homemade sweet shop, Linehans are other places that should feature on your bucket list in this area.

You’ve no doubt seen the spires on your journey around the city. Make sure you take the time to get up close and personal to St Finbarr’s Cathedral though along with its neighbour Elizabeth Fort for more great panoramas of the city.

Related: All You Need to Know About Travel Photography

5) University College Cork or UCC

University campuses don’t come much prettier than the stunning landscaped grounds of the university and with an award-winning contemporary art gallery at the Glucksman and the famous Harry Clarke stained windows to be admired in the Honan Chapel, this is one stop you don’t want to miss.

6) The City Gaol

If walking isn’t your thing, getting off at the City Gaol stop is highly recommended especially for their guided tour. Opened in 1824, it was the site of many a grotesque hanging and once housed the Countess Markievicz. The upper floor also contains a small radio museum including the microphone John F. Kennedy used on his trip to Cork.

7.) Cork City Fine Restaurants And Bars

Of course, no great visit to the city would be complete without some culinary delights. Rest assured, we have you well catered for with Ireland’s number one fine dining restaurant, Greenes where residents receive a 15% food discount and Ireland’s number one cocktail bar, Cask who have just launched their exciting new autumn menu. A taste adventure you don’t want to miss.

Author Bio: Katie McGarr is a travel-savvy writer for Hotel Isaacs Cork, a boutique hotel located in the heart of Cork City’s Victorian Quarter. This frugal young lady loves writing articles about lodging, traveling, and dining.