Cork City is the second largest city in Ireland and is often referred to as the ‘true capital’ by the local people. It is a culturally rich city with a lot to see and do. Known as the Rebel County it had a large part to play in Ireland’s fight for independence.
Settlement in Cork City began in the 7th century when St. Finbar first founded a monastery in the area. The settlement grew over time and by the 12th century was the chief city of the Kingdom of South Munster. The city endured raids by invading Norsemen throughout the following years. Irish reign quickly came to a halt in 1185 when English forces took control of the area. From this point on ownership of the city changed hands regularly due to the struggle between the Irish and Crown forces. The city was one of the only settlements to survive Cromwellian assault only to later fall at the hands of William of Orange. Time passed and by the 18th century Cork City was a prosperous port exporting butter, beef, beer and whiskey all around the world. The city’s history of struggle continued into the 20th century as Mayor Thomas MacCurtain was killed by the Black and Tans in 1920. His successor, Terence MacSwiney, died in London’s Brixton prison after a hunger strike. The British were at their most brutally repressive in Cork – much of the centre, including St Patrick’s St, the City Hall and the Public Library, were all burned down. Cork was also a regional focus of Ireland's self-destructive Civil War in 1922–23.
Cork City is regarded as one of the best cultural cities in the world having been awarded ‘European Capital of Culture’ in 2005 by the E.U and also appearing on Lonely Planet’s ‘Top 10 cities in the world to visit’. The city sights are a beautiful blend of old and new, ranging from narrow 17th century alleys to modern gems such as the Cork Opera House. The performing arts are a mainstay in Cork as tourists don’t have to venture far to find live music among the many pubs and restaurants around the city.
Food lovers will be ecstatic upon arrival to the culinary capital of Ireland. In the city you’ll find a thriving food scene with a wide variety of cuisines on offer. Restaurants range from gourmet takeaways to vegetarian cafés so you’ll definitely find a flavour to meet your mood. Making reservations is highly recommended as the foodie scene has grew exponentially in recent times and between Thursday and Sunday most places will be fully booked in advance.
It’s nigh on impossible to be bored in the city as there are a host of things to do. If you plan your trip right you could be in Cork for festival season. There are a wide range of annual festivals that take place in the city, most notably the Cork Film Festival and the Cork Jazz Festival. The large amount of theatres around the city have ongoing productions from amateur to professional levels. Sport plays a huge part in the lives of the Cork locals and visitors should endeavour to seek out some of the native Irish sports such as Gaelic Football and Hurling. Energetic activities such as sailing schools, swimming, and scuba diving can be found in the neighbouring towns along the Cork coastline.
Nightlife in Cork City is an ever growing buzz where any taste can be catered for. Whether you want to experience a traditional Irish session in a quaint pub, sip on fine cocktails in a high class bar, or party long into the night in one of the many nightclubs, you can be sure that any type of mood can be met. The friendliness of the locals only betters the experience in the many pubs and clubs as the Cork locals as a group could talk for hours on any given topic and are very welcoming to visitors in the area.
Cork is the shopping capital of the Munster province. Visitors and locals make long journeys into the city just to take advantage of the fantastic shopping facilities in the area. The main shopping streets can be found on the city centre island where one can find big name stores in shopping centres. In the smaller streets you’ll find local businesses selling clothes, crafts and jewellery. The English Market in the city centre sells local food produce which will excite any cook.
Europcar Cork City offers you the freedom to explore this fantastic city with your own compass and on your own time, hiring a car also allows you to travel further afield throughout the vast unsullied countryside of Cork. Our locations can cater to leisure customers and business customers, availing of the flexible short, medium and long term business fleet management service offered by Europcar and customers renting a van.