- Old English Market
The best sausage I’ve ever had in my life was at the Old English Market in Cork. The sausages alone are reason enough to visit, let alone all the other foods and history (two of my favorite things). The market is best known for its fresh meats, buttered eggs, spiced beef, and other delicious treats.
Though the current building was built in the mid-1800s, a market had stood on site since as early as 1788. The market has since drawn many visitors, including Queen Elizabeth II and has won a gold medal from Europa Nostra!
The River Lee, Cork, 2015. c. Leah Putz
- Cork City Gaol
If you want to visit a building with a grim, but fascinating history, look no further than the Cork City Gaol. Now a museum, the Gaol operated as a prison for nearly 100 years, having opened in 1824, and saw Cork through a lot of turmoil, including the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War.
After closing the prison in 1923, the Gaol operated briefly as a radio station, but stood empty for almost 50 years before reopening as a museum as recently at 1993. Today, you can tour the Gaol and witness the history of the prison firsthand, not to mention the beautiful 17th century architecture., for an adult admission rate of only €8,00.
- Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral
Speaking of architecture, Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral is a magnificent work of it. It was built in the 1800s by William Burges in the French Gothic style, and is marvelously imposing. If you’re a religious Catholic, it may be interesting to see the burial places of bishop William Lyon and archbishop Richard Boyle, who were both laid to rest here. Saint Fin Barre himself was supposedly buried in a graveyard at the east end of the Cathedral after founding a monastery on site in 606A.D.
Tours of the Cathedral are only €5,00- a very low cost for the opportunity to explore such a beautiful building.
View of Cork City from the Shandon Tower, 2015. c. Leah Putz
- Shandon Tower
Connected to the Church of St. Anne is the Shandon Tower, which consists of the clock tower and the bell tower of the church. The tower stands tall over the city and is a striking and famous landmark. The clock, which is known as the ‘Four-Faced Liar,’ shows a slightly different time of each of its four faces. Atop the tower is a salmon-shaped weather vane painted in gold leaf, symbolizing how important fishing industry was to Cork.
For only €5,00, you can climb to the top of the tower, ring the church bells, and witness an incredible 360 degree view of the city from above.
The Shandon Tower, 2015. c. Leah Putz
Sitting down in the pub, listening to live traditional Irish music, and having a pint of beer is a staple of Irish culture. During my time in Cork, I visited many of the pubs including Mutton Lane and the Sin e. The Sin e is considered by many to be one of the best pubs in Ireland, and was voted one of the best places in the world to spend St. Patrick’s Day!
My favorite thing about the pubs in Cork is the atmosphere. Rather than having electric light bulbs, a lot of pubs had empty liquor bottles with long lit candles in the neck scattered throughout the bar, and fairy lights. This creates a relaxing aura and, coupled with the traditional Irish music, there is no mistaking that you are in Ireland.
First Guinness in Mutton Lane, 2015. c. Leah Putz