Cork is the second largest city in Ireland, but without a doubt is one the most attractive destinations in the country. Cork itself is built on the banks of the river Lee, and the river’s quays, docks and riverbanks separate the main city center from the suburbs which are built on lush green hills overlooking the city. Present day Cork has many preserved traditional buildings and narrow alleyways, but with a young population, it has a growing alternative youth and arts scene.
Historically, Cork was an important destination for Scandinavian Viking traders and later became a medieval walled city, parts of which remain today. Cork was particularly important in the Irish Civil War, and as a result many locals refer to Cork as Ireland’s “real capital” today. Cork today is a bustling town, with many historical and contemporary sites to see. The majority of the Cork city center is easily accessible on foot. St Patrick’s Street is the most famous shopping, dining and entertainment center of the city. In and around the alleyways which surround St Patrick’s Street, you can find many hip coffee shops and new eateries amongst traditional cozy pubs.
Cork has a strong cultural scene, attracting young students to the music, acting, art and design schools. The city boats a mixture of preserved traditional buildings from the 18th century and contemporary architecture design. One of the cities must see landmarks is the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, which is not only a renowned gallery but also an architecturally awarded building. Cork is also a great destination from which you can explore famous landmarks and sites in the south of Ireland such as the Blarney Castle or further afield, the Cliffs of Moher. There are also many quaint villages and long stretches of beautiful Irish coastline to explore. Take an English course in Cork and pick up some traditional sayings from the friendly locals!