Whether you are coming to Cork to experience the exploding foodie scene, or just passing through County Cork Ireland to kiss the Blarney Stone, it’s worth staying a few days to properly explore all of the great things to do in Cork. From special events like the annual jazz fest to everyday attractions, Ireland’s second-largest city is a great place for tourists.
Using our guide to the best places to stay in Cork Ireland, we can help you choose the best location and accommodation for you, whether you are seeking a budget-friendly hostel or more unique places to stay in Cork Ireland.
We will cover off all types of Cork accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Cork hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Cork Ireland, the best Cork hotels, best places in Cork to visit, the best places to stay in Cork, hotels near Cork attractions, Cork neighborhood guide and many more. Airbnb is also a great option for short or long stays.
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Cork City Centre – Where to stay in Cork for tourists
Cork’s city centre is hemmed in on two sides by branches of the River Lee, forming an “almost island” in the centre of town. As with many European cities, this is the best area for tourists who only have a short time to spend in Cork, as it’s the most central location, nearest the best things to do and a large concentration of restaurants.
At the heart of the centre is the English Market, an 18th century covered market that is now a very popular food hall where one can purchase organic and local foods. Make up a picnic basket and head to nearby Fitzgerald Park for a relaxing day in Cork.
Best places to stay in Cork City Centre
University College Cork – Where to stay in Cork for foodies
Just west of the city centre of Cork is the University College Cork, which was founded here in 1845. The university campus, on the banks of the River Lee, is a beautiful area of Cork, with wide-open lawns and historic buildings. With the university, it’s a vibrant neighborhood full of young students, restaurants, and pubs, but plentiful green spaces to reflect or enjoy a quiet day. Cork Lough is a lovely respite near the campus, with a walking path around the lake. The city centre is about a 20-minute walk, and there is a regular bus service as well.
Best places to stay in University College Cork
Victorian Quarter – Where to stay in Cork on a budget
Just across the river from Cork’s city center, on the north side, is the Victorian Quarter. This is a lively area filled with specialty shops. Filled with Victorian buildings set adjacent to more modern buildings, this is a revitalized area that everyone should visit when in Cork, especially if you love to shop.
Along with the shops, you’ll find pubs, cafes, bookstores and even some historical points of interest, like St. Patrick’s church. This is also a great area for travelers seeking budget-friendly accommodations, as there are several hostels in the Victorian Quarter.
Best places to stay in Victorian Quarter
Maryborough Estate – Where to stay in Cork with family
For a more suburban retreat near Cork, consider staying in the area of Maryborough Estate, less than ten kilometers east of the city centre. This is a family-friendly area with stately homes and loads of parks and recreational opportunities. The Douglas River and Lough Mahon are nearby, as is the village of Ringaskiddy, where travelers can catch a passenger ferry to France. This area boasts several golf courses and several accommodation options, including hotels and B&B’s.
Best places to stay in Maryborough Estate
Tivoli Estate – Where to stay in Cork with kids
The area surrounding what was once a merchant manor is another family-friendly option for where to stay in Cork. Only four kilometers from the city centre, Tivoli Estate enjoys a hillside location overlooking the River Lee and a nice assortment of mid-range accommodation options. It’s also the best option for hotels in Cork Ireland if you wish to visit the Blackrock Castle Observatory.
Best places to stay in Tivoli Estate
Blarney – Where to stay in Cork near Blarney Castle
One of Ireland’s most famous attractions is the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle. Legend has it that anyone who kisses the Blarney Stone will be blessed with the gift of gab, so tourists queue up year-round to make the pilgrimage. The small village of Barney, just outside of the castle grounds, is still just ten kilometers from Cork.
With a handful of hotels and guest houses, it’s an ideal place to stay if you want to experience that small Irish village atmosphere rather than the big-city feel of Cork. With a direct bus route and several daily trips, it’s easy enough to pop into Cork for a day of sightseeing before heading back to Blarney for the night.
Best places to stay in Blarney
Budget Hotels in Blarney
Blarney Hotel & Golf Resort
Family Friendly Hotels in Blarney
Blarney Castle Hotel