On the Blarney and Cork day tour, you have between an hour and a half to two hours to explore Ireland’s second City.
You can choose to spend your time in the city center and do some shopping, visit the English Market for a lovely array of international delicacies or you can explore a little further afield and check out some of the other attractions that Cork has to offer.
The English Market : The English market in Cork is the most famous covered market in Ireland and is made up of Princes Street market and Grand Parade market. The market was constructed in the mid 19th century with the ornate Princes street entrance completed in 1862. There was a gas explosion in 1980 and the resulting fire caused extensive damage to the Princes street market but the Grand Parade market survived with little or no damage. The market was restored to its former glory by Cork City Council and is now a fantastic food market, highly recommended for a bite to eat.
Bells at St Anne’s : Visit St Anne’s Cathedral and play the Shandon Bells. St Anne’s dates to 1722 and is one of the oldest churches in the city. You can climb the 132 steps to the top and have spectacular views of the city, you can also view the internal workings of the “four faced liar,” the clock in the belfry. There is a play sheet instructing you on how to play a tune on the bells. You would have time to combine this with a short visit to the English market.
St Finbarrs Cathedral : This site was home to a church dedicated to Saint Finbarr dating back to the 7th century with additions and construction until the 12th century. It was substantially damaged in the siege of Cork in 1690 and a new structure was built in 1735. This was replaced in 1863 by the Cathedral as we know it today, designed by William Burges. Work on the cathedral continued for decades reaching absolute completion in the early 20th century. It is built in the Gothic revival style with ornate carvings and stained glass. If you look up you will see the Golden Angel – a gift from Burges. It is said that the angel will blow her horn on the day of reckoning. This is an approximately 15 minute walk from the centre of Cork so if you intend to visit, please keep the walking times in mind.
Crawford Art Gallery : Situated in the city center, it has works both modern and classic. There are over 2000 works of art in this collection. At the heart of the collection is a collection of Greek and Roman sculpture casts donated to Cork in 1818 by the Vatican museum.