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Cork Guide

Cork is a truly stunning city located in the south-west of Ireland and your friends will love checking out all of the local nooks and crannies which make it so special. We’ve created a guide to all the best activities, shops and transport options going on in this Irish city so that you and your girlfriends can get the most out of your stay.

Getting In


Going on your hen weekend in Cork via aeroplane is by far the easiest, quickest and usually the cheapest way to get there. Loads of the budget airlines that you’ll be familiar with operate flights to Cork and they take off from Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and London to name but a few. The airport is relatively close to the city centre at just 10km which means that a taxi to your accommodation will most likely cost about €20 or as a cheaper alternative, the Bus Éirann 266.


Although we really wouldn’t recommend it, you and your friends can travel to Cork in the car. It’s possible to drive to Liverpool, catch the ferry over to Dublin and the continue the drive down to Cork in the south. From London, this journey takes around 10 hours…

Entertainment Venues

Cyprus Avenue

Take a look at this fantastic venue on Cyprus Avenue if you’re looking for live music on a night out in Cork. On the banks of the river Lee, see incredible local acts who’ll perform live music, comedy and theatrical events. You might even get the see the next big thing! It’s typical of Cork’s fun loving, Indie vibe.

Cork Opera House

This venue is the main place to see big acts when they visit Ireland, such as Paul Potts, Jimmy Carr, Jason Byrne and West End musicals touring before they hit the big stages in London – and even some opera once in a while too. Find it on Lavitt’s Quay.

Savoy Theatre

This one’s kind of a trick, because the theatre isn’t really much of a theatre at all. This venue hosts club nights throughout the week, blasting out the latest music, as well as cheese and top hits from decades past. Perfect when you and your group are ready to hit the clubs.


Somewhat bizarrely, Cork is home to no less than 4 cinemas, so if you fancy watching one of the latest releases, you’re in luck! See great new films in a central location at The Gate.   

Top of the Shops

Cork is the capital of the Munster region of Ireland and is well known for being a great place to shop. Here are some of the best places to pick up a bargain or a blow out designer buy.

Dunnes Stores

Dunnes department stores are a real cornerstone of life in Ireland and the big Dunnes in Cork is a great place to find designer fashion, underwear and shoes, as well as items for the home. Find it on North Main Street.

English Market

This covered market is a real must visit for foodies. Retailers have been trading here since 1788 and it’s the ideal place to pick up local produce like chocolates, cake and cheeses as well as fantastically fresh fruit and veg. Even if you decide not to bring anything home with you, simply wander through and enjoy the sights and smells and something to nibble whilst you do so!

Mother Jones Flea Market

A real gem for those who love trawling for antiques and seeking out unique and unusual items. Find homemade cakes, brunch, lunch and tea in amongst vintage music stores, clothing, antiques and even a massage parlour! Fantastic for a wander around after lunch or when you and the girls have a little time to spare on your hen weekend.

Coal Quay Food Market

This is a yet another food based shopping experience but we promise that this one really shouldn’t be missed. Only around on Saturdays, pick up local treats like cakes, jams, chutneys and cheeses and wonderful fresh produce like veggies and fruits straight from the soil. Delicious!

Because the best things in life are free…

We know better than anyone that hen weekends can get a little pricey, so we’ve put together a few things to do for free to use your time to the maximum if you’re at a loose end in Cork!

Crawford Art Gallery

See some seriously fantastic art and sculpture in the Crawford Gallery and inject a little culture into your hen weekend! See famous works as well as paintings by acclaimed local artists.

Traditional Irish Music

Okay, so you might have to buy a drink or two for this one but Irish music in a pub itself is completely free and is performed solely for the love of it! Step into any lively looking establishment at night and soak up the incredible electric atmosphere. Try Sin É or the Corner House for local favourites.

Ring the Shandon Bells

It’s not everyday that regular tourists are allowed to wander into a church and ring out the bells, so take advantage and climb up the steps in St. Anne’s and play your favourite tune – couldn’t promise that they’ve got Wild Boys by Duran Duran pre-set though…   

FCO travel advice

Travel Safety & Information

For information on staying safe and healthy while travelling abroad as well as local laws and latest government advice on destinations visit the FCO Travel Aware website.

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