Cork City

A quick guide

Cork City

A charming, historical city set in the heart of Ireland. Read on to discover what won Cork City the acclaimed status of European Capital of Culture 2005. By Giordano Bimbi

A little bit of history

Cork City is located in County Cork which is the largest county in Ireland. Its history is hugely significant, in fact Corcaigh (the Irish name for the city) is widely recognised as an important seaport with a remarkable maritime tradition (it had a crucial trading position in the Scandinavian network over the centuries). It also played an important role during the Irish civil war (Michael Collins was killed in Beal na mBlath (County Cork) in 1922.) The city itself developed during the 7th Century from the Monastery of St Finbarr.

A charming island on the river

The central area of Cork City is an island which seems to float upon the waters of the River Lee. In fact if you stand by the handrail of one bridge you will notice that the town centre is surrounded by the Lee’s two channels that are spanned by many bridges (no matter which bridge, this view is undoubtedly the city’s most photographed one). On entering the city centre no visitor can fail to plunge into its contagious charm. While walking through St.Patrick’s Street, Grand Parade and Oliver Plunket Street, the city’s busiest streets that have been recently restored, you will feel a thrill of excitement. In this area, you will find the vibrant route through the major shopping district. The beauty of the city stretches out of the centre to reach other buzzing streets (Marlborough Street, home to the Everyman Palace Theatre; North Main Street; Washington Street; Barrack Street) astonishing parks (the Fitzgerald’s Park; Bishop Lucey Park; the Mardyke Walk; The UCC Park) and other places of interest (The English Market; The Triskel Art Centre).

European Capital of Culture 2005 and beyond…

Cork’s strong points reside in its multinational character alongside its creative and rich contribution to artistic and cultural life . The role of the arts in the city is so central that one can really feel the energy of the theatre, music, cinema and dance scene, in the air. Cork is home to:

  • The Everyman Palace Theatre and the Granary Theatre which offer a year long calendar of dramatic plays
  • The Cork School of Music and the Crawford College of Art and Design which provide important musical and artistic resources
  • The Cork Opera House and The Crawford Municipal Art Gallery with their numerous shows and exhibitions throughout the year
  • The internationally acclaimed Guinness Jazz Festival and the Cork Film Festival (being hosted every year) offering respectively top international Jazz music and an extensive Film programme
  • The Institute for Choreography and Dance.

In recognition of this prolific commitment to cultural life, in 2005 Cork City was named “The European Capital of Culture”, an honour promoting the city’s contribution to art and culture and gaining it international reputation.

Cork City ’s exceptional economic growth

Cork City, like the rest of Ireland, has undergone a rapid economic change in the last fifteen years which has affected every aspect of life. It’s understandable why Cork proved to be the ideal base for major companies like Rci, Apple, Siemens, Marriot, Amazon, Trend Micro etc. This makes the search for a well paid job easy for foreigners. Most call centres offer relocation so you won’t have to struggle to look for a place to stay for the first few days and they attend to your bureaucratic needs. A few days after your work starts you will be provided with a Personal Public Service number (P.P.S. number) that gives you access to social welfare benefits, public services and information. It’s pretty easy to find a room in a shared flat as well. You just have to login to “” and look for the right ad, as the service offered by the website is very efficient. The commercial district is in Gran Parade while South Mall is home to several banks and considered to be the old financial centre. Most call centres are either in the Loughmahon Technology Park or on the Hollyhill Industrial Estate; however the bus operator Bus Eirann provides an efficient suburban service to both destinations from the city’s bus terminal at Parnell place. From the same terminal there are bus services to the Cork International Airport which has direct flights to the UK and easy access to the rest of Europe. There are numerous options when travelling inland between Cork City and the capital. Coach services run from Dublin City almost every forty minutes as well as train services. You can also drive or fly into Cork City. After its exceptional recent economic growth, Cork City’s challenges for the future are to become an impetus for regional economic growth as well as a new economic stronghold in Ireland, across Europe and throughout the world.

Further reading

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