Great things for expats to do in Cork

Cork Ireland blog for expats

The region of Cork is located in the south-west of Ireland and where it has quickly become known as the second city of Ireland, due to its growing business district and career opportunities ideal for ambitious tax professionals. Filled with fascinating history and stunning architecture, Cork offers an abundance of tourist attractions which expats can explore and enjoy in their new hometown.

 

Blarney Castle and Gardens

A remarkable structure emphasising extraordinary medieval architecture, Blarney Castle remains to be one of Ireland’s greatest treasures and a must-see for tourist, expats and locals. Built over 600 years ago, Blarney Castle offers stunning panoramic views at the top of its 100-step staircase, which is also home to the famous Blarney Stone. The Castle is situated amongst acres of greenery and surrounded by some of Irelands most spectacular botanical gardens, packed with unique plants and unusual trees. The most popular gardens are the Poison Garden, accommodating some of the most toxic plants in the world, whilst the Fern Garden allows you to view over 80 species of fern from a cliff overlooking the gardens.

For expats living in the centre of Cork, this monument and fantastic gardens are located just 8km away which can be easily accessed by taking a short bus ride via Drawbridge Street in Cork’s city centre. The Castle and Gardens are also surrounded by plenty of cafes and restaurants, ideal for refreshments throughout the day. Visiting Blarney Castle not only offers sightseers the chance to immerse in rich history, but also enjoy a peaceful walk through the scenic gardens.

Blarney Castle and Gardens Cork

Spike Island

A trip to Spike Island should definitely be at the top of the list for expats who are relocating to Cork. Situated just off Cork Harbour, Spike Island spans across 103 acres and has become one of the top attractions for tourists, expats and locals in County Cork. Formally utilised for protection and a prison due to its remote and strategic location, Spike island is now an exceptional tourist exhibition where visitors can soak up over 1300 years of Irish history. Expats visiting Spike island have the option to explore several museums, intriguing exhibitions and marvel at what used to be the world’s largest prison.

To access Spike Island, expats can take a short ferry trip from Kennedy pier in Cobh at Cork Harbour which runs frequently throughout the summer months. Costs to visit Spike Island are currently at … per adult, granting you access to the exhibitions and return ferry ride.

 

St. FinBarre’s Cathedral

Another must-see attraction in the heart of Cork is St. FinBarre’s Cathedral, standing in the area where Cork was first founded back in the 7th century. St. FinBarre’s Cathedral portrays a breathtaking and dramatic three-spire structure, lined with a unique gothic architecture dating back to the late 1800s. Visitors can also admire the fascinating stained-glass windows, in which all 74 of them were individually designed to make each one incredibly unique. The interior and ceiling décor is a remarkable focus point within the cathedral thanks to the colourful interior and intricate detailing.

Located south of the River Lee and Cork’s city centre, expats can easily access the Cathedral by foot via Grand Parade and South Main Street, then crossing the river at South Gate Bridge. Entrance fees are €6.00, great value for those looking to spend time admiring the Cathedral and its surroundings.

St. Finbarre's Cathedral

Ballycotton Cliff Walk

Escape the city for a day by taking a trip out to Ballycotton Cliff, a stunning walk along Ireland’s coast, offering panoramic views of the Atlantic and countryside. This walk spans from Ballycotton village towards Ballyandreen beach via the cliff track, where you can take in breathtaking views of your surroundings such as Ballycotton Bay and Ballycotton Lighthouse.

Taking around 3 hours to complete, the loop around the coast and back via the idyllic countryside is approximately 9.25km, and ideal day out for expats to take in the sea air and explore the beautiful village. Expats living in Cork can reach Ballycotton village by the direct bus route from Parnell Place which usually takes around an hour. Alternatively, a quicker option would be to take the Cobh/Midleton Service train then a short taxi to the village.

 

Blackrock Castle Observatory

Situated on the banks of River Lee and only 4km from Cork City centre lies the remarkable Blackrock Castle and Observatory. This extraordinary monument was originally built back in 1582 as a fort to protect the entrance of the river as well as being a clear watchtower to spot intruders. It is now one of the most extraordinary attractions in the heart of Cork, offering informative guided tours of what the castle was primarily used for over 400 years ago.

Not only can expats enjoy the breathtaking view of the castle and its surroundings, Blackrock Castle also houses a fascinating Science Centre and fully interactive astronomy complex. Winning multiple awards since its launch in 2007, expats and tourists alike can explore this exhibition to learn about recent scientific breakthroughs and the impact these have on outer space.

Typical prices of entry to Blackrock Castle are from €6.50 per adult to €18.00 for a family. A quick bus from Parnell Place on the north bank to St. Lukes on the south bank will allow you to depart and take a relaxing walk along the river towards the castle.

If you would like to find out more about moving to Cork, please contact Kingpin International for a confidential discussion with a member of our expert team. To view all of Kingpin’s current International Tax opportunities from around the globe, please view our current vacancies.

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