You can explore all of Cork’s top attractions from our ideal location on MacCurtain Street in the Victorian Quarter. Cork is filled with exciting and historic attractions within the city as well as excellent experiences and tours in further afield in the county.
Cork City Bus Tour
See Cork City from the top of a double-decker bus! Cork City Sightseeing Tours takes you to some of the best and most well-known sights in Cork. This excellent tour stops right on MacCurtain Street making it the perfect way to explore Cork during your stay at Hotel Isaacs Cork.
Cork Butter Museum, Shandon
A museum like no other! Make sure you pay a visit to Cork’s Butter Museum, a spot to celebrate and learn about Ireland’s extremely successful butter trade. This museum is located in Shandon, a historic part of Cork City, called a ‘must-see by the New York Times.
The English Market
When paying a visit to Cork City you should not miss the English Market, Ireland’s most famous covered food market. You’ll find a massive selection of food from Irish sausage sandwiches to home-made macaroons to Irish chocolates. Some of the stalls include an Irish smokehouse, several cheese sellers, and a large wine vendor. Upstairs you’ll find multiple cafes where you can enjoy lunch.
Saint Mary & Saint Anne’s Cathedral, Cathedral Street
Also known as the North Cathedral, this magnificent Gothic building is located on the top of Shandon Street. Built in 1808, many changes have taken place to the cathedral over the last 200 years most considerably after it was set on fire 1820.
Cork City Gaol, Sunday’s Well
Located a leisurely stroll from our hotel (2.7km) you’ll find a spot soaked in history at the Cork City Gaol. If you don’t fancy the walk just grab the hop on hop off city tour bus. At this interactive museum for all the family, explore 19th century prison cells, yards, and high walls as well as a cute little radio museum to commemorate the gaol’s short history as a broadcasting centre. It is even available for event hire.
Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Bishop’s Street Cork
Over the years, many different churches and cathedrals were located on the spot where you will find the gothic Saint Finn Barre’s Cathedral. Designed in 1862 by William Burges who greatly under-estimated the cost of such a project (from a humble £15000 to a staggering £100,000), St Finbarr’s Cathedral is a Gothic masterpiece that must feature on every Cork bucket-list. The architect William Burges also designed the mosaics, sculptures, furniture and metal work which gives this cathedral a truly unique style.
Outside Cork City
Cork is home to some excellent places, not just its city centre! Jump on a train from Kent station or explore the coast by car.
Further down the train line from Fota, you’ll find Cobh, a picturesque fishing village and port town. Cobh (formerly Queenstown) was the exit port of over 2.5 million Irish emigrants to North America and the final port of call for the Titanic before it set off on its fateful voyage. Cobh village has so much to offer from charming pubs to delicious eateries, a Titanic museum, the Victorian St. Colman’s Cathedral, fishing, water sports, and much more.
Fota Wildlife Park
Just down the road from our hotel, you’ll find Cork Kent Station, where you can hop on a train (in under 10 minutes) towards Fota leaving you right on the doorstop to Fota Wildlife Park. You’ll see a wide range of wildlife and indigenous plants, there are lovely spots to picnic or stop in one of the cafes for coffee or lunch.
Blarney, Co. Cork
Visit Blarney Castle, kiss the Blarney Stone and get the gift of the gab! Located 10km from our hotel in Blarney village, you will find this historic 900 year old castle and its beautiful gardens. Explore the castle with a self-guided tour and learn all about the varied history of this stronghold. While in Blarney, make sure you pay a visit to the town square as well as the Blarney Woollen Mills.
Blarney is served by the 215, 235 bus routes.
Jameson Experience, Midleton
Take a guided tour of the Jameson Distillery, which is set in over 15 acres of land. Learn all about the history of the Jameson family and the whiskey, finished off with a complimentary glass of Jameson. You can also take a masterclass in whiskey tasting. April – October a tour bus leaves from Patrick’s Quay bringing you straight to the distillery.
Known as the gourmet capital of Ireland, the colourful town of Kinsale has an abundance of top-quality bars, restaurants, and pubs. It is the perfect place to spend a leisurely evening. Admire the countless yachts on Ireland’s “Riviera”, delve into the local museum, partake in one of the town’s many walking tours or take the more challenging pathway to one of the town’s old forts: Charlesfort and James Fort. Breath-taking coastal views are guaranteed. The Old Head of Kinsale and its world-famous golf course is a short drive away. Kinsale is also the gateway to scenic West Cork and the start/finish point of the Wild Atlantic Way, one of the world’s longest defined coastal routes.
Conveniently located off the coast of Cobh harbour, Spike Island has over 1300 years of Irish history being once an island monastery, fortress, and the world’s largest prison in the 1850s. Attractions include the 1850s Punishment block with its dark cells, the 1980s prison cells and riot exhibition, Ireland’s largest artillery gun park and several penal, military, and social history museums as well as coastal trails.
A 6km picturesque riverside walk from Hotel Isaacs, history and science blend perfectly in this iconic Cork landmark dating back to 1582. Take a guided tour of the tower overlooking Cork Harbour, explore a historical exhibit in the castle basement or lose yourself in the wonders of the cosmos with a trip inside the planetarium or one of the many science exhibits on offer. The castle regularly hosts moon and star-gazing evenings- bound to enchant both young and old.