Cork could be the friendliest city in the world although the name “rebel city” is still sticking to it. A car hire at Cork Airport will be you best choice to explore its core and surroundings. Cork is Ireland’s second largest city with almost 126,000 inhabitants. It is a youthful university city with very vibrant history founded by Viking invasion in 915. It’s main street St. Patricks Street is a street of a great character, it’s not only for shopaholics, but it holds a high value of cultural heritage and it is in many ways an architectural masterpiece. This cosmopolitan city still keeps its traditions, such as streets filled with pubs and crowded with loud locals.
Set on an island formed by the River Lee, Cork offers a unique experience for those yearning for history and tradition. A car hire in Cork will definitely pay off! Visit the English market- the heart of the city, eye-catching gothic Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral or explore a few of the numerous museums full of Cork’s photogenic history.
Hire a car in Cork and drive to all the places you wanted to see!
Basic info and car hire in Cork
Location: south-west Ireland, province of Munster
Official language: English
Currency: euro (€)
Weather: The climate is mild oceanic. Despite the fact that Cork is one of the sunniest cities of Ireland, its weather is changeable with abundant rainfall. Average summer temperatures range from 17-19 °C/62.6-66 F, with record highs over 28 °C/82F. Winters are foggy and wet, temperatures in winter range from 3-6 °C/37,4- 43F. Temperatures below 0°C are rare and so is snow, while rainy days are still something to expect.
Public holidays in Ireland: Click here for the full list of holidays:
Internet coverage: Numerous places in Ireland offer free Wi-fi. The majority of pubs, restaurants, hotels and stores will give you access for free. For more info click here:
Road conditions: Quality of the roads may vary
Driving in Cork
Cork has many one-way streets, so it’s best to request a GPS at you car hire in Cork agnecy. There can be a lot of traffic, especially at peak times, so try to avoid driving at those times. Irish motorways do not have many petrol stations, so it is advisable to check your gas before you take your hired car on the journey. Bear in mind that while driving max BAC level is 0,08%. It is recommended to carry the warning triangle, first aid kit and spare bulb kit in the vehicle. If you hire a car in Cork, remember to drive on the left. If you are used to an automatic car, it is probably the best to request for an automatic when making your reservation at the car rental.
- Age limits: 17
- International Driving Permit: no (most car rental companies require a drivers license issued by the state you resident in
- Additional papers: valid ID, valid driving licence
- Additional requirements: warning triangle and a reflective jacket are required.
- Children in the car: Children under 150 cms must use a the correct child seat or child restraint system suitable for their height. Children under 12 years must ride in rear seats.
- Driving side of the road: left
- Lights: Read about the restirctions in Ireland, click here for information:
- General speed limits: 120 km/h for motorways, 100 km/h for National Routes (Primary and Secondary) that are not motorway status, 80 km/h for local and regional roads, 50 km/h in built up areas.
- Parking suggestions: Grand Parade, Patrick’s Bridge, Paul Street, Merchants Quay Shopping Centre. Click for more:
What to see in Cork
Our favourite spots
Bread, meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, cheese, you name it, the market has it all. Even Queen Elizabeth II would enjoy their takeaway food. Soak up the smells of fresh food and the atmosphere created by the remarkable and imposing architecture of this place.
If you hire a car, you can park here:
To embrace the sound of carefully manicured gardens, visit the Fitzgerald park, it will be a short walk from the city centre. If you want to make your child happy, this is a place to be, as he will be able to run around, play, swing or even skate. If you are one for visiting museums and exploring artefacts of history, you can go to the Cork Public Museum to see the story of Cork for yourself.
Cork City Gaol
This used to be a horrifying place for criminals in the 19th century. A former prison is now a must do tourist attraction that will cost you only extra 2€ to have an audio tour which will give you a terrifying insight in the days of prison life.
St. Patrick Street
Some describe it merely as a shopping centre of the town, but it is so much more. Heart of the city and former channel of the river Lee is today’s Cork’s main boulevard also called “Pana” by the locals. St Patrick’s street bears the legacy of many political gatherings, rallies and it was a birthplace for many city merchants in the 18th century.
Hotels in Cork
Maldron Hotel and Leisure Centre Cork City
This boutique style hotel is located near St.Patrick’s Street. Perfect for families. You can train or relax in their health and fitness facilities. You can park your hired car here for free.
Ambassador Hotel & Health Club
This gracious Victorian building is located in the historic area of St. Luke's. Ambassador Hotel offers 24-hour reception, satellite TV, Wi-Fi and free parking.
Clayton Hotel Silver Springs
Rochestown Park Hotel
Drive your rental car around Cork
You should take all the advantages of a car hire in Cork and explore the surrounding areas of interest. Old fishermen villages, steep cliffs and medieval ruins will inspire your journey through Ireland. Read about some of the places we chose and we think you may want to see when in Cork:
Located only 25 km south of Cork, you will find this historic city named Kinsale. This old fishing town is considered to be the prettiest town in Ireland. Besides their harbor and yachts, their boutiques and locally produced delicacies are also something to see and try.
Another medieval city which combines lots of rural landscape and religious sites. It is also known as the marble city, built from grey limestone which contains fossil seashells. Craft&arts are also on the table when you visit this creative old town. Since there is no direct bus line from Cork to Kilkenny, we suggest you hire a car. You can park your car here:
For those more adventurous, we recommend visiting one of Ireland’s finest attraction – Cliffs of Moher. Breathtaking scenery of cliffs rising as high as 210 m is another miracle of mother nature for you to see. If you hire a car, it will take you about 2 hours to reach your destination. Try to plan your trip the way you don’t miss the sunset here. It will paint all the colours which even your imagination can not provide.
Picturesque journey, wild coastline and medieval ruins are all included in your trip to Ring of Kerry. It is most advisable to hire a car when you take this mountain road trip. Their Gaelic native language Gaeltacht is something you most probably won’t be able to purely understand, but it will leave a mark.
Where to eat, drink and party in Cork
Pubs, pubs, pubs. To taste the atmosphere of Ireland, you have to visit at least few of them. But bear in mind that Cork has a lot more to offer than just pub hopping. Corkins also consider themselves as the Gastronomic experts. Gourmet riviera offers so many restaurants to try. You can choose from local to modern, from burgers to veggie joints. Just be sure to go easy on the beer. Or whiskey for that matter.
To feel the vibe of a local pub you need to visit The Wellcome Inn. Taste of live music and pints will make this your new favourite place. Ready to explore some Whiskey? Why not?
Fresh and simple is the motto of this modern restaurant located in the heart of Cork. Since the menu changes daily, try to catch them when they serve Cork beef. You won’t regret a bite of their local cheese either.
You will need to reserve the table, but if you’re one for the veggies, their beetroot, watercress& orange risotto will melt your senses.
You like American burger, or you’re more of a French lover and brie is an essential part of burger for you? Either way, this place has it all. And yes, we are talking about 100% organic Irish meat!
Major events and festivals in Cork
Cork is a particularly friendly city for those yearning for cultural activities. Wheather you are a film enthusiast or into live jazz music, you can find something to indulge. For a detailed list of more upcoming events and festivals, click here.