Cork airport is modern and efficient. I honestly can't remember the last time I was disembarking from a plane and then stood outside an airport so quickly. I wish I had timed it as I reckon the time between when I stepped off the plane to when I was at stop for the bus to the city centre must have been 2 minutes. No doubt there was some good fortune involved in that as passport control wasn't very busy. Its also helped of course that I only had hand luggage (screw you Ryanair and your hidden add ons!).
Buses from the airport to the airport are frequent and cost 4.50 euro 1 way. I didn't time the journey but the roads were quiet & it probably took around 15 mins. The bus station is centrally located on the island in the city centre in between the North and South Channels of the river. Specifically the bus station is right beside the North channel.
Driving to Cork was a learning experience, but in Cork total confusion set in, I became disoriented due to road construction and their system of unmarked streets. I drove down one street that had barely enough room for two small cars (made for horse and buggies only). I clipped a few parked car's side mirrors with ours. Well, this unnerved Faye as she was riding on the clipping side of the car. After several sources of directions and sheer luck, we ended up where we were headed just as the light left us. We even found a newly refurbished B & B, motel style. The proprietor directed us to a nice little restaurant near the airport, which is where I nearly hit a speeding white car when turning into the restaurant. "What a day".
Kent Station is technically in the City Centre however depending on your mobility and luggage you may prefer to take a bus. The No. 5 Bus Eireann City Bus picks up from within the grounds of Kent Station.
Directions to bus stop from main platforms:
After leaving the train walk into the main concourse past the ticket office and past the plastic seating to your right, heading towards the Main Doors. Outside you will see a striped black and white pedestrian crossing. Cross here and to your left is a bus shelter which is both the pick up and drop off point for the No. 5. (If the weather is bad stay in the doorway of the station until it arrives as the "shelter" offers very little shelter from the rain)
This is the bus time table:
But don't expect it to be on time, however it is regular so you should not have too long a wait.
The bus heads away from the city to begin with as it is a one-way road outside the Station. Then it turns back towards the city, goes through Patrick Street (tourist attractions), onto Washington Street (pubs and night life), past UCC (point of interest in itself), the start Western Road (location of many guest houses).
It should cost about €1.65 for a single journey.
The trip from Cork to Dublin was much quicker than I thought it would be and even quicker than the via michelin guide projected. We took the N8 from Cork to Portlaoise where we were spending the night, at some point the road turned into M8. N8 is a national primary road, M8 is a motorway, the motorways have the most lanes and have the highest speed limits. Part of the M8 was a toll road, but I think there was only one toll in the amount of 1.90€. That section was 167km, 129km of it was motorway with a speed limit of 120km.
From Portlaoise to Dublin, we took the M7, another fast road to the M50 to get back to the airport. There is one electronic toll on the M50 to get to the airport, we paid that at the airport at the same time we paid the toll to get out of the airport.
I had read that parking on the street in Cork would be a problem if we didn't have a parking disc and I didn't want to fuss with it for just one city so we found a convenient parking garage on Paul Street which we reached just off the Quay on the south side of the River Lee. That didn't seem too expensive, I think it was 8€ for the four hours we spent there on Friday night.
I wish we had parked there on Saturday but we followed the swim race directions and parked in the Merchant's Quay garage, we ended up parked there for about 8 hours and the fee was 25€, Paul Street would have been 16€. Plus Merchant's Quay closed at 7pm as it's opening hours are tied into the attached shopping mall and we had to go move our car when the award ceremony took longer than expected. My husband was able to find a street spot as there were no restrictions after 6:30 pm at that particular spot.
The attached website has a list of the parking garages in Cork, their locations, hours and fees. Be sure when you pull into a garage that you note the closing time, it appears to be very expensive to get your car out after the garage closes!
Why pay for an expensive taxi when you can ride the Skylink bus? They run often from in front of the Airport terminal and have stops by all the major hotel and B&B areas in the centre of Cork. Everywhere they stop is flat so it’s easy to roll your baggage to your accommodation.
7 days a week from 4:20am-12:15am. Departs from just outside arrivals every 30 minutes.
There are several worthwile day trips that you can easily take from Cork, most of them by public transport:
Blarney Castle and village by bus from Parnell Place bus station; the town and harbour of Kinsale by bus from Parnell Place; the town of Cobh on Great island in Cork harbour, by train from Kent Station on the Lower Glanmire Road; the small seaside village of Crosshaven by bus from Parnell Place; Jameson Heritage Centre in the town of Midleton by bus from Parnell Place; the historic and pretty seaside town of Youghal, by bus from Parnell Place.
If you want to read more about any of these places you can check my Blarney Castle, Cobh, Kinsale and County Cork pages, where you will find plenty of suggestions for things to see and do.
Further afield, you can take organised coach tours to Kerry and West Cork with Bus Eireann. These tours, at approximately EUR27 per person represent really good value for money and are a good way to see a lot of the countryside if you don't have much time in Cork.
Details of all bus schedules and coach tours from buseireann's website and train times to Cobh, from Irish Rail.
Cork is a small city, you should visit the center by walk. You should find even buses, but I don't like to use them, becouse I gonna be late, 100 %. There is a schedule, but nobody's care. Irish way. Easygoing.
The main attraction around Cork are very well reachable by bus or for ex. Cobh by train.
Only one thing should be dangerous by the bus, if there is no more place to seat, you won't be allowed to go up to the bus. You have to stay. But until waiting for the next there is always time for a pint of Guinness.
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(formerly Vienna Woods Hotel), Glanmire, County Cork, Ireland
Good for: Couples
Good modern Irish four star hotel that opened for busines in 2005. I stayed here a good few weeks...more