The city of Cork offers plenty of attractions including museums, markets, and cathedrals. The city is also a great place to experience real Irish culture by popping into a local pub. If you decide to rent a car in Cork, you will also be able to explore the surrounding countryside. The eastern part of Cork county offers beaches and coastal scenery. Alternatively, head north for natural landscapes and historical sites. Cork Airport is located 8km south of the city of Cork. There are regular flights to Cork from London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Paris, and other major British and European cities. Flights to Cork from London leave daily from Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, and Luton airports. There are plenty of options for car hire at Cork Airport, a quick and easy option to get straight from the terminal to your holiday residence.
The Cork City Gaol is a former prison where you can get a sense of what the life of a 19th century prisoner in Ireland was like. The gaol and museum are a 10min drive away from the city centre. The English Market, also in the city of Cork, is famous for its Victorian building which features vaulted ceilings and ornate architectural elements. Here you will find local vendors selling fresh produce, as well as take-away meals. In the countryside outside the town lies Barryscourt Castle, which is best accessible by car. The castle was built in the 16th century and retains its original tower house with a defensive bawn wall and corner towers. Mitchelstown Caves are about a 50min drive away from the city of Cork. Here you will find a large network of underground chambers, passages, and caverns.
The county of Cork is the largest and Southernmost county in Ireland. The county is named after the city of Cork, which is located within the county, and is the second largest city in Ireland with a population of around 125,000. The landscape in the county of Cork varies from mountainous areas, to open prairies. It is home to several low mountain ranges, including the Slieve Miskish, the Caha Mountains, the Ballyhoura mountains, and the Shehy Mountains. The latter contains the county's highest summit, Knockboy, which stands at 706m. The varied landscape of Cork also influences the shoreline, with high sea cliffs in some areas, and flat, easily accessible beaches in others. As in the rest of Ireland, the gastronomy in the county of Cork is based on meat, potatoes, and cabbage, and most menus feature many stews and fried foods. Cork also has its own local food specialities: the region is known for delicacies such as tripe, a dish made out of pig's feet called crubeens, and a type of blood sausage called drisheen.
If you are planning to rent a car in Cork, be sure to catch up on all the relevant driving regulations. In Ireland, you drive on the left-hand side of the road, so if you are from the USA or Europe, give yourself some time to adapt! The minimum legal age to drive without supervision is 18, and drivers from the UK, EU, USA, Canada, and Australia are allowed to drive as long as they carry their original domestic licence. Be aware that the legal alcohol limit is 0.05 percent. Of course, always make sure to respect the speed limits, which are posted in kilometres on signs by roads and motorways. Breaking the speed limit will incur a fine, as will failure to wear a seat belt in both the front and back seats. Also, children younger than 12 years old are not allowed to sit in the front seat.