Last Updated: 14th Nov 2013
Cork is known as ‘The Rebel City’ because it was the heart of the Irish Independence movement of the 1800’s, although today is a busy commercial hub for the south of Ireland it is a name the city still likes to promote.
With a population of around 180,000 people, Cork may be far smaller than the capital of Dublin, but if you ask any of the proud local Corkians they will tell you Cork is simply superior as their city provides a mix of all the conveniences of a city while still retaining its small-town feel.
Be warned that the traffic moves fast, and the locals talk even faster in their lovely singsong accent. Cork slang is so rich, and so particular to Cork, that it makes even other Irish feel out of the loop to the point where there are dictionaries available of Cork slang, It’s said that kissing the Blarney Stone (at nearby Blarney Castle) gives Corkonians this ‘gift of the gab’, in truth, most Corkonians have never kissed it. So, yes, kissing the stone is touristy but sometimes you just gotta do those touristy things.
Another recent claim to fame is that Cork was the European Capital of Culture for 2005 and the city is home to a thriving arts culture. The Crawford Art Gallery is the most important gallery outside of Dublin and the while the Cork Opera House is usually a sell out.
One of Corks major draw cards is its food. It is widely accepted that Cork has more good restaurants per capita than anywhere else in Ireland. East Cork is home to the internationally acclaimed Ballymaloe House cooking school.
Though you can find Guinness drinkers everywhere in Ireland, many would argue that a true Corkonian will only drink Murphy’s or Beamish, the two locally brewed stouts so much so that if you walk into any pub and order a “home and away” you’ll be presented with a pint of Murphy’s and one of Guinness.