Interested in Cork?
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There are many ways to get to Cork! First off, it's within driving distance of Dublin (about 2.5 hours) and about the same from Galway. It's in an easily accessible location if you just want to go away for the weekend without much hassle.
If you are flying, you'll land at Cork Airport ( ORK )on Kinsale Road. This is about 9km away from the city. The airport is a base for Aer Lingus and Ryanair, while a number of other airlines service Cork. There are plenty of taxis outside the airport -- it'll cost about $20 (€15) to get to the city and most accomodations
The airport is quite big (new terminal B2 has opened) and currently has 45 check-in desks. The short-term car park is a new multi-story car park within walking distance. Both long-term car parks are currently a 10-minute walk but have a limited mini-bus shuttle service. If baggage is not too heavy it is a better option to walk from the long-term car park to the terminal building.
All check-in desks are on the ground floor, facing you as you enter the terminal building.
There is a main food court served by Italian Auto Grill. Other restaurants include Subway, the red bar and many more. The terminal also has a book shop and a Londis Mini-Market on the ground floor.
The departure lounge on the first floor has a very large duty-free shop. There is a sports bar in the departure lounge, too. Also in the departure lounge there is a Lir cafe serving coffee, chocolate and sandwiches, and a small restaurant and a large book shop.
Getting out of Cork Airport
The taxi rank is out the the main door and turn right; it's only metres away. The taxi ride should cost €12-€16 but as the traffic into the city can be extremely heavy at peak times you may end up paying double that if you are unlucky.
Bus and Shuttle Bus
The airport is served by bus routes 226, 226A and 252. The 226A route is the airport express bus and serves Cork Bus Station and Cork Train Station with a stop on Eglinton St going into the sity and Anglesea St leaving it. Route 226 is a regional service from Cork to Kinsale. It serves Cork Bus Station, Cork Train Station, Anglesea St, Summerhill South and Turner's Cross in the city and Belgooly, Riverstick and Kinsale beyond the airport. Route 252 runs only once each way per day. It serves Cork Bus Station in the city and a variety of towns in West Cork and South Kerry in the opposite direction.
There is a timetable for the bus routes on www.buseireann.ie. Click on the Airport Services tab and then Cork Airport. Adult cost to the city centre is €6.50 return and €3.90 single. This main 226 service drops at the Bus Station at Parnell Place which is city centre (3 mins walk from the main shopping street -- Patrick Street) and Kent Railway Station.
Citylink operate a service from Cork Airport to Mallow, Buttevant, Charleville, Croom, Limerick, Gort and Galway. Timetables are available on www.citylink.ie
A good selection of the main car hire companies are based at Cork Airport.
While it is possible to walk from the airport to Cork City, it is an extremely busy road to walk and much of it does not have a pedestrian footpath. It is not recommended that you walk the route. Walking to the Radisson Hotel, Cork International Airport Hotel or any of the B&Bs in the Farmer's Cross area is practical.
If you have flown in with bicycles, you can easily cycle all the way downhill into Cork city. Alternatively a right turn at the airport gate will take you in the direction of West Cork.
Arriving in Cork by Train
Trains in the Republic of Ireland are operated by Irish Rail ( www.irishrail.ie).
Cork has direct services to Dublin, Killarney, Tralee, Mallow, Cobh and Midleton. While there are three direct daily services to Tralee and Killarney, there are a further five services if you change at Mallow. For trains to Galway and Limerick, you must change at Limerick Junction.
The train station (Kent Station) is located on the Lower Glanmire Road just an easy 10-15 minute walk from the City Centre.
The train station is medium sized and has a small cafe, an ATM, a kiosk shop and a newsagents.
There are always taxis just outside the main door to the right.
The number 205 city service links the train station to Patrick St, UCC and CIT. The bus stop is just outside the main entrance to the station. For timetable see www.buseireann.ie
The number 226/226A service links the train station to Cork Airport.
If you need to make a connecting journey by bus you will have to make your way to the Bus Station at Parnell Place which is only a 10-minute walk away. Walking is the best option as it will take just as long to get there by taxi. If you have heavy bags or the weather is bad you should take a taxi or use the 205 city bus service.
The bizarre thing about the information and ticket sales kiosks at the train and bus stations is that you cannot get bus timetable information or buy bus tickets at the train station and versa.
Arriving in Cork by Bus
Buses in the Republic of Ireland are operated by Bus Eireann ( www.buseireann.ie).
The bus station is located at Parnell Place (right beside the River Lee) and is less than a 5-minute walk to the main street Patrick Street and the South Mall (financial area).
Services include a large number of local services within Cork County, ExpressWay services to Killarney/Tralee, Limerick/Galway, Waterford/Rosslare and Dublin, as well as a Eurolines service to Swansea, Cardiff, Bristol and London.
The bus station is not the terminus for city services, although routes 202, 205, 207 and 208 have a stop immediately outside the bus station for westbound/southbound buses.
The bus station recently has been renovated and is quite big and has a large kiosk shop, a cafe and some vending machines. It is not a place to hang around if you have time on your hands.
There is a fairly good Information Office there where you can get printed timetables, but be aware that there are sometimes queues at this office which might delay you, so don't be shy about asking any of the staff on the ground or outside at the buses for information if you are in a hurry.
A number of private operators also operate to Cork.
Aircoach operate a service to Dublin and Dublin Airport from Patrick's Quay. Timetables are available from www.aircoach.ie/
Citylink operate a service from Cork to Mallow, Buttevant, Charleville, Croom, Limerick, Gort and Galway. Services depart from Patrick's Quay. Timetables are available on www.citylink.ie
Arriving in Cork by Car
Cork has paid parking in all central areas. There are two principal types of parking - on-street and off-stree.
On-street parking is restricted to stays of maximum duration 1 or 2 hours depending on the street. The price is €2 for the length of your stay. Parking disks must be bought at nearby shops and displayed in the car windscreen.
Off-street parking is available in several car parks and is priced between €1.80 and €3.20 per hour depending on the car park. A small number of car parks offer daily rates in the region of €8-€9, among them car parks on Patrick's Quay, Railway St and at Kent Station.