The best mode of transportation for visiting Cork is probably on foot. Even though it'll take you a few days to see it all, it's worth it for all the discoveries you'll make.

If you want to use public transportation, you'll find that the bus service has the best coverage of the city.  Most of the time, this service is timely and efficient, but there are times when the system can get a little confusing and bus services are prone to being delayed during morning and evening rush hour.

Rail services are more reliable, but the network is less extensive.

Bus

The city's bus operator is called Bus Eireann. Services to and from the city centre start at 7am and run until 11:30pm Mon-Sat. On Sundays, services start at around 9:30am. A small number of routes operate beyond these hours, most notable the 226/226A airport service, which runs from 5:30am to 00:30am and the 205 service, linking Kent Railway station to UCC and CIT, which runs from 6:30am to midnight. 

City Services

You'll have to pay at least €2.10 for a cash fare or €1.60 for a Leap Card fare (as of March 2016) euros per ticket. Due to the Leap Card deposit, you will need to make at least 10 journeys before the savings pay for the card deposit. You can call 021-450-8188 for more information on schedules and ticketing.

Cork Public Transport has handy bus route maps for the city and county bus eireann services.

Helpful Tips:

  • There are fourteen bus routes to/from the city centre as well as two orbital routes (Route 1 services the Northern district and Route 19 services the Southern district).
  • Sometimes bus stops are difficult to distinguish.. or find. Look for a red pole with the Bus Eireann logo on it. There has been some effort to roll out new poles. These are more obvious and have a large blue sign on them.
  • Transfers are not free
  • Watch out for services with an X suffix (215X and 220X). These run on faster routes that skip some of the inner suburbs.

Regional Services

To go outside the city (to the airport, for example), you can take the bus from Parnell Place.

Fares are proportional to the distance travelled.

Rail

Cork has three commuter rail lines to Cobh, Midleton and Mallow. All are run by Irish Rail

To travel between Cobh/Fota and Midleton, change at Glounethaune. Otherwise, change in Cork.

Services run every half hour during peak period and hourly off-peak. 

Access to tourist attractions by Public Transport

 This is a list of tourist attractions that are not readily accessible on foot from the city centre.

Attraction
Public Transport Access
Blackrock Castle
Bus #202
Blarney Castle

Bus #215

Cobh Heritage CentreCobh Train Station
Curraheen Park Greyhound Stadium  Bus #208
Fort Camden
Bus #220A
Fota Wildlife Park
Fota Railway Station
Lifetime Lab
Bus #208
Midleton Distillery
Midleton Railway Station
Spike Island 
Cobh Railway Station 
Titanic Experience
Cobh Railway Station 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tickets and Passes

Bus

For single journey cash fares, you can pay the driver on the bus. You may also purchase a day pass from the driver.

For regional services, you may also purchase a ticket from a machine or ticket office in Parnell Place Bus Station.

Tickets can be purchased using Leap Card pre-paid credit on the bus.

Weekly and monthly tickets may be bought from Parnell Place bus station and from the Centra store in Douglas.  If you already own a Leap Card, you may purchase online from www.leapcard.ie; you must still load the ticket onto your Leap Card. This can be done at Leap Card top-up agent, at self-service machines located in Parnell Place and Patrick St, at ticket machines at the train statio, or using the Leap Card App (Android only).

Weekly and monthly tickets are split into two zones - Red Zone and Green Zone. The Red Zone corresponds to the main city area, while the Green Zone extends out to nearby commuter towns such as Crosshaven, Carrigaline, Ballincollig, Blarney and Carrigtwohill.

Rail

Rail tickets may be bought from a machine at any rail station in Cork. Kent Station and Cobh Station also have manned ticket desks. Alternatively, you can use a Leap Card to tag on when entering the platform and tag off at your destination (only available on Midleton and Cobh lines).