Cork’s Best Attractions for Culture, History and the Arts


Cork is a wonderful city with a thriving art scene and a culture informed by its Gaelic roots. The work of Cork’s artisans is there to be seen on the streets, in the city’s galleries and in its theatres.

Thankfully Cork City Council are beginning to play a big role in the preservation of the city’s culture by providing grants for museums, libraries, theatres and art centres which is opening up a lot more of the city’s culture to tourism.


If the performing arts interest you, the best places to be entertained are the Cork Opera House in Emmet Place which shows opera, music concerts and even pantos. The Granary Theatre at Mardyke and the Everyman Palace on MacCurtain Street have everything from jazz concerts to comedy gigs. If you’d like to watch a movie, Cinema World in Douglas and the Gate Multiplex at Bachelor’s Quay are highly recommended.


The main places for the visual arts are Crawford Art Gallery, which is an admission free gallery in in Emmet Place, the Lewis Glucksman Gallery at University College Cork, and Form Gallery in Paul Street, which specialises in contemporary paintings and sculpture. Other forms of art are exhibited at Triskel Arts Centre on Tobin Street, whose aim is to “commission, present, and promote the contemporary arts”, and Tigh Filí on MacCurtain Street, which is run by a group who organise and facilitate readings, workshops and seminars for emerging writers, poets and artists.


If you’d like to learn about the history of Cork you’ll find plenty of information in the Central Library on Grand Parade, but a trip around Cork’s Public Museum and the Cork Archives Institute in Great William O’Brien Street will allow you to experience the city’s history through exhibitions rather than the pages of a book. The Cork Vision Centre is another must-see place for those interested in Cork’s history and heritage. This is a venue that holds different exhibitions and events so there isn’t always an event on.


If you’re planning a trip to Cork for a holiday why not come for one of the city’s festivals. The best known festivals held in the city each year include the International Choral Festival in May, the Midsummer Festival in June, the Beamish Folk Festival in September, and the Cork International Film Festival and the Guinness Jazz Festival, both of which are held in October.



About Author

Kelly Lewis is the founder of Go! Girl Guides, the Women's Travel Fest and Damesly. She's an optimist, an adventurer, an author and works to help women travel the world.

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