Are you interested in seeing Ireland’s second-largest city Cork?
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Located about 160 miles (259 km) to the south of Dublin, Cork has a character all its own.
The city is known for its great food, lively pubs, one of the best free galleries in the country, and a laidback attitude, not to mention that it’s a hop and skip away from West Cork, a breathtaking stretch of land that begins in Kinsale and ends at Dursey located at the tip of the Beara Peninsula.
If you’re interested in making Cork City your base for a few days, here are some ideas for affordable accommodation that you can stay in.
Once an Edwardian tobacco warehouse, The Hotel Isaacs is a beautiful boutique hotel that offers stylish and affordable accommodation right in the heart of Cork’s theater district.
It’s tucked away in a lovely little cobbled lane that adds to its attractiveness.
Many say that one of the highlights of this city center hotel is its on-site restaurant called Greene’s, with its beautiful outdoor patio along with cuisine that comes from organic, locally sourced ingredients.
Hotel residents get a 15 percent discount when dining at Greene’s.
The staff at the 3-star Hotel Isaacs are knowledgeable about the city’s many attractions.
Because the hotel is located close to the Opera House and the Everyman Theatre, guests will often get package deals that combine dinner with an evening performance.
The 47 guest rooms at the Hotel Isaacs are spacious, clean, and stylish, with all the modern amenities you’d expect. If you happen to get a room on the first floor, you’ll have access to your own enclosed courtyard with a table and chairs.
Parking is available but you must pay a nightly fee of about €6.
Cost: Low Season – approximately $122 per night; High Season – approximately $172 per night (for two people sharing). Breakfast and Wifi included.
The Metropole Hotel
Located in the same neighborhood as Hotel Isaacs is The Metropole Hotel, a landmark building constructed in 1897.
A proud member of the Historic Hotels of Europe, the Metropole has been renovated extensively and still retains much of its 19th-century character.
In the early days, businessmen and traveling salesmen were regular customers at The Metropole.
The hotel, under the ownership of the merchant company, Musgraves, occupied the upper floors of the building while the ground floor and basement were retail units, with four shops (two on either side of the main entrance).
Another interesting tidbit about this popular Cork City hotel is the fact that Edward VII is said to have had tea on the roof when he visited Cork for the city’s Great Exhibition in 1903.
Other famous guests include a Who’s Who of famous people in the literary and entertainment industries, such as Gregory Peck, John Steinbeck, John Huston, Ella Fitzgerald, and Walt Disney.
Today, the popular hotel, which hosts the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, has over 100 bedrooms spread across five floors, including three family rooms.
All are equipped with TVs, tea and coffee-making machines, and en-suite bathrooms. Other facilities include a pool and gym, located in its Leeside Leisure Centre, which is free to residents.
There are two restaurants at the 4-star Metropole Hotel, including The MET Bar and Restaurant where you can also enjoy an afternoon tea.
Cost: Low Season – approximately $118 per night; High Season – approximately $160 per night (for two people sharing).
Location: Excellent – in the heart of the Victorian Quarter and close to shops, restaurants, and the theater. Breakfast and Wifi included.
Shandon Bells Guesthouse
If the idea of staying in yet another hotel turns you off, the 3-star Shandon Bells Guesthouse offers the same convenience to Cork City’s attractions like shopping, museums, and historic sites.
Located on the banks of the River Lee, this Cork accommodation offers guests the chance to feel like they’re in almost rural surroundings even though they’re right in the middle of the city.
The guesthouse, located next door to University College Cork, offers a variety of en-suite rooms, including single, double, family rooms and twin-bed rooms.
Breakfast is included in the nightly rate and includes a full Irish breakfast. Free parking is available on-site, and Wifi is available throughout the property.
Cost: Low Season – approximately $97 per night; High Season – approximately $128 per night (for two people sharing).
Location: Excellent – close to shopping, museums, and more.
Jury’s Inn Cork
This mid-range hotel is ideally suited if you want to explore Cork City’s tourist attractions, including The English Market, the shops on Patrick Street, and the Shandon Church Bells, which are all close by.
Renovated in 2014, the rooms at Jury’s are spacious with DREAM beds (a reputable U.K mattress company), flat-screen TVs, and en-suite bathrooms. Tea and coffee-making facilities are included.
You won’t find air conditioning in Jury’s, but more than likely you won’t need it either.
You can get a hot buffet breakfast in the on-site restaurant, as well as dinner. The hotel bar has several craft beers on tap, and you can get light meals there during the day.
Parking is available for a fee of €10/$11.14 per stay, but the lot is small.
Alternatively, you could use Lapp’s Quay car park, a 2-minute walk from the hotel entrance. The overnight rate is €12/$13.37 (6 p.m. to 12 noon the next day). the 24-hour rate is €25/$27.86. Parking fees are paid at the hotel reception desk.
Free Wifi is available throughout the hotel.
Cost: Low Season – approximately $122 per night; High Season – approximately $150 per night (for two people sharing). Breakfast is not included in the nightly rate.
Location: Good – close to most of the city’s attractions.
The Lancaster Lodge
If you’re looking for moderately priced accommodation in Cork City, The Lancaster Lodge will suit you.
The hotel is on the banks of the River Lee and is conveniently located to many of the city’s attractions (it’s a 25-minute walk to Cork City Gaol, a 5-minute walk to The English Market and St. Finn Barre’s Cathedral, a mere 3 minutes away).
The hotel lobby is decorated in a contemporary style, with brightly colored modern furniture.
The bedrooms at the Lancaster Lodge are spacious and include a private bathroom. Suites have Super King beds, a Nespresso coffee machine, and Jacuzzi whirlpool baths.
Expect a nice breakfast at this 4-star hotel, but don’t expect a full Irish breakfast here.
What you will get is a selection of homemade bread, scones, natural yogurt, and crunchy granola, with a buffet table offering a variety of juices, cereals (oatmeal/porridge included), and fruit.
You can also get pancakes and an omelet for breakfast.
The hotel does not offer lunch or dinner, but it is conveniently located close to some of the city’s best restaurants (ask at the reception for a list).
Free onsite parking is available.
Cost: Low Season – approximately $144 per night; High Season – approximately $170 per night (two people sharing). Free Wifi. Breakfast is included in the rate.
Location: Very good
Gabriel House Guesthouse
Considered luxury accommodation in Cork City, this guesthouse is ideal if staying in the city for the night and you want to treat yourself.
This accommodation is in a beautiful period house built in the early 1900s.
Inside you’ll discover rooms with 10-foot ceilings, a beautiful staircase with many of its original features still intact, and a garden and patio at the rear of the house.
From the bedrooms, you’ll have a fabulous view of Cork’s cathedral spires and its harbor.
The Gabriel House is a mere 5-minute walk from the city center and is close to many of Cork’s most popular tourist attractions. Kent Train Station is very close by too.
A traditional Irish breakfast is served each morning and guests can pick out their own eggs that come each day from the resident hens.
A Continental breakfast is also available, as well as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free offerings.
Cost: Low Season – approximately $182 per night; High Season – approximately $205 per night (two people sharing). Free Wifi. Breakfast is included in the rate.
Vienna Woods Hotel & Villas
Vienna Woods Hotel & Villas, located about a 10-minute drive from the city center, is a respite away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The original Regency-style building is set on a 22-acre estate and dates back to 1765.
The hotel has 48 guest rooms, including five suites, all decorated in a traditional style that matches its country house status.
Gold, burgundy, forest green, and navy are common color themes.
Eight chalets, decorated in a more modern, minimalist style, are also available on the property if you’re looking for self-catering accommodation in Cork.
The hotel’s Crawford Bar offers casual dining, where you can get pizzas, sandwiches, and burgers, in addition to small plates of chicken wings and spare ribs.
Afternoon tea is also available.
Mabel Crawford’s Bistro is the hotel’s main restaurant, and it is where you will get a variety of dishes from locally sourced ingredients.
One hotel room and one chalet are adapted to people with disabilities.
Cost: Low Season – approximately $140 per night; High Season – approximately $170 per night (two people sharing). Breakfast is included in the rate.
Location: Good – about 3. 5 miles (5.6 km) from the city center, but you’ll need a car to get there or take a taxi.
Are you planning to include Cork City in your Ireland vacation itinerary? If so, I hope that some of these suggestions for Cork accommodation will be helpful. Let me know in the comments below.