Cork is truly one of the must-see cities in Ireland, as it’s the second-largest city in the country, right behind Dublin, and truly has a culture of its own. When planning your trip, you may struggle to try to decide where to stay in Cork, but there are luckily many fantastic neighbourhoods in the suburbs — you honestly can’t go wrong.

Visiting Cork is one of the best experiences you’ll have in Ireland. Whether you go during the most prominent jazz festival in the country or just for a quick day trip to see Blarney Castle, visiting Cork will be one of the most memorable parts of your trip to the Emerald Isle.

I was lucky enough to visit here during my study abroad in Dublin and can testify to the point that you can’t go wrong when choosing where to stay in Cork, Ireland. I decided to stay right in the city centre because it was near the top attractions I wanted to see.

This Cork accommodation guide will let you know all of the best neighbourhoods in Cork so that you can plan your trip more seamlessly! Cork really is one of the best places to visit in all of Ireland.

cork city center

Here’s a list of the best places to stay in Cork, including the top areas for tourists, and accommodation options:

1. Blarney

Blarney is one of the few places that everyone has heard of in Ireland because it’s home to none other than the Blarney Castle and Gardens!

If this is your main reason for visiting this area of Ireland, then you can’t go wrong with staying in Blarney when choosing where to stay in Cork.

This suburb of Cork is nowhere near as loud and busy as the city, which makes it a more tranquil and quaint area to stay. The town of Blarney is also a lot smaller than Cork and is filled with its quirks and fantastic restaurants.

There is excellent public transportation in this part of the country, so if you don’t have a car during your trip, there’s no need to worry. Just hop on the regional bus to get between Cork city and Blarney within 45 minutes.

blarney castle cork where to stay
Blarney Castle

This Neighbourhood is Best For:

Anyone whose primary reason for visiting Cork is to see Blarney Castle and Gardens should opt to stay here.

A whole day can be spent exploring this attraction, so staying right in town will allow you to be one of the very first visitors so you can avoid the crowds that come later in the day.

Top Highlights in Blarney

  • As mentioned earlier, the medieval Blarney Castle & Gardens is the must-see highlight in Blarney.
  • The Blarney Woollen Mills shop is a great spot to learn more about Ireland history with weaving from the 19th century.
  • To see a lesser-visited castle in Blarney, head to Ballincollig Castle, which has its own gardens called the Ballincollig Regional Park.
  • For a great meal, head to Muskerry Arms, which also happens to be a bed and breakfast and bar.

Where to Stay in Blarney

The most affordable place to stay in Blarney is at Muskerry Arms which is located only a short walk away from Blarney Castle and the bus stop to get into Cork city. Rooms start at €95 ($112) and rise depending on which room type you choose.

A bit of a nicer stay in Blarney is the Blarney Woollen Mills Hotel, which is a 10-minute walk away from Blarney Castle and is located right near the iconic Blarney Woollen Mills shop. Room rates here begin around €108 ($127).

The most excellent place to stay in Blarney, which is incredibly popular among couples and families, is the Blarney Castle Hotel. This hotel is 2 minutes away from both Blarney Woollen Mills and Blarney Castle, plus it dates back to 1837. Rates start at €122 ($144).

Search for unique stays in Blarney on Airbnb here

2. Cork City Centre

The city centre is hands-down the best area to stay in Cork because it’s right in the middle of everything. By staying here, visitors don’t have to rely as much on public transportation and can practically walk to all of the main attractions, including pubs, monuments, restaurants, and more.

One of the huge pluses of staying in the city centre is going on day trips. If you want to go on a day trip from Cork, then you can virtually roll out of bed and head to a nearby pickup spot because they tend to be right in the city centre.

Generally, prices in this neighbourhood tend to be a bit higher because of the prime location. There aren’t any hostels located in Cork’s city centre unlike many other cities in Ireland, unfortunately.

cork city drone best places to stay
Cork City Centre

This Neighbourhood is Best For:

This is arguably the best place to stay if you don’t mind busyness and loud noises. Mainly, this area of Cork tends to be most popular among younger, solo travellers as well as those who love being in the heart of cities when travelling.

If you’re only visiting Cork for a weekend, you’ll definitely want to base yourself in the centre. 

Top Highlights in Cork City Centre

  • The English Market, an 18th-century market filled with amazing food vendors, is one of the best places to eat in all of Cork.
  • Head to Crane Lane Theatre to catch some live music any day of the week.
  • Another great place to eat that can’t be missed is Market Lane, a family-friendly mid-range restaurant with a fantastic dessert.
  • Visit the Cork City Hall to brush up on your County Cork history.
  • Walk along St. Patrick’s Street to go shopping at any department store you can imagine.

Where to Stay in Cork City Centre

The most affordable place to stay in the city centre is the Jurys Inn Cork, a place that’s very popular among families. It’s located near the Cork City Hall and the English Market, with rates starting at €88 ($103).

An excellent place for couples to stay is the Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City which is near Kent Train Station and the English Market. Rates here start at €144 ($169) though fluctuate depending on the time of year you visit.

If you’re looking for a 4-star stay right inside the main shopping area in Cork’s city centre, then the Imperial Hotel Cork City is for you. This is one of the best places to stay in Cork, with rates starting at €151 ($178).

Search for unique stays in Cork City Centre on Airbnb, here.

3. Victorian Quarter

Victorian Quarter is where to stay in Cork City if you’re a fan of history. This is a beautiful and quaint neighbourhood in Cork that is most well-known for its 19th-century architecture and gorgeous buildings.

The Victorian Quarter is home to trendy restaurants, pubs, bars, bookstores, monuments, museums, and more. This is truly one of the more hip places to stay in Cork and is only a short walk away from the Cork city centre!

However, unlike the Cork city centre, there are a few affordable hostels here. This is a more affordable area to stay, and it isn’t as busy and loud as the city centre is.

cork where to stay in the victorian neighbourhood

This Neighbourhood is Best For:

This area is a great place to stay for families, couples, and solo travellers. It’s truly perfect for anyone who wants to experience being in downtown Cork but doesn’t want to pay as much as it would cost to stay in the city centre.

Top Highlights in the Victorian Quarter

  • The top place to visit in the Victorian Quarter is the Cork Opera House, where you can catch a one-of-a-kind performance.
  • Walk across the St. Patrick’s Bridge to get some of the best views of the River Lee.
  • Grab a meal at either Greenes Restaurant or Isaacs Restaurant for some of the best food in Cork.
  • Purchase some local souvenirs at Mother Jones Flea Market.

Where to Stay in the Victorian Quarter

Arguably the most affordable place to stay in all of Cork is Sheilas Tourist Hostel, a place that’s popular among younger travellers. It’s right in the centre of the Victorian Quarter, with prices starting at just €18 ($21) per night.

If you want to stay in a bit of a more excellent place, opt to stay in the Metropole Hotel Cork which is near some of the best shops in the Victorian Quarter. Prices begin at €130 ($153) per night.

Hotel Issacs Cork City is the perfect place to stay for families and is located right next to Greenes Restaurant and is only a 5-minute walk away from the city centre. Rates start at €115 ($135) per night but range throughout the year.

4. Tivoli

Tivoli is a suburb just east of Cork and is a beautiful place to stay right on the water. This area is a lot less busy than the other neighbourhoods mentioned on this list, so this is a great place to stay if you want a little more peace during your trip.

There isn’t as much to do in this neighbourhood, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth exploring. It has a lot more of a hometown vibe than the city itself, which can be a nice change to return to every evening for your accommodation.

This Neighbourhood is Best For:

This neighbourhood is perfect for all types of travellers, especially if you’d like to be in an area that is a bit quieter. It’s mostly a popular place to stay among couples who want to have a quiet getaway near Cork city.

Top Highlights in Tivoli

  • Grab a bite to eat at Flemings Restaurant for some exquisite French food.
  • Head near the Tivoli Docks to see the many shipping boats come and go on the River Lee.
  • Visit Blackrock Pier and the Blackrock Castle Observatory for great views and to see a beautiful castle from the 16th century.

Where to Stay in Tivoli

For an exquisite and unique experience, spend the night at the Flemings Country House. This place, which is only 10 minutes from Cork’s city centre, is trendy among couples with rates beginning at €111 ($130) per night.

Clayton Hotel Silver Springs is a beautiful 4-star hotel that offers excellent views of the River Lee. It’s right across the river from the Blackrock Castle, and rates begin at €111 ($130) per night.

The Belvedere Lodge is a beautiful accommodation inside of an old Victorian building that provides the perfect romantic escape. Breakfast is included, and rooms begin at just €99 ($116).

5. St. Luke’s Cross

St. Luke’s Cross is a suburb right outside of Cork and is another excellent spot to stay if you don’t want to stay right in the city centre. It’s a short drive away from Cork, but some buses run between this area and the city centre.

Though there isn’t a whole lot to do in St. Luke’s Cross, this area is home to relatively affordable accommodations. It’s also a college area as its home to Griffith College Cork and is right next to Cork Kent station.

Griffith College Cork where to stay in cork ireland
Griffith College Cork

This Neighbourhood is Best For:

The St. Luke’s Cross neighbourhood is a trendy place to stay among families because it’s near the city centre, but it is a bit quieter. It also has a lot more of a town feel compared to the city life of Cork.

Top Highlights in St. Luke’s Cross

  • Explore the campus of Griffith College Cork to see some beautiful architecture.
  • Listen to some live music at Live at St. Luke’s for a great time.
  • Grab some traditional pub food at John Henchy & Sons, which is the top pub in St. Luke’s Cross.

Where to Stay in St. Luke’s Cross

The Address Cork, also known as the Ambassador Hotel & Health Club, is a gorgeous 19th-century accommodation that offers excellent views of Cork’s skyline. It’s also home to McGettigan’s Cookhouse & Bar with prices starting at €114 ($134).

The Montenotte Hotel is one of the most excellent places to stay in the Cork city area and is the perfect place for families or couples on a romantic getaway. Rates are a bit higher, starting at €162 ($190), but what’s so great about this hotel is that they have apartment room options which are great for more extended stays.


Enjoy Your Stay in Cork

Cork is truly a great place to visit whether you’re travelling solo, with a family, or with a loved one! No matter what type of traveller you are, there’s a neighbourhood in Cork that perfectly fits your needs and budget.

Luckily, whichever neighbourhood you choose for your trip to Cork, you’ll be entirely connected to the city centre by the local bus. Enjoy planning your next trip to the Emerald Isle!

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Where To Stay in Cork: Best Areas and Accommodations5 Best Places To Stay in Cork, Ireland