What To Do In Cork At Christmas

Christmas is coming, and Cork is an ideal destination for some fun at this time of the year. Cork has a reputation as a party town, and there are plenty of opportunities to go out and meet new people.

With its cobbled streets, festivals, and events. Cork makes a great festive city break. All of the major attractions in the city will be open, including Blarney Castle, Glucksman Gallery, Crawford Art Gallery, and of course, there is a whole host of things to do in Cork City Centre.

No matter what you’re looking for, you will find it in Cork city. Almost every type of budget is catered for, so pick a few favorites, book your flights, and let the holiday excitement begin!

Things To Do in Cork:

Ireland is home to some of the best tourists spots in the world, and one can’t help but visit to see it for himself. Let’s see what the top attractions are and what other things you can do in Cork city.

1. Blarney Castle:

The Blarney Castle And Gardens were built in the 15th century and has been a monument ever since. Someone visiting Cork and not visiting Blarney Castle is a rare event because of the castle’s elegance. It is situated in Monacnapa, Blarney, County Cork. These gardens close at 4 pm every day.

If you are in the city during the Christmas holidays. Be ready to meet Santa Claus. Because Santa stays in the castle for one month, from 24th November to 24th December. Prepare your kids to meet the Santa, as it will be a fun holiday for you in Cork.

Do you know that people also kiss its walls? Because they believe it is some kind of gift for them. Blarney Castle has a lot of surprises in store for you.

2. Glow Festival:

The Glow Festival in Cork city is something to spend your money on. As you get to witness one of the best Christmas celebrations in the country. You can find the festival at Grand Parade, Centre, Cork, Ireland. Or, if you happen to be in the English Market, then the festival is just a two-minute walk away from you.

The festival runs for more than 10 days of Christmas (12 days, to be precise). You will find local vendors, lots of food stands, play rides for your kids, and many other things. In other words, you are going to spend a lot of time there without even knowing it.

3. Hayfield Manor:

Staying at Hayfield Manor during your stay in the city is one of the best treats you could give to yourself and your family, and the fun doubles when it is Christmas day. Your day starts when famous Cork’s breakfast is already waiting for you. Then you carry on with other luxuries that the hotel provides at Christmas.

As the sun sets, your kids are surprised by the arrival of Santa Claus, who brings many gifts for them. You can find all sorts of Irish foods, drinks, beers, and champagnes. In short, the Cork city knows how to take care of its guests and fairly succeeds in doing so.

4. 26th December’s Shopping:

The day of 26th December comes as a relief for many. As the city lightens up with sale shopping. People are packed in shopping malls, trying to find their desired things like ornaments, favorite foods, clothes, and many other things.

If you are on a budget, then availing of this sale would be the best course of action. So enjoy wandering in the shopping malls and good luck finding what you need.

5. Glucksman Gallery:

This beautiful art gallery is situated inside the University College in Cork. It was officially inaugurated by the leader of Ireland in 2004. The gallery instantly gained recognition and was also called “Best Public Building in Ireland.” The Gluckman Gallery opens every day and closes at 5 pm.

There is a unique art show which takes place during Christmas, and it is worth seeing. Take some time to visit the gallery to find out about what real art is called.

The gallery depicts Ireland’s success in research and culture. People visit this gallery almost daily to witness some of the best pieces of modern and ancient art. If you plan on visiting Cork, Ireland. Going to the Glucksman gallery would be the best use of your time, and yes! It is worth your time.

6. Crawford Art Gallery:

Situated in Emmett Pl, Centre, Cork. The Crawford Art Gallery has been a tourist attraction ever since it was built. More than 250,000 people visited this art gallery and museum in 2019. Its opening and closing timings are, more or less, the same throughout the week. The gallery opens at 10 am from Monday to Friday and closes at 4 pm, and at 11 am on Sundays and closes at 5 pm.

The gallery’s schedule is from 11 am to 5 pm during Christmas, just like Sundays. It was built in the center of Cork in 1979 and was called the “National Cultural Institution” in 2006. You can find all kinds of art in the gallery, from ancient to modern to visuals. This is one of the best places in Cork to spend some time. Consider going there if you love art.

7. The English Market:

Want to travel in time? How about we go back 200 years? To the 18th century? Sounds hypothetical, right? But you can do it in Cork’s famous English Market. Among the many things to do in Cork is visiting this great history-based market inside the city at Princes St, Centre, Cork.

You will see a different look at the English Market during Christmas, as the ancient market will all be covered with Christmas trees, lights, gifts, beautiful colors, and many more things. You’ll thank us after visiting it. The timings are 8 am to 6 pm, with some exceptions.

The market opens from 8 am to 6 pm all week except on Sundays. The uniqueness of this market is that the whole structure of the market is built in a way that it looks like you are walking through 18th century Ireland. You will see local people selling different types of foods and other necessities. You will definitely enjoy being there.

8. Fota Wildlife Park:

You can find this park at Fota, Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork. Visiting a city and not going to its zoo would not be a good decision. That is why consider going to Fota Wildlife Park while you are in the city. It is a huge park that covers around 100 acres of land. So, preparing yourself both physically and mentally would be important.

However, it is a good tourist destination, but it remains closed during the three days of Christmas and then returns to normal schedules after that. You will have to adjust accordingly if you wish to go there.

The park was opened for the public in 1983 and has been operating ever since. The park’s opening and closing timings are: 10 am to 4:30 pm, and it operates all week. Some of its most famous animals are Gira and Gita, and it is home to more than 100 different species of animals and birds. You won’t get bored. Trust me.

9. Cork City Gaol:

Once home to dangerous prisoners and now to many tourists, the Cork City Gaol has come a long way. It was a jail but was later converted into a museum. Its building is quite old and was built in 1824. The prison was closed in 1923 and was transformed into a museum in 1993.

City Gaol remains closed during the three days of Christmas, 23rd, 24th, and 25th December, and then returns to normal schedules. Unlike many tourists spots, the Cork City Gaol remains open all week, including Sundays, and closed on Tuesdays. Its opening and closing timings are from 10 am to 4 pm.

10. Cork City Centre:

Located in the center of the city is a huge shopping spot during Christmas. You can find all sorts of necessities from here at reasonable prices. Try out its food, drinks, and traditional Irish pubs.

Visiting Cork city center during Christmas is a sight-to-see. Take your family with you and spend your holidays the best way possible.


Cork city has a lot of places for tourists to visit. Some of the famous ones are listed above and you should definitely try it once you land in Ireland, or if you live in Ireland. Because maybe you haven’t fully explored your country yet; let alone on Christmas.

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