Second to Dublin in terms of large city’s in Ireland, Cork is a must-visit destination on any Ireland itinerary. Known as the foodie capital of Ireland and home to the jazz festival as well as the world-famous Blarney Stone, Cork is a top destination for travellers from around the globe.
Though Cork is a city that you can easily walk around in a short period of time, there are a few things to note before finding the perfect place to stay in Cork. This Cork accommodation guide will breakdown exactly what you need to know to book the perfect place for you, based on what you like as a traveller and your budget.
From luxury hotels in Cork with impressive views to the top spots in the centre, apartments to hostels and all of the affordable hotels in Cork, you’re covered when it comes to finding where to stay in Cork easily and without a ton of research!
Best Areas to Stay in Cork
Pick the best area to stay in Cork based on your travel preferences and be sure to never be too close or far from the action – just as you like.
- Cork City Centre: Where to stay in Cork for first-timers
- Victorian Quarter: Where to stay in Cork on a budget
- University College Cork: Where to stay in Cork for green space
- Blarney: Where to stay in Cork near Blarney Castle
Best Places to Stay in Cork
Broken down by area and then price, these are among the best places to stay in Cork for all budgets and types of travellers. Budget hotels, luxury hotels, don’t stress, you’re covered!
Cork City Centre
Best area to stay in for tourists and first-time visitors
Like most city’s, the city centre is the best place for first-time visitors to base themselves as it’s here that you’ll be closest to the majority of things to do in Cork, sightseeing attractions, pubs, restaurants, nightlife and shopping. Cork’s city centre is like an island, encompassed by River Lee, almost making this area completely its own from the city. This is by far the most central location in Cork and a top choice if you like being close to the action.
Top Picks for Cork City Centre
Luxury: Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City
As one of the top places to stay in Cork, this hotel is a luxurious and trendy spot to take breaks between seeing the best sights of the city. Located right in the centre of the city, this excellent hotel offers amenities that include room service, a delicious breakfast, bar, and restaurant on-site.
Mid-Range: Lancaster Lodge
A great mid-range option while still being close to the city centre, Lancaster Lodge provides rooms with comfortable king-sized beds, colourful features and easy accommodation. With top attractions such as the English Market being only a 5-minute walk away, you can’t go wrong with this affordable choice!
Budget: Jurys Inn Cork
Jurys Inn is a popular hotel chain that is across Ireland, the UK and the Czech Republic. The hotel provides simple yet comfortable accommodation, always in the city centre and with basic amenities that make these hotels an excellent choice for budget-conscious travellers who don’t need a lot to make their stay great.
Best area to stay in for budget-conscious travellers
The Victorian Quarter is another excellent choice for travellers who are visiting Cork for the first time because of its close proximity to the centre. But just because it’s not the bustling centre of Cork doesn’t mean it’s not lively. Named after the number of Victorian style buildings that make up this area, the Victorian Quarter has the most number of hostels in Cork, is home to lots of pubs, independent shops and a few historical buildings including St. Patricks Church. The Victorian Quarter is also very close to the bus and train stations, meaning it’s just a short walk to accommodation in this area!
Top Picks for the Victorian Quarter
Luxury: The Dean Cork
A trendy and luxurious hotel, The Dean Cork has rooms that are quite funky yet welcoming. As a great place to chill out and sleep, this 4-star hotel provides amenities that include an on-site restaurant, bar, fitness centre, swimming pool, and spa amenities such as a hot tub and sauna. This hotel sits just north of River Lee and the city centre which means it’s easy to get to from most of Cork’s attractions.
Pro Tip: Perhaps staying in an Irish castle is more up your alley (and well worth the splurge I may add!). Check out Castlemartyr Resort which is technically a manor but is basically a castle!
Mid-Range: The Metropole Hotel Cork
Comfortable and simple, this Cork hotel has everything you need without having to splurge (though I understand the importance of treating yourself sometimes too!). The location in the Victorian Quarter is fantastic, so good in fact that while dining at the on-site restaurant for breakfast you’ll have views of River Lee.
Budget: Sheila’s Tourist Hostel
The most budget-conscious option on this round-up, Sheila’s Tourist Hostel is great for those who prefer to share a room and make new friends as a solo traveller or for pairs who want a private room that gets the most bang for your buck. Just a 5-minute walk to the city centre, this Cork hostel is also close to the Cork Opera House, St. Patrick’s Quay and the train and bus stations. Plus it has a cinema room! Perfect for extra rainy days in Cork.
University College Cork
Best area to stay in for green space and foodies
This area of Cork is southwest of the city centre and only a 20-minute walk away from all of the action. A quiet area despite it being home to most of the city’s students, it provides a little oasis for those who love to visit parks and nature while in big city’s. Cork Lough is a great place to take a walk around the water and it’s an awesome area to retire to at night once you’re done with Cork sightseeing as there are plenty of pubs and restaurants among the historic buildings. This area of Cork is also known as being the best spot in the city for foodies!
Top Picks for University College Cork
Luxury: Hayfield Manor Hotel
Luxury at its finest, Hayfield Manor Hotel is among the few 5-star properties in the city and one of the best hotels in Cork. While located outside of the city centre (which is only a 20-minute walk away), this fabulous hotel in Cork is nestled in leafy grounds, giving guests the chance to escape to a mini paradise from the busy city. The elegantly designed rooms ooze luxury with marble bathrooms that are inviting. Outside of the guest rooms, visitors can indulge in beauty treatments at the spa, swim in the indoor heated pool, or get their zen on in the sauna or outdoor hot tub. Lastly, there are gardens for guests to explore as well as an on-site restaurant and bar.
Mid-Range: Shandon Bells Guest House
Ideal for guests who love to see nature as much as possible, even while in the city, this Cork guesthouse is a top choice. The quaint rooms are traditionally decorated and you can dine for breakfast over plates of full Irish breakfasts while the River Lee and greenery are just outside the doors of the dining room.
Budget: Rose Lodge Guesthouse
Located just opposite of the gates of the University College Cork, this guesthouse is a quiet stay that is only a 10-minute walk to the centre of Cork. With charming rooms and friendly staff, this the perfect place to stay between the city itself and the green space around the University College Cork Area.
Best area to stay in for local living & Blarney Castle
Just outside of Cork is the charming Irish town of Blarney, well-known because it’s home to one of the most famous attractions in Ireland, the Blarney Castle. This quaint town will give you more of a local feel and is of course quieter. To escape from the hustle and bustle of Cork, Blarney is an excellent place to stay as a base for visiting the city as it’s only a short drive or bus ride away.
Top Picks for Blarney
Luxury: Blarney Woollen Mills Hotel
15-minutes to the centre of Cork by car but only 500 metres from the castle, this is the most luxurious option that is closest to the castle. Elegant rooms are decorated with a light plaid and the on-site restaurant and bar welcome guests for afternoon tea, modern Irish cuisine and pints of Guinness. There is a fitness centre on-site and some of the rooms even feature views of the castle itself!
Mid-Range: Blarney Castle Hotel
This Blarney hotel is an easy walk to the castle as it’s less than 200 metres away! Each spacious room at this property has its own, private entrance with most rooms having views of greenery. A restaurant and bar are on-site and guests can enjoy an evening or two of Irish dancing and live music at the bar during their stay. For nature lovers there are lots of areas around the property for country walks and the Muskerry golf course is a short 5-minute drive away.
Budget: Muskerry Arms Bar and B&B
This traditional place to stay in Blarney has modern rooms and is only a 3-minute walk to Blarney Castle. The on-site bar has live entertainment including music on weekends and even Bingo on Wednesdays! For those who are doing an Ireland road trip, free parking is available at this property.
I hope this guide helped you find where to stay in Cork and that you have a fabulous trip, enjoy Cork!
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