Ireland’s second city is first in every important respect – at least according to the locals, who cheerfully refer to it as the ‘real capital of Ireland’. It’s a liberal, youthful and cosmopolitan place that was badly hit by economic recession but is now busily reinventing itself with spruced-up streets, revitalised stretches of waterfront, and – seemingly – an artisan coffee bar on every corner. There’s a developing hipster scene, but the best of the city is still happily traditional – snug pubs with live-music sessions, restaurants dishing up top-quality local produce, and a genuinely proud welcome from the locals.
The compact city centre is set on an island in the River Lee, surrounded by interesting waterways and packed with grand Georgian avenues, cramped 17th-century alleys and modern masterpieces such as the opera house.
St Patrick’s St runs from St Patrick’s Bridge on the North Channel of the Lee, through the city’s main shopping and commercial area, to the Georgian Grand Parade, which leads to the river’s South Channel. North and south of St Patrick’s St lie the city’s most entertaining quarters: grids of narrow streets crammed with pubs, shops, cafes and restaurants, fed by arguably the best foodie scene in the country.
THINGS TO DO....
RING THE SHANDON BELLS
Put on your ear defenders, climb the bell tower at St Anne’s Church in the historic Shandon area of Cork and pull the ropes hard to ring the bells. Choose your own tune, from Amazing Grace to Waltzing Matilda. When you ring the bells of Shandon out over Cork city, you become part of a centuries-old tradition.
EXPLORE THE MARKETS
Full of a rich vein of Cork humour, the English Market was catapulted into the limelight when Queen Elizabeth II visited in 2011. The Queen was reputedly wowed by what she saw. And why wouldn’t she be? This is the oldest market of its kind in Europe, and the shelves groan with Irish artisan produce and farmhouse cheeses from the mild to the ultra-mature. Delicious stuff.
SOAK UP SOME CULTURE
Just off Patrick’s Street lies the Crawford Gallery, an artistic institution since its beginnings in 1884. At the heart of the gallery lies the famous Canova Casts, a series of plaster casts donated by the Vatican Museum to the Cork Society of Arts in 1818. The Belvedere Torso, The Laocoon and The Disc Thrower are among the breath taking casts on display. Here’s the cherry on top: admission is free.
ENJOY SOME TRAD
The traditional Irish music session is the quintessential “Irish experience” and has rightly earned its place on the “must do” list when visiting Ireland. Duck into a pub any evening and chances are a small group of musicians will have taken over a corner.
TAKE A TOUR
A charming way to explore the stories and history of Cork city is with a tour and there are quite a few to choose from. Cork City Tours operates open-top double-decker buses, which run regularly during the day. The route is through the main streets, along the quays and past city centre landmarks with a guide who’ll regale you with tales of the city.
For those interested in seeing some of Cork and Ireland best tourist attractions, delegates will have the opportunity to purchase optional tour tickets on their registration form.
- Tax Refunds
- Credit Cards
- Smoking Policy
- What to Pack
Ireland enjoys relatively cool summers. The daily temperature in August is on average 16 °C. Cork enjoys reasonable sunshine in August with unpredictable rain showers. These rain showers generally don’t last long, but it is recommended that you have an umbrella or light rain gear to hand.
Cork’s main shopping street is at the heart of the city, St. Patricks Street, affectionately known as ‘Pana’ by locals. There is a huge range of products to bring home – from traditional Irish hand-made crafts to international designer labels. Shopping hours in general are from 9.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Saturday, with shops open until 8.00pm on Thursdays, and many shops open from 2.00pm – 6.00pm on Sunday. Out in the suburbs large shopping centres are to be found such as Mahon Point, Wilton Shopping Centre, Douglas Village, Douglas Court and Blackpool Shopping Centre.
The Conference Organising Committee or its agents will not be responsible for any medical expenses, loss or accidents incurred during the conference. Delegates are strongly advised to arrange their own personal insurance to cover medical and other expenses including accident or loss. Where a delegate has to cancel for medical reasons, the normal cancellation policy will apply. It is recommended that citizens from EU countries bring with them a current EHIC card.
Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged at 23% on most goods. Cash back is the simplest and most widely used VAT refund service that issues cash refunds on departure for a handling fee. Ask for cash back form when you make your purchase.
In most hotels and restaurants a service charge of 10-15% is added to the bill and tipping is not required. However, many tip their waitress or waiter directly to show appreciation of good or cheerful service. Tipping is not usual in pubs, except when you are served at your table. Cabs can be tipped 10%.
The currency in Ireland is the Euro.
Major credit cards are widely accepted.
– From March to October, Ireland operates on Greenwich Mean Time + 1 hour.
Under Irish law smoking is not permitted in pubs, restaurants, hotel lobbies and all enclosed public buildings.
Mains electricity is supplied at 220 Volts (50 cycles) and the plugs are flat with three pins. An adapter is needed to convert to the right plug size. A transformer is needed to convert American appliances (except for dual-voltage equipment which needs only an adapter).
Include smart casual clothes for the conference. Smart attire is recommended for the gala dinner. Rainwear and comfortable shoes are advised.