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Cork is the second-largest city in Ireland, and many locals even go as far as calling it the ‘real capital of Ireland’.

Founded originally as a monastic settlement in the 6th century, nowadays it is a bustling and cosmopolitan city. Cork is reinventing itself with a growing foodie scene and cafés dotted around the city centre. It was even named a European Capital of Culture in 2005.

Don’t worry, though. When you want to partake in more authentic Irish pastimes, you’ll still find cosy traditional pubs where you can grab a pint of Irish brew and listen to live music.

Cork’s city centre is compact, making it easy to walk around to discover what it has to offer. You can roam along the River Lee’s waterways, admire the architecture along the grand Georgian street, and lose yourself in 17th-century alleyways. 

The English Market is a highlight to visit, with ornate vaulted ceilings, grand columns and a marble fountain. Open Monday to Saturday, the market houses stalls full of fresh produce. You could also visit the former 19th-century city "goal", as well as St Fin Barre’s Cathedral.

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