Did you know that Cork is commonly referred to as the “real capital”? Sure, Dublin may the go-to Irish city for many people, but there are many reasons to choose Cork as your study destination in Ireland. Here are just a few:
Life in Cork is undeniably less expensive than in Dublin. Public transport, food, coffee – you name it, chances are it can be found for less in Cork. Moreover, while rent in both cities has increased over the last few years, in Dublin it is still over 42% higher on average! Save that rent money to spend on a nice meal instead (which will be 20% cheaper in Cork, by the way)*.
Looking for an authentic Irish experience? Further off the beaten track than the capital, Cork has something for everyone – a city full of history, with great food and a vibrant arts and music scene.
Cork is home to many acclaimed eateries, with something for all tastes; from high-end vegetarian restaurant Café Paradiso, to popular burrito joint ‘Burritos and Blues’, not to mention the fabulous English Market (below).
History enthusiasts will marvel at the Cork City Gaol, which housed prisoners in the 19th century, and will admire Shandon Bells and Tower in St. Anne’s Church, described as “one of the most important early 18th century churches in Ireland”**.
Art lovers will be sure to enjoy the many art museums, such as the award-winning Lewis Glucksman gallery and the Crawford Art Gallery (below).
When it comes to music, Cork is a hotspot. Many top-class international performers have taken the stage at Cork’s summertime ‘Live at the Marquee’ festival; older names such as Tom Jones and Dolly Parton, as well as more modern acts: Ellie Goulding, Lana Del Rey and Jason Derulo to mention just a few. The city’s many annual festivals (a list of which can be found here) ensure that the city has something to offer for everyone. The esteemed Cork Guinness Jazz Festival (below), held every year at the end of October, sees the city filled with free street performances and other entertainment. Not only does the city attract its fair share of celebrities, but it is also the hometown of many famous Irish exports – Cillian Murphy, Graham Norton and Game of Throne’s Jack Gleeson.
Friendliness and safety
Cork may be Ireland’s second largest city, but it is still relatively small; Dublin’s population is currently over one million, while Cork’s is less than 200,000. Not only is the city centre largely walkable and very safe, but after a while you’ll find yourself seeing the same friendly faces time and time again. In fact, Cork is consistently ranked among the friendliest cities in the world! Cork’s massive student population gives the city an upbeat vibe and you’ll never be short of a pub to visit on a night out.
Cork is easy to reach by rail, bus and plane! Cork international airport (below) is a hub for flights to all kinds of locations. Flying into Dublin? Cork English College offers a FREE one-way transfer for all those taking the bus from Dublin (a journey of around 3 hours). What are you waiting for?
After all, the honeymoon destination of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian must be pretty special.