Meet In Cork

Different. Friendly. Proud. Cultural. Progressive. Quirky. Charming. These are some of the words frequently used by visitors to describe Cork, Ireland’s compact second city, beautifully located on the southern coast between fertile farmlands and bountiful sea. A University City, with a centuries-old heritage of learning and progress at its core, and a love of food and the arts in its soul, Cork is a very special place which will certainly have your delegates talking long after your event is over. Come meet in Cork and get away from “business as usual”.

1: ACCESS

AIR

Regarded as the international gateway to the South of Ireland, Cork Airport is uniquely positioned at the start of Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way. It is the country’s second busiest and best-connected international airport with connectivity to over 60 routes, flying to destinations across the UK between Continental Europe.

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Cork Airport is extremely well connected with the United Kingdom with flights landing in 12 airports across the country. Cork Airport also offers direct flights to and from most major European cities including Lisbon, Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam, Zurich, Munich, Budapest, Dubrovnik, and many more. Not forgetting the option of stopover flights which further expands Cork’s connectivity with the rest of Europe and the world.

As of 2019, Cork Airport is very proud to be:

  • Ireland’s fastest growing airport
  • Ireland’s most punctual airport 
  • Ireland’s most customer friendly airport
  • Cork Airport is enjoying its fourth consecutive year of traffic growth
  • Cork Airport was awarded the title of Europe’s Best Airport by ACI (Airport Council International).

Over the next number of years you can expect to see continued improvements at Cork Airport as DAA PLC has confirmed plans for further growth and development at Cork investing €40m over the next 3 years.

Cork International Airport is located less than 10 minutes’ drive from Cork City centre.

Cork Airport is easily accessible with a good road network and regular bus and taxi services available outside the airport terminal building. A Car Hire service is also available at Cork International Airport. Choose from 6 different car hire companies; Avis, Budget/Payless, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz or Sixt. You can also book your vehicle prior to your arrival, simply visit: https://www.corkairport.com/to-from-the-airport/book-a-hire-car.

You also have the option of flying into Dublin, Shannon or even Kerry Airport.

You can get from Dublin Airport to Cork City in just under 3 and a half hours via the M6 motorway. Equally the N8 will get you to Cork City from Shannon Airport in approximately 1 hour 45 mins. A short hour and thirty minute drive through the glossy green countryside will bring you from Kerry Airport into Cork City.

RAIL

If you want to put your feet up and do some window gazing at Cork’s lush green countryside traveling by rail is the way to go. Cork City’s Train Station (Kent Station) is a mere 5 minute walk from Parnell Place Bus Station. Operating since 1893, Kent Station in Cork City operates as a hub for intercity services to Dublin, Limerick, Waterford and Tralee. A typical train journey from Cork to Dublin’s Heuston Station can take as little as 2hrs 15mins – depending on the time of travel.

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You will also find that Coca Cola Zero Rental Bikes operate in and around Cork City centre and are a very efficient means of travelling through Cork City. There are two Coca Cola Zero bike docks located at Kent Station, one at either entrance, so if you’re travelling light and need to get across the city then cycling may be the best means for you.

ROAD

Cork is connected to Ireland’s capital city, Dublin, via the motorway and will see you travel between the two cities in just under 3 hours. You can also easily access Dublin Airport from the motorway without having to drive through the busy, bustling city centre of Dublin. Once you near the end of the motorway you will be directed by road signs (of which there are plenty so don’t panic!) towards the M50 so you can continue on through to Dublin Airport which generally only adds an additional 25mins to your journey. 

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Flying into Shannon Airport? That’s no problem! Your drive to Cork should take you little over 1hr 30mins along the N8 so you’ll be with us in no time at all.

There are also a generous number of private bus companies that offer low-cost, express services from most major towns and cities across Ireland, including Dublin Airport, namely Air Coach (https://www.aircoach.ie/), GoBus.ie (https://www.gobus.ie) and City Link (https://www.citylink.ie/) and to name just a few.

Now that we’ve got you to Cork, we’ll now deal with getting you through Cork.

As previously mentioned, Cork is home to quite a number of Car Rental Companies located both in the city centre, at Cork Airport, and further afield. Many of these rental companies offer advance online booking so this will speed up the process when you arrive in Cork.

Cork City Bus Station known as Parnell Place Bus Station is located, as the name suggests, at Parnell Place on the banks of the River Lee between St Patricks Bridge and Brian Boru Bridge. Bus services operate from Parnell Place Bus Station, right across Cork City and County and to all of Ireland’s major towns and cities.

Cork International Airport

+353 21 431 3131
corkairport.com

Iarnród Éireann

(01) 8366 222
irishrail.ie

Bus Éireann

1850 836 611
buseireann.ie/


2: HOTELS & VENUES

The Glucksman – a tree-house style gallery located on the grounds of University College Cork. A truly unique venue in Cork City Centre.

Hotels

Cork boasts an array of superior standard hotels providing top quality accommodation. Cork offers just over 8,500 beds, approved by Fáilte Ireland – The National Tourism Development Authority.

Hotels in Cork range from the luxury 5-star experience to more affordable budget accommodation.

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Visitors can opt to either stay in and amongst the atmosphere of the city centre which has an abundance of hotels, hostels and B&B’s to choose from, or relax and unwind in some of the resorts, hotels or traditional B&B’s in the wider Cork area, which can be easily accessed by car, bus or taxi from Cork Airport.

VENUES

Cork offers world class conference venue facilities designed to meet your needs and surpass your expectations.

When choosing a destination and venue for your conference in Ireland, Cork is the premier destination for business, academic, corporate and association conference delegates – with a proven track record.

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Cork hotels boast state-of-the-art conference facilities, fully equipped to cater for groups of from 6 all the way up to 1,000 delegates, making Cork the perfect destination for a convention in Ireland.


3: A CAPTIVATING CITY

Cork is an exciting and inspirational city eager to extend a warm welcome to business tourists and delegates from across the globe. Scoring high on essential criteria such as suitability, accessibility, facilities and services, Cork is constantly evolving and adapting to meet the needs of its inhabitants as well as its visitors.

Cork delivers in its own inimitable way, a breath of fresh air, a truly unique city that’s steeped in tradition yet young at heart. In the historic, compact city centre there is a lot to see and do. Whether you have just one day or an entire week, we can help you make the most of your free time here in Cork.

A city scape image of Cork City featuring the iconic landmark, Shandon Bells Tower.

4: Food

A vibrant sprig of rosemary being cut and prepared to garnish a disk at Cork’s infamous annual Long Table Dinner as part of Cork’s Midsummer Festival.

Cork is widely regarded as being the Food Capital of Ireland.

Graced with a coastline teeming with an array of fish, as well as possessing some of the best farmlands in the country provides the talented chefs and consumers of Cork with truly remarkable, high quality fresh ingredients with which to indulge their culinary talents and tastes.

With three Michelin starred restaurants, one of the most highly regarded vegetarian restaurants in Europe, an indoor, permanent food market described by acclaimed chef Rick Stein as “ the best covered market in the UK and Ireland”, and a thriving selection of cafés and coffee shops, Cork offers visitors a unique culinary experience.

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Cork also hosts an array of annual, mouth-watering foodie festivals that are guaranteed to satisfy even the most discerning palates. From the Murphy’s Cork Oyster and Seafood Festival in the City Centre to Feast; an East Cork food festival based in the town of Midleton, the festival is a fresh blend of conversations, dinners, produce, markets, foraging, mixology, producers, landscape, heritage and storytelling. A Taste of West Cork Food Festival not only celebrates the local food but is a celebration of everyone who helps along the way bringing these culinary delights from farm to fork. Whether you’re a carnivore, herbivore, vegan or just a “fussy eater”, Cork is guaranteed to have something that will tickle your taste buds.


5: People

Cork – One of the friendliest cities in the world

In 2018 Cork was voted the third friendliest city in the world by Condé Nast Traveler’s annual reader survey, ranking just behind San Miguel de Allende in Mexico and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Every year, Condé Nast Traveler asks its readers to decide on their favourite cities around the world, in its Readers’ Choice Awards Survey and Cork stormed its way to the top of the list paving the way for Europe.

Condé Nast has advised visitors to Cork to “set aside some time to browse the local art galleries and load up on goodies at the English Market”. As you wander through the 230 year old market place, be sure to stop and speak with the traders and stall owners who make Cork’s English Market the magical place that it is. Oozing with charisma and passion for their trade and goods, the English Market Traders are only too happy to share their stories and knowledge with all who grace them with their custom.

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Cork – A hub of educational opportunities / Where learning never stops

Named Irish University of the Year on five separate occasions, University College Cork has been producing graduates and scholars for over 175 years. In the latter part of the 00’s UCC was restructured from it’s original seven faculties and split into four colleges: Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Science; Business and Law; Medicine and Health; and Science, Engineering and Food Science.

The University has also been ranked in the top 3% of universities worldwide for its research capabilities. Innovation and Knowledge transfer is driven by UCC’s Office of Technology Transfer, an office of the University dedicated to commercialising aspects of UCC’s research and connecting researchers with industry. Recent spin outs from the college include pharmaceutical company Glantreo, Luxcel Biosciences, Alimentary Health, Biosensia, Firecoms, Gourmet Marine, Keelvar, Lee Oncology, and Sensl.

Over the years UCC has acquired a number of well-established Irish institutions across various sectors including the Irish Management Institute and Tyndall National Institute, one of Europe’s leading research centres in integrated ICT (Information and Communications Technology) hardware and systems.

Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), one of Ireland’s largest institutions with its primary campus located in Bishopstown, offers course in Business, Engineering, Science, Computing, Humanities, Media, Art, and Music. CIT has an enviable record of providing students with excellent employment opportunities and a firm basis for future career development.

Also located on the CIT campus is Rubicon. The Rubicon Start-up professional team provide access to a wide range of Start-up Supports for Entrepreneurs who want to start, grow and expand their business. The Incubator is the centre of a thriving entrepreneurship eco-system in Ireland. Entrepreneurs are supported by experienced start-up professionals. The Bishopstown location provides a community for entrepreneurs where access to funding, advice and market opportunities in a proactive environment.

Adding to the catalogue of educational institutions in Cork is the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI). NMCI is Ireland’s primary provider of training to those seeking careers in commercial shipping. The college is situated on former Department of Defence land in Ringaskiddy, County Cork, and has been welcoming students since 2004.

It’s no surprise that Cork produces such a wealth of highly educated professional.

Cork – Bursting with culture

Cork boasts a wealth of year-round cultural havens such as Nano Nagle Place, Crawford Art Gallery, the Glucksman, and St Finbarrs Cathedral, to name but a few. Each has its own unique offering specialising in art, sculpture, design, architecture, history, and much more.

Not forgetting the mind-blowing number of festivals held in Cork each and every year. Enjoy the musical delights of the annual, highly acclaimed Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, bust a move at Indiependence Music Festival, satisfy your soul at Soul in the City and immerse yourself in Cork culture at the Cork Folk Festival.

But it’s not all about the music – Cork has festivals to meet everyone’s taste. The West Cork Literary Festival attracts an incredible line-up of authors year in, year out. The Cork Harbour Festival celebrates Cork’s expansive maritime offering. Cork Heritage Day gives visitors an opportunity to go behind the scenes and explore some of Cork’s oldest buildings and learn of their history. Cork Midsummer Festival is a grand celebration of the arts. And of course we’re not forgetting Cork Culture Night – which is quite self-explanatory!

Be sure to check out www.purecork.ie to see what festival coincides with your visit.

People – A group of young people enjoying each other’s company in a Cork City centre bar, the Crane Lane.

6: Sustainability

Sustainable – One of Cork’s many picturesque beaches. Cork – a maritime haven.

In November 2018, Cork was included in a new sustainability ranking of leading international conference destinations – alongside cities such as Melbourne, Zurich, Barcelona, Helsinki, Sydney and Malmo to name a few.

The GDS-Index is a collaborative platform that promotes the sustainable growth of international meeting destinations through knowledge sharing, capacity building, and benchmarking across four key areas: city environmental strategy and infrastructure; city social sustainability performance; industry supplier support (restaurants, hotels and convention centres); and Convention Bureau strategy and initiatives.

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“I am thrilled to see the level of performance improve year on year, this is an extremely good sign that destinations are tackling the sustainability challenges of our industry and that the GDS-Index drives and delivers measurable results”, commented Mélanie Delaplanche, GDS-Index Director.

In 2018 as part of Meet in Ireland, the Cork Convention Bureau joined the GDS-Index with a vision to collaborate and improve destination sustainability as a region.

In 2019, this resulted in the Convention Bureaux of Ireland being awarded the inaugural GDS-Index Best Improver Award.

On the win Paul Mockler Head of Commercial Development at Fáilte Ireland commented;

“We invest in the sustainable development of tourism across the country to ensure that communities nationwide can benefit from the social and economic impact tourism brings to Ireland. We are delighted to see our investment in sustainable practices across our conventions bureaux in Dublin and the regions being recognised with this special merit award. We are at that start of our journey to become recognised as a world leading sustainable destination and look forward to further exciting developments in the coming months.”

Meet In Ireland Website
Failte Ireland Website
Cork City Council
Cork Chamber of Commerce
Cork County Council
Cork Airport
Irish Hotels Federation