Cork (Corcaigh) is the Republic of Ireland's second largest city, situated on the banks of the River Lee in the south of County Cork. This was originally a port town built on canals and river channels, but those have long since been filled in. The city is more laid-back than Dublin, and has a large artistic community, with music, dance, theater, and visual arts in abundance.
The small gay scene has contracted even more in the past few years, with the closing of both gay saunas, and only two specifically gay/lesbian bar/clubs (Loafers and Ruby Lounge) remain. But the divisions and cliques of larger cities are absent here, and ages and genders mix more freely in this more old-fashioned, less "out" community with it's underground, tucked-out-of-sight feel.
The Other Place offers community resources and a comfortable meeting area to relax, at the center at 8 S Main Street at just off St Augustine. Their Cafe offers hot and cold snacks five days a week, space for up to 60 people to gather, and artist exhibitions.
Cork Gay Pride spans a week as July slides into August each year; and the Cork Film Festival is an annual showcase of world cinema as well as Irish films, each November.
Cork Airport is about 3 miles south of Cork City. It has daily flights from Dublin, London, Manchester, and many European cities.
Because County Cork has such an allure, you’ll want to rent a car to explore the scenic countryside. To travel anywhere in Ireland by bus or coach see the website of Bus Eireann
Currency and Money
Ireland’s currency is the euro. ATMs are common in the downtown area.
Media and resources
Gay Cork has plenty of information about the local scene. Also check out the People’s Republic of Cork.
Cork Gay Community Development (the former Cork Gay Project) is an umbrella group of local gay organizations.
For general tourist information see the websites of ComeToCork and CorkGuide.
For businesses listed below, and more, see our Cork gay map & listings pages.
Chambers Dance Club (between Hanover & Washington Streets, opposite Courthouse), popular Wednesday-Sunday nights gay club, nightly entertainment, dancing, wide variety of music, drag shows. Combines old Chambers and Ruby nightclubs.
Loafers (26 Douglas St), Ireland's oldest gay pub, with mix of "the lads and the ladies," DJ music, two pool tables, a heated beer garden, pizza, and major events on their big screen.
The Other Place Cafe (8 S Main St), Tuesday through Saturday 11am-7pm cafe and bar run by the Gay Community Center, gourmet coffee, hot and cold snacks and special-event weekend club nights.
The Roundy Bar (1 Castle St), lively pub in old building, for morning coffee, trendy mixed-crowd nights, many speciality beers, comedy, films, and a broad range of live music from all kinds of fine local musicians, five nights a week.
CLOSED: Freakscene at Roxy (3 S Main St), Wednesday alternative club night on three floors; Indie, Retro and Electronica.
Down on the coast just to the south of Cork, the Bulman (Summercove, Kinsale) is a gay-friendly 200-year-old pub and Mediterranean/Asian restaurant. Their tables overlook a peaceful scene of the sea, and boats in the harbor.
Cafe Depeche (North Main St & Lancaster Quay) espresso bar has fine quality selections of coffee, plus tea/chai, chocolate, cider, shakes, paninis, muffins, cookies and cake.
Cafe Gusto (3 Washington St; & The Boardwalk, Lapps Quay,), Mediterranean cafe and coffeehouse, mezze, antipasto, tapas dishes, Moroccan lamb tagine, albondigas (meatballs), great soups, and (byob) your own favorite bottle of wine or choose from their list.
Cafe Paradiso (16 Lancaster Quay) vegetarian restaurant has a lively atmosphere, and food to tempt even the most skeptical of meat-eaters.
Cornstore Restaurant (40A Cornmarket St), local-source quality organic foods; seafood and steak specialities, wine and cocktail bar.
Currans Restaurant (5 Adelaide St), restaurant built entirely from salvaged and reclaimed materials from Cork’s historical past; varied, wholesome and tasty food.
Electric (41 South Mall), renovated art deco buildind at riverside, steak and seafood restaurant/bar and fish bar.
Indian Palace (31 Princes St), award-winning Indian lunch and dinner, meat and veggie, Tandoori, seafood.
Ivory Tower (35 Princes St), French, imaginative fine dining, Irish, Japanese, Mexican cuisines; Fusion Tasting Menu, wines.
The Liberty Grill (32 Washington St), near the courthouse, serving breakfast and lunch 8am to 5pm, all-day Sunday brunch, plus American New England-influenced and International style evening meals until 9pm. Vegetarian and seafood options.
Nash 19 (19 Princes St), cafe, restaurant and shop at the center, with artisan quality meals, breakfast, lunch, Sunday brunch, bakery items; good wine selections, including by the glass.
Oliver Plunkett (116 Oliver Plunkett St), sports pub with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks; all kinds of live music every night, WiFi.
The Other Place Cafe (8 S Main St), LGBT Centre social gathering place and café, healthy selection of soups, paninis, wraps, crepes, and beverages; free internet access for customers.
Quay Co-op (26 Sullivan's Quay), workers' cooperative vegetarian/vegan restaurant, oft cited as Cork's best. Wide variety of meals, snacks to three-course, organic wines; also breakfast 9-noon. Organic/ whole-food store supplements, herbal remedies, essential oils and baked goodies.
Ashley Hotel (Coburg St), 3-star hotel rooms in 1840 Victorian near city center shops, restaurants and bars.
Clarion Hotel (Lapps Quay), large modern hotel at city center, with 160 rooms; gay-friendly Kudos bar and Oysters seafood restaurant.
College View Apartments (6 College View Terrace), furnished apartments by the night or for extended stays, all amenities, near University College.
Emerson House (2 Clarence Terrace), year-round, gay-friendly bed and breakfast in 18th-century Georgean not far from train station; en suite rooms, fireplaces, city and river views, reasonable rates.
Gabriel House (Summerhill North), beautiful period guesthouse near bus and train stations; single, twin, triple or family rooms, all en-suite with TV and internet, low rates. "Now-legendary" full breakfast, free parking.
Imperial Hotel Cork (0 South Mal), elegant 4-star luxury hotel rooms and penthouse suite, restaurants/bars.
Jury's Inn (Anderson's Quay), at heart of Cork overlooking the River Lee, within walking distance of all major businesses, shops, restaurants, nightclubs, and cultural attractions.
Lancaster Lodge (Lancaster Quay, Western Rd), spacious 4-star boutique rooms/suites at the center, breakfast, WiFi.
Sheila's Hostel (4 Belgrave Pl, off Wellington) inexpensive dorm rooms from 10 euros/night, near bus & train stations, shops, pubs, restaurants; food, wine, free movies, internet, secure luggage.