Cork is 258km (160 miles) SW of Dublin, 206km (128 miles) SE of Galway, 101km (63 miles) S of Limerick, 122km (76 miles) S of Shannon Airport, 126km (78 miles) W of Waterford, and 87km (54 miles) E of Killarney

Cork City might as well be called Dublin South. It’s far smaller than the capital, with 120,000 residents, but it’s a busy, attractive, cultured place. Cork City is home to a major university, which keeps the population young, the creative class dynamic, the pubs interesting, and the number of affordable restaurants plentiful. It also, statistically, has one of the mildest climates in Ireland—temperatures in the city rarely get below freezing or above 25 degrees centigrade (77 degrees Fahrenheit), whatever the time of year. Cork isn’t as instantly crowd-pleasing a city as, say, Dublin—it has severe traffic congestion and can feel gritty and overcrowded. For its fans, however, these flaws merely underscore the sense that it’s a real, working town, with wonderfully varied offerings. Because of the limited parking, Cork is best seen on foot; it’s compact enough for that to be feasible. A signposted Tourist Trail can guide you to the major sights.