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 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
Cork Gay Community Development (the former Cork Gay Project) is an umbrella group of local gay organizations.
For businesses listed below, and more, see our Cork gay map & listings pages.
Freakscene at Roxy (3 S Main St), Wednesday alternative club night gets started around midnight. On three floors, playing Indie, Retro and Electronica..
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, and major events on their big screen.
The Other Place (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.
Ruby Lounge (building between Hanover & Washington Streets, across from Courthouse) Wed-Sun nights, popular gay club, nightly entertainment, dancing to a wide variety of music, and drag shows. Incorporates old Chambers Bar and Ruby Nightclubs.
Down on the coast just to the south of Cork, the Bulman (Summercove, Kinsale; Thebulman.ie) 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.
The Liberty Grill (32 Washington St) near the courthouse, serves breakfast, brunch and lunch from 8am to 5pm, plus evening meals, American and International style, until 9pm.
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.
The Other Place Cafe (8 S Main St) serves a healthy selection of soup, panini, wraps, crepes, and beverages, with 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 and whole-food store/bakery sells supplements, herbal remedies, and essential oils.
Emerson House (2 Clarence Terrace), year-round bed and breakfast not far from the train station, with en suite rooms and wi-fi internet access from 40 euros/person (sharing).
Clarion Hotel (Lapps Quay) is a large modern hotel at city center, with 160 rooms and a gay-friendly bar called Kudos.
College View Apartments (6 College View Terrace) has furnished apartments by the night or for extended stays, with all amenities, near University College.
Gabriel's House (Summerhill North) beautiful period guesthouse near bus & train stations; single, twin, triple or family rooms, all en-suite with TV & internet, from 40 euros/person. Full breakfast & free parking.
Jury's Inn (Anderson's Quay) at the heart of Cork overlooking the River Lee, within walking distance of all major businesses, shops, restaurants, nightclubs, and cultural attractions.
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.