The rebel city gets a very special visit from the New York Times and celebrates all the great things to do in the Rebel City.  

Corkonians (people from Cork) will talk forever, if allowed, about all the reasons why the Rebel City is the true capital of Ireland. However, until recently no transatlantic flights went to Cork – Dublin or Shannon were the only two choices –  the city was overshadowed somewhat by the official capital along with some of the other smaller cities and towns, such as Galway and Killarney.

The New York Times recently decided to make the most of the new direct flights to Cork, however, spending what can only be described as a wondrous 36 hours exploring the city's top restaurants and hotels and all the best things to do.

“Travelers who fly in and out of Dublin often overlook Ireland’s second city, but this southern settlement is well worth a full weekend of its own,” writes Brendan Spiegel.

“After the surprise of Hurricane Ophelia barreling through this fall, Cork has recovered and is ready for the holiday season, when the streets are glowing with Christmas lights, outdoor food stalls and even a Ferris wheel offering sweeping city views.”

Read more: Irish pubs you must visit in Cork City

While paying homage to Cork-brewed Beamish and Murphy’s, Spiegel’s day and a half in Cork City fills us with envy at all the delicious food and drink he enjoyed, as well as the amazing insights he found into the city’s history.  

Here are just a sample of the amazing sights and sounds he encountered:

Cork, Ireland: Things to do

Triskel Arts Center

Things to do in Cork City: Triskel Arts Center. Image: Facebook.

Things to do in Cork City: Triskel Arts Center. Image: Facebook.

A restored neo-classical church which includes an art gallery and holds concerts and film screenings? What could be better?

A day trip to Kinsale

Things to do in Cork City: Kinsale. Image: Facebook.

Things to do in Cork City: Kinsale. Image: Facebook.

Kinsale is just 30 minutes south of the city where the River Lee, which flows through the heart of Cork City, finds its way to the Atlantic Ocean. With unique boutique stores and some great seafood, Kinsale won't disappoint  you.  

Mother Jones Flea Market

Things to do in Cork City: Mother Jones Flea Market. Image: Facebook.

Things to do in Cork City: Mother Jones Flea Market. Image: Facebook.

A vintage market named after Cork's most famous export, the famed labor leader and revolutionary Mother Jones. You won’t find any tourist items among this market but could pick yourself up some great vintage Guinness signs, according to Spiegel.

Read more: A street in Cork was named best in the world

Cork, Ireland: Restaurants:

While curry chips (or fries to you) do get a mention and we’re salivating just thinking of them, Spiegel went for something a little more special during his time in Cork.

Iyer's

Restaurants in Cork City: Iyer's. Image: Facebook.

Restaurants in Cork City: Iyer's. Image: Facebook.

You may not immediately think of Indian food when you think of Irish restaurants but Iyer's makes the best of fresh local vegetables for its South Indian cuisine.

Elbow Lane Brew and Smokehouse

Restaurants in Cork City: Elbow Lane. Image: Facebook.

Restaurants in Cork City: Elbow Lane. Image: Facebook.

Over the last few years Ireland has seen an enormous growth in the number of breweries and distilleries and Elbow Lane is just one of the new restaurants that have cropped sporting their own nano-brewery.

Alchemy Coffee and Books

Restaurants in Cork City: Alchemy coffee and books. Image: Facebook.

Restaurants in Cork City: Alchemy coffee and books. Image: Facebook.

Ditch the chain coffee brands and browse through a multitude of used books while you do so.  

Cork, Ireland: Hotels:

The River Lee

Hotels in Cork City: The River Lee. Image: Facebook.

Hotels in Cork City: The River Lee. Image: Facebook.

As its name would lead you to believe, you’ll be in walking distance of the city center's main sights for upwards of €125 ($150) a night.

Hayfield Manor

Hotels in Cork City: Hayfield Manor. Image: Facebook.

Hotels in Cork City: Hayfield Manor. Image: Facebook.

A little further out but closer to the grounds of the fabulous University College Cork. You can enjoy walled gardens and afternoon tea from €209 ($245) a night.

What are your favorite things to do in Cork City? Let us know what your recommendations are in the comments section, below. 

Things to do in Cork from restaurants to hotels.Tourism Ireland