Being a student on a tight budget, it can sometimes be tough to keep yourself busy in the summer months. That’s why contributor Cáit Ní Cheallacháin has given us her top three things to do for free in Cork City.
What they say about Cork is that you come for the sights, but come back for the people.
Cork is the rebel county, the natives know it as “The Real Capital”. Isn’t it worth taking a visit to learn how a county could feel such passion?
There are plenty of things to see and do in the city for free. Although Cork may not be as diverse as the Dublin, it’s a city of culture, tradition, romance and a total of 29 bridges. 
So, if someone tells you to turn left after the bridge, they’re probably from west Cork. 
When you come to Cork, if there’s anything you must do, it’s to visit Fitzgerald Park. It’s a hub of young people. It’s just around the corner from the hustle and bustle of the city, yet far enough away that it doesn’t feel that close. 
It is said that courting often started in Fitzgerald Park. The atmosphere is sweet and full of new comings, especially as the summer begins. 
The 18 acres of green is decorated with sculptures, a water lily bedecked pond, swings, slides and even a skate park.  
Not to mention on site, you have the wonderful Cork Public Museum, which is rich in its local history. As well as that, there’s Daly’s Bridge, or more commonly known as “The Shakey Bridge” which spans over the river Lee. Definitely a must for the bucket list. 
Cork is the city for music. At every corner you turn, it’s almost normal to see somebody busking. It’s the home of Rory Gallagher, Mick Flannery and John Spillane. 
In Cork, the music starts early in the morning and finishes in the earlier hours of the morning. The live music travels into the pubs as the night goes on, and there’s something for everyone’s taste, from trad sessions, to live bands, to karaoke. 
When it comes to the streets of Cork, there are very few quiet ones.
Taking a trip to Páirc Uí Chaoimh has to be part of the Cork experience. It’s a fantastic landmark on its own, and at that, it’s even expanding. So, don’t be a stranger to the green. There’s something about a pitch that isn’t based smack bang in a huge city. On saying that, Páirc Uí Chaoimh wouldn’t be more than a 10 minute walk from Kent Station.
Cork - the home of GAA. The best GAA player of all time was born and bred on the lands of Cork - Christy Ring. If there had been an Irish version of a Renaissance man, it would have been him. Believe it or not, Cork hold 71 All-Ireland titles! Adventure down to Páirc Uí Chaoimh, to where the dreams of heroes began.
I know you are just bursting to find out what’s on our turf that’s so different, and it’s something that can’t be learned I’m afraid. There’s only one way to be a Cork man, and that’s to be born here. However, Seán Óg and Setanta Ó hAilpín made a heroic effort!
Discover Cork, the land of Beamish & Sminky Shorts.