Is Cork the best place in the world? Cork folk certainly think so. This breezy, cosmopolitan spot in Ireland’s southwest inspires a devotion in its locals that few other places can rival. And it’s easy to see why. Sitting proudly on an island in the middle of the River Lee, Cork’s feelgood buzz surges through its hip coffee shops, vibrant art galleries, off-beat museums, and seriously good pubs. Despite being a city, there’s a decided towny feel here—life is laidback, and nothing is too much hassle.
Pleasantly compact, friendly, and with a wry sense of humor, Cork does things its own way, which makes a break here feel totally unique. Enjoy a gig in a beautiful converted church, explore an eerie 19th-century jail and go on a whirlwind tour of traditional tastes at the food mecca of the English Market.