The Best Hostels in Cork, Ireland

Cork is an easy city to get around on foot, with plenty of hostels in the city centre
Cork is an easy city to get around on foot, with plenty of hostels in the city centre | © Angus McComiskey / Alamy Stock Photo
Naomi Chadderton

While the majority of travellers who come to Ireland tend to hit up Dublin, it’s Cork that’s dubbed by friendly locals the real capital. Ideal for the budget-conscious, its hostels are perfectly placed to explore snug pubs, live music sessions and restaurants dishing up top-quality produce. Here’s our pick.

1. Bru Bar & Hostel, Cork City


Part pub, part accommodation, one of Cork’s liveliest hostels is just 10 minutes from the train station, so you won’t have to lug heavy backpacks far. Traditional dorms are airy, but there’s also a good selection of private rooms, most of which are ensuite. Guests can enjoy a bunch of perks, including free wifi, breakfast and bicycle storage, plus 10% discount on a number of restaurants and attractions in the surrounding area – of which there are many.

2. Sheila’s Cork Hostel, Cork City


Plants outside the blue entrance and pink door at Sheilas Hostel
Courtesy of Sheila's Hostel / Expedia

Sitting less than five minutes from the city centre, Sheila’s is a brilliant base for a weekend of exploring whether you’re travelling alone or with friends; there’s a variety of dorms, as well as single, double and family ensuite rooms. You’ll also find a terrace for drinks in the summer, a sauna to warm up in in winter and a cinema room complete with bean bags for any night of the week.

3. Oscars Hostel, Cork City


With Kent train station and the city bus station on its doorstep, Oscars has an enviable location for intrepid travellers. Thanks to a six-month renovation, it’s colourful and welcoming, with free wifi, a fully stocked kitchen, pool table, bike storage and two TV rooms if you’re looking to relax. Rooms are relatively private – all doubles and triples are ensuite – and while there’s no bar or restaurant on site, there are plenty of affordable dining options on the doorstep.

4. Kinlay House Cork, Cork City


Blue metal bunkbeds in a hostel dorm room at Kinlay House Hostel
Courtesy of Kinlay House Hostel / Expedia

Dating from the 1700s, Kinlay House is steeped in history. Popular in summer for its lush garden complete with picnic benches and barbecue, there are plenty of added extras all year round including a complimentary light breakfast, free wifi plus plenty of storage. What’s more, for €5 (£4.50), you can make use of the nearby Maldron Hotel gym, pool and sauna – the perfect place to chill after exploring Cork.

5. Ashley House, Cork City


The entrance to Ashley Hotel, with a beige exterior and Irish flag flying nearby
Courtesy of Ashley Hotel / Expedia

You won’t find any large dorms at Ashley House – here, all rooms are single, double or triple, and all ensuite. Fancier than your average hostel, it has fresh towels, a TV and hairdryer, plus room service if you’re not feeling sociable. When you are, head down for a pint of Guinness and some craic at the Ashley Hotel Bar, which serves up a number of daily specials and a lot of laughs.

For more options, discover our guide to the best hotels in Cork and book now on Culture Trip.

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