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.
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.
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.
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.
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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