100 Of The Best Things To Do In Cobh Ireland
Cobh and its surrounding regions are rich with activities and attractions to keep you entertained for days on end. As well as all the activities in the area, the views around Cobh Ireland will keep you amazed throughout the duration of your stay. We have put together a comprehensive list of things to do in Cobh. Even with this big list, it is far from exhaustive. For more details on some of the main local attractions in and around Cobh town, please see the Local Attractions page.
Golf is a vital part of Irish culture. Cobh Gold Club was built by the locals and for the locals of this tiny island back in 1986 when 150 local people came together and paid 150 Irish Punts (pounds) each. Originally leased from a local farmer to create the course it was opened 1 year later in 1987 as a nine-hole course. Now, it sits as one of the highest-rated courses in the province with members still donating to keep the integrity and love for the sport and locals alive and well.
2. Visit Fota Wildlife Park
Fota Wildlife Park still sits as one of the best tourist attractions in Cork. Either being amazed by a penguin sanctuary to be pranked by the free-roaming and mischievous monkeys, it gives a full-day experience that everyone in the family can enjoy.
3. Historic graveyard The Old Church Cemetery
The RMS Lusitania was a cruise liner that left Cobh and was subsequently sunk by a German U-boat in 1915. Of the 1959 people on board 1198 were killed and the people of Ireland built a monument in commemoration of the dead. In the same cemetery we have the late and great Jack Doyle grave. A professional boxer, tenor, and successful actor. Jack (birth name Joseph) is a well-loved and local hero to the people of Cobh Ireland.
4. Visit Fota House and Restaurant and Fota Gardens
While entertaining children and adults of all ages in the Fota Wildlife Park were already mentioned. What you might not of know Fota House is also a luxury Hotel and Spa, restaurant and has some of the most amazing gardens in the country.
5. Sample a pint of Guinness
While every place has its local gems, Quays Bar and Restaurant is a local legend. An outdoor patio on the water and a large grill you can watch make your order, it… “meats”… all expectations and more.
6. Philip Gray’s art gallery
Cork-born in 1959 Philip Gray has been able to tell a story of Ireland through multiple forms of artistic flare. A short drive from Cobh to the coastal town of Kinsale you can now enter his gallery and see Ireland in many new shades of color and perspectives.
7. White Point Crab Fishing
Only minutes walk from the town center you can sit and relax at White Point. A beautiful view over the water will calm your mind while the kids safely fish for crabs on the rock bed. A perfect spot for a picnic.
8. Cobh Heritage Centre
A wonderful look into Irish history. The Cobh Heritage Centre will offer a unique look into Ireland. Boasting a permanent fixture of Irish heritage and guest exhibits throughout the year, you will learn something new every time.
9. Annie Moore and her brothers
An incredible statue located close to the train station. Anne Moore and her brothers were the first people processed after leaving the steamship Nevada when arriving in New York. Commemorated with a stunning statue.
10. Cruise Ships
Cobh is one of the famous stops for cruise ships traveling around the world. You can see the outstanding and huge ship's berth in Cobh harbor.
11. Walk the ‘’Water’s Edge’’ or ‘’the 5 Foot Way’’
A stunning walk down the waterside. Beautiful views of Spike island and a playground for the kids to play along the walkway. If you feel inclined you can stop in the free outdoor gym and get your pump on.
12. Sirius Arts Centre- ‘’Resident Artists’’
Built in 1854 for the Royal Yacht Club, it was bought and lost by University College Cork in 1969. In 1988 it was purchased by the locals of Cobh and reinvented into what it is today. A part of local history.
A park built for and by the locals, the promenade offers a great place for the family to relax and experience the coastal life. With the “bandstand” as a centerpiece and decommissioned cannons scattered about, it keeps the kids busy while the parents enjoy a coffee or Ice-cream on a bench overlooking the beautiful harbor.
14. Road Train
As Cobh is a little out of the city, you can take the local road train into the city to enjoy Cork City shopping. Even though it is a small city it is known for being the best place in Ireland to shop.
15. Wonderful Architecture and “House of Cards”
One of the most famous or “instagramable” places in Cobh. With a set of houses lining the street, all painted a different color. It is made shine by the incredible cathedral as its backdrop. A must-see when in Cobh.
16. The ‘’Titanic Trail’’ and a nice “Pint”
A famous walking tour called the Titanic Trail is a great way to start your day in Cobh. A story we all know about but know very little of. You can book one of the tours here (https://titanic.ie/) and learn more about the Titanic. Once done you can go into one of the local pubs here in Cobh for a nice cold pint with the locals.
17. The ‘’Black Railings’’
Near the top of Lake Road, you will find the “Black Railings”. One of the most interesting and best viewpoints of Cobh. Not many people go here though. Definitely worth the visit for the incredible views.
18. Fancy Meal or Fish and Chips
Cobh is known for its restaurants that line the street. With high-class steak houses and culinary experiences on the water you won’t be disappointed. That doesn't mean you can get some of the best fish and chips you will ever have either. Simply pick a spot to eat and you will be amazed.
19. Gift Shops
Cobh may be a small fishing town but it caters to people from around the world. With cruise ships lining the berths the gift shops are second to none. Drop-in and see authentic Irish gifts for those at home both local or the other side of the world.
20. Read In The Sun
Proud of the heritage, Cobh still has newsagents that offer books and papers to read while enjoying one of the many seaside benches that line the street.
21. Marlogue Woods
Steeped in history, the Marlogue Woods is an amazing part of Cobh to go on an adventure. A seaside woods found on the South East Coast of the island. If you fancy a small wooded hike or a private dip in the sea it is the perfect place to enjoy your day.
22. Cuskinny Marsh
Cuskinny Marsh is a private run sanctuary for animals of all types. They offer guided tours to show you around the lands you will get to bird watch and see some incredible local Irish animals in a natural and safe habitat.
23. Hederman’s Smokehouse
Frank Hederman is a local legend of Cobh. He runs an artisanal and very successful smokehouse that shows all visitors the creative side of smoking salmon. An experience you will regret not taking if you are visiting Cobh.
24. Irish Coffee
What are the chances you will ever get to experience it again? Any of the local bars here in Cobh can provide you with an authentic Irish coffee. Find out why the Irish are so happy and hyper at all times.
25. The Titanic Experience
If the guided tour peaked your interest then a visit to the Titanic Experience will surely have you captivated. Learn from stories and letters from actual guests onboard the ship what it was like before leaving Cobh and eventually meeting its faith.
Cobh is and always will be a coastal fishing town. At any high tide you can find people standing on the piers or walkways lining the waters fishing. Why not pick up a rod in one of the local tackle stores and spend some time relaxing and catch some local fish.
27. Pirates Rugby Club
Although the name Pirates on a coastal town may give you flashes of scenes out of Pirates of the Caribbean I can promise you it is far from it. You can sit and enjoy a wonderful game of rugby with the local teams cheering each other on.
28. Cobh Ramblers
If you have any interest in soccer you will know the name, Roy Keane. A household name here in Cork and Ireland. You can visit the club that sparked his love for soccer and hear the stories of how he became a megastar from the ones he grew up with.
As Cobh is a local town it is still very much in touch with its Irish routes. This means Gaelic Football and Hurling. Come see a match in one of the local clubs. See why Ireland offers some of the hardest men and women in sports today.
30. Pitch and Put
A full 18 holes of golf may not be your style but a round of pitch and put is a great way to spend the day with friends or family. Why not go and play a few rounds together.
31. Snooker and Pool
Snooker and Pool play a large part in the social aspect of Ireland's bars. Find a bar with a snooker or pool table. Put your coin on the table to show you wish to play next and let the fun ensue. Winner stays on is the rule.
32. The White Witch of Cobh
The White Witch of Cobh is a local legend. A fortune teller that has in some way touched every one of Cork. With stories in even our own families the white which has even been said to have predicted some major deaths in the world. Why not get your fortune told and see why she is accepted here as the White Witch.
33. Play at Haulbowline
If plays are your thing then why not take an evening to see the Haulbowline Theater Group put on a show of one of the classics. A play by the local artisans and a delicious meal in the center. What could be better?
Both the Cobh GAA hall and Community Center put on bingo nights every week for those who like a quiet yet oddly aggressive game of bingo! A great way to switch up the norm and enjoy the evening in another way.
35. The Mass Rock at Marlogue
If history is your thing then this is perfect. The Mass Rock at Marlogue is an ancient altar used in catholic ceremonies in the 17th century. Found on its private island it offers a very history and religious view of Ireland and its past.
36. Oyster harvesting
Found in the area of Cobh called “Back of the Island” you can witness and take part in the act of Oyster Harvesting. A unique experience for even the most active travelers.
37. St Colman’s Cathedral
If you haven't seen this all over the internet already then we feel jealous. A truly incredible sight and the main Instagram spot of Cobh Ireland. A magnificent gothic style cathedral that overlooks the entire town of Cobh. When you stop taking photos of it, go up and take more from it. It offers an incredible view of the harbor that you will never forget.
If it hasn't been made clear yet, the best part of Cobh is the outstanding views over the water. Why not take the chance to now get onto the water and windsurf or jet ski your way up and down the harbor. The international sail center will help you get the most of your day and will fill the need for an adrenaline rush.
39. The Titanic Gardens
You can visit the Titanic Gardens in the heart of Cobh Ireland and look out at the last place that the titanic dropped anchor before its horrific sinking. A glimpse of where history started for the enormous and revolutionary ship.
40. Paint The Local Scenery
With an abundance of stores and supplies around the town why not take a moment to relax at any point in the coastal walk and paint or draw the views. You won't be disappointed
41. Write Your Journey
Taking a moment for yourself is so important when taking in a lot of rich culture and history. Why not write down your thoughts while looking out over the harbor. Enjoy the moments again and put it on paper so you can never forget.
42. Basketball or Tennis
Cobh has produced some incredible and now very successful athletes across many forms of sport. This is due to the access to so many activities and public courts to hone your skills as you grow. Why not grab a ball or racket and head to the courts to enjoy a wonderful day of active exercise.
43. Cobh Community College Track Or John Murphy Memorial Park
With public courts littering the streets you can also enjoy a power walk around the community college track or a game of footy with the locals on the nearby John murphy Memorial park.
44. Cuskinny Bird Feeding
If the active style is not to your liking then why not sit and feed the swans and ducks that fill the Cuskinny park. A long sit in the sun with the family while feeding the birds seems like a delightful experience.
45. World-renowned 49 bell carillon – the only one in Ireland
If you have spent any time in Cobh you will know exactly what this sounds like. With regular and guest carillonneurs you will hear the sound of 49 bells ring out to remind you of the time of day, the special occasions ongoing, or even just a catchy tune to lift your spirits.
Darts is almost an Irish institution at this point. In any local bar here in Cobh Ireland you will find locals playing darts to pass the time. Why not play a game of sharp throwing spears while enjoying a nice drink.
47. Ancestors steps
The local library of Cobh can offer you insight into your ancestor's Genealogical Family History Research Profile to help trace your lineage. If you have ever been interested in your family's past in Ireland then this is the best way to do it.
48. Get Jiggy With It
Although a small town, Cobh is known for having a great nightlife. With nightclubs and late-night bars galore you can experience an active night lifestyle without traveling to the city.
49. Murphy’s or Guinness
Many stereotypes of Ireland are out there but the biggest one has to be Guinness but Murphy’s stout is what we drink. Also a dark stout, they both have their place in Ireland, and if you are a fan of the black stuff you have to try it fresh from the local bars. Guinness and Murphy's will never be the same again after you do.
50. Irish Handcrafts
A major part of Irish culture used to be the generation of money through hand made objects. Things that were either decorative or useful in everyday life. We keep this tradition alive today. Why not check out the local hand-craft stores and see what treasures you can find.
51. Public Murals in memory of Jack Doyle and The Titanic
The Irish and especially the people of Cobh are very loyal to their past. A great way they show this is by the Murals found around the town. One large mural of the Titanic can be found by the port and train station. A large piece to commemorate those who were lost and help to never forget them. The famous actor and fight Jack Doyle can also be found around the town.
52. Seaside Hostelries
Imagine a long day of sailing, you get to your place of anchor and realize you don't have a place booked for the night. Have no fear, Cobh has you covered. Cobh Ireland is a beacon of hope for all you weary sailors. With Seaside hostelries lining the harbor you can simply get off your boat and into a cozy room or fancy restaurant.
53. Italian Food
Grande Italia Pizzeria is a wonderful authentic pizza place that offers a host of Italian food. If Italian tickles your fancy you will be hard-pressed to find a better place for it than here.
54. Chinese Food
China Sea restaurant and takeaway are what the locals call a local legend. Owned by a Chinese family inside the BellaVista Hotel they offer an incredible and authentic Chinese meal. Loved by locals and visitors, it's something you can't miss.
55. Indian Food
Haveli Indian restaurant is an incredible way to fill your bellies with delicious and flavourful Indian food. With a wide range of amazing options you will be delighted with your choice.
56. Local food
The Quays Bar and Restaurant is all you need when it comes to a great dining experience for local Irish cuisine. With beer on tap and a host of food options it will always hit the spot.
57. ’Top of the Hill’
This wonderful lunch spot can be found exactly where it sounds. At the top of the famous hill with the “Deck of Cards” a local spot that both locals and visitors are always welcome. This spot is the place to get a real look at local life in Cobh.
58. Roaring Donkey
Ok, let me explain. The Roaring Donkey is a wonderful Irish experience. A bar filled with locals enjoying the best parts of a small coastal town. With live music and a fresh influx of new characters every night it's a chance you can’t miss. Watch the locals dance a cheoile while enjoying a pint.
59. Chilled wine and... chill
If the nightlife isn’t your thing then we have the perfect plan for you. A chilled bottle of wine from the local off-license and a relaxing view from your hotel.
60. Harbor by Night
During the day the harbor is popping with activity from either the boats, the locals, or the watersports. At night the harbor literally and figuratively shines. Always worth a stroll down and see.
61. Spike Island
A defense post against attacks by sea. It was also a prison and home to the 18th-century fort called Fort Mitchel. This place has and had it all. Why not read up on the history of the island found within sight of the harbor itself.
Home to the Irish Naval Service, right beside Spike Island. No wonder Spike Island was so secure. With Naval battle cruisers and destroyers docks at any moment you can see the military boats used by the Irish Navy. A rare and truly amazing sight.
63. ‘’Deck of Cards’’
The steepest hill in Cork, also the most iconic picture spot in Cobh. The row of houses that line the street all showing different colors. With a beautiful park halfway up to rest the knees and take hundreds of photos of the beautiful views.
64. Seaside Rest
With the hostileries lining the water you would be hard to miss an incredible room, looking over the ocean. Hearing the hustle and bustle of the local fishermen casting into the water to catch today's dinner.
With the harbor having just enough light to be safe at night but not enough to affect the beautiful sunset, why not take this chance to woo your partner with the pier with a glass of wine and serene sunset.
Saint Colman's Cathedral is one major sight in Cobh and Ireland to get married. Why not get hitched yourself to the love of your life while overlooking the incredible views of Cobh and in the most iconic and picturesque Cathedral in Ireland. If you don’t feel like popping the question though why not just go and watch someone else. Share the views and the incredible day with strangers who would welcome to be a part of their day.
The main theme of Cobh Ireland is to relax. You can sit on the deck of a restaurant over one of the deepest harbors in Europe. Watch the cruise ships sail by and wave to all those coming to experience what you already have. Relax and enjoy your time here.
68. English Market
Now, although not in Cobh, you can take the 500-year-old train line from Cobh into the City of Cork and visit the English Market. A daily market that caters to all your needs from clothes to freshly caught fish. It has everything you need and run by locals for locals.
69. Cobh Museum
While here why not learn about the rich and crazy history of Cobh Ireland. The Cobh Museum can fill in any gaps that you may not have known about the culture here.
70. Mackerel Breaking
One of my favorite sites of Cobh. Seeing thousands of fish leap out of the water eating the smaller fish. Watching the hectic fishers scramble to cast into the madness knowing they have caught their meals for the next few nights. A wonderful experience to behold.
Even if you are not a person who normally would take photos I would highly suggest blowing the dust off that camera and simply looking through the lens. You will be amazed at how many sights you will take photos of to remember them exactly how you saw them. Don’t be afraid to snap a few to keep locked away.
72. Past Times
Past Times is an old photography studio here in Cobh Ireland. Why not go and get a photo taken for your or your family in the same way they did back in the old days. A vintage photo to commemorate your time in a vintage town.
73. Old World Atmosphere
At the BellaVista Bar you can experience life as it was. An open fire to soak in the heat while enjoying a hot meal and a cold beer. It’s something you shouldn’t miss. It is a part of the locals routine to drop by and just say hello.
74. Who said Trad
Trad music is a staple of Ireland but especially when it comes to the small close town of Cobh. you can hear it as you walk past a local bar or restaurant. Why not stop in and enjoy some old music that is new to your ears.
75. Cathedral Shop
Even though the Cathedral is a huge part of Cobh it still needs funding to stay a part of the present. Why not stop in and see if you can find something to bring home as a reminder of your incredible time here.
76. Adoration Chapel
Even if you are not a religious person, the Adoration Chapel is still a sight you should take some time to see. A beautiful and memorable experience to all.
77. Benedictine Priory and Bible Garden/Tea Room
A stunning view into the Priory here in Cobh. A beautiful garden to look over with the water in the harbor in the backdrop. A great place to have a cup of tea and a scone while relaxing and taking in the sights.
78. Base of operations
Cobh may seem an odd choice but it is perfect to set as a base for your travels. With Ferries, trains, cars, and buses you can get anywhere in the country from Cobh Ireland. This mixed with the amazing views and everything you need within a few minute's walk is a perfect place to set up and begin your travels.
79. Try them all
Each form of transport here in Cobh is special in its way. The train brings you through routes that you will not see in any other form of transport. From the back on the Wildlife Center to the waterways of the Islands it's not something you want to miss. A car will bring you down the main roads into the city or beyond. The roads show green fields and local life in abundance. A bus then brings you down the back roads where the real Ireland thrives. All three paths are something new to enjoy.
80. The Bandstand
Right in the center of the main promenade you can see the “bandstand”. A place where all the local and national brass bands come to play and practice during the summer months.
81. ’Anchors Aweigh’
In every movie with boats you always see a crowd of people lined up waving and cheering as the boat leaves. With music playing the background. Well… this is how it is here. The band plays anchors aweigh as the atmosphere builds and everyone begins cheering as the next leg of people's journey begins. How many people do you know can say they have been a part of that.
82. Eucalyptus, Mimosa, Pittosporum, Fuchsia
A flurry of beautiful plants grows wild and free in Cobh. Simply walking the waterway you will see some amazing and coloring plants to take in, smell, and be amazing by.
83. Specific Hobbies
As a coastal and busy cruise route Cobh has its share of hobby sectors to get your fix on holiday. Knitting to fishing and everything in between is available to do as a hobby day. Why not Google your hobbies and see when the classes are available in the town.
84. Ask questions
Us Irish love to talk. If you stand somewhere long enough you will inevitably get a local ask you questions about things you thought you had forgotten. Don’t be afraid to do the same. We love to talk and more importantly we love to share our history and culture.
85. ‘What’s On’
If you are a little spontaneous then I suggest to get a local newspaper for the agents and see the “What's On” section. This gives a detailed breakdown of all the events in the local's area and also gives the times, dates, and available ways to get there.
86. Get the inside scoop
Although we mentioned Irish Coffee before, this is different. Everyone has their way to do it and will state it's ‘authentic’. It is. Ask your hotel, BnB, or hostel hosts to show you exactly how to make one. You will be surprised how many ways there are to mix Whisky and coffee.
87. Share the experience
The harbor is not something you need to keep to yourself. Each photo, video, and postcard sent helps everyone from the store owner to the eyes that see your posts. So share the experience and let everyone know that Cobh is something everyone should see and share.
88. Harbor Tour
Everyone can say they went to Cobh Ireland and saw the church but not many people realize you can take a tour through the harbor itself and see everything from a new perspective.
89. Spike Island Tour
While on the water why not see and experience Spike Island first hand. Be walked through the old prison cells to the Naval training grounds and everything in between. It is something you will have to experience to believe it was real.
90. Lunch Anyone
Although dinner is a very important meal it’s not what is done best here. Lunch is where Cobh shines with a plethora of beautiful and artisan cafe’s lining the streets you will find wonderful fresh baked goods and coffee around every corner.
91. The Cobh Regatta
Nothing shows the local harmony and togetherness like the Cobh Regatta. A parade and incredible firework display to celebrate all things Cobh and local.
92. Reduced rates of rooms
Some things you can't know until you try. A generally celebrated practice in Ireland is haggling. Always ask about the rates involved if you increase your one night stay to a two or three-night stay. You may be amazed at how many hotels like BellaVista will give you incredible rates just so you can experience our town even more.
93. Needing internet access
A great tip if you need to access the internet but can’t use a local cafe is to head on down to the Library and utilize the internet there. Open desktop access to make sure you have all your plans laid out and readily accessible.
94. Piping and Drumming Contest
If you are lucky enough to enjoy this wonderful town of Cobh in June, you can embrace the local culture. The Piping and Drumming contests will fill the air with excitement and music as they battle for the top prize.
95. Lusitania Peace Memorial
A wonderful statue commemorating the Lusitania attack of 1915. Erected in 1968 it shows local fishermen mourning the loss in the local waters while an Angel stands upon a sword to depict the broad act to stop the violence. A beautiful and worthwhile look at the craftsmanship and the sad story behind it.
96. Heartbreak Pier
See the exact pier that over one million people walked on when leaving Ireland for America, UK, and Australia during the Titanic era. Feel the heartbreak that families and loved ones felt when saying goodby knowing they may never see their loved ones again. A poignant but beautiful pier richly steeped in Irish history.
97. Martello Towers
Why not spend a little time traveling north on the island to seek out the majestic Martello Towers. Built during the French war they were used as vital strategy points to repel the French invaders. A stunning view and even better history lesson.
98. International Angling Festival
Usually held around the start of September, the 4-day intense fishing competition showboats the best fishing Ireland has to offer right here off the coast of Cobh. With rods ready to snap and fish leaping out of the water it’s something you cannot miss.
99. Promenade Performances
If here for a day or a month you must check out the promenade every day to see if the local bands come to play for you. A family day out in the sun can’t be beaten. Warm weather, cold ice-cream, and live music to put your soul at ease and your mind in the right place to relax.
100. Do It All Again
Make sure you plan your next visit. If you did all 100 things on this list in one visit then you didn't take the time to enjoy every moment. Make your plans to come back and let us know. Here at BellaVista we just want to make your stay as memorable as possible. So sit back, relax and enjoy all we have to offer and more.