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Cork's Hidden Gems

Cork is a popular choice for students who are looking for somewhere new to call home throughout their studies. You might wonder why people who want to experience city life head here instead of the country’s capital, Dublin. The truth is that Dublin is a tourist-focused city, always busy and always awake. This can be great, but it can be uncomfortable for some people, especially when you factor in how much it costs to live in any capital city.

The big tourist presence and the heavy cost of living might leave you scratching your head about where you should continue your education, but don’t worry: the city of Cork (and its surrounding areas) offers you all the charms of Dublin but on a much smaller scale. It’s not just the outstanding colleges and impressive nightlife that make Cork such a student-friendly place to live, but also the hidden gems that are tucked away out of sight, which you’ll only get to know about if you decide to study in Cork. We’ve outlined a few of our favourites in this article.


Behind almost every Irish bar is an eccentric owner who injects their own character into the space, making it an enjoyable experience and causing people to return again and again – The Hi-B bar on Oliver Plunkett street is no different!

Take a peek

This eerie space will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time, all the way back to the 1920s – with old records playing on their record player, open fires, and an owner who won’t hesitate in throwing you out if you even glance at your mobile phone.


Just a 90-minute drive outside of Cork city, you’ll find Lough Hyne. This area was announced as Ireland’s first Marine Nature Reserve in 1981, and has been an important location for the country’s wildlife ever since.

Lough Hyne is the ideal place for you and your new college mates to get out and bond. You can use your loan to book yourselves on one of the many kayaking trips on offer here – if you’re feeling extra-adventurous, you might even want to try one of the evening trips on offer too!


If you want to experience the great outdoors but don’t fancy heading to Lough Hyne, Ballycotton is just 50 minutes outside of Cork city. Here you can find another great bonding experience for you and your pals, where you can walk along the cliff tops, which offer views over the sea and plenty of wildlife for you to take in.

Access to the rugged Irish coastline is one thing that Cork can provide that most other student cities can’t.


Right in the centre of the old city, on Cork’s Cornmarket Street, you’ll find one of the last few authentic Irish pubs. Dennehy’s bar has been in the Dennehy family for over 50 years, and they’ve made sure to maintain its original charm.

This is the perfect place for you and your friends to embrace traditional Irish culture in the middle of an area that is gradually becoming more and more modernised – so enjoy it while you can!


Yet another bonding experience for you and your mates, and just a 20-minute drive outside of Cork city this time: a disused railway line that connects the two villages of Carrigaline and Crosshaven. You and your friends can set out ealy and enjoy plenty of stops along the way. If you do the walk on a nice day, we recommend heading to Cronin’s Pub in Crosshaven before you head back home – they have one of the best beer gardens around.


There’s more to Cork than meets the eye, with plenty of things to see and do in and around the city – not to mention the surrounding area of County Cork – to keep you and your friends entertained throughout your studies. Make sure you stay in the heart of the action, which our Amnis House accommodation will help you do. Our top-class facilities will ensure that you remain comfortable during your stay.