Cork is one of the principal cities of Ireland’s south, and people call in from all over the province of Munster to do their shopping here. With that in mind, Cork has plenty of department stores and shopping malls that cater to local shoppers. However, tourists are well taken care of as well. The English Market and St Patrick’s Street are particularly worthwhile.
The following are the most popular places to go shopping in Cork:
St Patrick’s Street
Known as ‘Pana’ by locals, St Patrick’s Street was redeveloped in 2004 and has since grown into Cork’s most popular shopping district. Since then, it has twice been awarded ‘Best Shopping Street’ status in Ireland. It’s chock-a-block with shops and notable buildings, and major retailers include Marks & Spencer, Brown Thomas, Debenhams, Eason and Golden Discs. Dunnes Stores’ original outlet also debuted here. It remains one of the most popular shops on Patrick Street. Some of the above are located within Merchant’s Quay Shopping Centre, an enclosed shopping mall that makes for a good rainy-day diversion.
While Patrick Street is where all the 21st Century retailing takes place, the English Market still has a monopoly on atmosphere. It’s an historic place—dating to the 1700s—and still hosts myriad market stalls selling fresh meats, poultry, fish and produce. This is a great place for visitors to pick up smoked salmon, handmade cheeses and just about any other artisanal treats that you associate with Ireland. Round out the selection with wool products, lavender, a range of sweets and (if you’re feeling particularly brave) tripe. More about the English Market
This shopping street has plenty of history behind it. In the early 20th century, the local Hadji Bey’s sweet shop was famous for its Turkish Delight, though that shop eventually closed in the 1980s. Today, MacCurtain Street has a collection of cafés, antique shops and musical instrument dealers. Local blues legend, Rory Gallagher, bought his signature 1961 Fender Stratocaster here at Crowley’s Music Centre.
Synonymous with Cornmarket Street, Coal Quay was a popular merchant street as far back as the 1800s. In those days, St Peter’s Market was the most practical place to purchase foodstuffs. Today, Coal Quay has more to offer in the way of dining and entertainment. However, a market still convenes here every Saturday morning.