Cork, Ireland

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Cork derives its name from the marshy land on the banks of the River Lee -its Irish name, Corcaigh, means 'marsh.' Cork is the Irish Republic's second biggest city after Dublin but unlike the capital city, it's compact enough to fully explore on foot. One of its great attractions is it's a city built on water. Its heart lies on an island between two arms of the River Lee, and many of today's streets were once waterways. Picturesque quays and bridges give it a Continental feel and steep lanes rise to the north side of the central island offering wonderful views of the city and its fine Georgian buildings. A lively French Huguenot quarter rivals Dublin's Temple Bar; ethnic restaurants, chic bars and bookshops abound. Festivals celebrating music, film, dance, traditional Irish music and the fine local food are frequent throughout the year. Free live music at many bars set the tone for a buzzing nightlife.

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