CORK nightlife: 10 best bars and clubs you NEED to experience

Cork is bursting at the seams with night-time venues, and these are some excellent places for a great night out.

Cork nightlife: 10 best bars and clubs you need to experience.

This university city is renowned for its great pub culture, with plenty of iconic traditional Irish pubs, live music venues, and intimate establishments to uncover. 

Whether it’s a hen/stag party, a romantic night out, a catch-up with friends, or a lively weekend night out, then Cork city will surprise you with its fun-tastic places to let loose. 

So, plan a good night out in Cork with these ten best bars and clubs you need to experience. 

Ireland Before You Die’s top tips for visiting Cork:

  • Discover Cork’s pub culture and enjoy live music, warm atmospheres, and delicious pints.
  • Cork is best explored on foot, so pack comfortable walking shoes when visiting.
  • Cork is known for its farm-to-table dining experiences, so leave time to enjoy the many great restaurants around the city. 
  • Cork is well connected by train, bus, car, and ferry, plus there is an international airport just 6.5 km (4 mi) south of Cork city centre, making it an accessible destination. 

10. Rearden’s Bar – renowned for its eclectic atmosphere

Rearden’s Bar is renowned for its eclectic atmosphere.
Credit: Facebook/ Rearden’s Bar

With food, sport, delicious drinks, and music, there’s not much missing for your night out at Rearden’s. 

Cork nightlife is at its best here since it is Cork’s largest pub venue for live music and features a few different hubs to let your hair down, whether you want to dance the night away or socialise with the locals. Make sure you pick up some Cork slang beforehand!

Address: 26 Washington St, Centre, Cork, T12 WNP8, Ireland

9. Sober Lane – for a whole lot of quirky fun

Cork nightlife: 10 best bars and clubs you need to experience.
Credit: Instagram/ @soberlane

Cork nightlife is all about having fun, and Sober Lane, one of the most iconic places to hang out in the city, offers a whole host of fun events every night of the week.

As well as being a lively gastropub, you can enjoy Tuesday quiz nights, energetic music, quirky events, and a wide range of beverages. 

Address: 5 Sullivan’s Quay, Cork, T12 H771, Ireland

8. Chambers Bar – for drag shows, karaoke and more

Chambers Bar is great for drag shows and karaoke.
Credit: Instagram/ @chambers_cork

This all-time favourite LGBTQ+ bar in Cork’s city centre is the ultimate place to enjoy many exciting nights and events.

Chambers makes sure to cater to those looking to have a fantastic night out, with drag shows every Thursday to Sunday, karaoke, and so much more.

Address: Washington St, Centre, Cork, Ireland

RELATED READ: Our guide to the best LGBTQ+ bars in Ireland.

7. An Bróg Bar + Kitchen – for an energetic night on the town

Cork nightlife: 10 best bars and clubs you need to experience.
Credit: Facebook/ An Bróg Cork

This consistently busy bar is the place to absorb a great atmosphere, mix with an eclectic crowd, and listen to tunes spun by top DJs every night of the week.

As well as featuring an extensive range of beers and pub food, the music here will keep you on the dance floor all night.

Address: 74 Oliver Plunkett St, Centre, Cork, T12 FP28, Ireland

6. Costigan’s Pub – thriving since 1849

Costigan’s Pub has been thriving since 1849.
Credit: Instagram/

Costigan’s a favourite for locals and visitors looking to enjoy a well-rounded experience with quality live music and excellent drinks.

This spot prides itself on having one of the largest gin selections in Ireland, and its live sessions captivate music lovers between Sunday and Thursday every week.

Address: 11 Washington Street West, Centre, Cork, T12 N768, Ireland

5. Coughlan’s Live – a one-stop shop for music and comedy

Cork nightlife: 10 best bars and clubs you need to experience.
Credit: Facebook/ Coughlan’s Live

Located on Douglas Street, Coughlan’s Live is a place that consistently draws in the crowd with its expansive list of music and comedy events.

Having hosted some of the finest musicians from Ireland and internationally, Coughlan’s prides itself on providing visitors with a sensational experience. 

Address: 7 Douglas St, Ballintemple, Cork, T12 DX39, Ireland

READ MORE: The IB4UD guide to the best bars for live music in Cork.

4. SoHo – an all-in-one for cocktails and dancing

SoHo is an all-in-one for cocktails and dancing.
Credit: Facebook/ SoHo Bar & Restaurant

This four-floored venue features a rooftop deck bar (currently closed), a central bar, a restaurant, and a dedicated VIP room located on the Grand Parade in Cork.

SoHo is the place to come for delicious bespoke cocktails paired with some of the best DJs in the city – ideal if you seek a lively night out. 

Address: 77 Grand Parade, Centre, Cork, T12 NF70, Ireland

3. The Roundy – an excellent spot for a night out

Cork nightlife: 10 best bars and clubs you need to experience.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Tourism Ireland; Instagram/ @theroundy

One of Cork’s most iconic pubs is The Roundy, and to experience the famous Cork nightlife in all its glory, a visit here is a must.

With five nights of live gigs and comedy per week, a buzzing atmosphere, and a mix of clientele, this is a hot spot to add to your pub crawl when out and about in Cork. 

Address: 1 Castle St, Centre, Cork, T12 RX09, Ireland

2. Sin É – renowned for its live music gigs

Sin É is renowned for its live music gigs.
Credit: Facebook/ Sin É

Look no further for traditional Irish music sessions than Sin É in Cork. This beloved local pub is where visitors and locals gather to witness talented musicians, soak up the warm atmosphere, and indulge in a delicious pint.

For fresh Guinness and great craic, this is one pub you must experience in Cork. 

Address: 8 Coburg St, Victorian Quarter, Cork, T23 KF5N, Ireland

MORE: The best pubs for a pint of Guinness in Cork according to the Guinness Guru.

1. The Old Town Whiskey Bar at Bodega – an all-round award-winning venue

Cork nightlife: 10 best bars and clubs you need to experience.
Credit: Instagram/ @oldtownwhiskeybar

What can we say? This award-winning establishment serves top-notch food daily, is Ireland’s most extensive whiskey bar, and transforms into a buzzing nightclub with a great crowd by night.

The décor, which is simply stunning, is just one of the many aspects that add to the charm of this Corkonian venue. 

Address: 44-45 Cornmarket St, Centre, Cork, T12 W27H, Ireland

Notable mentions

Crane Lane Theatre has everything from Latin-themed parties to eclectic live DJ sets.
Credit: Instagram/ @cranelanetheatre

Crane Lane Theatre: This live music venue/bar/club has everything from Latin-themed parties to eclectic live DJ sets.

The Oval: This funky pub is a charming place to enjoy a night out in Cork, especially on the weekends when it truly comes alive. 

The Oliver Plunkett: You cannot visit Cork without popping into the Oliver Plunkett, famed for its live music, delicious pub grub, and creamy pints. 

Your questions answered about Cork nightlife

In this section, we answer some of our readers’ most frequently asked questions about Cork nightlife. We also include questions asked in online searches.

Cork nightlife: 10 best bars and clubs you need to experience.
Credit: Facebook/ Oval Bar

Has Cork got good nightlife? 

Yes, Cork has a vast range of incredible places to stay entertained, from nightclubs to traditional Irish pubs and everything in between. 

Is Cork good for a weekend away? 

Definitely! Cork is so diverse that you can spend multiple weekends seeing and doing various things. 

What are other names for County Cork? 

Cork is commonly called the Rebel County, but some tongue-in-cheek names you may hear people saying are the People’s Republic of Cork or the Real Capital.

There you have it: a wide range of bars and clubs that you need to experience if planning a night out in Cork, a city that knows precisely how to have a good time.

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