With a historic architecture that is supplemented by modern design, Cork Opera House is one of the most famous landmarks of Cork City in southern Ireland. The stunning glass facade will astound you, and the classic brick structure of the rest of the opera house will charm you. This building houses the main auditorium, corporate boxes, two bars, and a foyer. When in Cork, this becomes a must-visit site for any tourist. Whether you are an opera lover or not, this attraction should feature high on every resident and visitors’ lists. This historical building is not just for opera lovers, it is also a place to catch concerts, plays, musicals, children’s shows and comedy sketches. If you want to make the most of your visit here, come and take a look at our guide to Cork Opera House.
Cork offers plenty of things to do for everyone - check out our recommendations on best things to do when you’re visiting this destination.
Things to do / Highlights
A trip to the opera is always something to anticipate, whether it is for a special event like an anniversary or a birthday celebration or just a romantic night out. Your visit to Cork Opera House will certainly live up to all the classic opera house expectations. The beautiful ambience, attentive staff, and an immersive experience are guaranteed here. There are several things to do here, but one of the most obvious things to do is take in a performance.
Catch a live musical or opera performance
Of course, the most obvious thing to do here would be to catch a live opera or musical performance. As the only purpose-built opera house in Ireland, this venue boasts excellent acoustics, a large auditorium, and state-of-the-art stage facilities that come together to give you the show of a lifetime. Various classical opera series, musical acts, ensembles, and artists are regularly featured here, giving you an opportunity to watch your favourites live.
Watch a comedy show
Cork Opera House is so much more than just opera and musical performances, it frequently presents comedy shows too. Popular Irish comedians, international comedy acts, and many other comic stars light up the stage at this venue. So take the time to watch a comedy show at this popular landmark in Cork.
What to eat
Besides its history, Cork is also famous for its food and eclectic restaurants serving all manner of cuisines. A tradition before going to the opera or theatre is a pre-show dinner, and several restaurants near this site follow this tradition, offering patrons a chance to sample their scrumptious fares. Here are some of the opera house’s official restaurant partners:
Internationally acclaimed Paradiso is located a short walking distance from this attraction and serves a delectable, three-course, pre-theatre menu. And in keeping with the theme of the restaurant, the menu is a completely vegetable-based, with mouthwatering offerings like pumpkin thyme risotto, grilled cauliflower, and dark chocolate mousse.
Even closer to the opera house is the upscale Coqbull Restaurant. In its modern-chic dining room, tuck into speciality burgers, pizzas, fajitas, and more. Delicious drinks pair well with each dish and vegan options are available too.
Patrons in a wheelchair have easy access to the auditorium by means of a wheelchair lift, and an elevator provides additional accessibility to all other levels of Cork Opera House. Wheelchair seats are available in the auditorium and can be booked in advance. Plus, friendly staff is always available should you require further assistance.
Hard of hearing
Patrons with hearing difficulties can also enjoy the performances at Cork Opera House as an induction loop is in operation here. Instructions for appropriate seatings are available to patrons wearing hearing aids.
Sign language interpretation of performances is also available for most shows.
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How to get there
The easiest way to reach Cork Opera House is by car. Driving directions are easily available for those driving in from Limerick, Kerry or Waterford.
Should you choose to take a taxi to the venue, you can easily pre-arrange one by contacting Cork Taxi Coop at +353 021 4272222.
Located just across the bridge from the opera house is Q-Park Carroll’s Quay car park where patrons can park their cars overnight. Parking tickets can be easily validated in the foyer of the opera house.
How to book tickets
The most convenient way to purchase tickets to shows at the Cork Opera House is via their official website. Ticket prices vary depending on the show and the selected seats. Seating is available in the first-floor dress circle or ground-level stalls. Booking fees are included in the price of the tickets.
At the Box Office
You can also book your tickets at the Box Office either on the day of the show or in advance, though booking in advance is highly recommended since the tickets may get sold out. The Box Office remains open much later than usual on performance days. Alternatively, you can also book tickets via telephone. But please note that all tickets are charged with an additional handling fee.
Cork Opera House information
Cork Opera House
Address: Emmett Pl, Centre, Cork, Ireland
Opening hours: Performance nights: Mon - Sat: 10am - 7pm; Sun: 6pm onwards | Non-performance nights: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5:30pm (closed on Sun)
Official Website: Cork Opera House
Department of tourism: Pure Cork
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