Established in 1845 as one of Ireland’s three ‘Queen’s’ colleges, University College Cork, or as it is known, UCC, is one of the finest academic institutions in Europe and is widely recognised as a major research centre for medicine, mathematics and humanities. Not only is it one of Ireland’s most established universities, it is a also home a beautiful neo-gothic campus with vast areas of open green space. UCC is a wonderful place to go for a walk if you have a day in Cork and it is located only a stone’s throw away from our Washington Street Day Tours Office.

In recent Irish history, UCC has a somewhat controversial fame attached to it. For its first years of existence, Catholics were not allowed to study there. This was in line with the British policy of cultural oppression and part of their plan to maintain the Protestant minority of Ireland as the ruling elite. This all changed in 1909 when Catholics won their right to study in any of the 3 ‘Queen’s’ colleges. Nowadays UCC accepts people of all nationalities and maintains ties with prestigious universities in Europe, such as the Sorbonne, and in the US, such as Harvard and Yale.

The site where it is built was the site where the patron saint of Cork, St. Finbarr, maintained a monastery and a school and as such UCC’s motton still remains: Where Finbarr taught, Let Munster learn. From the heights of UCC, overlooking the River Lee, there is a beautiful view of the City’s North Side and its rolling hills. Also it’s only a short stroll from Fitzgerald’s Park where you have access to the famous Public Museum of Cork.

Once inside UCC, we highly recommend you check out the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, a stunning modern art gallery situated at the entrance to the campus and where guided tours leave every day. After the Glucksmann Gallery we recommend that you take a stroll around the main quad where, college superstition maintains, if you walk on the grass before graduation you won’t pass your final exams! Also along the corridors of the quad you will see one of the largest selection of old Ogham Stones in Ireland on display.


One of the best aspects of UCC is its situation. On the Western Road, it is right in the heart of the city centre, giving Cork a lively buzz and a very youthful atmosphere. Again, if you need any information about what to see in UCC or if you’d just like some general information about Cork City, Heritage Pubs, or our Day Tours, please call in to one of our Day Tours offices at 4a Washington Street and 9 Bridge Street. Our friendly and multilingual staff are always happy to deal with your enquiries and to make sure that you get the most out of your stay in Ireland’s real cultural capital! 🙂