Cork's English Market is one of its principal visitor attractions, and not just for the shopping. It is a large covered market, centrally located, mainly devoted to food. Entrances are numerous, through iron gates on the Grand Parade, or down narrow alleyways running off Patrick's Street or Oliver Plunkett Street. Don't be shy - just stride down the alley with the rest of the crowds. Even if you're not interested in buying fresh fish, meat, vegetables or spices, you should be interested in the local colour and character of the place. The English Market is open every day except Sunday from around 8:30 am (this is not an early-riser market) until about 5:00pm. It's a retail, not a wholesale market, so you'll find housewives, students, shoppers and office workers, picking up the daily supplies. There are also some excellent small cafes and coffee bars and one larger café, the Farm Gate if you get famished during your visit. You'll find enough to interest you just wandering about, but there are a few highlights worth seeking out. It's almost impossible to miss O'Connell's fresh fish stall, the largest in the market. Browse the amazing selection of dripping-wet fish on offer, including grotesque monkfish, large sharks, glistening mackeral and local shellfish. Check out both of Mr Bell's exotic food stalls (one devoted to Chinese and Asian foods, the other to Mediterranean/Middle Eastern foods) for rare specialties. The Pig's Back is a a French-owned stall specialising in wonderful pates, terrines and cheeses. You'll find Cork's excellent Arbutus Bakery breads here. Two stalls next door to each other offer all-organic vegetables and meats, and there are many more traditional butchers in the market, offering the full range of pork, beef and lamb cuts. The poster wall on the stairs leading up to the Farm Gate Café is a comprehensive guide to everything that's going on in Cork from traditional music to theatre, dance, classes, comedy and sport. At the Grand Parade entrance nearest Washington Street, have a look at one of the oldest stalls in the Market, selling nothing but two traditional delicacies, tripe and drisheen. The conversational exchanges over this counter are pure Old Cork and you'll be lucky to understand a word!