The Deck of Cards in Cobh are one of the town’s more notable attractions.
Framed against the backdrop of Cobh Cathedral, they’ve graced the cover of thousands of postcards and (complete guess!) millions of Instagram posts.
You can see the Deck of Cards from several different locations in Cobh, and you’ll find each of them below.
Some quick need-to-knows about the Deck Of Cards
So, a visit to see these colourful houses isn’t a straightforward as some of the other things to do in Cobh, so take 20 seconds to read the below:
1. What they’re all about
The Deck of Cards in Cobh is a row of colourful residential houses along West View. They’re lined up side by side on a hill, and they get their nickname because they resemble a deck of cards stacked up to make the shape of a house. Locals even joke that if the bottom fell, they’d all come tumbling down!
2. The viewpoints
There are several places to view the houses throughout Cobh. Some spots are easier to reach than others and each one gives a unique perspective. The best views of the Deck of Cards are found on the ground level, at the top of the hill, and from Cannon O’Leary Place.
3. Safety warning
Many photographers like to get the shot from Spy Hill, but this involves climbing up a stone wall that has a large drop on the other side. Over the years, we’ve heard of some very near misses from people who’ve almost fallen, so we’d advise against this.
The ground level view of the Deck Of Cards
Arguably the best view of the Deck of Cards in Cobh is taken at ground level from the little West View Park.
It’s right across the street and from there, you can get a front-on shot of the colourful houses with St Coleman’s Cathedral in the background.
The park is grassy, so you’ll have a pretty green foreground and there are some large trees to the right which are a great way to show what season it is!
The top of the hill viewpoint with the water in the background
Another great viewpoint just a few steps away from West View Park is at the top of the hill on West View road.
From there you’ll be able to take a shot looking down the road with the Deck of Cards to your right and the beautiful ocean in the background!
The best way to get this shot is standing on the road, so be extremely careful as there could be cars passing and you don’t want to disrupt residents.
The alternative angle (from Cannon O’Leary Place)
For something a bit different, try taking your Deck of Cards shot from Cannon O’Leary Place (not far from the two vantage points above).
The view from there is another downward shot with the water in the background. But, you’ll be photographing the back of the Deck of Cards!
Luckily, these houses are painted on all sides, so there’s no missing out on those beautiful colours. There are gardens at the back which make for an interesting picture, but be mindful not to disturb the residents.
The aerial (and dangerous) Deck Of Cards viewpoint (not recommended)
This viewpoint from the top of Spy Hill is arguably the most popular place to photograph the Deck of Cards in Cobh, but we highly advise against it for safety reasons.
To get the shot, you’ll need to climb on top of a stone wall that has a massive drop on the other side. Not only is this dangerous, but it’s also an invasion of privacy for the house next to the viewpoint.
You can get a similar view from West Park, and if you look behind you, you’ll be able to see the steep drop down from Spy Hill.
Things to do near the Deck of Cards
One of the beauties of this place is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Cork.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw away!
1. St. Coleman’s Cathedral (5-minute walk)
St. Coleman’s Cathedral is the tallest cathedral in Ireland and was the most expensive building to be constructed in Ireland in the early 1900s! It has a 49-bell carillon which is the only one in the country. The neo-gothic cathedral is incredibly beautiful with large stained glass windows, high arches, and detailed stone carvings.
2. Titanic Experience Cobh (5-minute walk)
Located at Casement Square, the Titanic Experience is an immersive museum filled with interactive exhibits. Cobh was the ship’s last stop before its infamous end and visitors can experience the ship sinking in a one-of-a-kind cinematographic exhibition. Storyboards and audio visuals show the events leading up to the ship sinking, as well as information about what happened after.
3. Spike Island Ferry (5-minute walk)
The Spike Island Ferry takes 12 minutes to reach Spike Island, a 104-acre island with beautiful nature trails and over a dozen museums. Dubbed the “Irish Alcatraz”, the island was historically used as a prison since the 1600s! There are guided tours available, plus a cafe and gift shop for when you’re finished exploring.
FAQs about seeing the Deck of Cards in Cobh
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Can you stay in one of the houses?’ to ‘Where do you get the best view?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What street is Deck of Cards in Cobh?
You’ll find the Deck of Cards in Cobh along West View St. Note that the viewing points we’ve linked to above are elsewhere.
Where do you see the Deck of Cards from?
There are 4 main locations (we’ve linked to them on Google Maps above). Just note the final one which comes with several warnings.