Carlow (Irish: Ceatharlach) is a town in Ireland, and is home to 20,000 people. A small town that's easily navigable by foot, it offers an attractive blend of scenery, history and modern attractions. It is in the northwest corner of County Carlow.
Carlow is about 50 miles (80 km) southwest of Dublin. The M9 motorway means Carlow is about an hour's drive from Dublin. The proximity of Carlow to Dublin helps to explain the massive growth the town underwent from 1995 until 2008.
The river Barrow flows through the town from north to south. Carlow town predominantly lies on the east bank of the river. Graiguecullen (Co.Laois), regarded as a suburb of Carlow, lies on the west bank of the river.
Carlow is a pleasant country town with all the modern amenities residents and visitors require. It's not a touristy town, but has some hidden gems. These include the Courthouse, Cathedral of the Assumption, and a quaint Railway Station. There are interesting pockets of Georgian architecture on Burrin St, and Montgomery St. Tullow Street which runs from west to east and Dublin St which runs south to north dictate the central layout of the town. Tullow St starts at the southern tip of Dublin St. Tullow St was traditionally the prime shopping street in the town. However with the emergence of shopping centres and retail parks, this has been diluted to a large degree.
With Carlow being the county seat, public transportation to County Carlow tends to be centred on the town. This makes the town the most accessible one in the county for those using public transport, making it easily accessible to visitors travelling along the east coast or who arrive at Dublin Airport.
The most straightforward way to get to Carlow from Dublin Airport is to travel by JJ Kavanagh/Rapid Express Coaches or by Bus Éireann - see the By bus section below.
If you are travelling by car and you arrive at the sea port of Rosslare, Carlow town is about a 60-minute drive away.
You can get the train to Carlow, however you will have to change services, usually at either Waterford or Dublin. More information and concise timetables are available from the Irish Rail website.
If you arrive at Dublin Port, you can either get the train direct from Dublin Heuston to Carlow, or you can travel by bus. Bus Éireann services depart from Busáras or you can get the JJ Kavanagh service, which leaves from its bus stop on George's Quay. Check out their websites for more.
Buses arrive and depart from Carlow's coach park after 07:00 each morning. This is located within the town centre, at the junction where Kennedy Avenue and Barrack Street meet. Before 07:00, some buses will arrive and depart from the bus stop outside Deane's newsagents, which is a short walk away on Barrack Street.
There is a small fee-paying car park is at the coach park, although this is rarely full, so finding a space shouldn't be a problem.
- JJ Kavanagh / Rapid Express Coaches. Carlow is on the Waterford - Dublin route, which starts in Tramore, Co. Waterford and finishes at Dublin Airport. Along the way, it has 18 bus stops, meaning that Carlow town is easily accessible to those travelling from Counties Waterford, Kilkenny, Kildare or Dublin. Eight buses leave the airport daily, serving Carlow along the way, while nine buses make the return journey. Night-time service is available to take visitors from Carlow to the airport at 02:30 and 04:30. Tickets for the overnight services must be bought in advance from the office at the coach park, whereas during the day fares are usually collected by the driver. All JJ Kavanagh tickets are valid for one month from the date of purchase, and an adult shouldn't expect to pay more than €15 for a return ticket.
- Bus Éireann. Follows a similar route to the JJ Kavanagh service, starting in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford and finishing at Busáras in Dublin's city centre. A single trip from Dublin Airport costs €13.50. These aren't direct services, so you'll have to change at Busarás (Dublin city's central bus station near Custom House Quay).
Travelling by car in Carlow is straightforward enough. Minor traffic jams are common, particularly around Upper Tullow Street.
Browne Street, Castle Street, Charlotte Street and Church Street all have a one-way system, as well as the area around the Courthouse. Lower Tullow Street is also one-way, while most of the street is closed to traffic completely M-Sa 08:00-18:00.
Carlow has over 3,000 car parking spaces, so there's never a shortage. The majority are fee-paying during the day, and most of these must be paid in advance. Unlike other towns and cities where 'parking discs' have to be purchased in shops (Waterford for example), parking tickets in Carlow are purchased from vending machines on the street, which have the time stamped on them.
There are two multi-storey car parks, the largest of which is at Carlow Shopping Centre. The other is on Dublin Street. Patrons at these car parks are issued with tickets on the way in, which must be 'validated' before you return to your car.
Taxi fares are the same in every part of Ireland. Therefore, the price of a taxi will usually depend on the length of the journey. Some companies are exploiting a loophole in this legislation, and charge a minimum fare of €6 within Carlow town's boundaries (you must sign a waiver form to allow this to happen otherwise you will not be insured in the taxi), although generally the cost of a taxi from one end of town to the other is about €5-8. Customers have the right to have all fares calculated by the taximeter and get a printed receipt at the end of the journey. You will need the receipt if you wish to make a complaint about the Taxi service.
The initial fee incurred by passengers is roughly €4. For the next 14 km or 40 minutes, each additional kilometre is about €1 or 40 cent per minute. The exact fares vary on the time of the day, and a €2 booking fee may be placed at the driver's discretion where taxis are ordered by phone. Second and additional passengers are €1 each. An exact breakdown is available on the Taxi Regulator's website  [dead link].
Carlow's sole full-time taxi rank is on Potato Market. With room for eight taxis, the small size of the rank has been repeatedly criticised, however loading bays are also used as taxi ranks between 18:00 and 08:00, so as to alleviate the pressure on taxi operators and provide extra facilities around the town overnight.
- A1 Cabs, Lismard House, Tullow St, ☏ .
- Bridge Cabs, ☏ .
- Carlow Cab Service, 4 Tullow St, ☏ .
- Carlow Co-op Cabs, 1 Haymarket, ☏ .
- Park Cabs Tipp's Cabs, Tolerton, ☏ .
Carlow town is fortunate to have some excellent working examples of architecture from the 1700s and the 1800s, many of which are open to the public. As the town is navigable by foot, the Carlow Tourism website details a walking tour of the town, which incorporates many of the buildings and monuments included below.
Buildings and monuments
- 1 Carlow Courthouse. Generally regarded as one of the finest buildings of its kind in the country. Its Greek revivalist design, with eight Ilyssus style columns, was drawn up in 1830. Traditionally, it's believed that the courthouse was intended for Cork, but the plans got mixed up to the benefit of Carlow. It was completed at a cost of £30,000 - a significant amount of money at the time. A Russian cannon sits in front of the building which was captured during the Crimean war in the late 1800s and then donated to Carlow. The building was restored in the 1990s, and the refurbished courthouse was opened in March 2002. Throughout the decades, the steps of the Courthouse have been used as a focal point for public occasions. An early example was in 1929, when the 100th anniversary for the granting of Catholic Emancipation was celebrated. Ireland hosted the Special Olympics in 2003, and in June that year, the Olympic Flame stopped at the Courthouse where live music and entertainment marked the occasion, before the town bid farewell to local athletes and guests from Bolivia, Slovenia, and Ohio, USA. The building is at the top of Dublin Street.
- Presentation Convent. This convent was home to the Presentation Nuns who lived here and ran a school, teaching generations of Carlow girls. It is now home to the Carlow County Museum and Carlow County Library. The nuns chapel was impressive - its gold-leaf ceiling and stained glass windows, among other original features, have been restored.
- 2 Browneshill Dolmen (Dolmain Chnoc an Bhrúnaigh). A portal tomb dating from c. 3,000 BC. Its capstone is said to be the largest in Europe weighing over 100 tons. These were communal burial monuments for cremated remains - adults and children, males and females from a community were buried here in these tombs. One of Carlow's best-known landmarks, it is located 3 km east of Carlow on the Hacketstown Road.
- 3 Carlow Town Hall. Designed in 1884. It is the new home of Carlow Town Council, following extensive refurbishment which was completed in 2006. It is at Haymarket, which is just off Dublin Street. There used to be a theatre at the rear of the building, and later the County Museum was here, but it hady moved to professional premises at College St.
- 4 St. Patrick's College, College Street, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. St. Patrick's is one of the oldest educational institutions in the country. It was founded in 1782 and has been open to students since 1793. It has around 700 students. Outside of Carlow, the college is known by its formal name, Carlow College. In December 2006, the college opened a new on-campus library in the old college chapel. College records dating back to the 1700s are available.
- 5 Carlow Cathedral (Ardeaglais na Deastógála - Cathedral of the Assumption), College Street. Beside St. Patrick's College. It was completed in 1833, although its history dates back to the 1780s. There was a small chapel on the site, however as the decades passed, it emerged that a bigger facility would be needed. After many fundraisers, plans were put in place for the current building in June 1829 by architect Thomas Cobden. In 1833, at a cost of £9,000, the gothic-designed Cathedral was completed. Its interior has been renovated several times over the years - the most recent refurbishment took place in 1997, which wete controversial at the time and even attracted the attention of Pope John Paul II. However, the designs have been generally welcomed since then, with state broadcaster RTÉ twice airing the Easter services live from the Cathedral. These were relayed across the Eurovision network in 2003.
- 6 The Liberty Tree, Potato Market. The Liberty Tree commemorates the 640 victims of the United Irishmen, who died on May 25, 1798. During a planned rising against British defenders, 2,000 rebels invaded the town, however the plot was secretly leaked in advance, meaning the plan was destined for failure. The landmark was built in the late 1990s ahead of the 200th anniversary of the rising. It is a fountain, which was designed by John Behan and provides a central focal point in the town, around which many people socialise and take a break during the summer months.
- 7 The Croppies Grave. The Croppies Grave was a sand pit where the bodies of the slaughtered United Irishmen were quickly buried. Later, a monument was erected above the site on Chapel Street, west of the River Barrow. The United Irishmen were known as the Croppies due to their habit of cropping their hair, which they did to mark their allegiance.
- 8 Carlow Castle (Caisleán Cheatharlach). Along the banks of the River Barrow. Its construction was started in 1210, and was overseen by William de Marshall. All that remains today are the ruins of the castle, due to an ill-fated and expensive attempt by Dr. Philip Parry Prince Midleton to turn the building into a lunatic asylum. In 1814, a planned explosion tried to create an underground passageway, however this also brought down nearly three of the four walls.
- 9 Graiguecullen Bridge. One of the oldest and lowest bridges on the River Barrow, and is located just beside the ruins of Carlow Castle. A five arched stone structure, the bridge was built in 1569, before renovations took place to widen the bridge in 1815.
- 10 Duckett's Grove. A Georgian home that used to be within an 5,000-acre estate which belonged to the Anglo-Irish family of William Duckett. He built the mansion in a Gothic revival style in 1830, and its last occupant departed the house in 1912. In 1930, the estate was divided up, however in April 1933, much of the building was destroyed by a fire, the cause of which is unknown. Much of the building remains in its original form, and in 2007 the County Council finished its refurbishment and opened the grounds surrounding the home to the public.
Start at the Haymarket off Dublin St. Ahead of you is the pleasant Town Hall. Turning right around you will see the spire of the Church of Ireland. Keeping left, the church on your right, enter Castle St talking a right. The church is notable chiefly for its spire.
At the end of the hill take a left onto Kennedy Avenue. At the traffic lights Burrin St crosses Kennedy Avenue. Take a left and on your left is Deighton Memorial Hall. A curious building which occupies a corner of Burrin St/Kennedy Ave. Continuing up the hill you enter Dublin street beyond where Tullow St and Castle St meet.
Along Dublin St, note Kehoe's Auctioneers housed in a lovely grey stone building. The Franciscan Friary is a fine broad building on the same side of Kehoe's up towards the Courthouse. Further along is the old library in a lovely Georgian building. The courthouse lies at the top of Dublin St. Keeping left of the courthouse you enter Athy Rd.
A short distance on Montgomery St is to your left. It's worth a quick look for its fine Georgian buildings. Further along Athy Rd is the Masonic hall on your right housed in a quirky buildings topped off with urns!
Take a right and cut across by St Dympna's Psychiatric Hospital. It is a massive classical stone building. More impressive for scale than detail.
After leaving the grounds of the hospital cross the road and continue straight along. You will see the Railway Station. It's worth the walk to the top of the road to enjoy this fine building. Double back and take a left onto Old Dublin Road. On your left is a group of fine three storey, single storey bay houses. Further along is St Leo's School in a neat Georgian building featuring some lovely wrought iron decoration.
Just as the Courthouse appears on your right swing left onto College St. College St is long and narrow. Towards the Tullow St end is St Patrick's College set back from the street in its own grounds. Beside it is the Cathedral of the Assumption (RC). Where College St meets Tullow St there is a nice old convent building on your left. It now houses Carlow Library and Carlow County Museum.
- Oak Park Forest Park, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 127 acres of established woodland which are a part of the Oak Park estate just north of Carlow town. The park is a mature, mixed-species woodland and has a series of circular trails which extend over 4 km. Leisure areas, picnic sites, viewing facilities of the lakes and islands and a panorama of the Barrow Valley are also included, as are a large car park and toilets.
- Carlow Town Park. Along the banks of the River Barrow, it's a 12.8-acre site, accessible from the footbridge near the Town Hall and also from the main entrance on Sleaty Street. During the summer months, it is open from 08:00-20:30, otherwise it is open from 08:00-17:00. It also has a playground. The park won the 2004 All-Ireland Riverside Amenity Award in the Tidy Towns competition and was named Ireland's Best Public Park at the inaugural Local Government, City and County Council Awards in January 2007.
| name=Hanover Park | alt= | url= | email= | address= | lat= | long= | directions= | phone= | tollfree= | fax= | hours= | price= | content=In Carlow town centre in between Kennedy Avenue and Kilkenny Road The park, which is on the bank of the River Burrin, also includes a playground.
- 11 Carlow County Museum (Músaem Chontae Cheatharlach), College St, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Sep-May: M-Sa 10:00–16:30; Jun-Aug: M-Sa 10:00-17:00; Su & Bank Holidays 14:00-16:30; last admission half hour before closing. Carlow County Museum tells the story of the county's past from prehistory up to present times. This museum is now housed in the beautifully renovated Presentation Convent. Full wheelchair access. Free entry.
- 12 County Carlow Military Museum (Iarsmalinn Mhíleata Chontae Cheatharlach), ✉ email@example.com. Mar-Nov: Su 14:00–17:00. Old Church, St. Dympna's Hospital, Athy Road. It has many different artefacts, including uniforms worn by members of the Irish Defence Forces and has also reconstructed a World War I trench.
- Carlow Brewing Company, The Goods Store, Station Rd, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Established in 1998, reviving the practice which had been discontinued locally a century earlier. The award-winning brewery makes O'Hara's, a Celtic Stout, Curim Beer and Molings Red Ale - all of which are available at pubs and off-licences around the county. The brewery itself is open for tours at a cost of €7 per adult (€5.50 each in groups of ten or more) which includes a glass of beer.
- Dome Entertainment Complex, ☏ . Beside the Talbot Hotel, 2 km outside town. This facility offers 12 AMF Wooden Bowling lanes along with numerous arcade machines.
- Carlow Omniplex, Fairgreen Shopping Centre, ☏ . 8-screen cinema. Film start times usually range from around 17:00-22:00 on weekdays, 14:00-22:00 on weekends. Late screenings on Friday and Saturday, where the films start at around 23:00.
Sport and leisure
- Walking. When the weather's kind, many pleasant hours can be spent whiling away the time within the town and its outskirts. Oak Park Forest Park is a great place to visit, while the entire length of the River Barrow (113 km) is open to walkers, and visitors to Carlow town can join the banks at Carlow Castle, the track near the Town Hall or by the staircase at the Ring Road.
- Cycling. Carlow's hinterland has some of the best cycling terrain in the country. Within a short radius of Carlow town, there is a varied landscape which provides an adequate challenge for different cycling events. Carlow Road Cycling Club organise many events for those who want to cycle for leisure to those with a competitive edge.
- Ivy Rooms Snooker Club. Open to the public until late every evening. With 16 full-sized tournament tables, American pool tables, amusements and a restaurant. Host to many championships and events from local to international, and has twice hosted the World Under-21 Snooker Championship. Admission to these tournaments is free of charge.
- Graiguecullen Swimming Pool, ☏ . M-F 07:00-10:00 and 19:00-22:00; Sa 11:00-18:00; Sunday 11:00-19:00; Bank Holidays 09:00-19:00. Fully heated 25-metre swimming pool in the Graiguecullen area of Carlow town. Full gymnasium and leisure centre on site.
- Carlow Golf Club, Deerpark, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Located at Deerpark to the northeast of Carlow town, Carlow Golf Club has hosted many prestigious tournaments since its inception in May 1899. The club features naturally draining courses, making them playable all year round. The 18-hole Deerpark Course is recognised as one of the finest inland courses in Ireland. The 9-hole Oak Park Course, is far less expensive, with green fees of €20 per person. Both courses are open during daylight hours, while the clubhouse is open from 10:00-23:00 daily.
- Killerig Resort, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Killerig. Nestled amid 130 acres of manicured parkland the stylish four-star hotel and golf resort offers spa and leisure centre facilities.
- Carlow Golf Range & Shop, Crossneen, ☏ . M-F 10:00-21:00, Sa Su 09:00-19:00. Modern driving range set in tranquil surroundings at the foot of the Killeshin Hills. The range's resident PGA professional is available for tuition and advice while group lessons are also available.
- Quinagh House Par 3, Quinagh, ☏ . 18-hole par-3 golf course with refreshments and light snacks in the clubhouse. Open during daylight hours with clubs available for hire.
- Éigse Arts Festival (Carlow Arts Festival), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. The Éigse Arts Festival is one of the largest of its kind in Ireland, and takes place across Carlow town in June each year. It offers a programme of events including theatre, dance, music, comedy and street entertainment, as well as traditional art exhibitions in locations around the town. Each year, the festival opens with a light show and fireworks display, which is free of charge to the public. The 'Party in the Park' usually takes place on the following day. This is a family-orientated event, where musicians perform in the Carlow town park on the banks of the River Barrow.
- Carlow African Film Festival, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Begun in 2005, this festival takes place in September and aims to celebrate the artistic and cultural works of African film-makers while promoting social interaction and integration between the various communities in Carlow. Admission to the movies is free and are shown in a "Mobile Cinema", a transportable unit which transforms into a 100-seater cinema.
- St. Patrick's Day. March 17 is marked in traditional fashion in Carlow town with the annual parade which takes place each year. It's become the norm for this to be followed by live entertainment and musical performances in and around the town.
Carlow town offers one of the best shopping experiences in the region. Although retail often tends to be centred on the town's two major shopping centres, the town centre, Tullow Street and Dublin Street in particular, offer a wide variety of shops, from locally-owned outlets to larger nationally-recognised businesses.
ATMs are found throughout the town. There are three in the Fairgreen Shopping Centre, one inside Carlow Shopping Centre and several others in shops, banks and other establishments. During high peak shopping days, e.g. during the week before Christmas, few ATMs are in working order, because many run out of cash. A Cirrus ATM is located at the Permanent TSB Bank on Upper Tullow Street.
Carlow's traditional shopping thoroughfare, "the heart of Carlow" has undergone extensive redevelopment over the past decade. Lower Tullow Street, the main shopping area, is pedestrianised during business hours.
- Hadden's Centre. Its anchor tenant is the locally-owned clothing retail outlet Hadden's. Among the other businesses inside the centre are the Country Kitchen Restaurant and Paddy Power bookmakers. It is also accessible through its large fee-paying car park on Kennedy Avenue.
- 1 Shaw's, ☏ . M-Sa 09:00-18:00, Su 13:30-17:30. Large department store which opened in Carlow in 1949. It's also accessible from Bridewell Lane, which is adjacent to the post office.
- 2 Allens of Carlow, ☏ . M-Sa 09:30-18:00. A fine household store on Castle St. It stocks over 10,000 household items. Its product range includes lamps, mirrors, pictures, kitchen utensils, cookware and giftware. It is well known for its eclectic product range and as a place to buy the unusual soft furnishings for your home or gifts for occasions.
- 3 Fairgreen Shopping Centre, Barrack St. Over 40 stores. Its anchor tenants are Tesco, Next and Heatons. It has well-known high street stores such as River Island, a/wear, Jack & Jones, Planet Auto, Argos Extra, Omniplex Cinemas and GameStop, in addition to local businesses like Jason Farrell Sports, Bramley's "B2" Jewellers and Bosco's Butchers. All tenants are required to trade between 09:00-18:00 Monday to Wednesday, 09:00-21:00 on Thursdays and Fridays, 09:00-18:00 on Saturdays and 12:00-18:00 on Sundays. However, Tesco's opening hours are much longer - from 07:00-00:00 daily (08:00-22:00 on Sundays). Built on the site of Carlow's former cattle mart. In order to maintain the link with the history of the area, the centre purchased one of the cows from the Dublin Cow Parade and commissioned a local artist to paint "The Fairgreen Cow".
- 4 Carlow Shopping Centre, Unit 18 -19, Kennedy Ave. Carlow's original major shopping centre offers multi-storey car parking. Its anchor tenant is the indigenous grocery retailer Superquinn, while other tenants include the music store TRAX, Tempted, Nickel Cafe and Sam McCauleys.
- The Bagel Factory, ☏ . 1 The Mall, Kennedy Avenue. Small café near the Liberty Tree which specialises in bagels.
- Beams Restaurant, 59 Dublin St, ☏ .
- Brooks Café, Tullow St.
- Buzz's Bistro, 7 Tullow St, ☏ .
- Café Bleu, 29 Dublin St, ☏ .
- Café Roma, 51 Tullow St, ☏ .
- Café le Monde, Carlow Shopping Centre, Kennedy Avenue, ☏ . Daily 08:30. Serving breakfast, lunch and snacks.
- Cloister's Restaurant, 29 Dublin St, ☏ .
- Italian Connection, Kennedy Avenue.
- Jasmine Chinese Restaurant, Tullow Rd, ☏ .
- Lasrada Restaurant, 144 Tullow St, ☏ .
- Lemongrass Restaurant, Unit 6, Hanover Square, ☏ .
- Lotus Chinese Restaurant, Unit 2, Kennedy Avenue, ☏ .
- McDonalds, Kennedy Avenue, ☏ , fax: .
- Peking Chinese Restaurant, 63 Tullow St, ☏ .
- Rattlebag Café, 202 Barrack St, ☏ .
- Reddy's of Carlow, 67 Tullow St, ☏ . Carvery open daily from 12:15, with the restaurant open from 18:00 each evening. Full à la carte and full dinner menus, with a variety of fine food.
- Shapla Tandoori Restaurant, Hanover Court, Kennedy Avenue, ☏ .
- Supermac's, Burrin St, ☏ , fax: . Irish-owned fast food chain.
- Teach Dolmain and Carlovian Restaurant, Tullow St, ☏ . Full à la carte menu and extensive wine list.
- Toughers Restaurant, Ballyvergal, Dublin Rd, ☏ .
- Weeping Thaiger Restaurant, Quinn House, Mill Lane, ☏ .
- Corries Bar & Bistro, Talbot Hotel Carlow, Portlaoise Rd, ☏ . Carvery Lunch served M-Sa from 12:00-14:30. Carvery Lunch served Sunday from 12:00-15:30. Bar Food Menu served Monday to Saturday from 14:30-21:30. Bar Food Menu served Sunday from 15:30.-21:30.
- The Liberty Tree Restaurant, Talbot Hotel Carlow, Portlaoise Rd, ☏ . Breakfast served M-F 07:00-10:00, and Sa Su 07:30-10:30. Dinner served M-F 18:30-21:30, and Sa Su 18:30-21:30.
- Browne Street Bar, Browne St. It's at the corner of Browne Street and College Street, near Carlow Cathedral.
- Buzzs Bar, Tullow St, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Beside Shaw's Department Store, this is a popular place for a pint or a night out. Includes six pool tables and a jukebox upstairs.
- Carpenter's Bar, 10 Barrack St, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Traditional bar and lounge which also caters from groups and functions.
- Coppingers Bar, Kennedy St. Home of the 'Carlow 98 Celtic Supporters Club'. All live matches shown on the Big Screen.
- Corcoran's Bar, Castle St.
- Dinn Rí, Tullow St, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. The main feature of the Dinn Rí complex. Also offers carvery lunch and an extensive bar food menu.
- Level 1, 52-54 Tullow St, ☏ . Part of the Music Factory on Tullow Street.
- Leverett & Frye, Dublin St. Popular, modern bar.
- Mrs. Brown's Bar, 52-54 Tullow St, ☏ . Also part of the Music Factory.
- Mulligan's Bar, Castle St.
- O'Loughlin's Bar, 53 Dublin St, ☏ . Popular venue with young and old alike.
- Racey Byrne's, Tullow St. Long established, traditional bar.
- Reddy's, 67 Tullow St, ☏ . Well known bar and restaurant.
- Scragg's Alley, 12/13 Tullow St, ☏ , fax: .
- Teach Dolmain, Tullow St, ☏ . Cosy venue near Shamrock Square, with outdoor tables for smokers.
- The Barracks, 32 Tullow St, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Ireland's first interactive bar, with networked PS2's, user-activated music systems, free wireless internet access and laptop rental. Neat dress essential. Also accessible from Potato Market.
- The County Bar. Gaelic Athletic Association bar, Formerly known as Cosmo Brown's. It is undergoing renovations.
- The John Tyndall, 70 Tullow St. On Shamrock Square, named in honour of the Leighlinbridge physicist.
- The Underground Bar, 52-54 Tullow St, ☏ , fax: . Nice bar at the back of the Music Factory complex. Popular with functions and birthdays.
- The Vinyl Bar, 52-54 Tullow St, ☏ , fax: . Also part of the Music Factory.
- Tully's Bar, 148 Tullow St, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- Corries Bar & Bistro, Talbot Hotel Carlow, Portlaoise Rd, ☏ . Live music every Friday & Saturday night.
Music and entertainment
- Buzz's Bar, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Live music every Thursday and Sunday evenings, DJ on Friday and Saturday.
- Carlovian Bar, 76 Tullow St, ☏ , fax: . Traditional Irish music sessions every Thursday night from 21:30.
- Coppingers Bar, Kennedy St. Traditional Irish music sessions every Friday night.
- McHugh's Courthouse Hotel, Dublin St, ☏ , fax: . Entertainment every Friday and Saturday night, plus on Sundays during bank holiday weekends.
- Mrs. Browns, 52-54 Tullow St, ☏ , fax: . Traditional Irish music sessions every Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
- Nancy Whiskeys, Haymarket, ☏ . Live music every Sunday.
- Seven Oaks Hotel, Athy Rd, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Traditional Irish music session every Monday night from 21:30.
- The Tower Live, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Live music venue, with entertainment every Saturday night.
- The Tavern, Castle St, ☏ . Live music venue in Carlow town.
- Corries Bar & Bistro, Talbot Hotel Carlow, Portlaoise Rd, ☏ . Live music every Friday & Saturday night.
- The Foundry, Dinn Rí, Tullow St, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Carlow's best known nightclub, which regularly hosts the best local and national DJs along with other special events. Open to the public every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
- Nexus Nightclub, 12/13 Tullow St, ☏ , fax: . Small venue on Tullow Street, and the only nightclub in Carlow that's open on Tuesday nights.
- Avlon House, Green Lane, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A 10-minute walk from the town centre, with rates ranging from €29-40 nightly per person sharing. Four-star rating.
- Barrowville Town House, Kilkenny Rd, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. An antique setting, 3 minutes from the town centre by foot and very close to Carlow IT. Rates from €40-49 nightly per person sharing.
- Borlum House, Kilkenny Rd, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Georgian guesthouse.
- Carlow Guesthouse, Green Lane, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Large groups can be accommodated among its 13 en suite bedrooms. A five-minute walk from town and online booking is available.
- Coolanowle House, Ballickmoyler, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Surrounded by 3 acres of Beechwood gardens, lawn tennis court and 18th century flax ponds all on a real working organic farm. In Ballickmoyler, just outside the town.
- Green Lane B&B, Green Lane, ☏ . Four-star town house, ten minutes from town by foot. Wheelchair accessible, with rates from €35.
- Quarry Ridge, Killeshin, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Family-run B&B in a scenic setting in Killeshin, 5 km outside town. Rooms from €40 per night.
- Redsetter Guesthouse, Dublin St, ☏ , fax: . In the town centre, with 17 bedrooms. Rates from €35 per person sharing. Parking available in a multi-storey car park next door.
- Tudor Lodge, Kilmeaney (take N80 out of town for 3 km, take second signposted turn for Tinryland - first house on left), ☏ . Peaceful setting 4 km outside town.
- Talbot Hotel Carlow, Portlaoise Rd, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. This 4-star hotel is 2 km to the west of Carlow town.
- Seven Oaks Hotel, Athy Rd, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. A 3-minute walk from Carlow town centre, this 3-star hotel offers 89 bedrooms and an on-site leisure centre.
- Woodford Dolmen Hotel (Dolmen Hotel), Kilkenny Rd, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. On the banks of the River Barrow, this hotel offers 93 bedrooms including 12 self-catering lodges.
- Dinn Rí Hotel, Tullow St, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. At the Dinn Rí entertainment complex in the centre of town. From €50.
- McHughs Courthouse Hotel, Dublin St, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. In the heart of Carlow, with rates from €45 per person sharing.
- Lord Bagenal Hotel, Main St, Leighlinbridge, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Luxury four-star hotel. From €59.
In 2004, the local area code for Carlow changed from 0503 to 059. Some of out-of-date literature still carries the old area code. For Carlow town, dial 059 91XXXXX instead of 0503 XXXXX.
Wireless broadband is provided for the entire town centre. Carlow was the first town in Ireland to provide such a service. It's available (with varying degrees of success) at a fee of €3.50 for each use, or at €15 for a monthly subscription.
- Carlow Internet Café, Castle St, ☏ . Reduced rate international phone calls available.
- Carlow County Library, Tullow St, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Free, time-restrained internet access which usually must be booked in advance.
- Çarlow Shopping Centre. €1 for 30-minute access of internet access.
- The Barracks, 32 Tullow St, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Interactive bar which gives a free loan of laptops and free wireless internet access.
- McDonalds, Kennedy Avenue, ☏ , fax: . Across from the Liberty Tree on Kennedy Avenue.
- Talbot Hotel Carlow, Portlaoise Rd, ☏ . Wireless Internet throughout hotel. Internet Point also available on mezzanine floor.