This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Carlow. To help you make friends with Carlow before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
With a long history predating the city itself, Carlow Town surprisingly is not a popular tourist destination, and has a quiet vibe to it. There is plenty to explore in the city itself -- there are many streets with historical bits and pieces tucked here and there.
There is a long historical and religious presence within the city limits, and plenty of sights to visit. The Browneshill Dolmen Portal Tomb, or Kernanstown Cromlech as it is also known, was built sometime between 4000 and 3000 BCE, is quite interesting and impressive; even if you aren't much of a history buff, it's always quite mind-boggling to see. The tomb is just outside of the city and easy to find from the side of the road. Not much is known about it, mostly because it's never been excavated. Many other religious sights include the ruins of St Mullin's Monastery and Old Leighlin, a site of a large monastic settlement. The Carlow Castle now stands in ruins (just one wall and two towers are all that is left) and not only served a part in history as a center for important figures, but was also a way to control the river crossings.
The city itself lends a friendly hand to all sorts of visitors; backpackers visiting Carlow Town hostels, tourists, and families alike can all find resources and things to do here. There are places to buy groceries and other necessary travel amenities and many shops with local Irish paraphernalia for sale. The tourist information center is very helpful, and the museum is a must-see for those interested in the city's history.
It is not difficult to reach by car, and is relatively close to the Wicklow Mountains. Trains and buses also run into the city; connections from Dublin are fairly easy to manage. Carlow is not an exciting city with lots going on, but in its own quiet way is a true Irish treasure.
Written by local enthusiast for Carlow hostelsEmily Schreiber