Explore Carlow

Located in Ireland’s Ancient East, Carlow combines a thriving student town with unspoiled landscape. Picturesque villages, meandering rivers, rolling hills combined with the colourful tales of our people, past and present.  


From local farmers markets to a cafes and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets, Carlow holds its own when it comes to the culinary scene. You are spoilt for choice with tapas, farm-to-fork, Italian, Thai and even a local, Wetherspoons to suit a student budget.


Carlow is a bustling, fun and lively student town with a student population of over 7,000. There is everything from the humble pub to boutique cocktail bars, live music venues to thriving nightclubs. It is also home to two multi-screen cinemas.


Carlow is home to a number of shopping centres and retail parks, with high street brands such as Penneys, Next, New Look, Jack Jones, JD Sports as well as a diverse range of independent shops to suit all tastes and budgets. There is also all the main supermarket chains within the town.

Arts & Culture

Our campus is home to VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art & The George Bernard Shaw Theatre, where you’ll find a diverse calendar of exhibitions, theatre performances and music gigs. During Summer, Carlow and its surrounds comes alive with a thriving calendar of festivals with everything from Borris House Festival of Writing & Ideas, Carlow Arts Festival, Carlow Pride Fest and the popular Kilkenny Cat Laughs just over the border in Kilkenny.


One of the true treats of life in Carlow is the opportunity to explore it’s natural beauty. From walking trails to exciting water activities along the River Barrow, you can be immersed in nature within minutes of town. Take a hike up Mount Leinster to take in sweeping views across the South East or a weekend drive to St Mullins for a riverside walk and visit the monastic site.

Student Guide to Carlow