Kildare is one of the oldest towns in Ireland dating back to the 5th Century. It is located on the edge of the Curragh plains just a 40 minute drive from Dublin Airport.
For a small town, Kildare has a very large history. The original market house serves as both a Heritage Centre and Failte Ireland Tourist Office. It houses an immersive Virtual Reality Experience that takes the visitor through the stories of the Fianna, Brigid the Goddess, St Brigid and the arrival of the Normans, a great starting point for any trip to Kildare Town. The Centre opens from Monday – Saturday, 9.30am-5pm (lunch 1-2pm).
For a more in-depth study of the town check out the Kildare Town Conservation Management Interpretation Plan.
Click here for a self-guided audio tour of The Kildare Town Heritage Trail
Things to see and do in Kildare Town
Saint Brigids Cathedral: Built on the site that was once home to St.Brigid this beautifully restored Norman Cathedral was built to an early gothic design. Rebuilt between 1223/1230 the Cathedral is home to the ruins of St Brigids Firetemple.
NOTE: Due to the Corona Virus, St Brigids Cathedral and Round Tower are CLOSED until further notice: www.stbrigidscathedral.com
The Round Tower: This tower is the highest accessible round tower in Ireland and the second tallest overall. Standing at just over 107 feet (almost 33 meters) the Kildare Round Tower can be seen as you approach the Town. With beautiful views over County Kildare and beyond it is well worth the climb.
Opening Times for St. Brigid’s Cathedral & Round Tower: 1st May – 30th September, 10am – 4:45pm (Closed for lunch 1-2pm).
For groups of 10+ the Cathedral can be opened by prior arrangement all year round, please contact Kildare Town Heritage Centre.
Admission Costs: Cathedral, €2. Climb the Tower, €4 (€2 Concession fee)
The White, The Grey & The Black Abbeys: Three new religious foundations were established in and around Kildare Town in the 13th century. They were known locally by the colour of the habits worn by the monks – Grey, White and Black. All were dissolved at the time of the Reformation and were in ruins by the 18th century.
Saint Brigid’s Well: Located close to the Black Abbey, this well is a site for religious devotion particularly on St. Brigid’s annual feast day February 1st.
The Irish National Stud and Gardens: Established in the early 1900’s, this very popular attraction is home to some of Ireland’s finest thoroughbreds and is a source of national pride along. The Japanese Gardens, designed by Tasa Eida were developed to compliment the Stud and in the 1990’s St. Fiachra’s Gardens opened alongside these.
Kildare Shopping Village: Kildare Village is one of nine Chic Outlet shopping villages in Europe. With plenty of boutiques offering savings of up to 60% all year round.
The Gordon Bennett Route & Classic Car Rally: Kildare Town is on the Gordon Bennett Route, a historical route which follows the famous Gordon Bennett Cup Race of 1903.
Places to eat in Kildare Town
Agape Gourmet Sandwich Bar, 4 Nugent Street, Station Road
Tel: 00 353 45 533711
Café K, Claregate Street
Tel: 00 353 87 6685044
Chapter 16, Market Square
Tel: 00 353 45 522 232
Cunninghams Bar & Restaurant, Market Square
Tel: 00 353 45 521780
Hartes Bar & Grill, Market Square
Tel: 00 353 45 533557
The Gallops, Kildare House Hotel, Dublin Road
Tel: 00 353 45 520 002
How to get to Kildare Town
There are many different ways to visit us here in Kildare Town, check our Contact Us page for more information.