Things to do in County Kildare
The Curragh Racecourse
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About
The Curragh is Ireland's premier international horse racing venue and home of Ireland's 5 classic races, including the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. Located in County Kildare and just 40 minutes by car from Dublin City Centre, the Curragh stages 23 flat race meetings from March to October. The racecourse features a variety of bars and restaurants as well as a children's playground. Admission prices from €15.00. Under 18s go free when accompanied by an adult.
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More than 3 hours
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4.0
92 reviews
Excellent
47
Very good
26
Average
7
Poor
4
Terrible
8

Patricia
Oxford, UK216 contributions
Couples
We haven't visited for a few years, the new stand is a triumph. We used the free shuttle bus from Kildare town, there was a Food Festival on for the weekend, another triumph, the soft seats in the stands, all this before we enjoyed the racing. Excellent, thank you.
Written 28 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John S
9 contributions
The tour was conducted by Paul Keane who described the history of the Curragh Racecourse and how it became one of the world's greatest venues for thoroughbred racing.
We spent time in the jockeys changing room and also their lounge where they spent time between races. We learned about the weight system and how technology has improved the equipment and reduced the weight of the jockeys apparel and safety gear.
The tour also spent time on the track, watching horses at work. finishing up on the top floor of the grandstand.
Paul was an excellent guide who. gave an insight into raceday from the jockey's owners' and trainers' point of view. He did all this and still found time for questions.
I would recommend this tour to anybody with any interest in racing, or interested in the history of thr Curragh Plains as a whole
Written 9 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jim B
Glasgow, UK35 contributions
Couples
Visited The Curragh (which is Ireland’s leading flat racing course) as part of a day in Kildare doing all sorts of stuff linked to horse racing … it is the home of all five Irish classic races

We booked the “Behind the Scenes” tour which runs on certain non racing days….we were the only two folk booked on the tour and when I discovered that I assumed we might politely have our money refunded and offered a chance just to wander about

That was not the case at all… we basically had a personal guided tour led by Paul Keane a former trainer…tour was meant to last two hours.. ran about two and a half and felt like it was about twenty minutes… for a racing nut like myself it was just fantastic.. Paul was just incredible…knowledgeable, engaging and full of brilliant tales ( some of which confirmed what I thought of some well known racing folk !! )

The others reviews give you an idea of what is covered … the jockeys’ room, the parade ring, the saddling boxes , the views from the top of the stands …just absolutely fascinating stuff … highly highly recommended …if you have any interest in racing ( and even if you don’t!!) then you will thoroughly enjoy this !
Written 1 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Paul Wing
Portsmouth, UK317 contributions
Couples
A fantastic racecourse, with stunning views and fantastic first class facilities, you can get up close to the action.
Drinks were reasonably priced, food was a little on the expensive side, but that didn't detract from what a fabulous racecourse it is, staff friendly and laid back, just how you want it, cant wait to return on the near future.
Written 10 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

A4173SPrichardl
Warwickshire, UK18 contributions
Couples
A Behind The Scenes Tour to locations normally off-limits to the racegoer including the weighing room, jockeys changing room, saddling boxes and the top floor balcony with stunning views of the Curragh. There is an opportunity to closely examine all the jockey’s equipment and to gain an insight into what is included (and excluded) in the jockey’s riding weight. Our guide, Paul Keane, was not only very knowledgable (having been a racehorse trainer himself) but also extremely enthusiastic. His demonstration of what the racehorse feels from the jockey’s reins was a real eye-opener. The tour is suitable for those with either little or no knowledge of the race-day experience or the more seasoned racegoer. We couldn’t have enjoyed it more and strongly recommend it.
Written 11 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tim T
2 contributions
We could not have asked for a better behind-the-scenes tour than that given to us by Paul. Our expectations were exceeded by the thoroughness of the tour and the information shared by Paul with us.
We've had tours of other race tracks (USA) and the one given to us at Curraugh was by far the most detailed. Paul took the time to explain every detail of a jockey's job and experience. We saw first hand the equipment used and were given the opportunity to role play what the jockey, trainer, and owner theoretically may experience. We had the opportunity to walk out to the course and visualize the conditions of the turf and where the horses would be racing.
We, again, had a role playing opportunity with saddling up a race horse. And, again at the end of the tour, with watching a race and "betting" on who might win. So much fun!
Paul gave us the history of racing in Ireland, Curraugh, and what it takes today to put on a race. I could write pages of the information we learned, but instead would highly recommend anyone interested in horses, racing, or the area of Curraugh to take the time to schedule a tour. Whether there are races scheduled or not, this is a place to be seen and experienced.
Thank you, Paul, and all the other staff that helped make this tour possible for us.
Written 9 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Colleen B
Indianapolis, IN1 contribution
I traveled with a group of 24 University students to the Curragh, and we cold not have had a better experience! The staff was so helpful in making it a day to remember. We ended up spending two days, instead of the initially scheduled 1, so that we could go to the Races (the 2000 Guineas) and then we came back for the Behind the Scenes Tour.

The tour was fantastic for anyone interested in horses, or horse racing. We learned about the origin of racing in Ireland, the equipment that the jockeys used, and how they make the equipment so light. One of the students even got to put the saddle on the life size horse replica. It was a great day, and I will definitely take groups there in the future.
Written 20 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi Collleen, Thank you very much for your kind words. It was our pleasure to host your group (twice!) at the Curragh and we look forward to welcoming you back in the future. Our behind the scenes tour is unique among European racecourses and a great way to showcase the Curragh Racecourse outside of race days. Best Wishes, Paul
Written 20 June 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Beth B
1 contribution
Friends
Complete lack of services, rude staff and outright awful experience. The traffic system is absolutely ridiculous- rude staff screaming at patrons. No appropriate place for a drop off. Most certainly not appropriate if you’re in any way going to struggle with a long walk - seems like the objective is to send you as far from the racecourse as possible. As well as being told to go one way by staff and then being redirected another way. This alone would make you want to turn around and leave.

When you get in there is even more rude staff to greet you. I can safely say it’s the least hospitable race course I’ve been to.

The food is overpriced and the card machine never seems to work or the ATM. The pints are poor at best.

Overall for the price you pay there is many other racecourses that you’d have a much better day going to.

The home of the classics was once a great place , but that’s no longer - how it’s held onto the classics is a mystery.

ABSOLUTELY SHOCKING
Written 20 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Y9468LEbethb It is very disappointing to read that you had such a poor experience racing at the Curragh and it even more regrettable that you didn't bring this to our attention on the day in question. We have a large team of staff dedicated to customer service on race days, something that is regularly acknowledged by racegoers, and we would certainly want to know immediately if anyone was treated rudely. Kind Regards, Paul
Written 20 June 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Frances McCarthy
11 contributions
Solo
I highly recommend that if you are a horse racing enthusiast or a lover of thoroughbred horses or simply want to learn more about “The Sport of Kings” that you take the time to do a “Behind the Scenes Tour” of the Curragh Racecourse. The two hour tour allows you to visit areas that are strictly off limits when racing is happening and gives access to areas that are out of bounds such as the jockeys changing rooms and the weigh room, the stewards room and the parade ring to name but a few and culminates with a visit to the VIP area at the top of the stand where you can see from the balcony overlooking the Curragh Planes horses galloping on the training grounds with a beautiful view that stretches from the Dublin Mountains to Kildare’s Round Tower. Outside I heard about the history of the “Queen’s Room” which was constructed in 1850 and moved stone by stone and reconstructed close to the parade ring. In the Jockeys Weigh Room I was shown the clothing that a jockey wears and heard about the role of the jockeys agent and the jockeys valet and got to experience the control that the jockey has of the reins when Paul who was leading the tour held the reins and I held the part of the reins that goes through the horses bit and bridle which allowed me to understand the importance of the jockey having “good hands”. Outside Paul showed how the saddle is put on a horse and explained about the function of the various pieces of head gear that a horse might wear such as ear pieces or a nose band. Having my photograph taken beside the bronze statue of “Nijinsky” who was the first winner the English “Triple Crown of Racing” completed a wonderful day that I enjoyed so much I would do it all again.
Written 2 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Frances, Thank you very much for taking our behind the scenes tour and your kind words above. It is important to us to open the racecourse more often than just for race meetings and being able to share what goes on behind the scenes during racing, both serious and not so serious, is something different and unique. Kind Regards, Paul
Written 20 June 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

MurciaViajeBien
Murcia17 contributions
Friends
Went to Irish Champions Day. I think it is a lovely facility. Good viewing (when the rain eased), lots of food and drink outlets with very little queuing. Easy to get in by car, and although a little slow, a very well organized exit. If you have a flight to catch, leave an extra 15minutes to allow for the leaving queues. And for the racing fan, some great racing to be seen. I will be back.
Written 16 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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The Curragh Racecourse | County Kildare | UPDATED October 2022 Top Tips Before You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

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