Portlaoise is the county town of County Laois, located in the midlands of Ireland.
Portlaoise is on the main train line from Dublin Heuston to Limerick and Cork. There are frequent services to Dublin, serving the town's growing commuter population.
Both Bus Eireann and private coach companies serve the town. There is no central bus station, but most services stop at the bus shelter on James Fintan Lalor Avenue, commonly known to locals as the Link Road.
There is no internal bus service within the town, but it is amply served by taxis. There are taxi ranks located at the train station, and at the Top Square in the town centre.
The town has experienced enormous growth in recreational options over recent years. Though options are still somewhat small considering its size and location, Portlaoise now boasts the modern Dunamaise Theatre and Centre for the Arts. This facility contains a purpose-built theatre, exhibition space, and cafe. The Colisseum Cinema on Bull Lane was replaced in recent years by the five-screen Storm Cinema, which shows many of the most recent blockbuster movies.
The town also offers sporting and recreational facilities. The new Town Park on the Timahoe Road features a children's play area, a man-made lake by the River Triogue, and is a wildlife and nature reserve. O'Moore Park is the county headquarters of the GAA and hosts hurling and Gaelic football events. A newly renovated swimming pool and sports centre opened in the town in 2007, offering numerous family friendly facilities. The town and its hinterland also boasts a number of golf courses, ideal for enthusiasts of the sport.
There are two main shopping centres in the town—the Laois Shopping Centre, which is anchored by Tescos, and the newly-opened Kyle Shopping Centre, which is anchored by Dunnes Stores. There are smaller shopping centres located on the outskirts of the town, housing a SuperValu and another Dunnes Stores respectively. There are also a host of independent shops located along the town's Main Street, and on the side streets leading away from it.
The range of restaurants available in Portlaoise has improved enormously over recent years.
In common with nearly all Irish towns, Portlaoise offers a wide range of pubs, some of them new, some of them old favourites with locals. Most of them are located in the town centre, running from the Top Square down the length of the Main Street, though there have been new establishments in developing suburbs such as Kilminchy.