The town lies on the R639. The M8 motorway runs just west of the town, from which both Urlingford and nearby Johnstown are accessed via junction four. Urlingford is a bus hub, with major operator JJ Kavanagh and Sons based there. Situated from Dublin and from Cork, Urlingford has long been a resting-point for travellers half way between the Republic of Ireland's two largest cities, as a result, until September 2013 the Bus Eireann Dublin to Cork bus service called here. It is now replaced by route 128X which connects with express buses at Portlaoise and Cashel. The town had a huge success when the Emeralds GAA club won the minor A in 2000 and then the junior in 2001. Alan Guilfoyle was crucial in both wins.
The Irish name Áth na nUrlainn means "ford of the slaughter" and has been anglicised as Aghnenurlin, Aghnenoorlin, Awnanoorlin and similar.