Is Dublin expensive to live in? Here’s everything you need to know about living in Dublin, Ireland

This guide to living in Dublin, Ireland was written by Mary, a travel blogger who writes about money-saving tips while traveling and living abroad. In this post, she will share her personal experiences and advice on how to live in Dublin.

My name is Mary and I’m from France. When I turned 18, I left France to go live in the US as an exchange student. I was completely immersed in the US culture, going to school there and living with my American family. When I came back, I swore to myself I would go live abroad after finishing university.

I chose to move to Dublin for multiple reasons. I was very keen to live in an English-speaking country. I had visited Dublin and Ireland multiple times before and loved the ambiance and the culture.

As a singer and musician, I loved walking around and listening to buskers sing on the street. Music is a big part of Ireland and Ireland is the home to some of my favorite bands like The Script.

living in dublin

In addition, I had noticed that people were very friendly here and always ready to help. That was definitely another reason why I was attracted by Dublin.

I also grew up in the countryside so I liked the idea of living in a human-sized city. In Dublin, I can walk almost everywhere and the city does not feel too overwhelming. So all together, Dublin seemed like a great fit for me.

After living here for over two years and having visited almost every nook and cranny of the city, I finally feel like I’m a local and Dublin is my home.

living in dublin

💃 Personal experience living in Dublin

My personal experience living in Dublin has been very positive so far. My colleagues have extremely welcomed me.

Starting a new job in a new country can be a bit intimidating. But my colleagues were very warm to me from the beginning. That helped me feel at home pretty quickly as those people are the ones I see and talk to the most. Some became good friends!

living in dublin ireland

I do love the Irish laid-back vibe. Irish people are always ready to crack a joke and have good craíc (aka “fun”). I think it is a good philosophy of life to live by!

I also enjoy living in Dublin as it has lots of parks. Phoenix Park is probably my favorite as it is home to 600 wild deer! I love visiting the Phoenix Park deer, especially when the babies are around!

living in dublin

One thing I didn’t expect though was how I would be struggling with pronouncing Irish names! My pronunciation has caused a lot of good laughs and has led to a few moments of confusion.

After two years, I think I’ve nailed down the most common Irish names such as Tadhg, Sinéad, Caoihme, and Padraig. Accents also vary quite a bit between the different counties. I’ve found myself asking people from Cork to repeat themselves a lot because I just could not understand them.

I learned later on that the Cork accent is indeed quite strong and that even native speakers and Irish people sometimes struggle to understand it.

💵 Cost of living in Dublin

Dublin’s biggest flaw in terms of the cost of living is the housing situation. When I arrived in Dublin, I had a budget of $1,529 a month for rent, split between two people. Needless to say, that didn’t work out so well.

First, there are lots of scams in Dublin. Everyone I had talked to and everything I had read prior to moving here indicated that renting before arriving in the country was a bad idea.

So I packed my bags, rented an Airbnb for the first two weeks, and dedicated those two weeks to find an apartment.

Second, for every apartment, there would be about 20 to 30 other people visiting at the same time. And the apartments were…well, really bad for the price.

living in dublin ireland

From mold on the ceilings to sketchy landlords and broken windows, I think I’ve seen where Dublin’s bad housing reputation comes from. Who wants a moldy apartment for $1,882 USD a month?

So I ended up bumping my budget to $2,117 USD a month and found a decent (and clean!!) apartment in a decent neighborhood with a great landlord. Still, it’s quite expensive if you ask me!

The best sites to find an apartment are and I recommend setting up alerts so you can apply right away. Some apartments are gone in a few minutes! If you’re looking for a room, then Facebook groups would be where it is at.

The other big cost when living in Dublin is transportation. In my experience, bus and Luas (tramway) tickets are more expensive than in any other city I’ve lived in or visited.

living in dublin ireland

When comparing the rent and cost of transportation from living further from work to my current rent close to work, there was barely any difference.

I made the choice to live closer to work so I could walk or bike to work instead of using transportation. As I don’t have to commute, I save lots of time which I can allocate to living my life and writing my blog.

As for food cost, Dublin is actually pretty decent. There is an endless choice of restaurants for all budgets in the city. I spend about $352 a month on groceries for two people and I get quite a lot of groceries

✨ Living in Dublin Ireland tips

Connecting with fellow expats in Dublin

Dublin is very cosmopolitan. I see people from everywhere every day. It’s fairly easy to connect with other expats, especially through Facebook.

There usually is at least one group for each country. For example, one group I use the most is “Les Français à Dublin” (“French in Dublin”).

This group is great to hear about available rooms and apartments to rent, travel recommendations, and food recommendations.

The French community is always struggling to find French products or equivalents abroad so this group is great to learn about which stores have our favorite gruyère cheese and grenadine drink!

Our Consular Delegate is also part of this group and relays any important information to us which is super useful.

living in dublin

It’s not to say that there aren’t any sketchy places. But overall, I feel very safe and people (men especially) do behave better than what I have experienced in France, even after a few pints!

Some cons about Dublin would be the cost of rent which is absolutely atrocious and sometimes the weather. The weather here is actually not as bad as people make it out to be.

The sun does shine almost every day even if it’s just for a couple of hours. That said, the temperatures are pretty average all year long.

Although you will see people wearing shorts and crop tops when it’s 59°F and sunny, it rarely gets hotter than 73.4°F. Real hot summer is probably the one thing I miss the most.

Transportation in Dublin

Although I don’t use it every day, the transportation system in Dublin is actually pretty good despite it being expensive. Dublin is a walking city so that’s a big plus for me as I can walk to work and to most places I like or want to go to.

That said, I understand that walking an hour morning and night to go to work and walking two hours to visit the city are two different things.

Lots of people ride their bikes to work or anywhere really. It’s a very common means of transportation and there are bike lanes pretty much everywhere in the city.

There are also lots of buses, and taxis to go around. Bus tickets range from $1.76 to $4.47 depending on your destination in the city.

See also: Is it expensive to live in Copenhagen, Denmark?
living in dublin

The downside of buses is that the schedule has a reputation of being approximative. So if your appointment is important, a taxi might be the best option.

Dublin is also equipped with the Luas (the tramway) and the DART (the city train). I don’t own a car so I probably use the Luas and the DART the most.

They are the perfect means of transportation to go to the East coast and visit all the cute seaside towns like Dalkey and Howth.

Ireland resident visa

As I am a French citizen, I can live and work in any EU country without a visa, this includes Ireland. If you are from outside the EU, your best source of information would be your Embassy or government website. You can also find quite a bit of information on

Buying a car in Dublin

I really don’t think you need a car to live in Dublin. I don’t own one and it has never been an issue. When I traveled to the Wicklow Mountains National Park and to the Dingle Peninsula, I rented a car for two weeks right from the city center.

living in dublin

If you just need a car for a day or a few hours, GoCar is a great alternative to owning a car, although more expensive than the bus or Luas (about $70 – $94 USD a day).

Setting up my account with GoCar was fairly easy although there is an approval period of about 48hours, so just keep that in mind.

Medical care and expat insurance in Dublin

There are a couple of hospitals in Dublin. I actually had to go to the emergency room once and can testify the service was pretty great and the wait was short. The ER cost $117 USD which was the flat fee for EU citizens.

In France, we have a pretty good health system and are covered for pretty much everything through social security. However, in Ireland, health costs are not covered in the same way and bills can add up quite quickly.

For comparison, in France, a GP visit would cost me around $35 USD whereas here, it costs me $70-90 USD! In France, I would be reimbursed that amount through social security but not here.

living in dublin

It took me a while to accept that difference but eventually, I got there. I also decided to take out health insurance with an Irish company called VHI.

My cover costs around $1,176 USD a year. My understanding of the health system here is that waitlists in the public sector can be months or years. Taking out private health insurance ensures that you have access to the care you need much faster.

I pay about $250 USD for global medical insurance that covers COVID-19. The quote will depend on your age but this is great insurance especially for expats who are constantly moving.

Renting a house in Dublin

There is no such thing as easily finding an apartment in Dublin. However, there are things that definitely helped me get appointments.

After setting up the alert as I suggested above, make sure you apply as fast as possible. Keep in mind that there are probably a hundred other people who will apply in the next 15 minutes.

In your application, include your name and the name of the people living with you, your and their occupation, and your style (are you quiet or a party animal?)

living in dublin

Landlords will expect you to have a recommendation from a previous landlord and even from your employer, and proof of employment or your bank statements.

I recommend letting the landlord know in your application that you have those documents available.

If you are looking for a room, you can check out several Facebook groups such as “Dublin Rent a room” and “Sharing Accommodation in Dublin”.

Buying a house in Dublin

I haven’t purchased a house here yet and to be honest, am not planning to anytime soon. However, I have been around people who have recently bought a house, and let me tell you, I have not heard a single positive word about the process.

From the bidding process that takes prices to a whole new level to the time, it can take to get the keys (I’ve seen months and I’ve also seen a year!), it looks like buying a house in the current economical context might not be the easiest thing to do.

✅ Pros and cons of living in Dublin

Dublin, to me, is a great city to live in for several reasons. The diversity in the city is quite amazing and you will for sure find a friend! It’s also a great city to find a job with a decent salary even with little experience or beginner English.

That makes it a great city to move to learn English while still earning an income. One of my favorite things about Dublin though is that it is surrounded by nature.

There are beaches all around it such as Portmarnock beach or Sandymount beach. I walk to Sandymount beach several times a month and I love it!

Also, the Wicklow Mountains National Park is only an hour away and it is a must-see in my opinion. Finally, I, as a woman, feel very safe in Dublin.

It’s not to say that there aren’t any sketchy places. But overall, I feel very safe and people (men especially) do behave better than what I have experienced in France, even after a few pints!

Some cons about Dublin would be the cost of rent which is absolutely atrocious and sometimes the weather. The weather here is actually not as bad as people make it out to be.

The sun does shine almost every day even if it’s just for a couple of hours. That said, the temperatures are pretty average all year long.

Although you will see people wearing shorts and crop tops when it’s 59°F and sunny, it rarely gets hotter than 73.4°F. Real hot summer is probably the one thing I miss the most.

⁉️ Living in Dublin Ireland FAQ

Is Dublin Ireland a good place to live in?

Dublin, Ireland’s vibrant capital city, offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modernity, making it a great place to live for many people. Its lively atmosphere, rich literary heritage, and stunning architecture are key attractions for both residents and visitors alike.

One of the main advantages of living in Dublin is its strong economy. As a hub for international businesses and tech giants, the city provides ample job opportunities, especially in the technology and finance sectors. Dublin’s thriving start-up scene also offers numerous chances for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

cost of living in dublin

The city has an excellent public transportation system, making it easy to navigate and travel around. This, combined with its walkability, makes Dublin an eco-friendly and convenient place to live. Moreover, the Irish people are known for their warmth and friendliness, creating a welcoming environment for newcomers.

However, Dublin does have its drawbacks. The cost of living, particularly housing, can be quite high. Additionally, the weather is often unpredictable, with frequent yearly rainfall.

Dublin is a lively and attractive city with a robust economy and excellent public transportation. While the cost of living and unpredictable weather may be deterrents for some, the overall atmosphere and opportunities in Dublin make it an appealing choice for many seeking a dynamic and culturally rich place to call home.

Is it expensive to live in Dublin Ireland?

Living in Dublin, Ireland, can indeed be expensive, particularly when it comes to housing. The city has experienced a surge in property prices and rental rates over the past few years, driven by a strong economy and increasing demand.

As a result, finding affordable accommodation has become a significant challenge for many residents, especially in popular neighborhoods and city-center locations.

In addition to housing costs, the general cost of living in Dublin is relatively high compared to other cities in Ireland.

Everyday expenses, such as groceries, dining out, and transportation, are generally more expensive in Dublin than in smaller towns and rural areas. This is mainly due to higher wages and a larger concentration of international businesses in the city.

cost of living in dublin

However, it is worth noting that salaries in Dublin are often higher than in other parts of the country, which can help offset some of the increased living expenses.

Furthermore, there are ways to manage costs, such as living in more affordable neighborhoods, using public transportation, and taking advantage of free or low-cost cultural and recreational activities.

Living in Dublin can be expensive, particularly in terms of housing and the general cost of living. While higher salaries may help mitigate these expenses to some extent, prospective residents should carefully consider their financial situation and lifestyle preferences before moving to Ireland’s capital city.

What salary do you need to live in Dublin?

The salary required to live comfortably in Dublin varies based on individual lifestyle choices, housing preferences, and personal financial circumstances. Nevertheless, it is possible to provide a general estimate of the salary needed to maintain a moderate standard of living in the city.

For a single person living in Dublin, a salary of around €50,000 to €60,000 per year is typically considered adequate for covering rent or mortgage payments, utilities, transportation, groceries, and other everyday expenses. This figure assumes that the individual is living in a modest one-bedroom apartment and takes advantage of public transportation, while also enjoying occasional leisure activities and dining out.

For a family of four, a combined household income of around €80,000 to €100,000 per year is often recommended to cover the cost of a larger rental or mortgage, childcare, education, and other family-related expenses. This estimate assumes that the family lives in a modest three-bedroom apartment or house and maintains a relatively frugal lifestyle, prioritizing essential expenses over luxury items.

It is essential to note that these figures are only rough estimates, and individual circumstances can vary widely. The actual salary needed to live comfortably in Dublin depends on factors such as debt levels, savings goals, and personal spending habits.

Is Dublin a good place for expats?

Dublin can be a great choice for expats, offering a unique mix of opportunities, culture, and lifestyle that appeals to many.

The city’s strong economy and thriving job market, particularly in sectors like technology, finance, and pharmaceuticals, draw expats seeking professional growth and new experiences. The presence of multinational corporations and a burgeoning start-up scene further enhance the city’s appeal to international professionals.

The Irish are known for their warmth and friendliness, which makes it easier for expats to integrate into the local community. In addition, Dublin’s multicultural population, thanks to a steady influx of immigrants and expats over the years, fosters an open and inclusive atmosphere.

cost of living in dublin

English is the primary language spoken in Ireland, which eliminates the language barrier for many expats and facilitates easier adaptation to the local culture.

Dublin also offers a rich cultural scene, with numerous museums, galleries, theaters, and music venues to explore, as well as easy access to the stunning Irish countryside for weekend getaways.

However, expats should be mindful of the high cost of living and the challenges of finding affordable housing in the city. Despite these drawbacks, Dublin’s professional opportunities, welcoming environment, and cultural richness make it an attractive destination for expats looking to build a fulfilling life abroad.

Is Ireland friendly to American expats?

Ireland is generally considered to be quite friendly and welcoming towards American expats. The shared language, English, is one of the key factors that makes it easier for Americans to adapt to life in Ireland.

This eliminates the language barrier that can sometimes hinder social interactions and make it difficult to settle in a new country. The Irish are known for their warm and hospitable nature, which extends to foreigners, including Americans.

cost of living in dublin

Many Irish people have a favorable view of Americans, often due to historical connections, family ties, and shared cultural elements between the two nations. This positive attitude contributes to a welcoming environment for American expats in Ireland.

Furthermore, Ireland has a strong connection with the United States through trade, investment, and tourism, which has helped foster a mutual understanding and appreciation between the two countries. American expats will find familiar brands, products, and services in Ireland, making the transition smoother.

However, it is essential for American expats to respect local customs, traditions, and values, as well as to make an effort to integrate into the Irish community. By doing so, they will likely find Ireland to be a friendly and accommodating place to live, work, and build lasting relationships.

🇮🇪 Ireland Travel Planning

✈️ What’s the best platform for booking flights to Ireland? is one of the most trusted sites for booking cheap flights to Ireland. They compare all prices for all airlines! Also try WayAway if you want to get cashback for every booking.

🏥 Is travel insurance mandatory in Ireland?
YES! You need to get into the habit of buying travel insurance, not just for Ireland. SafetyWing, is my digital nomad/remote worker insurance, while I use Ekta Traveling for short trips (from $0.99 per day).

🚗💨 Is it safe to rent a car in Ireland?
ABSOLUTELY! Use Discover Cars or for the best car rental deals in Ireland. Remember to book online prior to arrival and don’t do it in person as cars run out fast!

📞 Personalized itineraries and moving to Ireland services
Whatever you need for Ireland, we can help you with that! Call our office or send a Whatsapp message to +52 473 171 5259 – our office staff will take care of you!

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