Are you thinking about living in Dublin? As someone who has lived in this fantastic city for 12 years, I’d love to give you a run-down of everything you need to know to start your life in Dublin, Ireland with my easy expat’s guide!

This city weaves the old and the new like no other – from its Viking history to hundred year old pubs, from traditional Irish music to street buskers, and from Georgian architecture to the greenest urban parks.

Dublin City is a diverse place to live in with cosmopolitan comforts but it still feels more relaxed than other European capitals.

With your friendly Irish guiding you (that’s me!), let’s have a look at the most important things to consider when moving to your new city – Dublin!

You might also like:


living in Dublin pinterest pin

Full disclosure! See those links below? If you happen to click on one of these and purchase something I recommend, I’ll get a small commission (wohoo). Don’t worry, this is at no extra cost to you (in fact, often I’ll have some discounts you can enjoy!). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying sales. You can read my full disclaimer here.

A little about Dublin and living there 

Dublin, Ireland’s capital and largest city, is located on the east coast of the Emerald Isle and is practically divided in half by the River Liffey and bordered by majestic mountains and coastlines.

The Vikings first settled in Dublin in 841 AD which they called ‘Dyflin’ or ‘Dubh Linn’ meaning black pool and they made it the centre of their expansion and trade.

If you’re new to Dublin, you’ll want to visit the historical Dublin Castle built by the Normans in the 13th century by the order of King John to learn a bit about the history of the city.

One of the oldest universities in Europe is Trinity College and its library houses the ancient manuscript called the Book of Kells and I also highly recommend these must-visits:

  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • the National Museum of Ireland
  • Kilmainhain Gaol
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Jameson Distillery,
  • Charles Beatty Library (more like a museum).

Dublin was declared a UNESCO City of Literature because of its international standing in culture, creativity, and literary excellence. Literary giants such as Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker (Dracula), and James Joyce were born in Ireland.

There are also many famous writers, actors, directors, and musicians (you’ve heard of U2, right?) who hail from Dublin.

Though the city’s population consists of a third of the whole country, but you’ll never feel lost because of the friendly people who are always up to having ‘the craic’.

With more than 700 traditional ‘old man’ pubs dotting the city, you’ll feel the buzz from the dark pint of Guinness (or a shot of Irish whiskey), the live Irish music, and the engaging Dubliners.

Ireland is ranked 8th for its quality of life according to the United Nations in 2022. Ireland was also named as the 3rd most peaceful country in the world in 2022, making Dublin an excellent choice for expats to stay. 

Helpful websites for living in Dublin, Ireland

Irish slang, words and sayings

I’ve seen some American TV shows where Irish people have been subtitled because nobody has a clue what they’re saying (I’m talking about you, Glee!). While we do speak English in Ireland (other than in the West of Ireland where some areas still speak Gaeilge), it’s sometimes difficult for foreigners to decipher what we’re saying. 

Here’s a little dictionary of Irish sayings to help you along the way:

  • Craic = fun (not the drug!)
  • The black stuff = Guinness 
  • Yer man / yer one = him/her
  • Grand = great, good
  • Sláinte = Cheers!
  • As Gaeilge = in Irish
  • Feck off = get lost (not as offensive as it sounds!)

Living in Dublin Pros & Cons

Dublin City
Dublin City – Image by Khiem Nguyen from FlickrCC

Advantages of living in Dublin 

Living abroad is a big step for many of us and I’m guessing you’d like to know the good parts first. So, here are the advantages of living in Dublin…

It’s a walkable city

Dublin is a walkable city, fairly attributed to its design as a city built surrounding a medieval town when almost everyone was either on foot or on a horse-driven carriage.

This small city is flat and compact and you can easily explore most of the city by walking or even by biking around since almost everything is closely situated. And if you live in certain neighbourhoods, you’ll find everything you need pretty close by.

It’s of course necessary that you know where it’s safe to walk around Dublin and be wary of some dodgy areas, especially at night. Just like any city in the world, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

It has good transportation links

Living in Dublin as an expat is made easier due to the efficient public transportation system which includes buses, trains, and trams that link the city and its suburbs.

The DART or the Dublin Area Rapid Transit serves the whole of Dublin as well as having train lines going out of the city to commuter towns. 

You can also hop onto a train to head out of the city for a day trip or a weekend getaway to Ireland’s top destinations. It would only take no more than 3-4 hours on the rail for you to enjoy the best things to do outside of Dublin.

You can choose from the nearby seaside Howth or the remarkable cities of Galway or Cork (both 3 hours away) to experience another side of the Emerald Isle.

DART, Dublin
DART, Dublin – Image by Paul Robertson from FlickrCC

Most Irish people are friendly

The Irish people have been hailed as the friendliest people in Europe. They are known to be welcoming, respectful, easy-going, and down-to-earth. As one of these Irish people, I may be biased in saying – so true! 

Their pretty laid-back attitude and famous humour (with a dash of teasing and sarcasm) make them more endearing to visitors and expats. 

The pub culture reflects how witty, funny, and engaging the Dubliners are (with or without a pint of the black stuff). The pubs are not just for drinking (in fact, there’s a new non-alcoholic pub called The Virgin Mary you should check out), but it’s a way of life in Dublin where you meet your friends and make even more friends. 

Lots of job opportunities

Dublin has become widely famous as the European headquarters of multinational businesses such as Google, LinkedIn, Airbnb, eBay, Paypal, and even Facebook.

More and more companies are moving to Ireland because of its lower business taxes than other countries and its highly skilled English-speaking workforce. Great news for expats looking to move to Dublin!

It’s easier to get work visas in Ireland compared to European standards, as long as certain requirements are fulfilled when you’re applying from outside the EU. Work visa permits can be issued provided the job offer is for a minimum of 2 years and a monthly salary of more than €30,000.

Find out more about obtaining Irish work Visas through the Citizen’s Information portal.

IT jobs are on top of the list since Ireland has become a major hub of tech companies. But Ireland also needs healthcare practitioners, social welfare professionals, natural and social science professionals, and hospitality workers. These are just some of the top job opportunities that are offered in Dublin.

Lots of greenery

Dublin City has wide-open green spaces, parks, and gardens that can be easily accessed and enjoyed every day.

The Phoenix Park is Europe’s largest city park and second in the world (New York’s Central Park is first), which is about 2-4 kms outside of the city centre. It sits on 1750 acres of woodlands, streams, marshlands, and grasslands to support the exceptional wildlife found here. Herds of wild fallow deer, owls, foxes, squirrels, ducks, and hares still make this park their natural habitat.

Several of the city’s historical monuments like the Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of the President, can be found here along with memorials, forts, burial grounds, and gorgeous gardens. It’s a great place to hang out at the weekends (when it’s not raining of course).

St. Stephen’s Green is another great outdoor space, south of the city. During the summer, you’ll find families coming to feed the ducks, kids can play in the playground and musicians often play on the bandstand. This is my favourite park in Dublin to spend lazy Saturday afternoons or lunchtime breaks. 

St Stephen's Green Dublin
St Stephen’s Green Dublin – Image by Ron Cogswell of FlickrCC

It’s a diverse city

Dublin is indeed a multicultural hub and a diverse city. The cultural mix gives off an energetic vibe that is so Dublin. More foreign investments are pouring into the city and this adds to more and more expats living and working here.

Don’t be surprised if you hear different languages spoken while walking on its streets. You’ll find Americans, other Europeans, Africans, Indians, and Asians making up more than 20% of the Dublin population.

As a thriving global city, the people migrating here also add to the local charm with their own culture, art, and cuisine.

International students also flock to Dublin to study at its top-notch universities and colleges like the University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Technological University Dublin, or the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

It’s easy to get out of the city for the day

If you’re living in Dublin and want to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city for the day, it’s super easy. 

Staying within Dublin but away from the city, it’s just a short 30 minute train ride to either Howth (north Dublin) or Dun Laoghaire (south Dublin) for majestic cliff walks and spectacular views of the Irish Sea.

Or you can head to Wicklow for the day and visit Glendalough Valley or Avondale Treetop Walk (be sure to go on a nice day when the giant slide is open!). 

Further afield, other counties in Ireland are also easily accessed by bus and rail links. 

The Cliffs of Moher will take you about 3 hours by rail from Dublin to Galway City then onto Ennis, with a bus to the Cliffs. But if you’re looking for an easier day trip, you can join a group tour like this one – no having to navigate the train lines! The Cliffs of Moher is undoubtedly the top tourist attraction in Ireland and its stunning 700-foot cliffs over jaw-dropping seascapes teeming with wildlife will take your breath away.

Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher – Image by Shawn Harquail of FlickrCC

Another must-visit when living in Dublin is Galway, one of the most picturesque, historical and artsy cities outside of Dublin (my favourite city in Ireland!). It’s famous for its festivals, hosting more than 122 festivals per year! It’s about 2.5 hours on the train or again, join this day trip if you want to visit without having to organise everything yourself. 

Another day trip worth taking from Dublin is Cork, about 3 hours train ride from Dublin. Cork is popularly known as the culinary capital of the country. Start out your gastronomic journey at the English Market where you can eat the crubeens (pig’s feet that are incredibly soft inside and crunchy outside!) and for the adventurous, try the blood sausage called drisheen.

Disadvantages of living in Dublin

Now, we need to tackle your biggest considerations with your move to Dublin. As with moving to any new city, there will be disadvantages. Here are some of the downsides to living in Dublin.

It’s an expensive city

The cost of living in Dublin is on a high. In fact, it’s among the top 50 most expensive cities in the world and even competes with Paris, Sweden, and London. A monthly salary of €3,500 and up will be a good amount for you to live comfortably in Dublin and cover basic expenses (don’t forget to take tax into consideration).

The influx of expats in the city also raised the housing prices and rental fees are significantly higher than a mortgage. The average monthly rent for a studio apartment is €1,200 to €1,500 and that of a 1-bedroom flat is €2,000.

Many people choose to live outside of Dublin and commute to work from nearby Kildare, Meath and Wicklow. Unfortunately, this does mean a longer commute of up to 1.5 to 2 hours each way.

Of course, there are other monthly expenses to take into account before moving to Dublin, such as internet, electricity, public transportation, car (including insurance, gas, and parking), food, and health insurance. 

There’s no underground train system

Dublin is way behind other European cities, because there’s no underground train system as of 2023. There have been proposals for this system since as long as I can remember, but no news yet.

However, the city is serviced by efficient public transport with trains, buses, and trams with good links to any of your destinations in the city, suburbs, or other cities outside Dublin. And some  buses offer 24-hour services every day.

The weather

It rains a lot in Ireland. The weather in Dublin is mostly cold and frequently wet. The winters are long, cloudy and windy with the average temperature at 5°C (41°F). It doesn’t snow as much during the winter months of December to February but the nights are longer and the days are shorter with the sun setting at 4:00 PM. The winter months get the most rain, but it still rains throughout the rest of the year too!

Raining in Dublin – Image by Janet Meehan of FlickrCC

The summers aren’t too harsh here and are considered comfortable and refreshing. Summer is from June to August with an average temperature of 15 °C (59 °F).

The climate is cool and humid throughout the year so you’d better bring your thermals and layers if you’re considering living in Dublin.

Best areas to live in Dublin

Dublin is considered mostly residential but I’d like to share with you my personal recommendations. These are some of the best neighbourhoods to live in.


Dundrum isn’t located in the city itself, but it’s one of the best places to live and where you can find decent, reasonably-priced accommodation. It’s located south of the city and is just a quick 20-minute tram ride away from the city centre.

Dundrum is also home to the largest shopping centre in the country, Dundrum Town Centre. It’s become synonymous with shopping so if you’re a shopaholic, this is the place for you!

This Victorian village has always been charming with a homey vibe. It’s a pretty safe neighbourhood and has everything on your doorstep that you could possibly need. 


Rathmines, just 3 kms south of central Dublin, is generally an international community and slightly more affordable than its richer neighbouring town of Ranelagh.

This is a great place to meet new people and hang out in pubs and adorable cafes. The food scene is superb in this area. 

It’s easily walkable to the city centre and buses are very frequent in the area. 


Howth comes highly recommended for its well-known cliff walks and astonishing panoramic sea views. If you don’t mind riding the train for 30 minutes back and forth to central Dublin and love million-dollar view every day, Howth is the place to be.

Howth, Dublin
Howth, Dublin – Image by Linda Hansson of FlickrCC

Fresh seafood from the locals is abundant here, as in literally fresh from the nets! There’s also plenty of trails and hikes around Howth. It’s one of my favourite places to head out on a Saturday or Sunday morning. 

Accommodation in Howth is a little on the expensive side, but you get what you pay for with the incredible views and nature on your doorstep.


If you’d like to be next to wide greeneries while you can get to nearby pubs, Drumcondra is the place to be. The National Botanic Gardens, parks, and canals are pretty close by. It certainly balances the exciting nightlife with a relaxed ambience.

There are a lot of students living in Drumcondra, due to its good proximity to Dublin City University and St. Pat’s Teaching College.

Overall, housing in Drumcondra is a bit cheaper than in central Dublin.


Fancy having a massive park as your garden but still living right in the city? You might want to live next to Dublin’s national treasure, the Phoenix Park, in Stoneybatter.

Stoneybatter is a very diverse area with people coming from all over the world. The food scene here is especially great, with lots of cafes and restaurants serving global cuisines. It’s also close to the city centre and it takes about 20 minutes by bus to get there.

Stoneybatter, Dublin
Stoneybatter, Dublin – Image by David Murtagh of FlickrCC

The streets are full of Georgian townhouses, beautiful shops, and pubs. It’s considered one of the most trendy areas in Dublin and is home to a large student population too.

Stoneybatter mirrors its Bohemian vibe with the creative spaces, fun fashion outlets, and art studios there. The culinary scene is truly noteworthy with food from around the world side by side with traditional Irish fare. Undeniably a hipster’s paradise!

The accommodation is slightly more expensive here than elsewhere in Dublin, but it’s worth it for its ideal location and amazing atmosphere.


Portobello is a great neighbourhood located right in the centre of Dublin. It’s near to Grafton Street and St. Stephen’s Green, so you can easily access all the city attractions quite quickly. It also has plenty of pubs and clubs nearby. Your social life will thank you for living here.

The area is generally very safe and there are lots of historical sites around, such as the Grand Canal and Portobello Bridge.

The area has become quite popular with U.S students studying at Trinity College Dublin and other nearby universities, so you’ll be sure to find lots of young people around this neighbourhood. Renting near here can be pricey but there are still some deals to be found if you look around.

Getting around Dublin

Dublin LUAS Tram
Dublin LUAS – Photo by Selim Karadayı from Pexels

Getting around in Dublin can be very easy just by walking from point A to B. The Dublin Bike also serve as a great means of transportation and are very affordable.

But an efficient transportation system of buses, trams, and trains is accessible from any point in the city.

Using a prepaid Leap Card is the easiest and cheapest way to get around. The Leap Card has options to load as you go or you can get passes for unlimited trips for 24 hours, one week or monthly. It can save you as much as 30% of the regular fare and can be used in almost all trains, buses, and trams.

Taxi rides start at €4.50 and the fare will probably get you an average of €15-20 per way for short distances.

If you’re on a budget, I don’t recommend getting a car as fuel prices there are at an average of €1.60 per litre, and on the rise –  one of the highest in Europe!  Plus parking will cost you anything from €3-5 per hour or a whooping €25 a day!

FAQs about Living in Dublin

Is Dublin a good place to live?

Dublin is a great place to live since it’s a compact, walkable city with good transportation links. It offers a high quality of life and there’s always plenty to do around the city. 

Is it expensive to live in Dublin?

Yes, it’s expensive to live in Dublin. Starting from the high monthly rent, you also need to factor in other living costs like internet, groceries, electricity, and health insurance.

Where do the rich live in Dublin?

Dalkey is the affluent, seaside suburb of Dublin where the rich live. With vistas of cliffs over turquoise coastlines and old historic castles, it’s just 15 kms southeast of the city.

What celebrities live in Dublin?

Some celebrities who have lived or are living in Dublin are Bono, Colin Farell, The Edge, Van Morrison, Enya, Maeve Binchy, and Sinead O’Connor. Also, Hollywood A-listers Matt Damon and Pierce Brosnan still call this city home.

What’s the weather like in Dublin?

Dublin’s weather is mostly wet, cloudy, and cold for more than half of the year. Although winters are long and cold, summers can be comfortable and refreshing.

Is it safe to live in Dublin?

Yes, it’s safe to live in Dublin. It is primarily residential even in the business district. As with any capital city, it’s always advised to have your wits about you when walking around on your own or at night. 


living in Dublin pin

Living in Dublin: Is it right for you? 

If you want to live in a cosmopolitan city with a village feel, then Dublin is absolutely right for you!

Not a single drop of rain can dull the friendliness and warmth of the Irish people. You’ll make more friends here while you explore your new home with thriving cultural and social events, art, rich history, and great cuisine.

I hope this guide will help you build your expat life in this culturally-diverse capital with so many exciting things to see and do.

Life is more than work here, so get into the vibe of the craic while you’re at it. And, for the next chapter of your life, we Irish would say: “May the road rise up to meet you!”


Similar Posts