Ireland

Living in Dublin | Lifestyle, Costs, and Places to Discover

Ashley R. Cottrell

There’s more than meets the eye in the historic city of Dublin. Founded by the Vikings over 1000 years ago, Dublin is now Ireland’s capital and most international city. It has become one of the most popular destinations for studying abroad. So, if you’re thinking about living in Dublin, you’ve come to the right place! 

Dublin may be a small city, but it has a lot to offer. Young professionals and students from all over the world come to this flourishing city, whether to study English, find job opportunities, or explore Ireland’s top-rated attractions. 

Would you like to visit the infamous St. Patrick cathedral? Or grab a beer from the renowned Guinness Storehouse? Here, you will learn everything about Dublin, from costs and accommodation to the best things to do and visit. This article is your complete guide to living in Dublin! Let’s dive in!

Dublin Lifestyle

people kayaking in a lake in Dublin

With a population of over 1 million people, Dublin is constantly growing and diversifying. Dubliners, as well as the Irish overall, have a reputation for being the most friendly and welcoming citizens in Europe. In comparison to other cities in Ireland, Dublin has the most attractions and buzzing nightlife. 

Living in Dublin, you’ll discover it is nearly impossible to get bored. There are always events taking place, such as live music and exhibitions, making it easy to meet new people. 

Quality of Life in Dublin

Ireland is the ninth greenest country in the world, in terms of air quality and eco-friendliness, not to mention its lush green landscapes. The city has plenty of sustainable choices concerning food, traveling, and activities. In terms of quality of living, Dublin ranks 33rd out of 231 cities on the 2019 Mercer survey, placing it above London, Edinburgh, and Glasgow.

Reasons to Live in Dublin

international students taking a group photo in Ireland

From a rich history to a thriving economy, there are many reasons to live in Dublin. Once you move here, you will experience the following:

Cultural Diversity

In recent years, many ex-pats call Dublin home, making the city multicultural. The work and study opportunities in Dublin attract people from all over the world, especially with international companies having their European office locations here. You will more than likely meet other ex-pats and students living in Dublin in no time!

English Immersion

A lot of students travel to Ireland to learn and study English. Why not immerse yourself in English in its capital city? Dublin is the best place for international students to find jobs and enjoy the upbeat city life. A few English courses in Dublin are accessible through our GrowPro program. You will learn about these courses more in-depth in a later section.

Green Friendliness

Access to organic food and emission-free eco-cabs are two of the many eco-friendly services for people living in Dublin. Ireland is a country known for its sustainability and encouraging a green lifestyle. It makes sense that Ireland has the nickname, Emerald Isle.

Job Opportunities

A fast-growing tech hub for startups and international corporations, Dublin is called the Silicon Valley of Europe. You’ll discover the headquarters of top-named tech companies in Dublin, including Apple and Google. This city is the best place for students to find employment during their stay.

Climate in Dublin

international student hiking in Ireland

Dublin, as well as the island of Ireland, has a mild and humid climate, where it is generally rainy. While most often cloudy, the weather in Dublin, on the other hand, is usually unpredictable. Many locals insist on carrying an umbrella, sunglasses, and light jacket wherever you go, as one can expect sunny weather shortly after rain. 

As for the seasons, summer in Dublin lasts from June through August, with temperatures averaging between 16 and 20℃ (60-68℉). Daylight is long during the summer, lasting about 17 hours. Winters run from December to February, having low temperatures between 2.2 and 7.8℃ (36-46℉).

Cost of Living in Dublin

calculator with euro currency

Due to its growing economy, Dublin is one of the most expensive cities in Europe. Don’t let this fact discourage you, however, since the job opportunities here are plentiful. As a member of the European Union, the currency of Ireland is the euro (€). Keep this in mind as we review the costs of daily necessities in the next sections.

Accommodation and Food

On average, renting a furnished apartment in Dublin can cost around €1,750 per month, but this can vary depending on the area you live in and whether or not it is a shared rental. Utility services such as electricity and water are about €95 per month, and you can find the cheapest internet service for €35 per month. 

As for groceries, here are the prices of the most common items in a Dublin supermarket: 

  • 1 gallon of milk: €3.86
  • A dozen eggs: €3.05
  • A loaf of bread: €1.33
  • 1 pound of rice: €0.74
  • 1.5 L bottle of water: 1.52

Bear in mind these prices are approximate and can vary by the store.

Entertainment and Leisure

Ireland, especially Dublin, has a social culture that enjoys hanging out and catching up over drinks. Once you meet and make friends, you can expect to pay the following for fun and leisure activities: 

  • A movie/cinema ticket: €12
  • 1 pint of beer at a bar: €5.55
  • Meal at a restaurant: €15-30

Transport Options while Living in Dublin

city buses of Dublin

Dublin is a small city with many local spots and areas being within walking distance. Also, as part of Ireland’s environmental awareness, there are almost as many bicycles as cars on the roads. If you’re a student living in Dublin without a car, you will have no trouble getting around. With the Leap Card, a reusable plastic smartcard, you can take advantage of riding these other forms of public transportation in Dublin:

Buses

With over 100 lines, including express and night services, buses are the most popular public transport service in Dublin. Buses in Dublin are usually double-deckers and generally run from 7:30 am to 11:30 pm. Using the Leap Card, the bus fare is €1.55 per stop.

Dublin Tram | Luas

Luas, the tram of Dublin, is the most punctual of public transport options in the city. It has two lines of service: green and red. The green line runs from the northwest to the southeast side of town and has 36 stations. The red line runs from the southwest to the northeast side of Dublin with 32 stations. Luas operates seven days a week, and you can catch one every 5 to 15 minutes. Fares for the tram range from €2.10 to €3.30 for up to 8 zones.

Dublin Commuter Rail | DART

The Dublin Area Rapid Transit or DART is the electric rail system in Dublin and is an easy and quick way to get around the city. The DART operates every 10 minutes every day and costs between €7 and €25, depending on the destination.

Taxis in Dublin

Although more expensive, catching a taxi in Dublin is another convenient way to get around town. Fares are €1.03 per kilometer and €0.36 per minute and are generally higher during nights, weekends, and holidays.

Biking

The healthiest and cheapest form of transportation in Dublin is biking. Bike rentals are popular in the capital city and sought after by locals and tourists alike. The dublinbikes system operates bike rentals and has a network of roads and stations throughout the city where bikes can be dropped off and rented. You can rent a bike for three days for €5 or buy an annual pass for as low as €35. 

Popular Areas to Live in Dublin

residential area of Dublin

Now that you have an idea of the cost of living in Dublin, it’s time to explore the different residential areas. Since rental prices can differ depending on the side of town, let’s review the best neighborhoods to live in Dublin

Temple Bar

Sitting on the southern coast of the Liffey river is Temple Bar, a touristy area with cobblestone roads and plenty of restaurants and bars. Many students prefer to live in neighborhoods around this area as it is close to attractions and a bustling nightlife.

Portobello

This suburb is as close to the city as you can get, providing the best of both worlds. Portobello is a trendy neighborhood full of bars and restaurants and is a quick walk to the city center. 

Drumcondra

North of the Liffey river, Drumcondra is a quiet and friendly suburb with several public transport links. It is another common residential area for students due to its proximity to Dublin City University. Many locals and tourists find the main road of Drumcondra to be handy for the airport. 

Accommodation | Tips for Living in Dublin

bedroom with bunkbeds

International students living in Dublin have several accommodation options, including apartment rentals and campus housing. If you’re not working or would like to save money on rent, here are a few tips to get you started: 

  • Stay in a hostel in Dublin while looking for accommodation. Doing so allows you to explore the neighborhoods in person and get familiar with the area. Also, hostels are affordable and convenient. We highly recommend not to search for accommodation online to avoid rental scams or unfair housing arrangements. 
  • Search during the low season, that is, once the school semester is over. Rentals are more likely to be available and cheaper when universities are out for the holiday season. June through September, the high season, is when students are generally preparing to return to school and looking for rentals. 
  • Consider sharing a rental with a roommate. You can save money by splitting the rent and utilities with a roommate as well as make a new friend!

Best Places to Hangout in Dublin

temple bar area in Dublin

Living in Dublin means experiencing everything the city has to offer! If you’re looking to have a good time and socialize with new people, here are the best places to hang out in the city:

The Temple Bar

This old town is where most Dubliners go to dine and have a good time. The Temple Bar has several shops and restaurants, including popular chains such as TGI Fridays. This area is also popular for its live music street culture, which attracts large crowds in the evenings.

Hogan’s 

If you like brunch and a relaxing atmosphere, check out Hogan’s restaurant. This picturesque bar sits on George’s Street and is known for its non-rush, laid-back style. During evenings and weekends, Hogan’s bar opens its basement to young crowds for late-night drinks and live music.

The Barge

For something more of the Irish culture, The Barge is a large gastropub best known for its daytime cuisine and nighttime disco scenes. On weekends, this bar and area are buzzing with crowds and music. You will find this restaurant in southern Dublin next to the Grand Canal bridge.

Things to Do in Dublin

art gallery in Dublin

While living in Dublin, you can expect a full schedule of entertainment. Dublin has a plethora of activities and events year-round

Starting in January, you can attend the Temple Bar Tradfest, a festival of traditional music that takes place across some of the best pubs and landmarks in Dublin. Next is Saint Patrick’s Day, which falls every March 17th, the infamous and most festive holiday in Ireland. Following that, May kicks off the Dockland Summer Festival, a family day of sporting competitions in Dublin’s Grand Canal. 

Aside from events, there are also plenty of monuments, exhibitions, and museums to attend in Dublin, including the National Museum of Archaeology. You can experience the flora and fauna of Dublin by visiting the Dublin Zoo and Phoenix Park, the largest urban park in Europe. For a quick getaway, you can head to the Wicklow Mountains, one of Ireland’s national parks south of Dublin.

Popular Landmarks to Visit in Dublin

Guinness Brewery

As for attractions, Dublin has plenty of must-see landmarks to visit and explore.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

You can’t live in Dublin without visiting the renowned St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the largest church in Ireland. The cathedral receives praise for its intricate designs, which reflect Irish architecture, and is open to all for guided tours. 

Dublin Castle

Another must-see monument is the 13th century Dublin Castle, a famous and charming landmark situated in the heart of Dublin. Many exhibitions and concerts take place here, as well as guided tours.

Guinness Storehouse

Most people who think of Ireland think of Guinness, the infamous Irish beer. You can learn everything about this popular drink, including its history and making, by visiting the Guinness Storehouse. Tickets for guided tours of this place sell fast, so be sure to book early!

Work while Living in Dublin

man and woman conversing in hotel

One of the advantages of living in Dublin is job opportunities. As mentioned before, Dublin is a thriving tech hub for international companies. If you’re not interested in tech jobs or are looking for part-time work while in school, you can find gigs in tourism and hospitality. The most common places for international students in Ireland to find work include cafes, bars, and restaurants. Before applying, make sure you meet the necessary work requirements.

Requirements to Work in Dublin

To work in Dublin, and Ireland in general, you must meet the following criteria: 

  • Be at least 18, the legal working age
  • Have the proper visa for Ireland that allows you to work
  • Apply for a Personal Public Service (PPS) number 

For details and further explanation of these requirements, check out our complete article on Working in Ireland.

Study while Living in Dublin

woman studying with a laptop

With an excellent educational system, students from all over the world come to study and live in Dublin. Ireland is a popular destination for learning English, especially in Dublin. 

You can study while living in Dublin temporarily under a Tourist Visa, or long-term under a Student Visa. Fortunately, if you are a student from one of the countries within the European Union, such as Spainyou do not need a visa to study in Ireland. Instead, you will only need proof of identification, such as a valid passport.

Courses in Dublin

Would you like to study English? You can immerse yourself in the language and improve your comprehension

For the gradual improvement of your English proficiency, our General English courses last for at least three months. The general English courses are ideal for practicing conversational skills outside of the classroom. 

For short-term, more in-depth English classes, our Intensive English courses span from two weeks to three months. The Intensive English program is ideal for anyone on a Tourist Visa planning to study in Ireland for only a few weeks.

 Live in Dublin with Help from GrowPro

international students in an Irish bar

Here at GrowPro, we have years of experience helping students and young travelers fulfill their dreams to work and study abroad. Through our program, you can live in Dublin and experience life abroad in no time!

Don’t worry about all of the confusing documents and processing. Just head over to our Ireland experiences page to view and choose a program that interests you. Once you complete the form, you can create a personalized budget directly on the page. From there, our Student Advisors will reach out to answer any questions you may have about your trip and can assist with filling out your paperwork for school admissions.

Subscribe to our YouTube page for cool, educational videos about what to expect while living in Ireland as well as our other top country destinations. Your adventure awaits!

About the author

Ashley Cottrell