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An Expat's Guide to Moving to Dublin, Ireland

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Pauline Mura
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Ireland: the land of the green. The grass is literally greener here!

Dublin, Ireland’s capital, is located on the east coast of the green land. It has 580,000 inhabitants and is the economical and cultural center of the country. Yes, it does rain often, but when the sun comes out, which can be a few times during the day, get ready to spot the rainbow and enjoy the light.

If you're thinking about moving to Dublin or are still debating where in the world you'd like to go, here are 7 things to know when deciding if Dublin is the city for you!

1. Understand the districts

The city is separated by the Liffey river, and talked about in terms of North side with odd number districts and south side even number districts.

South side definitely is a posher side and more residential with larger Victorian houses and the rent that goes with it. Ballsbridge D04 and Ranelagh D06 are top notch. Both are walking distance to the city center and Ranelagh has lots of cafes, restaurants and brunch places. 

The north side is known to be a little rougher.

An old bridge in Dublin Ireland with buildings in the background on a sunny day
A beautiful, sunny day in Dublin

2. Get a leg up on house hunting

The house hunt can be daunting, rent is expensive!

Expect to spend over 1000euros/month in a house share and more around 1400 euros in the posh areas. Also, you know, your rent will most likely go up 4% every year.

Luckily, if you’re working in tech like most expats there, your salary will go with it.

The easiest way to find a place is to browse through Daft.ie and set up alerts to be among the first to answer.

Your network will also be very valuable when it comes to house hunting, so let your colleagues know you are on the house hunt. There may even be a board with postings at your office.

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3. Start job hunting early

If you are attracted by tech, and want to get into sales, Dublin is the place to be!

All the top tech companies are there (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, IBM, AirBnB, pinterest, Hubspot…) and are constantly looking for salespeople with all experiences and backgrounds.

Referrals are widely used so be proactive and connect with people from the company on LinkedIn when you see a job opening!

If you speak a 2nd language, this is bonus, since most companies have their European headquarters in Dublin and market to all of Europe from here.

Interested in working at Apple? Find out how to get hired at their European headquarters in Cork, Ireland.

Streetview of Temple Bar in Dublin, Ireland with tourists and locals in the street
There's a lot more to the city than just Temple Bar

4. Having a good night out is easy

The Irish are welcoming and lively people. Go into a pub, order a Guiness and you will most likely be chatting to your neighbor within minutes.

Live music is all over the city, and not only trad music. Search online for gigs in pubs and intimate concert halls such as the Olympia or Vicar Street, it will always be a fun night out.

Clear out your hangover the next day by taking a walk by the sea in Howth or Bray, hiking in the Wicklows for beautiful scenery or by visiting some of Ireland's famous landmarks.

5. Don't forget about your visa

It’s Europe, so if you’re European it’s easy, there's no requirement. If not you can stay 3 months as a tourist, but will need a visa to stay longer and to work there.

For more information about how to get a visa for Ireland, as a non-European citizen, check out this article.
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6. Enjoy a nice work-life balance

The great thing about this city, is that it is full of expats. You'll be welcomed by this melting pot of cultures and people are quite open, festive, and chilled. 

Work-life balance is good giving you time for activities, to explore the city and the beautiful countryside. Within just a couple of hours you can be in a lovely cottage by the sea, lighting a fireplace, or jumping on a plane to explore the rest of Europe.

Dublin is a great starting point to explore major European cities over a weekend with cheap flights and just a few hours journey. Hop over to Florence, Italy or Sweden for a nice holiday.

A lot of people swimming in Ireland on a warm, sunny day
Go for a swim for a nice change of pace from city life!

7. Be prepared for a high cost of living

The cost of living is quite high. Housing, food, restaurants and transport are expensive, but beer is pretty cheap, and you most likely won’t need transportation if you live inside the city as distances are quite small.

My advice: get a bike if you don’t mind the rain and wind. Most companies will even refund 50% of its cost.

All in all, Dublin is definitely a lively city that needs exploring outside of touristy Temple Bar. Talk with the locals who always seem happy and content, take the time to travel across the country and enjoy the melting pot of cultures.

For more about living in Dublin, you can listen to this podcast episode where Marieke tells you all about her experience there.


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