19 Living In Ireland Pros And Cons: Personal Experience! 2023

Thinking about living in Ireland pros and cons? 

As someone who has made the decision to settle down in the enchanting Emerald Isle, I have all the facts for you – 19 living in Ireland pros and cons to be exact!

I came here for the soda bread and stayed on after experiencing toe-tapping Irish dancing, the charming Irish, and of course, the most stunning landscapes. 

Even Ger, our resident Irishman returned home after 10 years claiming that Ireland has everything he could ever want. 

I like to think that means ME, but the list of pros might give you a better idea 🙂

But in all seriousness, if you’re considering moving to another country, weighing the pros and cons is essential to making the right choice. So let’s get into it to help you decide!

Living in ireland pros and cons

Living In Ireland Pros And Cons – Pros

1. The Food

2. Nature And Scenery

3. Proximity To Europe

4. Public Transport

5. Dual Citizenship

6. Banking Ease

7. Annual Leave

8. Safe – Low Crime Rate

9. Friendly People

10. Great Pub Scene

11. Big Sports Scene

Living In Ireland Pros And Cons – Cons

12. Weather

13. High Cost Of Living

14. Not Much Non-Alcohol Social Scene

15. Fuel Prices

16. Housing Situation

17. Limited Job Prospects Out Of Dublin

18. Healthcare Waiting Time

19. Island Isolation

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Living In Ireland Pros And Cons

Living In Ireland Pros And Cons – PROSLiving In Ireland Pros And Cons – CONS
The foodNature and sceneryProximity to EuropePublic transportDual citizenshipBanking easeAnnual leaveSafe – low crime rateFriendly peopleGreat pub sceneBig sports sceneWeatherHigh cost of livingNot much non-alcohol social sceneFuel pricesHousing situationLimited job prospects out of DublinHealthcare waiting timeIsland isolation

Living In Ireland Pros

Living in ireland pros and cons

1. The Food

If you love a hearty and delicious food scene, you will love the food in Ireland. 

Photo: HomeMaker

For one, the Irish cottage pie is simply delectable. 

And there is plenty of other traditional Irish food you can try, such as soda bread, stew, colcannon, bacon, and cabbage – they’re all hearty, filling, and most importantly, super tasty! 

The food scene is thriving with vibrant farmers’ markets that sell authentic local Irish cuisine, craft brewing and distilling, and world-class restaurants, including Michelin-starred ones and, of course, home to the perfect pint, the Guinness Storehouse.

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: Jean Carlo Emer 

2. Nature And Scenery

Known as the Emerald of Isle, Ireland has some of the most stunning landscapes you will ever see in your life! 

Wonders like the Giant’s Causeway, Cliffs of Moher, and Ring of Kerry will leave you awe-struck!

Think stunning views of basalt columns, coastal cliffs towering 214 meters above the Atlantic Ocean, and the scenic drive showcasing the beauty of Ireland… simply amazing! 

And some places in Ireland look straight out of a fantasy movie, like Glen of Aherlow Tipperary with its sweeping vistas and The Dark Hedges with its mysterious feel (no wonder it was the set for Game of Thrones!). 

Not to forget the Hill of Tara, which is steeped in Irish tradition, and mythology. 

You could spend months exploring Ireland and not cover all the beautiful nature and scenery. 

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: Oleksandr Pidvalnyi

3. Proximity To Europe

If you love jet-setting to other places, you will love how close Ireland is to other European countries. 

Book a plane, and you’ll be in Rome in just 3 hours! 

Or if you want to cut down an hour, Barcelona is just 2 hours away! Want to go to a country even closer? The UK is only about 45 minutes away!

So pack your hand carry, and jet set away! 

4. Public Transport

Ireland is compact and easy to navigate through. The public transport system is well-connected and can get you just about anywhere. 

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: Michael Arlotto

If you take public transportation, in either Northern Ireland, Southern Ireland or the rest of the place, a Leap Card will be a convenient card to have,  plus rates are discounted through this card. 

It’s a prepaid transit card that you can use on public transportation like buses, trams, and trains. 

For places that you can’t access through public transport, you can always rent a car for cheap in Ireland

And even that is easy to do, especially with awesome services like Discover Cars. I use Discover Cars all the time as I don’t have to haggle on prices or worry about being overcharged, as they’re transparent and give you upfront prices when you book.

Because they’re used by so many people, they can get you the best bang for your buck!

5. Dual Citizenship

Did you know that the Irish passport is one of the strongest passports in the world? 

You can travel to 27 EU member states and over 100 other countries visa-free when you hold an Irish passport!

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: gdtography

The best part is that you don’t have to let go of your own citizenship.

 As long as your origin country allows dual citizenship, you can hold citizenship in both countries and enjoy that living abroad life. 

Also, Ireland has more relaxed residency rules and to get your Irish citizenship.

After only a few years of ‘reckonable residence’, you can find yourself holding an Irish passport 🙂 

Um, what is reckonable residence, you ask? 

Well, that’s the time you spend living in Ireland, which counts towards your eligibility for naturalization to become an Irish citizen. Interestingly, if you’re married or in a civil partnership with an Irish citizen, even the time you live in Northern Ireland counts. 

Not all times you live in Ireland can count towards reckonable residence, though. According to Citizens Information, here are some examples of what counts and what doesn’t: 

Times counted as reckonable residence:

  • Time spent on an employment permit (usually with a Stamp 1 Irish Residence Permit)
  • Time spent on a Stamp 4
  • Time spent as the dependent of an employment permit or other legal resident (usually with Stamp 3)
  • Time spent as the spouse or partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit holder or on the Third Level Graduate Scheme (with Stamp 1G)
  • Time spent on a Stamp 5 (Without Condition as to Time)

Times not counted as reckonable residence:

  • Time spent on a student visa (usually with a Stamp 2 or Stamp 2A IRP) unless you are making an application as a ‘young adult’ 
  • Time spent in Ireland while you were undocumented
  • Time spent while you were an international protection applicant

If you want to easily calculate your reckonable residence time, this online calculator will help you figure it out 🙂

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: Eduardo Soares

6. Banking Ease

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been to places where trying to open a bank account is like pulling a tooth! 

In Ireland though, even if you’re a non-resident, you can open a bank account. 

You just need a valid photo ID and proof of address. So bring your passport and any bill to your house to a bank and you’re sorted.

In the meantime, you could also use WISE. If you have yet to hear about it, WISE is an international online account you can have to make international money transfers and exchange currency.

It’s super easy and convenient to use – you can manage all your currencies in one platform and transact in over 50 currencies! 

You get upfront information on fees and exchange rates, so you know exactly how much you’re sending and receiving. No more currency loss when you send or receive money!

WISE also works super fast. Transfers are done in 1 to 2 business days and for certain transactions, they’re instantaneous! Go try it and tell me how you love it 🙂

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: Vlada Karpovich

7. Annual Leave

Ireland has a pretty high annual leave entitlement of 20 days. There are only 8 countries with annual leave entitlements higher than 30 days. 

And it’s not unusual for employers to give longer annual leave to employees who have served a certain period, giving you more chance to explore Ireland and the neighboring countries once you’ve been here a while 🙂

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: Scott Webb

8. Safe – Low Crime Rate

Currently, Ireland ranks number 3 on the Global Peace Index, indicating that it is a very safe country to live in. 

In some regions, you can even leave your front door unlocked and sleep soundly, knowing that you will not be bothered and no crime is going to occur. Ah, the luxury! 

Ireland is also one of the cleanest countries in the world. 

And I’m not talking about rubbish on the streets, but more in terms of clean air, environment, and water.

 You are not about to get sick due to contamination or pollution.

If you have lived in countries where crimes are common or you have to worry about tap water, you will feel liberated in Ireland!

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: RODNAE Productions

9. Friendly People

The Irish are known for their friendliness, much like the people in Sri Lanka, South Africa, and New Zealand.  

It’s not unusual to be greeted by strangers, especially when you’re wandering around looking lost. 

Happy greetings like “have a good day” after checking out at a counter or “safe journey” by drivers are common. 

Irish people also love telling stories. (Yes, Ger LOVES to talk and tell stories!)

You could find yourself next to a stranger in a pub and suddenly you know all about his cousin’s wedding and his colleague’s car breaking down for the 3rd time this month! 

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: Victor Clime

10. Great Pub Scene

Irish people are serious about their pubs. 

They’ve had pubs since 900 AD starting with  the oldest pub in the world, Sean’s Bar, on the River Shannon in Ireland. 

Another historically famous pub is The Brazen Head, one of Dublin’s oldest pubs, founded in the 12th century.

If you’re walking through any big city, you will find more pubs than anything else. 

Pubs are more to the Irish than places to have a meal and a Guinness. 

The social scene in the pubs is like community centers where people build friendships, play games, listen to music, and watch sports. 

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: Thomas Serer

11. Big Sports Scene

Sports are a major part of Irish culture.

 From local to national to international sporting events, the Irish have always enjoyed watching and participating in sports.

The Irish still play their native games of Gaelic football, which is a cross between football (soccer) and rugby, and hurling, something like a rough-and-tumble version of field hockey.

One of the biggest sporting events in Ireland is the  All-Ireland Poc Fada Championships. 

Poc Fada (Irish for “long puck”) Championships are an exciting event that has been held in Ireland for over 60 years.

Sports are so significant in Ireland that it’s a major contributor to the economy. 

The collective Irish households spend €3.3 billion annually on sport and sport-related goods and services. That amounts to 3.1% of the value of consumer spending in the Irish economy!

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: Osman Rana

Living In Ireland Cons

12. Weather

The weather in Dublin can be hard to predict, and it rains a lot. 151 days a year to be exact! And that’s if you’re on the east and southeast coasts. If you’re in the west, it can go up to 225 days a year! 

Especially if you live in areas like Dublin, Derry, Cork, or Kerry, you need to prepare for the oceanic climate and it’s going to be wet. 

It rains so often, and the winds from the ocean bring in ocean mists.

You can prepare for any kind of weather by always having an umbrella or raincoat and lots of warm layers.

Even summer is not quite how you would imagine it usually. 

The hottest month of the year in Dublin is July, with an average high of 18°C and a low of 12°C. Not exactly bikini season…

The cool season lasts for about 4 months, from mid-November to mid-March, with an average daily high temperature below 10°C.

 February is the coldest month of the year, with an average low of 3°C and a high of 8°C.

But also, the cold doesn’t bring much snow. In fact, it rarely snows in Ireland.

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: Annie Spratt 

13. High Cost Of Living

Ireland is notorious for its high cost of living. 

Especially in big cities and city centers like Dublin, the high demand for accommodation is driving the cost of everything sky-high.

Depending on your lifestyle too, of course, you could expect to spend about €700 to €1,500 ($765 to $1,639) monthly for daily life excluding rent.

As for rent, it’s about €1,500 ($1,639) for a one-bedroom and €2,500 ($2,732) for a three-bedroom apartment 

The area that you live in makes a difference to the cost of living as well. 

As a reference, these are some of the areas that are expensive and then more affrodable ones:

Top 3 most expensive cities to live in Ireland:

1. Dublin

2. Cork

3. Wicklow

Top 3 most affordable cities to live in Ireland:

1. Leitrim

2. Roscommon

3. Sligo

Generally, the further you are from the big city, the more prices will reduce. 

The catch is that when you’re not in a big city, connectivity is not as great. 

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: Fred Moon

14. Not Much Non-Alcohol Social Scene

Irish culture has alcohol written all over it. 

So much so that if you don’t drink, you might feel a little left out as almost all social scenes revolve around drinking. 

Pre-covid, almost half of Irish adults aged above 18 years old drink at least once a week. 

While there are theatres, music, and other activities to do, they usually either begin, end, or are coupled with drinking.

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: Erik Mclean 

15. Fuel Prices

Fuel prices in Ireland are another pain.

An average petrol driver in Ireland is spending about €2,003 ($2,189) per year on fuel alone! 

One of the reasons petrol is so expensive is that Irish fuel taxes are very high at over 50%, which drives up the cost of gas. 

Prices vary by location but generally, you’re paying about €1.65 ($1.80) per liter. For comparison sake, that is almost double the price of what you would pay in the US ($0.97)! 

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: Tierra Mallorca

16. Housing Situation

Ireland is currently going through a housing crisis. 

This is mainly driven by the high demand for the construction of new homes causing a shortage of materials as well as workers.

House prices in Ireland went up by an average of over 10% in 2021 and experts have forecast that the prices will continue rising due to the shortage of housing. 

Also, getting a mortgage loan is hard especially when you’re a foreigner. 

Irish banks see foreign residents as high-risk borrowers and usually, they will offer you poor interest rates if you qualify for a loan.

The house pricing also impacts rental prices, which are at an all-time high, especially in the cities. 

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: StartupStockPhotos

17. Limited Job Prospects Out Of Dublin

Ireland is a small nation and in that the opportunities are limited.

 Especially in the countryside and places outside of major cities, jobs are reserved for locals. 

Dublin has a majority of job prospects so if you want to live out of Dublin, you will have to consider the commute or secure a job first in your chosen location before you make your move to Ireland. 

Of course, you could choose to work online, which will solve this problem. 

Remote and flexible working options are becoming more common these days and you will not be short of options.  If it’s your first try and you’re feeling a little nervous, a quick read into a beginner guide will leave you more confident and sure 🙂

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: Pixabay

18. Healthcare Waiting Time

While Ireland offers health care to everyone ordinarily resident, there is a huge drawback to it. 

Wait first, ‘ordinarily resident’ is considered if you have been living in Ireland for at least a year or you intend to live here for at least one year. 

So that is a plus to the situation. 

BUT, the waiting time can make you wonder if the luck of the Irish has run out 🙁

Medical procedures can take as long as a few weeks to be addressed. 

And if you’re going to emergency care for something non-life threatening, you will be waiting about 10 to 14 hours in there. 

If you want to “skip the line” you can opt for private healthcare and get health insurance. Some insurance private insurance companies you can look at are:

1. Cigna Glocal Medical Plan –  Offers customizable plans you can tailor to fit your needs and budget.

2. Allianz Care – Highly customizable plans with an extensive provider network. 

3. VHI Healthcare – Expat-specific plans focusing on accessibility and affordability. 

4. Laya Healthcare – Flexible coverage plans with extensive health resources for expats.

5. Aviva Health Insurance – A wide network of healthcare providers with many different coverage levels and options. 

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: Justus

19. Island Isolation

Some people might feel a little trapped when they live on an island. 

When the sudden realization hits you that you can’t just go off and start driving across borders, it can feel a little isolating.

If you’ve spent a couple of years on the island, finding somewhere new to go without leaving the island can be a challenge too. 

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Living In Ireland Pros And Cons – Where To Live In Ireland

Whether you want to live in a  bustling city with many job opportunities, cozy towns with great culture, or beautiful countryside with a strong sense of community, you will find something suitable for you in Ireland. 

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: Gadiel Lazcano

Here are some top picks of places to live in Ireland:  

1. Dublin

Dublin is the capital of Ireland and home to over half a million people. 

Dublin offers great infrastructure, lots of job opportunities, a lively social scene, and a cosmopolitan environment for those of you who want to be in a thriving environment. 

The job opportunities attract the expat community, so if you’re a foreigner living in this city center, you will be in the midst of other expats.  

The only downside is that it can be pretty expensive to live in Dublin. Prices in Dublin are generally higher than in any other city.

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: 2sometravel

2. Cork

The second largest city in Ireland, Cork is a compact and less fast-paced city. The cost of living is generally cheaper than in Dublin

Cork has a great vibe with a large student population and many tourists, which keeps the place lively.

It’s also considered a very safe place to live, and locals are very welcoming to outsiders. 

It’s a great city to live, work, and play in 🙂

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: Ruby Doan 

3. Galway City

Galway is known as one of Ireland’s friendliest and most welcoming cities. 

Newcomers can always expect a friendly greeting from kind, helpful locals.

Galway also offers a slower pace of life along with more affordable housing and rental options. 

The rental in Galway has often been listed for a fraction of the price of those in Dublin or Cork. 

One of Ireland’s most bohemian cities, it has a rich and full calendar of festivals and events, including the Loughrea Medieval Festival, an annual comedy festival, one of the biggest St Patrick’s Day parades in Ireland, and, of course, the ever-popular Galway Races

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: Luciann Photography

4. Limerick

Limerick, a county town west of Ireland. 

It used to be a viking settlement, a Georgian city, and a medieval walled town and now brings about a rich history within a metropolitan feel. 

Ireland has a very young population, made up of mostly people in their 30s and plenty of exchange students. 

If you want to vibe somewhere young and chill, Limerick is the place for you! 

Oh also, if you’re into sports, you’ll have a ton of people with shared interests as Limerick is a hub for rugby and Gaelic football. 

Living in ireland pros and cons

Photo: Howard Walsh

5. Waterford 

Waterford is a beautiful region with hiking trails, mountains, and beaches. If you want a well-balanced life with work and play, Waterford is great for you.

With a small population of about 20,000 people, you have a rural and homey feel in Waterford. 

It’s also one of the more affordable places to live in Ireland.

The liveability in Waterford is also stamped by the Irish Times, Voting it as the “Best Place to Live in Ireland”.

FAQs On Living In Ireland Pros And Cons

Is Ireland A Good Place To Live In?

Is Ireland a good place to live in, you wonder? Yes, Ireland also offers a great quality of life, with low crime rates and excellent healthcare and education systems aside from its friendly people, rich culture, and gorgeous scenery. Although high, the cost of living is still lower compared to other Western European countries. 

How Much Do You Need To Live Comfortably In Ireland?

How much do you need to live comfortably in Ireland? A family of four estimated monthly costs are 3,529.5$ (3,243.2€) without rent. A single person’s estimated monthly costs are 1,009.8$ (927.9€) without rent. Cost of living is 2.6% lower than the US and rent is 4.8% lower.

Is It Better To Live In Ireland Or UK?

So is it better to live in Ireland or the UK? As the quality of life is judged to be higher in Ireland, it would be Ireland. Ireland also ranks 8th in the United Nations 2022 annual ranking of 189 countries. The United Kingdom fares lower at 18th position in the ranking.

What Are The Negatives Of Living In Ireland?

Wondering what are the negatives of living in Ireland? A major one is the cost of living. You also want to consider:

  • Drinking culture: pre-covid, 44% of Irish adults drink at least once a week
  • Island isolation
  • Competitive housing market
  • Weather
  • Leprechauns

Is It Cheaper To Live In Ireland Or The Us?

Are you considering, “is it cheaper to live in Ireland or The US”? Let’s see. The average cost of living in Ireland ($2198) is 0.7% which is cheaper in the United States at ($2213). Ireland also ranked 6th in the list of the most expensive countries in the world, the US, 5th.

Is It Worth Living In Ireland?

Is it worth living in Ireland? Yes, Ireland also offers a great quality of life, with low crime rates and excellent healthcare and education systems in addition to a lower cost of living than other Western European countries. It also had beautiful views, rich culture, and friendly people. 

How Much Do You Need To Live Comfortably In Ireland?

Wondering how much do you need to live comfortably in Ireland? A family of 4 members needs at least 6,000 Euros per month, which is the maximum cost of living in Ireland. That said, the average salary for an employee is only about €49,000, so there’s quite a discrepancy there. 

Is Ireland Good To Live In

Is Ireland good to live in, you ask? Why yes, Ireland also offers a great quality of life, with low crime rates and excellent healthcare and education systems aside from its rich culture, friendly people, and amazing scenery. The cost of living is also relatively lower than in other Western European countries. 

Is Ireland A Safe Place To Live

Worried and wondering, “Is Ireland a safe place to live”? Ireland is one of the safest countries where crime rates are low. So if you’re looking for a safe place, the Emerald of Isle (referring to the green landscape) is perfect for you!

Is Republic Of Ireland A Good Place To Live

Is the Republic of Ireland a good place to live? Known for its gorgeous scenery, culture and friendly people, Ireland also offers a great quality of life, with low crime rates and excellent healthcare and education systems. Compared to other Western European countries, the cost of living is lower too. 

Is It Good To Live In Ireland

Is it good to live in Ireland, you ask? Yes, Ireland also offers a great quality of life, with low crime rates and excellent healthcare and education systems, along with a lower cost of living than other Western European countries. The beautiful country is known for its stunning landscape, people, and culture. 

Living In Ireland Pros And Cons – The Good Outweighs The Bad

So there you have it – a look at life in Ireland, with all of its charming quirks, breathtaking beauty, and, yes, the occasional drizzle. 

While the weather isn’t always on our side and rental costs can be high, the warmth of the Irish people and work-life balance and lifestyle more than make up for it. 

Living in ireland pros and cons

If you’re thinking about moving to Ireland, I hope this guide has given you some insight into the benefits and drawbacks of this beautiful country. 

But be warned: once you fall in love with the Emerald Isle, you may find it difficult to leave!

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