Cost of Living in Ireland

Expats moving to Ireland will find that the cost of living can be expensiveExpats will find that the cost of living in Ireland is manageable, but varies depending on the town or city. Dublin is the most expensive area to live. The Mercer Cost of Living Survey for 2015 ranked the city as the 49th most expensive city out of the 207 cities surveyed. In the past Dublin was ranked as once of the most expensive cities, however the cost of living in Dublin has decreased. However over the last couple of years the cost of living has began to increase again. 
Expat salaries in Ireland are typically supported by well-paying jobs that enable them to enjoy a high quality of life. Accommodation will take the biggest chunk of an expat’s salary, followed by groceries, healthcare and education. 

Accommodation costs in Ireland

In response to the recent recession, Ireland’s property bubble has popped and expats will find that accommodation costs have dropped from the astronomically expensive heights they formerly occupied. 
A room in a shared house in Dublin will cost around 400 EUR, while a self-contained apartment can cost upwards of 1,000 EUR per month. It is rare to find unfurnished houses or apartments in Dublin, or the city centre. Rent is usually paid monthly and in advance. A deposit of at least one month’s rent is usually expected to secure accommodation.
Monthly utilities have also gone down in recent times, averaging around 150 EUR per month, which includes electricity, water and heating.

Food and entertainment costs in Ireland

The price of groceries in Ireland varies widely, depending on which supermarket you choose to do your shopping in:
  • Lidl and Aldi are German discount supermarkets with cheap prices for bulk buying.
  • Dunnes Stores, Tesco and Supervalu offer similar prices with regular special offers.
  • Superquinn is a smaller supermarket chain with slightly higher prices than the main shops.
  • Spar and Centra are smaller shops with higher prices but longer operating hours.
Maintaining a social life and eating out in restaurants, especially in Dublin, can be expensive. A beer or a glass of wine at a pub will cost around 5 EUR. A ticket to the cinema is between 7 and 12 EUR, depending on the time of day and the cinema, while entrance to a night club can cost between 7 and 15 EUR.

Cost of education in Ireland

Public education in Ireland is free to all children resident in the country, including expats. Most expats choose to send their children to public schools due to the high standards of education offered at these schools. Parents may be expected to pay for school uniforms and books, as well as extra-curricular activities, but will not pay anything for tuition. 
On the other hand, private and international schools in Ireland are expensive and parents wishing to send their child to a private school can expect to pay upwards of 5,000 EUR a year.

Cost of healthcare in Ireland

Although public healthcare in Ireland is available for free, with some services requiring a subsidised fee, for all residents, most expats choose to use private health facilities. Patients at private hospitals are required to pay the full cost of treatment, which can be expensive. Most employers provide private health insurance, and this is something that expats should ensure that they have in place before moving to Ireland.

Cost of Living in Ireland Chart (prices based on Dublin, 2015)

(Note that prices may vary depending on location and service provider and the table below is based on average prices)
Furnished two bedroom house  1,800 EUR
Unfurnished two bedroom house
1,600 EUR
Furnished two bedroom apartment 1,500 EUR
Unfurnished two bedroom apartment 1,300 EUR
Milk (1 litre) 
Dozen eggs 3 EUR
Rice (1kg)  1.65 EUR
Loaf of white bread  1.50 EUR
Pack of chicken breasts (1kg)  9 EUR
Coca Cola (2 litre)  1.60 EUR
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro lights)  10 EUR
Eating out
Big Mac meal
Cappuccino 3 EUR
Bottle of beer (local) 5 EUR
Three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant 40 EUR
Utilities/Household (monthly)
Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)
0.27 EUR
Internet (8MB – average per month) 38 EUR
Hourly rate for a domestic cleaner 20 EUR
Utilities (gas, water, electricity) 150 EUR
Taxi (rate/km)
1.10 EUR
City centre bus fare 2.60 EUR
Petrol/Gasoline (per litre) 1.32 EUR

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