Expats will find that the cost of living in Ireland is manageable but varies depending on the town or city, with Dublin being the most expensive place to live. The Mercer Cost of Living Survey for 2020 confirms this, and ranked Dublin as the 46th most expensive city out of the 209 cities surveyed worldwide.

Expats in Ireland are typically supported by well-paying jobs that enable them to enjoy a high quality of life. Accommodation will usually be an expat's biggest expense, followed by groceries, healthcare and education. 

Cost of accommodation in Ireland

The cost of accommodation in Ireland continues to rise year on year, and the prices in Dublin are especially steep nowadays. This is largely due to high demand and low availability of housing. Expats should therefore leave plenty of room in their budget for accommodation costs. Competition for rental homes can be stiff, so if expats find something that suits them, they should be ready to act fast.

Cost of food and entertainment in Ireland

The price of groceries in Ireland varies widely, depending on which supermarket one frequents. Buying imported goods will also push up expenses, so it's best to stick to local seasonal produce.

Maintaining a social life and eating out in restaurants, especially in Dublin, can be expensive, so expats keen for a night out should make sure to keep an eye on their budget. 

Cost of education in Ireland

Public education in Ireland is free to all children residing in the country, including expats. Most expats choose to send their children to public schools due to the high standards of education offered. Parents may be expected to pay for school uniforms and books, as well as extra-curricular activities, but will not usually 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 should make sure they can afford to cover the costs involved. 

Cost of healthcare in Ireland

Although public healthcare in Ireland is free or subsidised for all residents, most expats still choose to use private health facilities. Patients in 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

Note that prices may vary depending on location and service provider. The prices listed are average prices for Dublin in July 2020.


One-bedroom apartment in city centre

EUR 1,700

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

EUR 3,000

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

EUR 1,400

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

EUR 2,350


Milk (1 litre) 


Dozen eggs

EUR 2.90

Rice (1kg) 

EUR 1.44

Loaf of white bread 

EUR 1.46

Pack of chicken breasts (1kg) 

EUR 7.70

Coca-Cola (330ml) 

EUR 1.90

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) 

EUR 13.50

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

EUR 8.50


EUR 3.30

Bottle of beer (local)

EUR 5.80

Three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant

EUR 60


Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

EUR 0.30

Internet (average per month)

EUR 53

Hourly rate for a domestic cleaner

EUR 14

Utilities per month (gas, water, electricity)

EUR 150


Taxi (rate/km)

EUR 1.50

City-centre bus fare

EUR 3.00

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

EUR 1.44

Expat Health Insurance


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