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 2023 confirms this and ranked Dublin as the 51st most expensive city out of the 227 cities surveyed worldwide.

The cost of living in Ireland is fairly high, with the country's capital city, Dublin, ranking 51st out of 227 global cities in Mercer's 2023 Cost of Living survey. While Dublin may rank high, Ireland's cost of living is easing, as the city's ranking went down from its 2022 placement of 49th.

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 annually, and the prices in Dublin are especially steep nowadays. This is largely due to high demand and a low housing supply. Expats should therefore leave plenty of room in their budget for accommodation and utility 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 transport in Ireland

Major cities such as Dublin boast comprehensive but sometimes unreliable public transport networks, while other cities have somewhat inadequate public transport infrastructure. Still, expats can get by on public transport, and it's recommended that they purchase monthly or annual passes to make commuting more affordable.

Expats living outside Dublin may need to drive, but it's essential they are aware of the often exorbitant costs associated with purchasing a vehicle. Newcomers to Ireland must consider the vehicle's purchase cost, fuel, parking and maintenance. 

Cost of groceries 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. Some of the most popular supermarkets include Tesco, SuperValu and Dunnes; prices at these shops vary depending on the season. Expats looking for more affordable supermarkets should look no further than Aldi and Lidl, although food from these shops will likely need to be consumed within a few days of purchase. 

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Ireland

Maintaining a social life and eating out in restaurants, especially in Dublin, can be expensive, so expats keen on a night out should make sure to keep an eye on their budget. Ireland has a strong drinking culture, and the government has introduced high alcohol taxation rates to curb this. 

Expats looking to go pub hopping should stick to those outside major tourist areas, as these will be more affordable. Owing to Ireland's rainy weather, most of the lifestyle in the country is based on indoor activities, which can become pricey, so expats should budget carefully. 

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 extracurricular activities, but will usually not pay anything for tuition.

On the other hand, private and international schools in Ireland are pricey, and parents wishing to send their child to a private school should make sure they can afford to cover the costs involved. While these schools may be expensive, they typically offer excellent teaching standards and facilities and a wider range of extracurricular activities, making them a reasonable consideration for expats. 

Cost of healthcare in Ireland

Although public healthcare in Ireland is free or subsidised for all residents, most expats still decide 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 the average prices for Dublin in September 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

EUR 2,000

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

EUR 3,500

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

EUR 1,700

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

EUR 2,800


Milk (1 litre) 

EUR 1.30

Dozen eggs


Rice (1kg) 

EUR 1.56

Loaf of white bread 

EUR 1.88

Pack of chicken breasts (1kg) 

EUR 9.83

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) 

EUR 15.80

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

EUR 10


EUR 3.83

Coca-Cola (330ml) 

EUR 2.29

Bottle of beer (local)

EUR 6.45

Three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant

EUR 86


Mobile phone monthly plan with calls and data

EUR 23

Internet (average per month)

EUR 52

Utilities per month (gas, water, electricity)

EUR 257


Taxi (rate/km)


City-centre bus fare


Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

EUR 1.67


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