Ireland | Dec 28, 2021

Cost of Living in Dublin — Everything You Need to Know

Office buildings along the north shore of the River Liffey with the iconic Samuel Beckett Bridge in the foreground

Dublin is the thriving capital city of Ireland. Known for good times and tourism, the city plays host to some of the world's largest companies and over 100,000 students across four universities. For all its advantages, Dublin also ranks in the top 50 most expensive places to live in the world.

With a population of almost 1.5 million, Dublin is home to a vibrant mix of locals, students and ex-pats. The city's Grand Canal Dock is often compared to America's Silicon Valley since major companies including Google, Facebook, and Airbnb have offices in the area — but not all Dublin residents benefit from a high-flying big-tech salary.

In this guide, we take a deep dive into the cost of living in Dublin and explain how the city compares to the rest of Ireland and other cities across the world.

1. The Average Salary in Dublin

Data from Ireland's Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows that the average annual salary in Ireland is €44,200. This figure is not necessarily an accurate representation of how much people usually earn in Dublin since the average is brought up by high earners.

Ireland has a minimum wage of €10.20 per hour, while the average working week is around 39 hours. This means that a worker earning the minimum wage will earn in the region of €400 per week, working out to €20,800 annually.

The CSO has also calculated the median income which provides a more accurate indication of what average Dubliners earn. The median annual income in Ireland is €593 per week or €30,836 per year. People earning this amount are at the 50th percentile meaning that half of all people earn more while half earn less.

The bottom 20% of earners have an income of €317 per week or €16,484 per year, and these figures only represent employed taxpayers, so it's important to remember that many people manage to live on far less.

Your lifestyle in Dublin is likely to depend on how much money you have left after paying tax on your income. Use our Ireland salary calculator to work out your monthly salary after tax in just a few clicks.

2. The Cost of Accommodation in Dublin

Typical Dublin red brick houses

These traditional red brick houses are a common sight in Dublin

Whether you've taken a job in the Irish capital or you're a local moving out on your own for the first time, you're going to need a place to call home.

The amount you pay for accommodation will depend on a variety of factors including whether you choose to buy or rent. Even then, the total cost varies greatly depending on the type of property you want to live in. Some people find themselves sharing a house with friends or colleagues, whilst others would prefer to live in a studio flat of their own.

Costs also vary depending on where you choose to live in Dublin. As with most cities, it becomes cheaper to buy and rent as you get further away from the city centre.

Cost of Renting a House or an Apartment in Dublin

It's not surprising that Dublin rental rates are the highest in Ireland, but the capital city really is an expensive place to rent.

Figures from September 2021 show that the average rent in Dublin ranges from €1,557 per month for a 1-bedroom apartment, to €2,604 per month for a 5-bedroom house. There's no doubt that the cost of accommodation is high, but naturally the cost of rent varies between the various neighbourhoods and districts of the city. While rental costs are cheaper away from the Dublin city centre, how much you'll end up paying will also depend on the type of property you want to live in.

Rent Prices in Dublin City Centre
Apartment Type Average Monthly Rent
1 Bed Apartment €1,531
2 Bed House €1,819
3 Bed House €2,268
Rent Prices in Dublin Postal District 11 (Ballymun, Dubber Cross, Kilshane Cross, Coolquay)
Apartment Type Average Monthly Rent
1 Bed Apartment €1,472
2 Bed House €1,712
3 Bed House €1,931

Putting these figures into context, a recent report has shown that the average tenant spends 36% of their monthly income on rent. On top of monthly rental costs, Dublin tenants also find themselves having to pay out €1,450 on average in deposit fees. Although they may get some or all of that money back, it's a lot to put down in the first place.

Since the cost of renting a property in the city is so high, many people choose to live with friends or even find a room in a shared house or flat. The average rent for a single room in shared accommodation ranges from €515 to €683 in Dublin. As always, the best choice for you will depend on your lifestyle preferences, employment status and location, and individual needs.

Cost of Buying a House or an Apartment in Dublin

For those who aspire to own their home, the average house price in Dublin is just over €405,0000 which is almost double what you can expect to pay in Limerick or Waterford City.

When purchasing a property in Ireland, you'll also need to factor in additional costs including:

Legal fees and conveyancing charges
for the work of a solicitor to complete the transaction.
Lender's valuation fees
if you are buying using a mortgage.
Stamp duty
that is currently charged at 1% of property price below €1 million, and 2% above it.
Land registry fees
that are staggered in line with the value of the property.

In most cases, homeowners will also need to pay Local Property Tax (LPT). This is calculated based on the size, location, and market value of a property. A Dublin property worth between €350,001 and €437,500 will attract an LPT charge of €344 during the 2022 tax year.

3. The Cost of Insurance and Utilities in Dublin

A young couple checking their utility bills

In addition to paying for accommodation, you'll also need to pay towards utility bills whilst living in Dublin. These usually include the cost of gas, electricity, water and drainage, and Wi-Fi. If you're renting a room, these costs may be included in your standard rate, but it's important to make sure you understand what is and isn't covered.

The standard cost of utilities including water, gas, and electricity will depend on how much you use and whether you're able to take advantage of any deals. As an indication, you can expect these to cost in the region of €150 each per month. Broadband internet will usually cost an additional €30 – €60 per month, depending on the speeds required.

In Ireland, if you have a TV (or equipment capable of receiving a television signal) you will need to pay for a TV licence, even if you do not have a cable subscription. A licence costs €160 per year, per property, and failure to pay can result in a hefty fine.

Finally, it makes sense to protect everything you've worked so hard to afford. That's why so many people take out home contents insurance to cover their belongings against loss, theft, and damage. Coverage starts from around €10 per month.

Taking into account all of these expenses, the average Dubliner can expect to spend at least €180 or more per month on bills and utilities. That's before you factor in the cost of a mobile phone, too!

4. Dublin Travel and Transport Costs

The Luas tram in Dublin

The "Luas" tram connects many of Dublin's neighbourhoods along its Red and Green lines

As with most things, the cost of transport around Dublin depends on where you live and where you need to go. Costs vary massively between short local journeys and jaunts across the city, so these figures are just an indication of what you can expect to spend.

Dublin's Public Transport

Dublin benefits from a vast public transport network that can take you all the way from the airport at Ballymun to Shankill to the south of the city and beyond.

You'll often see people getting around Dublin using trains, trams, and buses. Your choice of transport is likely to depend on the type of journey you need to make, but an adult fare in the city centre will usually cost €2.15, while longer journeys can range up to €5 – €7.

Although you can purchase tickets for individual journeys, many locals use a Leap card that could save you up to 31% across all travel. Depending on the route you need to take, a weekly Leap card could cost up to €27.50 per week for bus and tram (or "Luas") travel, €37.00 for use of local train services, and up to €40 for access to multiple modes of public transport.

Taxis in Dublin

There are around 16,000 licenced taxis in Dublin. That means the Irish capital has around 3,000 more drivers than there are iconic yellow cabs in New York!

Prices vary depending on the journey you need to take, but the typical cost starts with a basic fee of €3.80 with a further price of up to €1.50 per kilometre. Prices are higher at night, with an initial charge of €4.20 and a €1.80 charge per kilometre travelled.

Owning a Car in Dublin

Putting the basic costs of purchasing a vehicle aside, there are a number of ongoing expenses you'll need to account for if you want to drive your own car in Dublin. These vary depending on the vehicle and the area in which you want to drive it, but may include:

  • Car insurance
  • Fuel
  • Parking permits
  • Vehicle tax
  • Maintenance costs

Factoring in all of these costs, it's estimated that the average Irish driver spends almost €4,000 per year keeping their car on the road — assuming that they own the vehicle outright to begin with.

5. The Cost of Food and Groceries in Dublin

A paper shopping bag full of fresh vegetables and fruits

How much you spend on grocery shopping will depend on your own lifestyle preferences. Dublin has many retailers ranging from large supermarkets to much smaller local shops. There are also markets offering fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and baked goods.

There are a number of popular supermarkets operating in Dublin including: Aldi, Lidl, Nolan's, Tesco, Dunnes Stores, and SuperValu. There are also a variety of smaller niche food retailers and grocers including Dollard & Co. and the Fallon & Byrne Food Hall.

You can survive on a budget in Dublin, with the average cost of major food and grocery items as follows:

Item Average Cost
Loaf of Bread €1.52
1 L (1 qt) of Milk €0.96
1 kg (2.2 lb) of White Rice €1.40
1 kg (2.2 lb) of Local Cheese €7.75
1 kg (2.2 lb) of Apples €2.27
1.5 L (1.6 qt) of Bottled Water €1.30
750 ml (25.3 oz) Bottle of Mid-Range Wine €10
500 ml (16.9 oz) Bottle of Local Beer €2.66
Average Weekly Grocery Bill for One Person €50.00

With these figures in mind, a single person could survive on between €150 – €250 per month for essential household items and food.

6. The Cost of Entertainment in Dublin

The Old Library in Trinity College Dublin

The famous Old Library in Trinity College Dublin houses the Brian Boru harp, the Proclamation of the Irish Republic and the Book of Kells

Dublin is far from a boring place to be, and alongside all the tourist attractions it's packed with cinemas, theatres, and other pursuits that offer ideal ways to spend your downtime. How much it costs to entertain yourself in Dublin will depend on your own hobbies and preferences.

If you're a real film buff, you can expect to pay between €8 and €12 for a cinema ticket in the Irish capital. For live theatre, ticket costs range from around €20 at smaller venues up to €60 and beyond at the renowned Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.

Those who like to wine and dine or just go out for drinks will be spoilt for choice in Dublin. The city is home to hundreds of bars, restaurants and eateries where you can pick up cuisine from practically anywhere in the world. A meal in a mid-range restaurant is likely to cost around €30 – €40 per person, while prices at globally recognisable McDonald's fast-food restaurants are around €9 for a combo meal.

If it's drinks you're after, a pint of lager will set you back around €4 – €6 while a glass of wine weighs it at about €6.50. If like many others you're in Dublin for its famous stout, we cover the cost of Guinness later in this guide.

For those hoping to save money, there are plenty of public spaces you can enjoy for free. From wandering through Temple Bar to crossing the Ha'Penny Bridge or venturing out to Dollymount Strand Beach, you'll never be bored in this city. Many of the permanent exhibits at the National Museum of Ireland are free to visit too, so you can learn about the nation's history without breaking the bank.

7. The Cost of Sports and Health in Dublin

Everyone knows how important health and fitness are, but gyms and private clubs can be expensive. As in all cities, Dublin's gyms offer varying membership rates starting from €25 per month. More exclusive facilities are on offer for prices that range up to over €200 monthly, but it's fair to say that most people work out somewhere more affordable.

Dublin has a vibrant and active sporting community, playing everything from rugby and football to the Gaelic games. Stadium tickets generally start from €40 per person, but you can expect to pay much more for major international games at Dublin's Aviva Stadium.

You'll never be short of something to do if you like sports, as many clubs have made Dublin their home. From tennis to running and hurling to curling, sessions start from just €5 and can run to well over €50 depending on how niche your chosen activity is.

8. Dublin Childcare Costs

Children celebrating Saint Patrick's day

Saint Patrick's Day is one of the most important holidays in Ireland with traditional celebrations enjoyed by children and adults alike

If you have children, you'll probably be keen to find a competitively priced childcare provider to look after them while you're out earning enough to cover the costs of living in Dublin.

People often forget how expensive childcare can be, but it's something you should be aware of when moving into a new area. In Dublin, the average cost of childcare works out to just under €220 per week — a huge €50 more expensive than the rest of Ireland.

Thankfully, there is financial support on offer to parents of children in Ireland. The free Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme provides financial support to the parents of children aged under six months. Parents of older children aged up to 15 years old may qualify for financial support under Ireland's Universal Childcare Subsidy provided they use a Tulsa-registered childcare provider. For more information, visit the Citizens Information Childcare Subsidy page.

9. How Dublin's Cost of Living Compares to Other Cities

Dublin may seem like an expensive city to live in, but how does it compare to other major cities across the world?

Dublin vs. Cork

Cork is located in the south of Ireland and is the country's second-largest city, with a population of around 210,000. It's also a magnet for high achievers with companies like Apple, Dell Computers, and Amazon all maintaining a base of operations in the area. Cork is also a slightly cheaper place to live than Dublin, with rents that are 30% lower despite locals having a slightly higher level of purchasing power. All of this means that Cork could be the ideal alternative for people seeking the city life whilst still being able to save money.

Dublin vs. Belfast

Belfast is a noticeably cheaper place to live than Dublin. The city in Northern Ireland has rent prices that are over 57% cheaper than in Dublin, while consumer prices are almost 20% lower. This means your salary would go further living in Belfast.

Dublin vs. London

London is slightly more expensive than Dublin, with consumer prices that are almost 9% higher. Rent prices are also over 20% more in the UK capital city, making London a much more expensive place to live than Dublin. Check our in-depth Cost of Living in London guide for more information about living costs in England's famous and bustling capital city.

Dublin vs. Cardiff

Cardiff is considerably cheaper than Dublin, with rent prices that are 54% lower than in the Irish capital. Locals have 20% greater purchasing power than those living in Dublin, making this Welsh city an attractive choice for anyone who wants more for their money.

Dublin vs. Edinburgh

Edinburgh boasts consumers prices that are almost 10% cheaper than in Dublin, with 40% lower rental rates to match! While the city does have slightly more expensive restaurants, the Scottish capital is still a cheaper place to live than its Irish cousin.

Dublin vs. Paris

Paris may be the city of love, but its prices won't necessarily give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Consumer costs in the French capital are 7% higher than in Dublin, while local purchasing power is around 0.5% lower.

Dublin vs. New York

New York is known to be one of the most expensive places to live in the world, and the cost of living is predictably high. Dubliners enjoy rents that are almost 40% lower than in the Big Apple, while Irish grocery prices are also 37% cheaper.

Dublin vs. Ottawa

Ottawa is the vibrant capital city of Canada, with a lower cost of living than you could find in London or New York. Compared to Dublin, Ottawa's rental rates are almost 35% lower while local purchasing power is 20% higher — meaning it's cheaper for some people to get by in this Canadian city.

10. Cost of Living in Dublin — FAQ

The Temple Bar, one of Dublin's most famous Irish pubs, situated on a street of the same name

The Temple Bar, one of Dublin's most famous Irish pubs, is located in the central riverside neighbourhood of the same name

What is a Good Salary in Dublin?

What counts as a good salary depends on your own goals and lifestyle choices. Data shows that the so-called "average" Dubliner earns €44,200 per year before taxes, but in reality, there are many people who live on far less than that.

Dublin is the location of choice for tech firms and professional services companies looking to establish a presence in Ireland, and many of them offer extremely competitive salaries compared to the rest of the country. That being said, not everyone is a high-flying executive and there are thousands of Dubliners who get by on a more modest salary.

Is €30k a Good Salary in Dublin?

Many people live on €30,000 or less in Dublin. Although €44,200 is Ireland's average national salary, this figure is skewed by very high earners. Instead, it's better to look at the median income of €30,836. Half of all taxpaying Dubliners earn less and half earn more, meaning that €30,000 is not such a bad salary after all.

How Expensive is Dublin Rent?

The average rent in Dublin ranges from €1,557 per month for a 1-bedroom apartment, to €2,604 per month for a 5-bedroom house, with costs varying widely from one area of the city to another.

However, you may be able to find much cheaper alternatives — especially if you're willing to share an apartment or house with others. Please refer to our dedicated section on rental costs in Dublin for more in-depth information.

What is the Cheapest Place to Live in Ireland?

Leitrim is the cheapest place to rent in Ireland, with an average rental price of €742. It's a region in the north of the country with just over 30,000 residents.

While the cost of renting a property in Leitrim may be lower than in other areas, there are also far fewer businesses in the area. This could make it harder to get a high-paying job, making Dublin a more attractive prospect for those who are focused on earning as much as possible.

What is the Cheapest Area to Live in Dublin?

The North County is officially the cheapest area of Dublin to live in, with an average monthly rent of €1,889. Breaking that down further, there are some particularly cheap areas as compared to the rest of the capital city. As you get closer to Fingal, average accommodation costs drop to around €1,400 per month for a one-bedroom apartment.

How Much Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Dublin?

That really depends on your lifestyle preferences and the standard of living you require. Some people manage to get by on just over €1,000 per month, while others spend more lavishly and need an income that will support spending of over €2,000 per month.

The major factors that affect how much you need to live comfortably in Dublin include: where you want to live, whether you're willing to share your home with others, if you need to run a car or travel extensively, and whether you have an active and expensive social life.

Ireland's immigration service suggests that a single person spends around €2,728 per month for a comfortable lifestyle, but there are many people who are quite comfortable despite having less.

How Much Does a Couple Need to Live in Ireland?

The cost of living in Ireland varies greatly depending on your lifestyle preferences and whereabouts in the city you choose to live. That being said, couples can save on certain costs by living together and purchasing food and other items in greater quantities but at better prices. With this in mind, a couple could survive spending between €2,000 and €2,500 per month.

How Much Is Guinness in Dublin?

The all-important question! A pint of Guinness will set you back just under €5, making Dublin the most expensive place to buy a pint of the iconic black stuff in Ireland.

11. Closing Remarks on Dublin's Cost of Living

Person diligently checking the SalaryAfterTax Cost of Living Calculator page on their mobile phone

Nobody could suggest that Dublin is the cheapest place to live in the world, but it is a lively city that's packed with history. There are many opportunities available in Ireland's capital and thousands of people move to the city each year.

If you're thinking about moving to Dublin, the table below will give you an indication of what you can expect to spend each month:

Spending Category Monthly Cost
Accommodation (Rent) €750 - €1,500
Utilities €180 - €250
Travel and Transport €40 - €100
Food and Groceries €150 - €250
Entertainment €120 - €300
Sports and Health €30 - €60
Total Monthly Cost €1,270 - €2,460

It's clear that the cost of living in Dublin ranges massively depending on the type of accommodation and lifestyle you choose. While many people do survive and even thrive on lower salaries, it's important to think carefully about what you want from your time in the city.