The 7 Best Places To Live In Ireland

Wondering where the best places to live in Ireland are? Keep reading!

From the lush greenery and windswept beaches to the medieval landmarks and cobblestone streets, Ireland is one of Europe’s most beautiful and culturally rich countries. It may not be the cheapest place to relocate to.

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Still, its friendly locals, fun-loving atmosphere, and low crime rates make it worth every cent. 

If you’re considering living and working in Ireland and wondering where to base yourself, this article is for you. Read on to discover the 7 best places to live in Ireland for expats, remote workers, and digital nomads.

Ireland Coast

Dublin

Dublin is easily one of the best cities to live in Ireland because of its traditional rich heritage, modern amenities, and thriving nightlife. The medieval city is steeped in history and culture, with tons of ancient buildings and historical sites among the lively Irish pubs and street art. 

As the capital of the Republic of Ireland, job opportunities are plentiful, with many sciences, engineering, health, and pharma companies. The natural scenery is beautiful, too, thanks to its east coast location, the River Liffey running through it, and numerous beaches. 

However, Dublin is one of the least safe parts of Ireland and has a high cost of living. That being said, housing pricing and safety levels vary between the 24 districts. 

If you want to be right in the action, Portobello and The Docklands are beautiful and safe districts. Still, like all central districts, rental prices are expensive; expect to pay up to €2000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment.

If you want to live away from the hustle and bustle but still have a short commute, the suburbs of ​​Dalkey and Killiney Bay are an excellent choice. These suburbs are located among green rolling hills, close to gorgeous beaches, and full of art galleries, top-class restaurants, markets, and traditional pubs.

You’ll likely find an apartment in the outer suburbs for around €1500.

dublin city

Galway

Did you know Galway city is one of the best places to live in Ireland for solo expats?

The west coast harbor city has the country’s highest percentage of single people. So if you’re looking to meet “the one” or just enjoy the dating scene, Galway is a top choice.

Galway is known for its music and festival culture. You’ll find live Irish folk music in most of the pubs, and around 120 festivals or events happen every year.

The bustling city is also a foodie’s heaven, with plenty of fine dining restaurants among the shops and pubs in the 18th-century Eyre Square, which is the city’s hub. 

Galway is a very safe city and has many job opportunities for expats. Many multinational companies like Boston Scientific, Medtronic, and Wayfair are located here.

The tech industry and manufacturing sector are thriving, and many new medical device companies are also operating. 

The average monthly rental on a one-bedroom apartment in the city is €1300. However, if you live in the suburbs, like the lovely village of Clonbur, you’ll find something cheaper. 

Claddagh Galway

Cork

Cork, in southwest Ireland, is a vibrant cultural hub ideal for digital nomads and younger expats looking to make friends and build an active social life.

It is the country’s second-largest city, so finding a job here is usually pretty easy for expats who speak English. In particular, the Tech and pharmaceutical industries are thriving.

Cork is dubbed the food capital of Ireland because of its high-quality produce. Whether you’re tasting samples at a local food market, enjoying lunch at a farm-to-table restaurant, or sipping a brew in a craft-beer pub, you’ll be impressed. 

Aside from food, Cork has no shortage of entertainment venues, cultural experiences, and outdoor activities, making it a truly diverse city.

Although it’s great for young people, Cork is also popular among expats with families. This is because the city has some of the best schools in the country and excellent medical facilities. 

Rental prices are in line with Galway, ranging from €1100 to €1400, depending on location, for a one-bedroom apartment.

cork ireland city

Limerick

Limerick may be one of the oldest parts of the country, but it’s still one of the best Irish cities for expats looking to soak up the traditional culture. Located on the River Shannon in the West of Ireland, Limerick is a small yet bustling city where there is always something going on.

Limerick puts on various music, food, and cultural events every year and is full of medieval landmarks like King John’s Castle and St Mary’s Cathedral. There are also some excellent food markets like the quirky restored Milk Market.

The downside to Limerick is that there are not so many job opportunities compared to the bigger cities. In addition, unlike other parts of the country, the locals are not as welcoming to outsiders, so fitting in may be a bit more complicated. 

However, living costs are reasonable, especially if you live in the outer suburbs. Expect to pay between €850 and €1200 monthly rental on a one-bedroom apartment.

aerial view of Limerick City

Westport

Westport in County Mayo is not one of the most well-known towns. Still, the peaceful lifestyle and romantic scenery here make it one of the best cities in Ireland for couples. Therefore, if you’re looking to move to “The Emerald Isle” with your significant other and would prefer to stay away from the hustle and bustle of Dublin, consider Westport. 

Westport is one of the most picturesque towns in the country, full of beauty and charm, from the iconic Croagh Patrick and pretty Clew Bay. It is very safe and was voted the best place to live in Ireland in the Irish Times

However, there are far fewer job opportunities here than in the cities, so it’s best for expats who work remotely. The cost of living is average for Ireland, with similar rental costs as Limerick.

Clock tower in Westport Ireland

Killarney

From one stunning town to another, Killarney in County Kerry is a lovely, peaceful, and naturally beautiful area in the southwest. It’s certainly more of a historic village than a modern one, so it is ideal for anyone interested in Medieval history, architecture, and traditional Irish culture.

Killarney is also a top choice for outdoor enthusiasts as the town is surrounded by lush countryside, including Killarney National Park and the Gap of Dunloe. Moreover, despite its old feel, the locals are super friendly and welcoming to newcomers.

Of course, as a reasonably small town, job opportunities for expats, especially well-paying ones, are sparse. Therefore, Killarney best suits remote workers or digital nomads wanting to explore the Irish lifestyle.

Killarney street view in ireland

Kinsale

We finish the list of the best places to live in Ireland with another small town, Kinsale, in County Cork. Kinsale is another historical area with a rich heritage as it once served as a battleground.

Today, expats choose to live here for its peaceful lifestyle, natural beauty, and close proximity to the city of Cork (a 30 – 45 minute drive). 

Kinsale inherits Cork’s culinary expertise, so you will find multiple award-winning restaurants and gourmet food festivals here. However, if you like your evenings to consist of something more than a nice meal, you’ll be a bit disappointed as there is not much nightlife.

Like the other towns on this list, there are fewer job opportunities. Plus, housing is limited, so it can be harder to secure a place to call home in Kinsale. 

kinsale Ireland aerial view

Final Thoughts On Best Places To Live In Ireland

Whether you opt for a big city or a small town, everywhere in Irelands boasts the much loved Irish culture and has plenty of “good craic.” Dublin, Galway, and Cork have the most work opportunities, so they are best if you’re looking to secure a job in the country. 

However, if you’re a remote worker looking for a peaceful lifestyle among natural beauty and historic buildings, Westport, Killarney, or Kinsale may be ideal. 

Not sure if Ireland is the right place for you? Read one of the following guides:

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