Expat Cost of Living in Dublin
Not beating around the bush - Dublin ranks amongst the top 20 expensive cities in Europe, As a reference, Outer London & Milan are cheaper than Dublin.
Any Dublin cost of living calculator will have three factors that make the major chunk - Property rents, Insurance premiums and childcare ( if applicable). Dublin car insurance premiums are some of the highest in the world.
The bright side is that generally the salaries are decent as well.
The cost of living in Dublin for an expatriate varies widely depending on:
- Your contract terms – If you have housing as part of your employment package
- Family size – Single executive or a family man with school going kids
- Seniority in the company – Intern, Middle Management or a Senior executive expat
- Nationality – Obviously you end up getting caught up in double taxation if you are an American citizen in Dublin – double taxation
- Where do you live in Dublin
- Car ownership – Are you an expat in Dublin who drives or a foreign student in Dublin who uses public transport
- Buy Exotic food in Dublin at many of the speciality ethnic food stores in Dublin
As a benchmark, when making a decision to accept a job offer in Dublin - minimum salary in Dublin for expats should be 50,000 Euros/Year (for a family of 4). It could be a little lesser than that as well but then it would a stretch with the increasing rents and high cost of childcare in Dublin.
Childcare in Dublin costs about 900 Euros per child per month which can be quite a drain on the savings.
Another major cost of living in Dublin is car ownership – car insurance for expats in Dublin is absolutely mind boggling with the annual insurance premium being higher than the cost of the car for most used cars. Refer to our blog on cars for expats in Dublin which gives an in-depth analysis on costs and tricks to save money while buying & insuring your first vehicle in Dublin.
Public schooling is free but always remember that most private schools are funded by the Catholic Church and preference is given to catholic children. Yeah, it might sound a bit regressive but a religious apartheid does exist in Irish schools. The multi denominational schools are called Educate for all and non catholic/non baptized children have a better chance of securing admission there. Private schooling in Dublin costs 7000 Euros and upwards a year per child.
Most senior executives will find that the cost of expatriate life in Dublin is comparable to any major European city and they will most likely end up living on the south side of the river. Areas preferred by senior executives with high salaries are – Ballsbridge, Donnybrook, Ranelagh, IFSC, Grand Canal Dock, Spencer Dock, Merrion Square, Milltown, Adelaide Road and pretty much any nice street in D2. Average cost of renting a 2 Bedroom is 1500-2000 Euros a month in these areas. A 3 bedroom house would cost about 3000 Euros/month to rent.
A family of 4 would need groceries worth 500 euros/month average and utilities ( Internet, Electricity and Cable) is another 250 Euros/month. If you need specific costs for services or areas please leave a comment and we will get right back to you.
A quick snapshot of most commonly paid items in Dublin:
1. A pint in a Dublin bar costs - 5 Euros
2. A Cinema ticket in Dublin costs - 10 Euros
3. A one way bus ticket within Dublin - 2.20 Euros
4. A one way tram ticket within Dublin - 2 Euros
5. Cost of nightclub entry in Dublin - 10 Euros
6. Cost of average monthly mobile top up in Dublin - 20 Euros
7. Average cost of broadband in Dublin /monthly - 45 Euros
8. A litre of milk - 80 Cents
9. A Loaf of brown bread - 1.2 Euros
10. Average Taxi fare - City centre to Airport one way- 22 Euros
11. Cost of a Sunny Day on the waterfront in Dublin- Pricelsss