Known as the Emerald Isle, Ireland is a very popular place for people to relocate, both from the UK and further afield. Offering spectacular views, and a welcoming atmosphere, Ireland is a great place to live for both families and young professionals. 

Although it’s a relatively small country in size, there are plenty of options when moving to Ireland, whether you’re looking for a vibrant and bustling city or somewhere more remote and laidback, Ireland has got you covered.

Below, we’re going to take a look at some of the best areas to live in Ireland as well as the things you need to take care of before moving, the best things to do there and Ireland’s pros and cons.

Let’s start by looking at the best places to live in Ireland.

Dublin at dusk

Dublin at dusk

Galway City

Being close to the ocean and offering some incredible views, Galway City is right up there with the best places to live in Ireland. There are plenty of shops as well as great restaurants and cafes and it’d make a good choice for both families and young professionals.

The property prices in Galway City are quite high due to it being a very desirable place to live.


Blackrock is a very popular commuter town thanks to its regular bus and train services to the main cities in Ireland, namely Dublin and Belfast. It’s a very popular tourist destination during the summer months and has a variety of watersports you can partake in, including windsurfing and paddle boarding.

The property prices in Blackrock are significantly lower than Galway City, with many houses available to rent and buy.


Dublin is both the capital and largest city in Ireland. It’s home to a huge amount of shops, restaurants, pubs and theatres, so you’ll never be short of things to do. There are also many businesses throughout Dublin, so it’s an excellent place to move for work.

As you might expect, property prices in Dublin can be very high, particularly the more centrally you go.


Bray is another excellent place to live in Ireland. It’s an incredibly beautiful place, being right next to the sea and it has an abundance of great natural spaces, walks and parks.

The property prices in Bray are very high, costing even more than Galway City on average, so this is something to bear in mind.


With excellent schools, good public transport and many career opportunities, Killarney is a very attractive place to live. Not only is it in a beautiful location but it’s also home to many great restaurants, pubs and shops.

The property prices in Killarney are quite reasonable and it would be an excellent choice of place to live if you have a family.

Things you need to know before moving to Ireland

Because Ireland is its own country, it’s a little more complicated to move there compared to if you were moving to another part of the UK, such as Wales or Scotland.

Below are some of the main things you need to do before moving to Ireland.

  • Research schools – If you have kids, then one of the most important things to do before moving to Ireland is research the schools in the area you’re moving to. Ireland has many excellent public and private schools as well as good universities, so you should have plenty to choose from.
  • Pack your possessions – Another thing you’ll need to take care of before your move is packing your possessions. Larger pieces of furniture may not be practical to move depending on how you’re planning to travel to Ireland but any smaller items should be put in boxes and labelled.
  • Book a moving company – Once you’ve packed your possessions, you’ll need to book a moving company. The cost of a moving company will depend on who you hire, how many possessions you have to move and whether or not you opt for any additional services. For example, some companies will offer to pack your items for you as well as dismantling and reassembling furniture.
  • Obtain medical/dental records – Another important thing to do before moving is obtaining your medical and dental records. Since you’re going to need a new GP and dentist when you move to Ireland, it’s very useful to have these.
  • Scan any important documents – With so many things to think about when moving to a new country, it’s very easy for important documents to get mislaid. For this reason, it’s a good idea to scan important documents such as your driving licence and passport and upload them somewhere online that’s secure and only accessible to you.
  • Declutter your house – Decluttering your current house is definitely recommended when you’re moving. It will not only mean you have less to take with you but can help you save money too. Anything you don’t think you’ll use, you should sell or give away.
  • Pay any outstanding bills – The last thing you want when you move to a new country is to be worrying about old debts and bills. Therefore you should make every effort to pay them off before moving. Outstanding debts can easily affect your credit rating and that will follow you wherever you go, so it’s much better to avoid this if at all possible.
  • Open an Irish bank account  – Another thing you’ll need to do is open an Irish bank account. Luckily, this is now quite easy to do, with some banks giving you the option to open an account online.
  • Buy some Euros – In case you weren’t already aware, Ireland exclusively uses Euros these days. This being the case, you should buy some Euros before travelling there so you don’t have to rely on only using your debit or credit card.

Best things to do in Ireland

Museum of Ireland

Museum of Ireland

There are so many great things to do in Ireland, from its fantastic castles to theatres, zoos and exhibitions. Below are some of the highlights.

  • Kilmainham Gaol – Kilmainham Gaol is a fascinating place to learn about a key part of Ireland’s history. The jail dates back all the way to 1796 and is where those involved in the 1916 uprising were taken.
  • Explore the castles – Ireland has many castles to explore, with Dublin Castle being one of the most famous. Most have guided tours but they’re fascinating to explore on your own too. Walking around the many great castles in the country gives you the opportunity to learn more about Ireland’s history. Some castles, such as Ashford Castle, you’re even able to stay in.
  • Killarney National Park – Killarney National Park is another must-visit in Ireland. The main building is a former mansion and provides a fascinating glimpse into history. In addition to Muckrock House, there’s also gardens and traditional farms. These are all a pleasure to explore and the beautiful natural surroundings of the area only add to the experience.
  • Guinness Storehouse – The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin is one of the best beer tasting experiences around. There are seven floors to explore and during your visit, you’ll learn a lot about the process of crafting beer thanks to the excellent tour guides.
  • Dublin Zoo – Dublin Zoo is one of Ireland’s biggest attractions and is home to a huge collection of animals, including elephants, penguins and seals. There’s also some great plant life to discover there.
  • The Rock of Cashel – The Rock of Cashel is one of many fantastic heritage sites in Ireland. Perched on a hill in Golden Vale, it’s an incredible looking building and gives you a chance to learn more about Ireland’s history.
  • National Museum of Ireland – The National Museum of Ireland is actually a collection of museums, with the opportunity to learn about so many aspects of the country’s history, including architecture, natural history and archeology. You could easily spend an entire day here.

Pros and cons of living in Ireland


  • Affordable property – Although living in major cities such as Dublin can be very expensive, there are many parts of Ireland where property is more affordable. There are many different types of property throughout the country, including modern apartment complexes, so whether you’re planning to move there on your own or with your family, you’ll be able to find somewhere that fits your needs.
  • Near to Europe – Another benefit of living in Ireland is its close proximity to Europe. Whether you plan to travel for business or pleasure, being just a few hours away from the rest of Europe by plane is very convenient.
  • Beautiful surroundings – There’s no doubt that Ireland is a beautiful country. It has a huge amount of great parks and natural spaces as well as being home to some of the most impressive castles in Europe.
  • Good healthcare – Although Ireland doesn’t have the NHS, it does have a tax-funded health service that’s very similar. There are also many private healthcare options available.
  • Safety – In general, Ireland is a very safe country. City centres at weekends can be quite rowdy, just like the UK, but on the whole, it’s a safe place to live. Guns are illegal and shootings are very rare, so this isn’t something you need to be concerned with either.
  • Plenty of great places to eat and drink – Another good thing about living in Ireland is that there’s so many good places to eat and drink. Ireland is known for its pubs but there are also many excellent restaurants and cafes throughout the country. Larger cities like Dublin are also home to some excellent Michelin-starred restaurants.
  • Good public transport – Getting around Ireland is very easy thanks to the country’s small size and the number of excellent transport options available. In addition to the many buses and trains that connect the various cities, there are also rental car options which are very affordable.
  • Good work/life balance – Ireland has a thriving economy, with many large companies based there. You can get four weeks of paid holiday each year after completing a certain amount of hours and female employees can get 26 weeks of paid maternity leave. This makes living there an attractive prospect for families in particular.


  • Cost of living can be high – Although there are many places in Ireland where the cost of living is affordable, the larger cities can be very expensive. Because
  • The weather – Much like the UK, Ireland isn’t particularly known for its great weather. That’s not to say it’s terrible; the summers can actually be very nice but it does rain quite a bit and the winters can be very cold.
  • Waiting times for healthcare can be high – If you require emergency care, then there can be waiting times of 10 hours or more.


If you’re planning to move to Ireland, then you should now feel much more confident in your decision and be better informed about what living in the country is actually like. With its combination of beautiful surroundings, great culture and thriving economy, moving to the Emerald Isle is surely a decision you won’t regret.