CLMitchell provides information and advice about living, working, studying, and holidaying in Ireland on her website Relocating to Ireland.
Have you been day dreaming about moving to Ireland? Even after the global economic crisis, Ireland has remained a popular expat destination. In fact, Ireland was recently ranked joint sixth place in the top 10 places to live worldwide by the Human Development Index (HDI). The UN analysed and compared countries using three categories – long and healthy lifestyle, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.
Dublin is a particularly popular city to live and has been named as the second best city in the world for Americans to live by consultancy firm ECA International. Their study, compared 450 places for “liveability” which took into consideration factors such as climate, housing, social life, safety, air quality, and health services.
If you’re considering moving to Ireland to retire, work or study, or you're an Irish person thinking about moving back home, let these 10 reasons persuade you to make the move.
1. The Outdoor Lifestyle
Moving to Ireland will reinvigorate your weekends. From stunning coastlines to breathtaking countryside, Ireland has it all. Being a small country with an excellent network of roads, exploring this beautiful country will become your new weekend passion.
Ireland is a great place to live if you enjoy hiking and camping, because there are many excellent, well maintained hiking trails, countryside and National Parks to enjoy. My personal favourites include Killarney National Park, Connemara, the Wicklow Mountains, and Glenveagh National Park.
2. The Delicious Food
Many complain about Ireland’s wet weather, but thanks to this lush, green fertile land, Ireland produces an amazing range of delicious fresh food. Visit your local Irish farmers market to fully appreciate the quality of Irish seafood, meat and vegetables. This lush green Irish grass also produces rich and creamy milk that goes into creating some of the best ice cream, chocolate and cheese products in the world.
As well as the tasty traditional Irish dishes such as fish pie, colcannon, and stew, Ireland has a very modern, thriving foodie scene. The Irish also have a sweet tooth, so you will find many delicious bakeries here with tasty treats on offer.
3. The Culture and History
Living in Ireland gives you a chance to become completely immersed in its history and traditions. The Irish are proud of their heritage and celebrate it through dance, music, sport and story telling (seanchaí). Ireland is steeped in history, from ancient man to early Christians, Medieval Lords and Colonial Settlers. You can still see evidence of these times in the Stone Age art, monasteries, castles and fortresses still standing today.
Entwined in this rich history is Ireland fascinating mythology and folklore. From mischievous characters such as the Leprechaun, Faeries, and the mystery of the Tuatha Dé Danann to the dramatic realms of saints and scholars and to the larger than life legends of Cuchulain and the Fianna. The myths and legends of Ireland overflow with giants and heroes, maidens, battles and brave deeds, and it will leave you keen to learn more.
4. Close to Europe
Living in Ireland will provide you with the opportunity to explore Europe in your weekends and vacation time. In only a matter of hours you can be holidaying in one of Europe’s many fascinating and diverse countries. Thanks to Ireland's budget airline Ryanair, you can easily jet set off to over 190 destinations, even if you’re on a tight budget.
5. The Arts Scene
If you enjoy music, art, theatre, literature and crafts then Ireland is the place for you. The Irish are very talented and passionate artists. Ireland has a huge range of art galleries and museums to enjoy.
Discover quality art and crafts by visiting the local markets and also Dublin’s Merrion Square Art Market where over 200 Artists display their works in the beautiful Georgian surroundings.
Ireland has a strong theatre scene, and as a result many Irish actors and comedians have made it big internationally. If you enjoy theatre, then you will be in your element in Ireland, especially Dublin, which holds theatre close to its heart. On offer is a variety of classic plays, including Beckett and Wilde alongside contemporary and experimental works. There is also the annual Theatre and Fringe festival in September and October.
Ireland also has a lively music scene and you won’t have to go far to find it. Bars, pubs, on the street, talented musicians are playing everywhere. During the warmer months, Ireland is known for its many and varied music festivals, many of which are family friendly.
The Irish like to joke that all Irish people have been part of a music band at one time in their life. Music is in their blood so it’s no surprise that they produce many international hits.
6. Their Love of Sport
For those of you that love sport, Ireland is a fantastic place to live because they have so much on offer. Golf fans will find an array of quality golf courses to enjoy as golfing is a popular sport in Ireland. The Irish also have a long running love affair with horses. There is a worldwide demand for Irish bred horses and the Irish compete strongly on them in a variety of events. For horse fans I recommend the annual Dublin Horse Show which runs over four days and showcases the best of Irish horse riding.
Moving to Ireland will provide you with an entire range of new sports to embrace and enjoy. The Irish are very passionate about their traditional Irish sports including Hurling, Gaelic football and handball. These are highly entertaining sports and are what makes Ireland truly unique.
7. Work Life Balance
The Irish have a good work life balance and typically start work at 9am and finish work by 5pm. Because work life balance is important to the Irish, many employers have introduced policies in order to provide flexible workplaces. Full time hours are generally between 35 and 40 hours per week and all employees that have worked at least 1365 hours per year are entitled to a minimum of four weeks paid holiday per year. This includes full time, part time, temporary or casual employees. There are also eight annual Irish public holidays to enjoy.
Ireland is also supportive of women in the workplace. All female employees are entitled to maternity leave if they become pregnant whilst in employment and Ireland provides 26 weeks of maternity leave benefits as well as 16 weeks of additional unpaid maternity leave.
If you are keen to live and work in Ireland, then discover more about Irish working permits and Irish Employment Legislation and Rights.
8. The Pubs
Sometimes it seems that there are more pubs than people in Ireland. Going to the pub is a favourite Irish pastime and once you partake in this activity, you will understand why. As well as good beer, you can expect great music, both modern and traditional, Irish story telling and people having a craic. The Irish people are a friendly bunch, and if you’re new in town, then the pub is a great place to meet the locals.
Most pubs charge a reasonable price for a drink and also provide good hearty meals. For those that are passionate about beer, alongside your typical Irish beer like Guinness you will also find a range of quality craft beers on offer too.
9. The Education System
Ireland provides a free year of pre-school for kids aged three to four years. Ireland also provides free primary and secondary education. Irish secondary schools are excellent quality and range among the best in Europe.
The standard of university education in Ireland is also excellent and is highly ranked in the world ranking global league table. Under the Free Fees Initiative it’s free for Irish and EU citizens to attend University in Ireland. However, if you're not eligible for this initiative, then studying in Ireland is still an attractive option because it offers reasonably priced higher education. This, as well as the varied selection of universities, historic cities, beautiful countryside and Ireland’s unique culture is why Irish universities are a popular choice for international students. If you are keen to study in Ireland, then find out more about the Irish higher education entry requirements, fees and scholarships.
10. The People
Funny and warm, the Irish don’t take themselves too seriously. They have a great sense of humour and love to take the piss out of you, but it’s all in good fun. Whilst you’re enjoying the local pubs, don’t be surprised if you’re approached by locals. They love to have a good yarn and to share a story or two. They also enjoy hearing your stories too. It’s hard not to love living amongst these unique people.
But the Irish do have a passion for apologising, so be prepared to have them constantly apologize to you for anything and everything. There have been many occasions when I have had no idea what the person was even apologizing for!
© 2015 C L Mitchell
C L Mitchell (author) on January 12, 2018:
Hi Regina Carp,
I would suggest you jump on some of the forums for people who have moved to Ireland and reach out to people in a similar situation as yourself. Try the Ireland Move Club https://irelandmoveclub.com/community/ and Boards.ie. Don't forget to check out my website RelocatingtoIreland.com for a practical guide on making the move.
Regina Carp on January 10, 2018:
My husband, youngest daughter(17 years old) and I will be moving to Ireland this summer. I'll be leaving 3 young adult children in the US....so worried we will be homesick and that my daughter will have trouble adjusting even though she is excited to make the move. I've had a lot of trouble finding blogs, info etc. of people who are our age(47 and 57) with older children and how they are coping with living in Dublin.
mel on December 16, 2017:
I'm currently investigating the economic requirements for me to be able to relocate to Ireland. Would LOVE to live there, despite the damp weather, which I do not mind. I prefer cloudy days as opposed to much bright sunshine. Indeed the gregarious nature of so many Irish people definitely does influence me, perhaps the most, in my desire to live there.
C L Mitchell (author) on November 03, 2017:
The rents are expensive in Dublin, however, I find all the other parts of Ireland affordable. Pays are reasonable (for Europe) and unemployment has continued to decrease. I don't have 'loads' of money, and I live comfortably. I was also living in Australia for 10yrs before moving here.
Christine on November 03, 2017:
I thought it was almost impossible to live there on a permanent basis these days unless you had loads of money, a rare profression or already live in an EU country. I'm in Australia.
Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on June 20, 2017:
I don't know if I'd live there, but I sure do want to visit there one day! But you never know... I might like it there so much on a visit, I'd want to stay. :) Thanks for sharing the highlights of this amazing country!
C L Mitchell (author) on March 05, 2017:
Yes, unfortunately the very high rental and property prices in Dublin make it a very expensive place to live. But if you are more flexible about where you live in Ireland, then there are lots of other cheaper, fun and beautiful locations to live. And with Ireland being such a small country, you could easily travel to Dublin for short breaks and weekends.
If you do decide to make the move, then use my website relocatingtoireland.com to plan your move.
Dana on March 04, 2017:
Moving here has been my dream, and I'm hoping to get there soon! I fell in love with Dublin when I visited. I'm worried about making enough money to survive alone though
CarRentalIE on July 21, 2016:
I agree with everything except work life balance is key
C L Mitchell (author) on June 05, 2016:
Ireland attracts a huge range of international students. Depending on where you choose to study, accommodation can be expensive e.g. Dublin. But sharing accommodation will save you money. Those on a student visa also have the right to work up to 20hrs per week term time and 40hrs per week in the holiday periods which will help fund your stay.
In order to apply for your student visa, you will need to demonstrate that you have access to €7,000 to support yourself financially during your stay.
Ireland is a great place to study and experience living abroad and its easy access to weekends away in Europe.
Learn more at my website relocatingtoireland.com
Eliana on June 04, 2016:
Hi! Do you know if it's possible for an international student to afford living, and studying a whole career in Ireland? And would you recommend it? Thanks.
Coleen on February 12, 2016:
thanks much.............after traveling there it's been a thought to pursue so let's hope for a 'bit of the luck'!
C L Mitchell (author) on January 29, 2016:
I'm sorry, I'm not very knowledgeable about the dancing industry. My suggestion would be to find some potential contacts online and email or phone them. People are pretty friendly in Ireland and even if they can't help you they may be able to steer you in the right direction. Good luck!
Coleen on January 26, 2016:
Interested in setting a dance production for performances in Ireland. Own a performing arts center in the midwest US and after finally living my dream of travel to the Emerald Isle last year, I'm anxious to find a way to get hired to set the production on dancers in Ireland. Any suggestions on where to begin would be greatly appreciated.
C L Mitchell (author) on December 18, 2015:
Riza, thanks for your comments. My husband (an academic) worked at Trinity College and it's a great place, excellent staff and location, right in the heart of Dublin.
Arpit goyal there are scholarships available for international students that you could try applying for, learn more at http://relocatingtoireland.com/irish-education/iri...
Also, on a student visa you are allowed to work up to 20hrs per week during term time (more during the holidays) and this could provide you with the financial assistance to help you with expenses learn more at http://relocatingtoireland.com/moving-to-ireland/i...
Riza on December 17, 2015:
My husband and I fell in love with Ireland on our last visit in 2014. We'll move there permanently if our son wants to study at the Trinity College.
C L Mitchell (author) on December 07, 2015:
Hi Sofia, as I noted in the article, university is free for Irish & EU citizens under the Free Fees Initiative. If you are not either of these, then fees do apply. However, the fees are very reasonable when compared to countries that have more expensive higher education systems e.g. the USA.
There are also many people that are eligible to apply for Irish or EU citizenship due to family birthright. So they may be able to access the Free Fees Initiative.
Rota, thanks for your comments, yes the people are very friendly in Ireland and the pub culture is great!
Sofia on December 06, 2015:
The education system ranks very highly on a world scale. However it is not a free university system Most degrees start at 10.000 Euros a year although it varies. Having said that many nationalities from Asia , the Middle East and especially the USA choose Ireland for it's prestige in academia. Certainly a land of Saints and Scholars !
Rota on December 05, 2015:
Great hub..i have increasingly become interested in visiting Ireland, mostly coz the Irish people I have met have been really great. Also, I must admit I am very attracted to the pub culture!
C L Mitchell (author) on November 26, 2015:
Thanks helenstuart. I haven't heard of that movie before so I just looked it up on wiki. It sounds good, but your right, a bit depressing!
Helen Stuart from Deep in the Heart of Texas on November 26, 2015:
Ireland has always been the first place I'd want to see when I can afford to travel. I saw what I thought was a very good "independant" movie about Irish people in Ireland called "The Field" starring Richard Harris or one of those old Sainted guys and Sean Bean. It wasn't a happy movie but very well done, and beautiful scenery. great post!
C L Mitchell (author) on November 25, 2015:
Ireland's a great place to travel to, I hope you make it there MicahI.
Micah from Central Florida on November 24, 2015:
I can't wait to visit Ireland!