The 7 Best Places to Live in Ireland
Ireland is a beautiful, exceptionally charming country filled to the brim with history, traditions, and cultural offerings.
As well as some of the best beer and whiskey in the world, you can also enjoy countless stunning natural attractions and an endless stream of brilliant live music wherever you go.
And you won’t be alone as an expat – far from it. There are more than 305,000 Brits enjoying life in beautiful Ireland (United Nations, 2020).
You deserve to find a home that reflects Ireland’s incredible history, but with 26 counties and 50,118 townlands to choose from, it’s not easy (Central Statistics Office, 2016). Don’t worry, though – we’re here to help.
Whether you want an area with the best culture, the best food, or the best chance of finding a bargain property, we’ve got you covered – from Abartagh to Youngstown.
If you want to know how much it’d cost to move your belongings abroad, send us a few details about your trip, and our trusted suppliers will be in touch with free, bespoke quotes.
The best neighbourhoods in Ireland for cheap property
It’s perfectly possible to find bargains in Ireland, as long as you look outside of Dublin.
The capital took the 20 most expensive spots in property site Daft’s most recent report, with the average three-bedroom house in nine of these areas’ topping €500,000 (£434,000).
But the average house price across Ireland is €311,514 (£270,000), and there are plenty of cheaper properties to be found.
A typical one-bedroom flat in Leitrim will set you back just €73,000 (£63,000), a three-bedroom house costs €123,000 (£107,000) on average, and you can usually get a five-bedroom house for €224,000 (£195,000).
It’s well worth it, too. This picturesque county has a storied history, including a period from the 8th to 13th century when it formed one half of the Kingdom of Breifne.
With a population of just 35,087, you’d be excused for worrying about a lack of activities, but there’s plenty to do in Leitrim.
You can visit the Glencar Waterfall – which William Butler Yeats included in his poem The Stolen Child – the 500-year-old Creevelea Abbey, and the Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney, where the vodka, whiskey, and gin flow generously.
You’ll pay roughly the same prices in Roscommon – around €75,000 (£65,000) for a one-bedroom flat, €127,000 (£110,000) for a three-bedroom house, and €231,000 (£201,000) for a five-bedroom detached house.
This county, which is to the south of Leitrim, boasts plenty of unique attractions, including the fascinating Arigna Mining Experience, the 13th-century Roscommon Castle, McDermott's Castle, and the imposing, stunning Sacred Heart church.
If you’re after some sporting action, you can visit Roscommon Racecourse or the 18,900-capacity Dr Hyde Park, where Roscommon county’s Gaelic football team play.
McDermott's Castle is a gorgeous national monument in Roscommon
The best neighbourhood in Ireland for green spaces
Letterkenny, County Donegal
Living near green spaces is a feature of daily life in Ireland, but Letterkenny is a step above, mainly because of its proximity to Glenveagh National Park.
This incredible park offers 65 square miles of rugged, tranquil, awe-inspiring terrain that includes plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife.
You can spot the largest herd of red deer in the country, as well as badgers, foxes, otters, mountain hares, and golden eagles, which have been reintroduced to Ireland after going extinct here in the early 20th century.
And if Letterkenny and Glenveagh don’t match your needs, no matter. You’re only ever a quick journey from a spectacular display of nature on the Emerald Isle.
The best neighbourhood in Ireland for culture
This exciting area by the canal offers a never-ending succession of restaurants, galleries, and pubs.
When it comes to food, make sure you check out the Spanish master Uno Mas, the delectable Italian food at Sprezzatura, and the Irish phenomenon Delahunt.
Sample the area’s collection of fantastic Asian restaurants – pay special attention to Big Fan Bao, Hang Dai, and Pickle – then before heading to Frank’s for a fancy wine bar experience.
When you’re ready to party, go to The Bernard Shaw pub. This haven of drag brunches, karaoke, and street food that reopened in 2021 to the delight of locals and visitors alike.
Then finish off the night at Whelan’s, which has been supplying the good folk of Portobello with live music and great times for more than three decades – plus it featured in the 2007 rom-com P.S. I Love You.
The best neighbourhood in Ireland for food
Dingle, County Kerry
Head to this port town in the south-west for the best food in Ireland.
First, visit Reel Dingle Fish and get a mind-blowingly good fish and chips takeaway while you wander along the shoreline, where Ireland’s most beloved dolphin Fungie is commemorated with a bronze statue.
Next, pick up a sumptuous coffee at the family-run Bean In Dingle, and head to Solas Tapas & Wine for a sophisticated, flavourful Spanish meal.
If you like Irish food with a modern twist, try Global Village and The Chart House, which are both well worth your time – and for dessert, indulge your taste buds at Murphy's Ice Cream, where the creations are local, handmade, and mouth-watering.
We recommend the brown bread or Dingle sea salt offerings. You can thank us later.
There's nothing like a hearty Irish stew
The best neighbourhood in Ireland for nightlife
Leave Dublin behind and head for the west coast to party with the best of them.
The vibe is fun, friendly, and raucous wherever you go, but we’d recommend starting off with The Quays in the Latin Quarter.
This atmospheric, strikingly decorated venue features the best live music performances in the country – though local pub Tigh Neachtain and the cavernous Róisín Dubh (which also offers live comedy) could give The Quays a run for its money.
If you like your sports events or live music acts with a cocktail in hand, get yourself to An Púcán – and if you want to dance the night away, DNA and Carbon are the hotspots.
The best neighbourhood in Ireland for schools
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Leinster
On the outskirts of south Dublin lies a hotbed of educational excellence.
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown boasts Catholic sibling schools Coláiste Íosagáin (for girls) and Coláiste Eoin (for boys) – two of the top-rated schools in the country, and free to boot.
These secondary schools do teach all subjects in Irish, but if your kids only speak English, you still have lots of superb options.
There’s Holy Child Killiney, a highly ranked Catholic secondary school for girls, Blackrock College, a well-regarded Catholic secondary school for boys, and coeducational Church of Ireland school St Andrews College – though all of these are fee-paying institutions.
There are also a variety of primary schools to choose from, with the inclusive St Nicholas Montessori and Monkstown Educate Together National School topping our list.
And if your kids succeed in school, you’ll be perfectly placed to send them to one of the best universities in Ireland, like University College Dublin – which is in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.
(Sidenote: if you see that a location is in County Dublin, it isn’t. That area was split into three counties in 1994, including Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown.)
Finding a place to live in Ireland
At this point, you should have a good idea of where you’d like to live when you move to gorgeous Ireland.
The next part is finding a home in the right neighbourhood, securing it, and figuring out how to move your possessions there.
That’s where we come in. Just fill in this quick form, and our expert suppliers will send you free quotes to sort out your move.