Cost of living

Ireland flagStudents can refer to the recent figures for living and studying in Ireland, which include most of the usual student costs apart from tuition fees. The largest cost of living will be related to accommodation and this will depend on the choices made – whether you are sharing or living in a self contained flat.

Inevitably, those living in Dublin will have higher living costs. These could vary and in 2012 ranged between EUR 8,000 and EUR 12,100 mainly due to the accommodation chosen. These estimates usually take into account things like rent, electricity bills, general food, books, laundry, basic medicine etc., but not tuition fees.

In 2007, the cost of living in Ireland was amongst the most expensive  across Europe. Although this has reduced somewhat since the economic slowdown in 2008, Ireland is still one of the costliest countries in Europe. According to the Mercer’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2008, Dublin was listed as the world’s 16th most expensive city to live in and Europe’s 8th. The latest Cost of Living Survey from Mercer – 2011 – indicates that Dublin has now dropped to 58th position.

To help prepare yourself consult the links below which list the approximate cost for basic necessities in Dublin.

Money and banking

 The Republic of Ireland uses the Euro as its currency. As with many other European countries, foreign currency is generally not accepted, but there are some exceptions. Some of the larger stores in places popular with tourists are likely to accept some of the main foreign currencies such as US dollars and British Pound Sterling. Beware if you are paying with  foreign currency though as the exchange rates will be worse when compared to paying in Euro.

 Major credit cards are accepted by large supermarkets, shops, hotels and restaurants. Occasionally, only cash payments are accepted by small retailers and cafés. Certain retailers may also reject credit cards for amounts of less than 10 Euros. However, you may find that Irish debit cards will often be accepted. Several discount supermarket chains, such as Aldi and Lidl will only accept debit cards (Irish Laser Cards, Maestro, Visa Debit and MasterCard).

All banks have currency exchange desks for cashing travellers’ cheques , exchanging cash,  and obtaining advances on your credit card; they are usually open  from 10-4 every day.  One day per week, banks are open until 5pm – in Dublin this is on a Thursday. Some large department stores  also provide foreign exchange services, but this service is no longer available at post offices.

The general advice before travelling to Ireland is to ask your bank whether your Credit, Debit or ATM card is activated for use in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Some of the largest banks in  Ireland include: Allied Irish Banks (AIB) AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, Permanent TSB. AIB is one of the Big Four commercial banks in Ireland, and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

For more information please visit:

Travelling costs

General travelling costs in Ireland are on the high side compared to other European countries. However, this will depend on the time of year and other factors, so it is always best to use the internet to research the available deals.

As with other capital cities, Dublin is the most expensive for travelers. However, outside of the capital cheaper alternatives are available. Given the higher concentration of companies in and around Dublin it is a good place to start looking for placements and to ask companies you are talking to about travelling costs.

There are 20 airports in Ireland and the 4 biggest are: Dublin; Cork Airport; Shannon Airport and Kerry County Airport.

Trains are operated by Irish Rail – Iarnród Éireann. Ireland is connected with train lines in most of the cities around the island. The train is perhaps more expensive than the bus and there are fewer train stations than bus stops.

There is a good provision of bus services owned by the State as well as private companies and they   offer a comprehensive service across a range of routes. The main operator is Coras Iompair Éireann (CIE), a state owned company which operates the largest volume of services across Ireland.

For further information please see:

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