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Life Abroad: Dublin

The Life Abroad series has proven to be one of the more popular TransferGo Blog series. This is probably due to the increased mobility of today’s society and, no doubt for some, due to the uncertainty that is a result of the on-going Brexit negotiations.

In this installment we look at one of the world’s most popular cities, Dublin.

Dublin is located at the mouth of the River Liffey on Ireland’s east coast. The area was first settled in prehistoric times and was an early Viking settlement. The earliest historic references to Dublin date back to writings by the Greco-Roman astronomer Ptolemy in 140 AD. The Irish government cites the “official” founding date for Dublin as 988 AD. Prior to the partition of Ireland in 1922, Dublin at one point was the second largest city in the British Empire.

Dublin has had a storied history and as is the case with most ancient cities, enjoyed eras of growth and prosperity as well as suffered through periods of turmoil and economic hardships. Currently, Dublin is one of the major economic and political powers in the European Union.

Various economic and political improvements in the 1990s led many international companies, ranging from pharmaceutical to information and communications tech, to make Dublin the home of their European operations. These include industry giants such as Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Twitter, Pfizer, Microsoft, and Google.

The City’s International Financial Services Centre, which was established in 1987, has attracted more than 500 trading operations and is host to half of the world’s top 50 banks and half of the top 20 insurance companies.

The city of Dublin has a population of over a half million people, while the Greater Dublin Area population is nearly 2 million.

Dublin is growing rapidly and has experienced net immigrant figures since the 1990s. The largest numbers of immigrants are from the European Union, particularly from Poland, Lithuania and the UK. A significant number of immigrants from India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and China also call the city home, as do over half of the country’s Asian residents.

The Irish government has noted that there has been a significant surge in applications for Irish passports since the Brexit referendum vote.


As with any world-class city, Dublin has a well-developed public transportation system. Dublin Bus is an extensive network which serves the entire county. DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) serves the coastal areas in the northern and southern areas, while the light rail system, LUAS, serves many suburban areas. The systems are totally integrated with a central ticketing agency.

Dublin is also the home of the most popular bike sharing schemes in Europe called DublinBikes.


Prices in Dublin are on par with those in London, with the exception of rents which are substantially lower. The cost of living in Dublin is about 25% less than in Berlin.

Here are some sample prices (in Euros):

  • Meal in casual restaurant: 15.00.
  • Milk: 3.57.
  • Fresh Bread: 1.13.
  • One-way public transportation ticket: 2.70.
  • Monthly LEAP (local transportation) pass: 125.00.
  • Basic monthly utilities: 157.00.
  • 1 bedroom apartment city centre: 1,380.
  • 1 bedroom apartment outside of city centre: 1,110.
  • 3 bedroom city centre apartment: 2,430.
  • 3 bedroom apartment outside city centre: 1,835.
  • Average monthly net salary: 2,345.


Dublin has a very sophisticated and competitive banking system, which includes a number of national and international banks.

The most popular Irish banks are the Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Bank, Permanent TSB and KBC.

In order to open a bank account, it is necessary to have a passport and proof of residency such as a PPS Number or a utility bill.

The services offered and the fees charged by the banks can vary greatly so it pays to compare banks.

Bank fees for money transfers are very high. TransferGo, however, provides low-cost, fixed exchange-rate transfers for customers living in Dublin.


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