Living in Dublin vs London – What Should You Choose?

Dublin and London are both capitals and the most significant cities. One is in Ireland, while the latter is in England. Both are full of beautiful cities and lavish lifestyles, but the question is- what should you choose between these two cities if given a chance?

Dublin outranks London when it comes to the quality of life. Moreover, living in Dublin is also more affordable than in London, but this doesn’t mean London isn’t good. Choosing between these two cities should depend on your preferences and capacity. 

If you want to know more about the differences between living in Dublin and London so you can choose where you want to go, then you’ve landed in the right place! This article will show how Dublin and London vary in weather, cost of living, jobs, salaries, and many other aspects.

Living in Dublin vs London

Dublin has attracted writers, intellectuals, and visitors for centuries with its friendly atmosphere and craic, or something that’s socially enjoyable. Craic combines banter, humor, intelligence, acerbic wit, and airy introspection. The city has faded grandeur with a comfy worn vibe. 

One-fourth of the population of the Republic of Ireland lives in the Greater Dublin urban area, which is a lively and bustling place. River Liffey divides the city’s center north to south, but O’Connell’s Bridge connects the two.

On the other hand, London is also popular among visitors and dreamers. Its lively and royal vibe encouraged many to dream of living in this city. 

Among the famous sights in London are Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, and Tower Bridge. London has world-class museums, galleries, gigantic lush parks, financial districts, and cosmopolitan vibes.

Furthermore, it has a rich history, double-decker buses, red phone booths, and a sophisticated vibe.

But which of these two should you choose?

I know it’s a tricky question to answer. And, to make an informed decision that you will never regret, you must consider different factors. These factors will affect whether you enjoy or rue living in your chosen city. Just don’t forget that the quality of life is higher in the Irish capital than in the British.

Cultural differences

Dublin is known to tourists as the City of Living Culture because of its deep literary and musical roots. It’s one of the cities where traditional music and alternative music genres such as rock flourished. 

Tourists often associate craic sceneries with the city, and many describe Dublin as more cosmopolitan than the sceneries in Galway, one of the iconic cities in Ireland. If you want to experience Dublin’s craic sceneries, you should go to Grafton Street and explore its connected avenues.  

Your life in Ireland will be incomplete if you do not have a classic pint of Irish beer, whether Guinness or Harp. One of the best bars to drink with residents and tourists is Temple Bar, where the atmosphere and the people are friendly. 

Colorful nightlife, a thriving arts scene, and friendly people are the cultural highlights that you’d experience in Dublin. The city has much to offer, especially if you’re looking for something new. 

While Dublin is known as a melting pot in Ireland, many people recognize London as an old yet culturally vibrant city in the world. According to Statista, there are over 1,000 art galleries in the city. You could find Four UNESCO world heritage sites in London.

These are the Tower of London, Maritime Greenwich, Westminster Palace, and Kew’s Royal Botanic Gardens.

If you’re from another country, you’re likely to find a person speaking your language in London. Because there are over 200 languages spoken in the city, the most languages than any city worldwide. 

In London, you could catch about 22,000 concerts and music festivals in venues such as the O2 Arena, one of the most iconic arenas in the world. Cultural festivals also take place in London, celebrating the city’s rich history.

One of the biggest festivals you should not miss is the Mayor’s Thames Festival, the biggest street festival in Europe, attracting over a hundred thousand participants. 

Weather

Regarding weather, London has become infamous for nonstop rainy seasons, making the city look gloomy. But according to Thomas Cook, this is not always the case because London has mostly cloudy weather and clear skies, making every day the best time to visit the city. 

Many weather forecasts, such as BBC Weather, consider the weather in London the driest compared to other cities in the United Kingdom. Thanks to the dry weather, the temperature seldom goes higher than 21 degree Celsius.

Even during Winter, the temperature does not drop below zero temperatures, so you have good weather all year round. 

On the other hand, tourists and residents describe the weather in Dublin as mild. There are some days with moderate rainfall in the city, but it does not come to a point where it would flood the residents. 

Weatherspark has reported that Dublin’s weather is temperate thanks to its proximity to major bodies of water. In the city, you’d experience oceanic, humid and calm weather throughout the year, with average temperatures reaching 10 degrees Celsius. 

According to the Climates to Travel, residents of Dublin could experience manageable winters with temperatures up to 5 degrees Celsius even during December and January when there are few hours of daylight.

Summers in this country are also effortless, reaching temperatures of 15 degrees Celsius, with some early rainfall in months such as August. 

Overall, both cities have similar weather, with Dublin having more rain chances thanks to its location near bodies of water such as the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea. But if you’re among the people who are used to tropical climates, you might find the cold weather between the two cities a little surprising. 

Cost of living

Based on data from different residents living alone in Dublin and London, Dublin’s cost of living is cheaper than that in London. From the list of cities with the highest living costs in the world, Dublin ranked 266th while London ranked 65th. 

If you plan to live alone in Dublin, then you’ll need about €2,294 to cover the cost of food, rent, and personal leisure activities.

However, if you are going to live alone in London, you will require a monthly minimum of €2,779. In the case where you are planning on moving in with a family, these amounts will almost double.

While it might look expensive at first glance, these expenses are manageable once you know how much salary you would make in Dublin and London. Even making the minimum wage in both cities would be enough to help you get by and have a comfortable life.

Common ExpensesDublinLondon
Cost of living for one person€2,294€2,779
Cost of living for a family€5,044€6,610
One person rent€1,487€1,699
Family rent€2,480€2,992
Food expenses€491€480
Transport expenses€188€413
Source:  livingcost.org

Jobs

Dublin and London have their list of in-demand jobs, with most of them in the digital and internet industry. The technology industry was the most in-demand industry in Dublin for 2022. Jobs such as Network architects, IT Administrators, and Product Managers are among the most sought-for jobs in the city. 

Aside from the technology industry, you could also try your luck in construction and finance. Despite being hit by the pandemic in 2020, the construction business in Dublin boomed due to contracts in place a few years prior.

Construction employees could work on the projects seamlessly if they follow health protocols. 

The most in-demand jobs in London for 2019 are in the food and customer service industry. Delivery drivers lead the list of in-demand jobs with over 4,000 open jobs. As long as you have a driver’s license and a personal vehicle, you could qualify for this job!

The technology industry is also on the list of in-demand jobs in London, according to Glassdoor. Jobs such as Software Engineer, Product Manager, and Operations Manager offer salaries up to €42,000 per month. 

Salary

When choosing between Dublin and London, you have to consider the salary ranges generally offered by jobs in the two cities. The average salary in Ireland is €49,332, and employees in Dublin earn a minimum net wage of €2,500 per month, which is enough for almost 1.5 months of living expenses in Dublin.

Generally, a good earning for a single adult working in Dublin is between €50,000 and €60,000.

Read more about salaries in Dublin in this guide.

Annually, the median salary in Dublin ranges from €30,000 to €45,000. According to the Central Statistics Office of Ireland, employees who are 20 years or older have an estimated weekly wage of €850.

So if you earn more than that in a week, you’re already considered well off in the city. However, please don’t get your hopes up because only about 5% of residents make it to that level. 

Aside from the significantly higher average salary in Dublin compared to other cities in Ireland, you would get at least a 5% increase yearly. Also, Jobted reported that the city has the lowest gender pay disparity compared to elsewhere in the European countries. 

For example, if you are a full-time male employee, you could average about €3,400 while a female full-time employee could make the same amount. So if you want to earn more, you should improve your skills and develop your talent. 

In London, the average salary for employees under 25 reaches €2,800 per month. Even though London has a slightly expensive cost of living, many careers have high-income potential. 

Data shows that the average salary in London reaches €40,000 per year, including other benefits such as overtime pay and work bonuses. If you’re interested, here are the top salary ranges in London: 

  • £32,000-£36,000
  • £36,000-£39,000
  • £39,000-£43,000
  • £43,000-£47,000
  • £47,000-£50,000
  • £57,000-£61,000

Your job scope and years of experience could increase the amount of pay you get throughout your career. Gender, family history, and ethnicity aren’t hindrances in many professions and job sectors in both Dublin and London. 

Interns have the chance to earn in both Dublin and London, but the salary depends on the employer. Fresh graduates generally make minimum wage until they have a regular contract. 

Read more about salaries in London.

Healthcare

It’s widely known that public healthcare in European countries is top-notch regarding accessibility and quality. Dublin and London have healthcare subsidies and programs for their residents. 

Not only that, the city’s hospital has subsidized fees and access even to expats who wish to live in Ireland for at least a year. Expats employed in Ireland could also get private healthcare insurance or healthcare subsidies.

Of course, if you want to upgrade your healthcare for something better, you could try private medical care.

There are private insurance companies that offer great coverages for expats and all internationals in Ireland. Cigna Global is our recommended provider.

Some expats with existing medical insurance use their coverage in Ireland to bypass waiting lists in healthcare facilities. So if you have an existing insurance policy, you could check with your provider if they could do the same. 

Generally, getting access to public and private healthcare is among the priority of expats before arriving in Ireland and settling in Dublin. 

In London, you’d get fantastic healthcare, thanks to the policies of the United Kingdom. Through the National Health Service (NHS), you have access to the best hospitals in the city and the country. 

However, if you’re an expat moving to London, you might not automatically have access to the NHS. According to Embacity, you may have to shoulder a visa fee before you get subsidized for public healthcare.

Free healthcare is possible, depending on your circumstance as an expat. If you want more information regarding this, you should check the UK government website before registering for the NHS. Read more about healthcare in the UK.

Anna

Anna is an experienced expat and writer. She has been living abroad for over 6 years.

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