Moving to a new country, regardless of the reason, can be rather unnerving, even for the well-traveled folks. If you find yourself unexpectedly moving to a country you know little to nothing about, every tiny bit of helpful info counts. I’ve always thought Ireland is a beautiful country but it was never in my top list of country to move to. Hey, you’ve always wanted an adventure, right?
I moved to Ireland days after I got married. My husband is a German citizen working for an American corporation here in Dublin, Ireland. Hello, globalisation!
This post is by no means a definitive guide to life in Dublin. These are just my insights after almost three months living here.
Looking for flat/rooms to rent is a nightmare!
Renting in Dublin is expensive due to acute shortage of housing/properties available for the number of people looking for accomodation. A study by Daft.ie, Ireland’s top property website, shows that the average monthly rent in Dublin is now higher than the previous peak in 2008. A small room in the city center can easily cost you €800-€2000, not inclusive of utilities bills, Internet and other payments that may incur during your stay or requested by landlords.
Now that you’ve read this, consider yourself warned. But if you still want to move to Dublin and looking for an accomodation, here is a good place to start Rent.ie
First thing first, get a car or a Leap Card. What’s a Leap Card?
Leap Card is a pre-paid card which you can use on public bus and rail. You can get it at any DART ticket machine and top-up the balance there too.
Secondly, install the public transportation apps in your smartphone. If you’re depending on the public transport to get around in Dublin, you’ll NEED these apps to find the next bus/tram/train stop, schedule and routes. I get around just fine with Dublin Bus and Next Train Ireland apps, they’re easy to use and most of the time, the buses/trains are on time. Dublin has an extensive public bus network so don’t worry if you have to live further away from the city center, Dublin Bus got you covered.
Official website: http://www.dublinbus.ie
LUAS: Tram line.
Official website: http://www.luas.ie
DART / Irish Rail: Coastal train line.
Official website: http://www.dart.ie
Lidl provides low-priced and good quality grocery products and the nearest one to our place is the only supermarket we go to for our weekly grocery shopping. On some rare occasions, we do shop in Dunnes and specialties stores but only for some ‘premium’ products that we can’t find in Lidl. The difference in pricing is big, like 2-3 times BIG.
There are some ALDI supermarkets here as well which I heard is quite good but I haven’t been there so I can’t compare them to Lidl. If you want to save some money but still manage to live like a human being, forget the other supermarkets. Lidl is your life-saver.
Household, Fashion & Others
Dunnes Stores, Debenhams, Mark & Spencer, Arnotts, Brown Thomas, House of Fraser.. they have loads of the good stuff here, from the affordable to the freaking expensive ones. I never shopped in any of these stores simply because they’re not my thing but if you’re a Malaysian and you enjoy shopping in Parksons and Isetan, you’d love these stores.
Penneys is my favourite discount fashion store in Dublin (they’re all over Ireland too). In a country where layering up more of a necessity than a fashion statement, Penneys helps me to keep warm without looking like a hobo.
Skin care & Beauty
For makeup junkies like yours truly, brace yourself. Sephora does not have a store in Ireland (insert shocked and crying emojis here). Good news is, one of the biggest chain department stores in the country, Debenhams, does carry brands like MUFE, Too Faced, Kat Von D and Urban Decay. Now, if only they have Tarte as well…
Boots is probably Ireland’s biggest pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer (kinda like Watsons, if you’re from Malaysia ;p ). They carry makeup brands like NYX, Rimmel, Sleek and Benefit and skincare brands like La Roche Posay, Vichy, First Aid Beauty and most recently, Glamglow. You can also shop online here: Boots.ie
These are just the basic things about living here that I can share with you for the time being and I hope you’ll find them useful. If you’re moving to a new country soon, all the best to you and have a blessed life!