1. Figure out the entry requirements Firstly, you need to check if you need a visa (and if so, what type) to gain entry to Ireland. Make sure you tick all the boxes before making your way here. 2. Start the house hunt There’s no getting around the fact that housing is in short supply in Dublin. Booming employment opportunities are attracting many domestic and international newcomers to the city – and they all need somewhere to live.
Often, it’s only when you arrive in a place that you realise all the questions you never thought to ask yourself before you set off on your journey. We’ve rounded up some facts about life in Dublin that you might not even know you’ll need to know!
What’s the weather like?
Ireland’s climate could be described as mild, moist and changeable. Dublin gets about 730mm (28 inches) of rain a year – more than London or Paris, less than Copenhagen or Munich. In the height of summer, the sun doesn’t set until almost 10pm. Temperatures rarely drop below freezing and snow is uncommon except on high ground. The mercury tops out at about 20° Celsius in summer. Here are some average temperatures:
Spring (February to April): 8°C – 12°C (46°F – 54°F)
Summer (May to July): 17°C – 20°C (64°F – 68°F)
Autumn (August to October): 14°C – 17°C (57°F – 64°F)
Winter (November to January): 7°C – 10°C (44°F – 50°F)
Waterproof coats for summer and winter are good investments; while your bathing suit may have to wait for summer holidays!
When are the public holidays?
Ireland has nine public holidays per year:
- New Year’s Day (January 1st; or the following Monday, if the 1st falls on a Saturday or Sunday)
- St Patrick’s Day (March 17th; or the following Monday, if the 17th falls on a Saturday or Sunday)
- Easter Monday
- May Bank Holiday (first Monday of the month)
- June Bank Holiday (first Monday of the month)
- August Bank Holiday (first Monday of the month)
- October Bank Holiday (last Monday of the month)
- Christmas Day (December 25th; or the following weekday, if the 25th falls on a Saturday or Sunday)
- St Stephen’s Day (December 26th; or the following weekday after the Christmas Day bank holiday, if the 25th or 26th falls on a Saturday or Sunday)
What’s the voltage for electricity?
The standard voltage in Ireland is 230 volt AC (frequency 50Hz). Plugs and sockets are designed for three prongs.
How do I go about getting connected to essential services?
Gas and electricity
The most common electricity and gas providers are Bord Gáis Energy, Energia and SSE Airtricity. If moving into a rented home, your landlord will supply you with details of the company with which the property is set up. If purchasing your home, your estate agent will be able to tell you which company was previously providing services and you can simply let the energy provider know when you move into the property.
The good thing is that you will rarely find accommodation where electricity and gas (where in use) services have not previously been set up, unless you are building a new home or entering a previously unoccupied property.
Internet services are often linked with landline and TV services in Ireland, which means that it is common to buy a package that provides wifi as well as home phone and television services. The most common providers are Sky, eir, Vodafone and Virgin Media. You can compare their prices online.
Once you choose which company you want to provide services like electricity, gas and internet to your home, you can simply contact them and open an account.
Are there any cultural taboos to bear in mind?
Sexuality, race, religion and gender
Ireland has become steadily more progressive in the past two decades and intolerance to practices like racism, homophobia, sexism and bigotry is higher than ever. Dublin is an LGBTQ-friendly city; in fact, in 2015 Ireland became the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote. And with 17% of the city’s population born outside of Ireland, the face of Dublin is becoming ever more multicultural and richly textured.
The separation between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland can be a sensitive issue for many people living here. Dublin is the capital of the Republic of Ireland, most commonly referred to simply as Ireland; while Northern Ireland is a separate state and a member of the United Kingdom. Avoid referring to Ireland as “part of the UK”, or confusing Irish people with British or English people. If you are unsure of the correct terms to use, ask a local person in a sensitive manner, letting them know you are trying to learn more about Ireland’s history and culture.
Is the city mobility friendly?
Dublin is improving for wheelchair users, those with guide dogs and people who may have mobility issues. Most tourist attractions have good wheelchair access and facilities. Luas trams are wheelchair friendly; the majority of the Dublin Bus fleet is equipped with lower floors for wheelchair users; and Irish Rail will do their best to ensure your journeys on their DART, local and national train networks are hassle-free.
Who can I contact in an emergency?
The emergency services are easily contactable by phone on the following numbers:
- Emergency Garda (Police) assistance, ambulance, fire Brigade: 999 or 112
- Store Street Garda (Police) Station, Dublin City Centre: 00 353 (1) 661 0562
- Tourist Assistance Service: 1890 365 700
Can I park in the city centre?
On-street and car park parking is available in the city centre, but you will pay for it. Car parks typically charge €2-€4/hour; while on-street parking varies, usually hovering at around €2/hour. Many city-centre streets charge an hourly rate between 7:00-19:00, after which parking is free – but make sure to check street signage, as there are plenty of streets for which 24-hour rates apply.
Ireland’s healthcare system is divided into public and private tiers. Public Ireland’s public healthcare system offers world-class care, partly funded by the government. If you are “ordinarily resident”, you can access a range of public health services that are free of charge or subsidised by the Irish government’s Health Service Executive (HSE). (You are considered to be “ordinarily resident” if you have been living in Ireland for at least one year – or you intend to live in the country for at least one year.) Holders of a European Health Insurance
Dublin city stretches across 115km², with the county itself covering 921km². While it’s not the biggest area, as Ireland’s capital city, it has a lot going on – which is why it’s split into four local authorities: Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, South Dublin County Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.