5 min read

Ultimate Guide: Best Places to Live in Ireland for Every Age & Interest

Dreaming of living in Ireland? You're not alone. With its stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, it's no wonder why. But with so many charming towns and buzzing cities, figuring out the perfect spot to call home can be a bit of a head-scratcher.

Tobi Miles
April 5, 2024
Ultimate Guide: Best Places to Live in Ireland for Every Age & Interest

Don't worry, we've got you covered. Whether you're after the hustle and bustle of city life or the quiet charm of the countryside, Ireland has something for everyone. Let's dive into some of the best places to live in the Emerald Isle, where you can find your own slice of paradise.

Key Takeaways

  • Dublin offers diverse living options from bustling city centers for young adults and professionals, to family-friendly Rathgar and Rathmines, and serene Malahide for retirees, catering to varied life stages and preferences.
  • Galway, the Cultural Heart of Ireland, provides a vibrant community for retirees in Salthill, a bustling city center for social young adults, family-friendly Oranmore, and Barna for those seeking quiet yet connected living.
  • Cork, a foodie's paradise, boasts options from the gourmet haven of Kinsale for retirees, to the lively city center for young adults, family-centric Douglas, and West Cork for those wishing to avoid crowds while enjoying great food.
  • Killarney combines nature and history, offering tranquil and wellness-centric living for retirees, abundant opportunities in tourism and remote work for young adults, educational resources and activities for families, all within a progressive and inclusive community.
  • Weather considerations reveal that eastern coastal areas like Dun Laoghaire and Cork offer drier conditions, while Galway and Killarney enjoy milder climates; specific choices can enhance living satisfaction in Ireland's varied weather landscape.
  • Each location stands out for its unique blend of culture, community, and favorable living conditions for different demographics, emphasizing Ireland's appeal as a diverse and welcoming home for everyone.

Dublin - City Living at Its Finest

In your search for the best place to call home in Ireland, Dublin undoubtedly pops up as a vibrant contender. Whether you're chasing the hustle and bustle of city life or looking to soak up some rich history and culture, Dublin's got you covered.

For Young Adults and Professionals

  • City Center & Docklands: If you're all about that urban life, diving into the heart of Dublin is your best bet. With a mixture of tech companies and startups, the Docklands area is perfect for young professionals eager to network. Plus, the nightlife and social scene here are top-notch.
  • Ranelagh: Just a quick tram ride from the city center, Ranelagh offers a balance of lively pubs, excellent eateries, and cozy cafes. It's an ideal spot if you love the idea of local charm with easy access to the downtown buzz.

For Families

  • Rathgar and Rathmines: For those with little ones in tow or planning for a family, Rathgar and Rathmines are fantastic choices. These areas boast reputable schools, spacious parks, and a strong sense of community. You'll find a mix of traditional homes perfect for family life here.
  • Swords: A bit further out, Swords provides a more affordable option with the convenience of shopping centers, schools, and public transport to Dublin city. It's a great pick for families looking for a bit more space without straying too far from the urban setting.

For Retirees

  • Malahide: Fancy a more relaxed pace with scenic views? Malahide, with its picturesque marina and charming village vibe, is ideal for retirees. The community is welcoming, and there's always something going on, be it a local farmers market or a golf game among friends.

Considering the Weather

If you're someone who prefers to avoid the heavier bouts of Irish rain, seeking spots on the eastern coast, like Dun Laoghaire, offers a slightly dryer climate compared to the west. You'll enjoy lovely walks by the sea and a vibrant local community here.

Seeking Festivities and Culture

For the festival lovers and culture enthusiasts, living closer to the city center or areas like Temple Bar, despite its touristy reputation, means you're never too far from an art exhibit, live music, or cultural festival. There's a buzz and energy that's hard to beat.

Galway - Where Culture Meets Community

Galway, often dubbed the Cultural Heart of Ireland, isn't just a destination; it's a vibe that's alive, welcoming, and vibrant. Let's break it down why Galway might just be the spot you're looking to call home, whether you're a retiree, a young adult, part of a family, or simply searching for that perfect spot that feels like you.

For the Retirees

  • Salthill: Imagine waking up to a serene view of Galway Bay, with the promenade just steps away for your morning or evening stroll. Salthill isn't just pretty; it's bustling with community centers and cafes where your stories and laughter are always welcome.
  • Cost of Living: While Galway can be more affordable than Dublin, it's wise to keep an eye on your budget. Many find the trade-off for the community and scenery well worth it.

Young Adults & the Social Butterflies

  • Galway City Center: If you thrive in the hustle and nightlife, the city center's where you can dance till dawn, meet folks from all walks of life, and still find those quaint coffee shops for your morning recovery brew.
  • Festivals: Oh, the festivals! From the Galway International Arts Festival to the Film Fleadh, you're in the heart of Ireland's cultural scene. How's that for a conversation starter?

Families Looking for a Nest

  • Oranmore: A stone's throw from the city with quality schools and spacious homes, Oranmore offers families a balance between urban convenience and the joys of countryside living.
  • Activities: Kids bored? Not here. Between the Atlantaquaria, parks, and endless beach days at Salthill, there's always something to do or a new adventure around the corner.

Seeking the Best Weather

  • Galway's Climate: It's Ireland, so bring a raincoat, but you'll find Galway's weather surprisingly mild. Plus, those rainbows aren't going to watch themselves, right?

Avoiding Crowds Yet Staying Connected

  • Barna: A bit more laid-back and with fewer tourists, Barna offers a tranquil setting but keeps you close enough to Galway's buzz. Perfect for those seeking peace without being isolated.

Cork - A Foodie's Heaven

Cork, Ireland's second-largest city, is what you'd call a foodie's paradise. With its rich culinary scene and abundance of fresh, local produce, you'll quickly understand why so many people fall in love with this place. Let's dive into why Cork might just be the perfect spot for you, no matter what you're looking for.

For Retirees

  • Kinsale - Just a short drive from Cork city, Kinsale is known for its gourmet food and relaxed lifestyle. It's ideal for retirees who appreciate fine dining and a slower pace of life. The town hosts an annual Gourmet Festival that is not to be missed.
  • Cobh - Famous for its picturesque waterfront and historical significance, Cobh offers a tranquil setting with easy access to Cork's culinary delights.

For Young Adults

  • Cork City Center - If you're young and looking to immerse yourself in Irish culture, Cork's city center is the place. It's buzzing with cafes, bars, and restaurants. Plus, the nightlife is vibrant, with plenty of spots to explore local and international cuisines.

For Families

  • Douglas - A suburb of Cork, Douglas boasts a friendly community with everything a family could need. From shopping centers to cafes and restaurants, it's a convenient and pleasant place to settle down.

Considering Gender

Cork is progressive and welcoming, with no distinct advantages or disadvantages for any gender. Everyone can enjoy the extensive culinary scene equally.

Best Weather

  • Cork County generally has a milder climate compared to other parts of Ireland. For the best weather, staying close to the coast will ensure you get the most sunshine and the least amount of rain - places like Kinsale or Bantry are your best bet.

Avoiding Crowds

  • West Cork - If you're not a fan of the hustle and bustle, West Cork offers more secluded spots with fantastic food options in charming small towns.


  • Cork Gourmet Festival - Regardless of where you choose to live in Cork, you won't want to miss the annual food festival. It's a celebration of the region's culinary excellence.
  • English Market - Explore this historic market in Cork City. It's an adventure for any food lover, featuring

Killarney - Embracing Nature and History

When you’re eyeing Ireland as your new home, Killarney should be high on your list, especially if you’re into a blend of nature and history. Nestled in County Kerry, this town's not just for postcards; it's a living, breathing spot where every corner tells a story, and the lush landscapes make you want to stay forever. Here’s why different folks might find Killarney just right.

For Retirees

  • Tranquility and Wellness: You'll find no shortage of serene spots for those morning walks or meditation sessions. The Killarney National Park is your backyard, perfect for staying active and in touch with nature.
  • Community and Safety: Killarney is known for its friendly locals and a strong sense of community. It’s also one of the safer towns, giving you peace of mind for a worry-free retirement.

Young Adults

  • Vibrant Nightlife and Culture: From traditional Irish pubs to modern bars, there’s always a spot to unwind or meet new friends. The cultural scene is bustling with events, from music to art, keeping you engaged and entertained.
  • Career Opportunities: Tourism thrives here, offering ample opportunities in hospitality, retail, and more. Plus, Killarney’s connectivity makes remote work a breeze for the tech-savvy.


  • Educational Resources: With reputable schools and a family-friendly vibe, Killarney supports a nurturing environment for kids to grow and learn.
  • Activities Galore: Whether it’s a family hike in the national park, a boat trip on the lakes, or a visit to the historic Muckross House, there’s no shortage of ways to make memories together.

Gender Inclusivity

  • Progressive Community: Killarney prides itself on being welcoming and inclusive, offering a safe space for all genders and identities to live freely and without judgment.

Best Weather

While Ireland’s weather can be unpredictable, Killarney often enjoys milder conditions thanks to its sheltered position. You’ll get to experience all four seasons, but with a bit more kindness from the weather gods.

  • Off the Beaten Path: While Killarney is undoubtedly popular, there are still hidden gems and less-traveled paths within the national park for those looking to escape the hustle. Early mornings by the lakes are peaceful


So there you have it. Whether you're chasing peace and quiet in your golden years, looking for a lively scene to kickstart your career, or seeking the perfect backdrop for your family's next chapter, Killarney seems to tick all the boxes. It's not just a place to live; it's a community that embraces everyone, offering a slice of paradise with its unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. And let's not forget the milder weather and those secret spots in the national park waiting to be discovered. It's clear that Killarney isn't just a destination; it's a journey into a fulfilling lifestyle. Why not make it yours?

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Killarney in County Kerry, Ireland, a desirable living destination?

Killarney combines the beauty of nature with rich history to create a living environment that's appealing for its tranquility, safety, and community spirit. It caters to different lifestyles by offering wellness opportunities, vibrant nightlife, and progressive values.

What does Killarney offer for retirees?

For retirees, Killarney provides a tranquil setting with wellness opportunities in the National Park, a strong sense of community, and a high safety rating, making it an ideal place for retirement living.

How can young adults benefit from living in Killarney?

Young adults in Killarney enjoy a vibrant nightlife, cultural events, and ample career opportunities, especially in tourism and remote work sectors, making it a lively and dynamic place for young professionals.

What makes Killarney suitable for families?

Killarney is family-friendly with its educational resources, community activities, and a nurturing environment. The area ensures a balanced and healthy lifestyle for both parents and children.

How is Killarney progressive and inclusive for all genders?

The community in Killarney is recognized for its progressive and inclusive mindset, welcoming and embracing individuals of all genders, thereby fostering a supportive and diverse environment.

What are the weather conditions like in Killarney?

Killarney enjoys milder weather conditions compared to many other regions, with a temperate climate that supports a variety of outdoor activities and exploration throughout the year.

Are there any hidden gems in Killarney National Park?

Yes, Killarney National Park is home to numerous hidden gems, offering tranquil spots and stunning natural beauty for those seeking solitude and adventure off the beaten path.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
April 5, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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