Today it’s exactly 20 days from the arrival to Dublin, and I finally found some time to write about my first impressions. Most of the time was spent on getting to know the city, its system, basics and searching for accommodation, which brought to me memories from Paris — it’s really similar, almost impossible thing.
Dublin has kind of accommodation crisis. Most of the buildings wasn’t build for many people to fit in, very often you can see amazing looking, cute little buildings with only one or two floors.
The magic of these buildings is unfortunately not really practical since the popularity of the city increased in past years when more and more people are moving in from all around the globe, and here is simply not enough of space. Even Irish government and newspapers has this as a hot topic to deal with. So in the end you have many fake ads about rents, high prices (from 250–800 euro for room in share appartement and from 1000 euro — 3000 and more for studio or small appartement) + dozens of candidates.
Another memory from Paris which came to me is the amount of documents you need to rent something here. If you want to officialy rent apartement (often even a room) you will most probably need some of these — previous landlord references, work references (previous and current from Ireland), 1–2 month deposit, etc
When searching for accomodation the best you can use are FB groups (with the danger of fake ads — so carefuly!) or websites such as daft.ie / myhome.ie and similar.
If you are in need of a job, it surprised me how many offers are avaliable. You can again search on FB groups, or Gumtree.ie which has many different offers from cleaning to IT related jobs. Another good website is jobs.ie, or you can simply walk around, and you will most likely find many offers on the street — shops, bars, etc
The minimum legal hourly salary in Ireland is 8,65 euro/hour which is going to be increased to 9,15 euro/hour from January 2016. The average Irish working week is 39 hours and the legal maximum is 48 hours. Also for getting a contract you need to have a PPS number (Personal Public Service Number) which works for national tax system.
According to public transport I was really negatively shocked, Dublin as a metropolitan area with population around 1,5 milion has very bad transport system. To compare for example with way smaller Krakow in Poland where the transport system was totally amazingly working 24/7. In Dublin is as a main provider of transport „Dublin Bus” with more than 200 different routes, operated by yellow-blue double decker buses + other operators. Between the main ones are Dublin bus, LUAS -tram system and DART which are trains. To use these you can buy single tickets or to buy „Leap card” for 5 euro and put a travel credit which makes every ticket cca 50 cents — 1 euro cheaper. You can also buy a monthly travel ticket which works ONLY for one of your chosen travel operators and costs insane 147 euro!
The most crazy thing about Dublin public transport you have to cope with is night connections — during the week days there are NO NIGHT CONNECTIONS at all (last buses are leaving terminal stations at 23:30 — first morning around 5am). So in case you are in city center and you live in some of outer areas, you have only few options — walk (up to 10km from city center to the edge of Dublin city area), take a taxi which are not that expensive as they could be but still you will probably end up paying between 10–35 euro, and the last option is to have a bike. The cycling culture is really massive over here, great cycling routes all around the city, second hand shops offering bikes from 50 euro and higher, makes it one of the most popular ways of transport in Dublin (you have to invest quite a lot in good lock as thousands of bikes are stolen during the year). Back to the night connections — during the weekends there is few “Nightlink” buses every hour (way more expensive tickets around 5–6 euro and not serving all the routes).
Another thing needed to be managed after arrival was Irish phone number — you can choose from the most popular providers such as — Meteor, O2, Tesco Mobile, 3 and Vodafone. All of them are mostly using very similar offers — I choosed Tesco Mobile where you can get for 15 euro per month 1GB of data, unlimited calls and credit for text messages.
Everyday life here is not that expensive as I was expecting — food in supermarkets it’s quite cheap but the quality is nothing amazing, if you want something better you have to also pay for it a bit more, once you are in city center everything is a walk distance so you dont have to use buses that often. Night life cost almost everywhere the same — in city center or on suburbs — so you don’t have to worry about it that much ?? Except “Temple Bar” street, which is one of the most famous night life venues in Dublin and pint can cost around 7–8 euro, in other places you can find pint of cheaper beer for 3 euro, normal quality for 5–6 euro, lunch you can get for 13–30 euro, fish’n’chips around 10 euro, etc
So this was kind of general summary of the first days and weeks in Dublin and the basics how it works here 🙂
PS: the weather..really sucks :)) in one hours it can be like rain, rain, wind 18 m/s, sun, blue sky, warm, rain, rain, rain…you can imagine the rest :)) It’s not that comfy, but you can get used to it.
Originally published at www.splinar.cz on November 23, 2015.