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Live & Work Abroad: Dublin Vs Berlin


Dublin is my lady as they would say, it is here that I live and work, but there is another mistress calling my expats: Berlin.

Berlin has in recent years grown to be one of the biggest contenders for expats and candidates that are looking to live and work abroad. Which of these beauties is better you ask?
Well, there’s only one way to find out, let’s dig a little deeper in the cost and general quality of life in both Dublin and Berlin.

  • Salary 

As we all know money talks, and in terms of survival it is important to have an idea of what the average* salary is to understand the rest of the article.

Now that salaries have been pointed out, you need to read the rest in order to see just what sort of life these capital cities can offer you.

  • Housing 

Let’s talk about the most important factor here: housing.
In Dublin, the average price of rent per month is quite high, as the below table can show you a 1-bed apartment will on average set you back approx €1,500 in the city centre, while in Berlin you can expect to find a 1-bed apartment for around €800 per month.

We do see a number of candidates looking outside the city centres because of cheaper rent but keep in mind this can add to your commute to work.

In Dublin, the most common thing is house sharing. House sharing is great because as an expat it will help you gain an inner circle of friends very soon after arrival. These newfound friends can help you with understanding the lay of the land, where to shop/go out for dinner and where to find the best pint. House sharing is a great way to find your feet, you can save that bit more and casually go house hunting for your own place at the same time.

Keep in mind that the majority of Dublin housing does come furnished, which is great it takes some of the pressure off.  

The same can be done in Berlin but do keep in mind when moving into a new place, many places are unfurnished or known as ‘’shells’’

Berlin appears to come at a lower cost (to rent) you just need to keep in mind that many may come without a kitchen and furniture - even if you house share - your bedroom will need furnishing. Silver lining: the old tenant may be up for selling their furnishings at a discount.

  • Utilities 

Utilities are essential for all of us, how much we pay however is dependant on whether we have gas or electric (you may have 1-2 bills here).
Companies do offer discounts for new customers in both Dublin and Berlin - especially if you choose to get your gas and electricity from the same company.

On average for an 85 Square meter apartment you can expect the following monthly costs for utilities:

  • Food 

We’ve have taken some selections of the most basic everyday items, and this is from the mid-range -  expensive supermarkets, this means that the prices can be lower or higher depending on where you prefer to shop, so it is a good idea to check out all the supermarkets in the area to find your own favourite.

  • Public Transport 

Not everybody can afford a car and not all places are good for a car (Dublin is a great example if you’re going to city centre… good luck finding parking spaces)

Here is a brief overview of local public transport and Taxi services, plus for those who have a car, the average price for 1 litre of gasoline at the moment.

  • Entertainment ​

What about your free time, time to hang out with your partner, and friends? What about going to the gym to get out some pent up frustration? It is a good idea to take these as a guideline and not gospel. Heading out is not as expensive as you would think it these capital cities.

It’s clear that I have chosen Dublin, but this was my choice based on my own personal preferences. I looked at my career opportunities, the cost of living and I just really wanted to live and work in Ireland.

As someone who has made the move abroad - my biggest tip is to do your research - you don’t want to get here and not like it does you? Of course, don’t forget to enjoy the journey.

A pint in Berlin- €3.90 and in Dublin it is €5.00.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s Friday here and I am going to my favourite pub to celebrate with my flatmates.

Perhaps I’ll see you around?

Disclaimer: * These numbers have been provided by:, and is based on feedback given by people that are living in Berlin and Dublin. This
article should be seen as a guideline of income and expenses, and should not be taken at a face value!