The Best Places to Live in Ireland for Expats in 2022

The Emerald Isle has so much to offer, not just to residents of its beautiful towns, cities, villages and hamlets, or to the average tourist – but particularly, to those intending to pack up their lives and relocate to Ireland.

There are a whole host of opportunities for an expat looking to settle down in Ireland. Whether your priorities are to be amongst the hustle and bustle, or to be nestled somewhere more rural – Ireland has all of this and more to offer, and can meet any and all of an expat’s highest priorities. Thus, I present to you the best places to live in Ireland for expats in 2022. 


Located in the West of Ireland, Galway dates back to the medieval era. It lies where the River Corrib meets the Atlantic, and is the 4th biggest city in Ireland, with around 80,000 residents.

Aptly nicknamed ‘the capital of culture’, Galway offers bags of culture to its residents and tourists, and there is never not something going on in Galway. The city has what seems to be a back-to-back programme of events year round, including their famous Festival of Literature and the Galway Arts Festival.

Galwegians represent a whole host of different cultures and backgrounds – the large student and migrant populations only adding to this mixture –  forming a tight-knit community brimming with life and positive vibes.

The city has a heavy university scene, with NUI Galway university being one of the top universities in Ireland. So, if you’re a student or are looking to further your education, settling down in Galway may be an enticing option. It is also home to a number of language schools, so if you feel a language barrier may be holding you back, there’s ample opportunity to learn the language and local lingo.

Galway has affordable rent prices, almost half of the prices you would pay in Dublin, so is a much more affordable option. The cost of living also remains reasonable, being ranked as the 191th / 248 teleport cities in Ireland for cost of living.

It is also regarded as a very safe city, ranking at 31st out of 266 cities in Ireland, its healthcare is also considered to be good, alongside its economy.

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Waterford City

Officially crowned the title of best place to live in Ireland in 2021 by the Irish Times Best Place to Live in Ireland Competition,  Waterford City takes the cake as the most amazing city to live in in Ireland. 

The reasons for it snatching this title from other contenders include its stunning architecture, weather, pedestrian friendly spaces, liveability and its accessibility to the Copper Coast and the Comeragh Mountains.

Not only this, but the city’s response to the pandemic reflected positive commitment from its residents, with the lowest infection rate county-by-county.

Housing in Waterford is also shown to be affordable and accessible to people of a variety of incomes, with its property price to income ratio being considerably low, and thus, ideal for those considering making the move here – contributing to a better quality of life for its residents. 

Part of the ‘Ancient East’ of the country, Waterford City is also steeped in history. It is Ireland’s oldest city, founded by the Vikings in the 10th century. You can still experience the city’s Viking roots at The Viking Triangle, aptly named due to the 1000-year-old Viking walls that surrounded the city. The award-winning Medieval Museum and the stunning Bishop’s Palace Museum situated within the Viking Walls are just two historical sites waiting to be discovered. This city is simply oozing with culture and heritage for a newcomer to become enthralled with. 


Killarney is a stunning town in County Kerry in the Southwest of Ireland. Best known for its famous Killarney National Park, stretching 26,000 acres around the town and boasting three stunning lakes and endless hiking trails, Killarney is perfect if you’re wanting to relocate to a tranquil retreat and live in a more rural part of Ireland, away from the hustle and bustle.

In terms of family friendliness, the infamous travel guide ‘Lonely Planet’ rated County Kerry as the second-best spot in Europe for family holidays. Killarney was said to cater for families, having a range of activities and entertainment and outdoor adventure opportunities galore. Plenty to keep any family occupied – so you can imagine why it would be such a desirable location to settle down in.

 Killarney scores high for safety in its community, and also boasts a low property price to income ratio – making it an affordable location for a range of incomes.

Overall, Killarney has a high quality of life for those nestled in this perfect retreat amidst the Irish countryside.



Located in County Monaghan, Glaslough is a village nestled on the North East Coast of Ireland. Glaslough led the nominations for the Irish Times Best Place to Live in Ireland 2021 competition, and ended up taking second place after Waterford City. Described as a “beautiful picturesque village” that is “meticulously maintained”, Glaslough may be on the smaller side in comparison to some of the other places mentioned so far,  but this does not mean it should be overlooked.

Its story-book appearance, with petit cottages lining its streets, covered in climbing ivy, speaks for itself – it is the embodiment of the perfect Irish country retreat. It’s even home to Castle Leslie, now a luxury 5-star hotel most famously known for hosting Paul McCartney and Heather Mills’ wedding in 2002, with picture-perfect grounds including three lakes and 1,000 acres of green estate.

Glaslough is an ideal location for someone wanting a tranquil and more rural setting to retreat to in Ireland.

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Ireland is not short of opportunities to start anew and settle down, whether it be in a city, town or village, there are so many options that are best suited to any and all lifestyles. Whether you would prefer to be immersed in the history and culture of an Irish city, or to nestle yourself in a more remote countryside setting surrounded by rolling hills, lakes and national parks on your doorstep – Ireland has it all. The difficult part is just narrowing down where you’d most prefer!

Charlotte Pitts
Charlotte Pitts

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