Is Dublin the best city in the world? When I first moved from San Francisco to Dublin (Dublin, Ireland and not Dublin, California as some people first assumed) I had my doubts. After all it isn’t like New York or Paris nor does it rank at the top of the world’s most liveable cities like Vienna and Zürich or even Tokyo and Melbourne.
Truth be told, this mid-sized, world-class city has won me over with all its work-life advantages. It has everything you might want including a vibrant culture, world-class job market, stunning surroundings, and friendly inhabitants. When you’re not working Dublin delivers an outstanding mix of arts, food, sports, theatre, drink, music, history, shopping, and all-around entertainment. Plus if you love to travel, Dublin is the ideal place to call home.
So if I may be so bold, I rank Dublin as the ideal city to call home. Here is my own list of the top 100 reasons to tell you why. A traditional “Top 10” list was never going to be enough, so this ranking is multiplied by 10.
Dublin is a Very Liveable City
- You can walk across the city centre in about 30 minutes so where ever you wish to go is within reach.
- The moderate climate means that you’ll never freeze or overheat plus it doesn’t rain as often as you might think.
- The diverse population makes Dublin a multicultural European community.
- The cost of living is comparable to major US and European capitals.
- Located near the sea and with few factories, our fresh and clean air is a welcome breeze.
- English is the language spoken so there is no need to struggle learning a foreign language to fit in.
- The city centre has an welcome edge compared with what many consider to be the dull but “liveable” cities in Scandinavia and Switzerland (no offense!).
- Most apartments come furnished so they’re easy to move in and out as you wish.
- Owning a car is not necessary in this compact city with public transport options and plenty of taxi (thanks Hailo!).
- Dublin is a safe place to live with low gun crime and where people are willing to lend a hand.
- Pubs are smoke free so you can breath in the healthy social atmosphere.
- The lack of mosquitos and most insects (snakes too!) means your bare arms are safe from bites.
- The city is your living room as restaurants and pubs are bustling every night of the week.
- Dublin is a small world where you can run into people you know on the street and never feel lost like what happens in a crowded city.
Dublin is a Great Place to Work
- Silicon Docks (our own “Valley”) is a leader for high-tech companies from multinationals to startups and the envy of Europe.
- Starting up a company in Ireland has big advantages over many European countries for financial, hiring, legal, and supportive environment reasons.
The one conference that is everything to everybody in the tech industry, the Web Summit, is Dublin’s own.Sorry to see the Web Summit leave for Lisbon, so I’ll have to come up with a new #17.
- Both historic and modern office buildings are often centrally located so you are less likely to be stuck commuting to a bleak office park.
- Dublin attracted Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Airbnb, PayPal, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and tons of other top global employers to base their European headquarters here.
- Your commute can be quite short if you choose to live within striking distance of city centre by foot, bus, LUAS, DART, or cycle path.
- The weekly lunch markets across Dublin get you out of the office for a fun outdoor lunch with your co-workers.
- Job growth in Dublin continues to be robust and the Irish economy is a leader in European Union.
- Make connections, gain new skills, and network professionally with industry events, educational courses, and business development opportunities after work.
Get Out and Enjoy Dublin
- As a capital city, Dublin is where it all happens in Ireland including the biggest gatherings, celebrations, and festivities.
- City centre parks such as Stephen’s Green, Merrion Square, and Iveagh Gardens are ideal for a stroll anytime of the year.
- The sun is never taken for granted by residents when it is shining brightly upon Dublin.
- The stunning coastal towns and beaches are only a short bus/bike/train ride away.
- Shopping happens in the city centre with iconic department stores, singular boutiques, and pedestrianized streets on both sides of the Liffey.
- You can get tickets and reservations for most anything that you want to do without the mad rush you experience in places like New York and London.
- The lush canal and river trails of Dublin offer pleasurable walks with bird and duck-watching (swan and heron too) opportunities.
- Renting a bike to cycle along a path or greenway has never been easier with the successful dublinbikes scheme.
- Its northerly position on the globe means it stays light until late during the summer months.
- With stadiums, arenas, race tracks, and pitches located within Dublin, you can join the patriotic fans on their way from the pub to the match (and back again).
- The National Botanic Gardens is in the city of Dublin where you can stroll for free among the stunning landscapes and greenhouse displays.
- Join the throng of locals and tourists walking up Grafton Street, past Christ Church Cathedral,through Temple Bar, over the Ha’Penny Bridge, along Henry Street, and across Trinity College.
Dublin is Alive with Irish Culture
- Welcoming expressions make you smile every day like “you’re grand”, “you’re all very welcome”, and of course “thanks a million.”
- There’s great craic (an atmosphere of fun, conversation, drinks, music) at social gatherings.
- Dublin is home to some of the warmest people on the planet according to a survey of the friendliest cities in the world.
- It’s a UNESCO City of Literature distinguished by the plethora of famous writers who called Dublin their literary home (we also have great independent bookstores too!).
- Signs are all multi-lingual so you gain an appreciation of the ancient Irish language and heritage.
- It’s a breeze to strike up a conversation in a pub with the person next to you.
- Every taxi ride is a colorful experience since chatting with the driver is an essential part of getting from point A to point B in Dublin.
- St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday celebrated around the globe, but done best in Dublin.
- Halloween, originally called Samhain, has its origins in Ireland, not to mention that Bram Stoker wrote “Dracula” from his Clontarf, Dublin home.
- The Little Museum of Dublin shows that the people of Dublin are modest about their enormous contribution to world culture and history.
- The arts are well funded and supported by the government which makes so many events possible and keeps ticket prices low.
- The Ugly Christmas Jumper (sweater for those in North America) is a light-hearted reminder of the less-commercial festive holiday season.
- Politics is mostly kept to polite respectful debate without the influence of wealthy donors and the mean-spirited atmosphere that is so pervasive in the United States.
- Dublin opens its doors on Culture Night and during Open House where you can see inside the famous buildings you thought were off limits.
Feel the Pride of Dublin, Ireland
- Irish culture is internationally recognized and held in high esteem around the globe.
- Dublin is the capital and as such you can walk right by Leinster House or the office of the Taoiseach where you may see a government minister coming or going.
- Meet the independent-minded people who won their freedom and will always remember the long struggle and the events of 1916 (witness on a tour).
- From Viking times all the way to modern times, Dublin embraces its history with a true sense of pride.
- The stunning and widespread historic Georgian architecture which gives the city a majestic look has not been lost to modern architecture.
- The “Buy Irish” and “Irish Made” label is well-respected and actually means something.
- Among the most popular tourist attractions are the Kilmainham Jail, Glasnevin Cemetery, the Book of Kells, the National Museum, and of course the Guinness Storehouse.
- There’s a history of supporting human rights through global charitable giving, boycott, and granting refuge to asylum seekers.
- The support for the gay marriage referendum was overwhelming as people showed pride in casting their ‘Yes’ vote.
- The Dubs are massive GAA sports and rugby supporters as they chant to “Come on you Boys in Blue“ to win.
- Donating your used items and shopping for yourself at one of many charity shops is how you can give back to worthy community causes.
Have Fun Every Day in Dublin
- The Irish trad-music session is alive and well in Dublin if you know how to find that out-of-the-way pub where the real musicians gather.
- There’s a “local” pub for everyone to stop by after work or on a lazy weekend time for a pint.
- Most museums are free to enter including the National Gallery, Chester Beatty Library, Science Gallery, and the awesome Dead Zoo.
- The Dublin event calendar is chock-full from the Horse Show to Bloom in the Park to the Liffey Swim to the City Spectacular to the Women’s Mini-Marathon to the Six Nations Rugby.
- Watch football, rugby, or GAA on the big screens at your local pub for the craic.
- Beyond the famous Abbey Theatre, Dublin has a renowned theatre and fringe festival to showcase writing and acting talent.
- Street performers abound on many a corner and along Grafton Street so stop, listen, and toss in a coin or two.
- Major summer music festivals abound in and around Dublin for every taste.
- Film festivals covering every genre come to Dublin where we apparently have the highest movie admissions in the EU.
- Being there for an All-Ireland final match live in Croke Park is a sporting experience you’ll never forget.
- Pubs offer free live music most nights of the week (for the price of a pint) from the tourist mecca of Temple Bar to many neighbourhood locals.
- The nightlife is always on late at night if you want to go clubbing til dawn (though you won’t find me at Coppers ;).
- The Dublin Meetup scene is thriving, so any day of the week you can get together in person over common interests to take advantage of everything Dublin has to offer.
- Every sort of music gig and concert tour makes a date to stop in Dublin to perform.
- The number and variety of theatres and performing arts venues hosting plays, musicals, comedy, music, dance, art exhibits, lectures and more is astonishing.
Dublin is for Travel Lovers
- By law employees get at least 20 days of paid vacation in addition to several religious and and bank holidays, for vacation opportunities galore.
- Low-cost direct flights on Ryanair as well as Aer Lingus will take you to dozens of European destinations.
- Dublin Airport is easy to navigate and efficiently run with minimal flight delays.
- Weekend city-breaks (Saturday to Sunday) are made possible by numerous early morning outgoing flights and late night return flights.
- Cheap buses take you to Cork and Galway for fun weekend getaways.
- Irish Rail can transport you in comfort to cities across Ireland when you don’t own a car.
- Ultra-cheap hourly flights to UK airports for city-breaks and to connect with budget and international carriers.
- Getting to the airport is fast and low-cost by bus or taxi.
- Regular ferry service can take you, your family, and your car to England, Wales, or France.
- Tour buses leave Dublin daily for guided day trips to the must-see places to visit across Ireland.
- Foreign embassies are situated in Dublin (mostly Ballsbridge) for visa applications.
- Clear US customs in Ireland when flying on a “domestic” trip to the United States of America.
Have a Go Eating, Drinking, Tasting Dublin
- The coffee scene in Dublin is tops with award winning cafes and baristas in town.
- Irish brown bread made with fresh buttermilk is like no other and tastes wonderful.
- Chippers are open for that late night craving for fish and chips (or anything else that can be battered and deep-fried like sausages).
- Guinness tastes the best here and is not drinkable in any other country IMHO.
- Food & drink events are abundant with Taste of Ireland, Oktoberfest, Coffee & Tea festival, and Dublin Bay Prawn festivals.
- All it takes is a short DART ride to Howth to enjoy the freshest fish from our shores.
- Irish beef on your dinner menu is grass-fed and hormone-free, which is better for your health, animal welfare, and the environment (and tastes better too!).
- Scones are the donuts of Ireland and most enjoyable fresh and warm with a cup of tea.
- With 5 Michelin starred restaurants in Dublin, you can dine with a multi-course tasting menu prepared by top chefs.
- The craft brew industry is growing rapidly with taps to suit every beer lover in renowned pubs that take beer drinking seriously.
- It’s a Thanksgiving Holiday every day at lunchtime and with the Sunday carvery dining tradition.
- Irish dairies produce premium quality butter, yogurt, and cheeses to rival the best.
- Wine lovers are covered too with several wine bars serving up glasses, masterclasses, and tasting events for the beginner and connoisseur.
So what do you think? Speak up with your own reasons in the comments box (only positive comments will be approved for publication) for ranking Dublin the best place to live.