Dublin or Galway: which Irish city is better? It’s a challenging question.
Dublin and Galway are two amazing cities in Ireland, but very different. Dublin is the busy and exciting business center, while Galway is the cozy and artistic cultural hub.
The cost of living, the price of a pint, and the quality of the swimming spots are also factors to consider. So, let’s dive into this debate and see if we can find a winner.
Culture in Galway vs. Dublin
Galway, often overshadowed by Dublin, shines as Ireland’s Cultural Capital. It’s a city teeming with Irish spirit, folklore, and festivals.
While Dublin offers a friendly atmosphere and a vibrant arts scene, Galway takes it up a notch due to its warm and welcoming environment that enhances the cultural experience for visitors.
Galway is known for leprechauns casually posing on shop streets and a constant buzz of the Irish language. With renowned arts festivals and countless pubs, it earned the title of European Capital of Culture in 2020, showcasing the true Irish spirit.
Dublin, the bustling capital, wins hearts with its friendly locals. They infuse the city with a distinctive blend of humor and hospitality, making it one of Europe’s friendliest destinations.
Dublin’s rich cultural tapestry is woven with literary greats like Yeats and Beckett, celebrated in monuments scattered across the city. This UNESCO City of Literature also offers an array of theaters, music venues, and festivals.
Meanwhile, in Galway, you can dive into Irish dancing, rich cultural heritage, festivals, sports, and historical sites. The Irish language thrives in Gaeltachts, and the West of Ireland is a treasure trove of heritage, folklore, and stunning natural beauty.
Diversity and Demographics in Galway vs. Dublin
Dublin is located in Eastern & Midland Ireland, which is typically more urban and cosmopolitan, while Galway is in Northern & Western Ireland, which tends to be less urban and more rural.
|Geographic Location||Eastern & Midland Ireland||Northern & Western Ireland|
|Size (Area)||117.8 km²||50.00 km²|
|Population Density (2022)||5,084/km²||1,688/km²|
|Female Population (2022)||50.77%||52.07%|
|Male Population (2022)||49.23%||47.93%|
|Median Age (2016)||35.9 years old||37.9 years old|
Both cities have a relatively similar distribution of various ethnic groups, but Galway has a slightly higher percentage of White Irish Travellers. However, Dublin still appears to have a slightly more diverse ethnic population overall.
In terms of ethnic demographics, both cities have a relatively similar distribution of various ethnic groups, but Galway has a slightly higher percentage of White Irish Travellers.
|Other EU272020 (Exec Ireland & Poland)||7.81%||6.06%|
|Rest of World||8.62%||5.90%|
|White Irish Traveller||0.39%||2.13%|
|Black or Black Irish||1.58%||2.84%|
|Asian or Asian Irish||5.11%||4.80%|
Cost of Living in Galway vs. Dublin
According to Numbeo, you can save up to 22.6% on your expenses if you live in Galway instead of Dublin. That includes rent, food, transportation, entertainment and more.
Plus, you’ll have more money to spend on what you love, because Galway has a higher local purchasing power than Dublin by 8.7%. Sounds like a win-win situation, right?
It’s good news that by moving from Dublin to Galway, you can save a lot of money and still enjoy a great quality of life, as living in Galway.
Dublin is notoriously pricey, with rents and bills that can eat up your budget.
Galway is more affordable, but still not cheap by any means. You’ll pay less for your rent, your groceries, and your pint in Galway than in Dublin.
Here’s a brief summary based on the data from LivingCost.org. You’ll find that there are some significant differences between the two cities.
|Expenses||Dublin Cost||Galway Cost|
|Cost of Living (one person)||$2,669||$2,054|
|Cost of Living (family)||$5,850||$4,532|
|Monthly salary after tax||$3,274||$2,823|
|Housing (Average Rent per Month)|
|Rent for one person||$1,769||$1,372|
|Rent for family||$2,972||$2,495|
|Utilities (Average Monthly Bill)|
|Utility bill for one person||$172||$121|
|Utility bill for a family||$273||$187|
|1-way ticket (local transport ticket)||$2.27||$2.12|
|Monthly pass (local transport ticket)||$120||$68.1|
|Gasoline (1 liter)||$1.98||$2.07|
|Childcare (Tuition Fee)|
|Daycare or Preschool||$1,387 per month||$958 per month|
|International Primary School||$11,238 per year||$7,823 per year|
Real Estate Prices in Galway vs. Dublin
Galway is much more affordable than Dublin in both cases. Dublin has a higher price-to-income ratio, which means that it takes longer to save up for a property there.
This handy table shows some key indicators of property prices based on data from Numbeo.
|Price to Income Ratio||9.99||6.34|
|Rent for 1 bedroom apartment in city centre||$2,068.79||$1,491.67|
|Purchase price per sqm for apartment in city centre||$7,518.04||$1,231.43|
|Purchase price per sqm for apartment outside the city centre||$5,348.56||$1,231.43|
Dublin has higher rents and purchase prices per square meter, both in the city centre and outside. Galway, on the other hand, offers lower costs and more space for your money.
So, unless you have a specific reason to live in Dublin, Galway might be the smarter choice for your budget and lifestyle.
Career Opportunities in Galway vs. Dublin
Galway shines in healthcare, technology, and entrepreneurship, while Dublin is ideal for those seeking diverse career prospects, cultural experiences, and a vibrant urban lifestyle.
So, it’s a matter of aligning your aspirations with the right city for your professional journey.
Galway offers diverse job opportunities in retail, hospitality, healthcare, and technology. It’s a hub for entrepreneurship and has renowned companies like New Look, Diesel, Boots, Tesco, Boston Scientific, Medtronic, and Creganna Medical.
Major IT giants like IBM, SAP, Oracle, and Cisco also have a strong presence. The city’s vital tourism industry contributes to its economic growth, and Galway is a breeding ground for innovative startups.
On the other hand, Dublin, a dynamic, entrepreneurial city, offers an even more promising career landscape. The Irish capital’s economy has been flourishing, with impressive GDP growth, and it remains a prime destination for talent.
Dublin’s thriving business culture prioritizes competitiveness and innovation, attracting global companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Accenture. The city’s commitment to business and talent has placed it among the most competitive cities in Europe.
Crime and Safety in Galway vs. Dublin
Galway and Dublin are both pretty safe places to live, but Dublin is more crowded and has more crime.
Numbeo says that Galway’s crime index is 31.27, which is low, while Dublin’s is 52.82, which is moderate. So you have a better chance of avoiding crime in Galway than in Dublin.
Galway is much safer than Dublin in almost every aspect. Dublin has a moderate level of crime, while Galway has a low level.
Dubliners are more worried about being robbed, attacked, or insulted than Galwegians. Dublin also has more problems with drugs, vandalism, and theft.
Galway is very safe to walk alone during daylight, and moderately safe during night. Dublin is only high during daylight, and low during night.
Lifestyle in Galway vs. Dublin
Dublin and Galway have different lifestyles in terms of climate, entertainment, and health services.
However, Dublin enjoys a more moderate climate and a wider range of attractions and activities while also having a quicker healthcare system.
If you want to know more about the lifestyle in Galway and Dublin, let’s take a look at what each one has to offer. We’ll explore some of the main differences between them, like the climate, the entertainment options, and healthcare quality.
Weather in Galway vs. Dublin
Rain, rain, go away. That’s what you might be thinking if you live in Galway City, where the Atlantic Ocean showers you with its love every day, but don’t worry, you’re not alone; you can always make a fortune by selling umbrellas to the tourists.
Dublin, on the other hand, is a bit drier (well, not much), but at least you won’t need a boat to get around. It still rains there, of course, but it’s more manageable, and you might even see the sun once in a while.
Here’s a quick way to see how Dublin and Galway differ in terms of weather:
|Hottest Month||July (15°C)||July (16°C)|
|Coldest Month||February (5°C)||January (6°C)|
|Wettest Month||October (52.3 mm)||December (80.4 mm)|
|Windiest Month||January (22 km/h)||January (18 km/h)|
|Annual Rainfall||493.2 mm||732.5 mm|
Things to Do in Galway vs. Dublin
Dublin outshines Galway with its historical treasures such as the GPO, Dublin Castle, Kilmainham Gaol, and modern attractions like Dublin Zoo and the Guinness Storehouse, along with sporting events at Croke Park and the Aviva Stadium.
Galway is a lovely city with some nice spots like the Spanish Arch, Eyre Square, and Galway Cathedral. But Dublin has more to offer in terms of museums, such as the National Museum of Ireland and the National Gallery of Ireland.
Dublin’s renowned Temple Bar nightlife surpasses Galway’s lively scene. Additionally, shopping enthusiasts will delight in Dublin’s Grafton Street.
Families and couples will find Dublin more appealing, with attractions like Viking Splash, Dublina, and intimate pubs for romantic getaways.
Healthcare in Galway vs. Dublin
If you’re looking for top-notch healthcare, you can’t go wrong with either Galway or Dublin. They both have amazing services and facilities that will take good care of you.
But if you want to compare them based on some numbers, Numbeo has some interesting data on how they stack up. For example, Dublin scores higher on things like how fast you get your tests and results and how happy you are with the prices.
It also has more public hospitals than Galway, which makes sense because it has more people living there.
But don’t worry, Galway is not lacking in medical professionals. You can find plenty of doctors, dentists, opticians, and more who are ready to help you out.
Galway vs. Dublin: How They Stack Up
So, what’s the verdict? Dublin or Galway?
It’s not an easy choice, because both cities have a lot to offer. But it really depends on what you value most and how you want to live your life.
Here’s a quick summary of how they compare on the different aspects we’ve talked about.
|Factors||The Better City||Why|
|Culture||Galway||Galway's warm and welcoming environment enhances the cultural experience for visitors. It’s also known as Ireland's Cultural Capital.|
|Diversity and Demographics||Dublin||Dublin's larger and more diverse population compared to Galway makes it more multicultural.|
|Cost of Living||Galway||Galway is more affordable with savings up to 22.6% on expenses and a higher local purchasing power of 8.7%.|
|Real Estate||Galway||Galway has a lower price-to-income ratio, making it easier to save for a property.|
|Career Opportunities||Tied||Galway excels in healthcare, technology, and entrepreneurship, while Dublin offers diverse career opportunities, cultural experiences, and a vibrant urban lifestyle.|
|Crime Index||Galway||Galway has a lower crime index than Dublin, making it a safer place to live.|
|Lifestyle||Dublin||Dublin offers a milder climate, a wider range of attractions, activities, and a faster healthcare system.|