Dublin vs London

The Ultimate Showdown: Dublin vs. London

How would you choose between London and Dublin, two of the most livable and stunning cities in Europe? They both have a lot to offer, but they are also very different.

London is a huge and diverse metropolis with a rich history and culture. It has countless attractions, museums, theaters, and nightlife options. Dublin is a cozy and friendly city with a lot of natural beauty. It offers great shopping, historic sites, and pubs, creating a home away from home atmosphere.

So, which city is better for you? Let’s compare them in terms of cost of living, weather, career opportunities, culture, and more.

Culture in Dublin vs. London

Culture in Dublin vs. London
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Dublin’s deep literary and musical roots, along with its friendly atmosphere, make it a standout destination. However, London’s sheer diversity, countless cultural institutions, and vibrant festivals also make it a compelling cultural powerhouse.

As the “City of Living Culture”, Dublin has a rich musical heritage spanning traditional tunes to rock and other genres. You can enjoy the city’s music in the lively craic sceneries of Grafton Street and its surroundings.

Don’t miss a pint of Irish beer at Temple Bar, where you’ll find friendly locals and tourists. Dublin has a colorful nightlife, a thriving arts scene, and a cosmopolitan vibe that will make you want to explore more.

London is an old but vibrant city, with over 1,000 art galleries and four UNESCO World Heritage sites. It hosts cultural festivals celebrating its rich history, such as the Mayor’s Thames Festival, the biggest street festival in Europe.

In London, you’ll hear over 200 languages spoken, making it a melting pot of cultures. You can also experience amazing concerts and music festivals at venues like the O2 Arena, one of the most iconic arenas in the world. 

Diversity and Demographics in Dublin vs. London 

Diversity and Demographics in Dublin vs. London
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Dublin and London are both attractive and diverse cities with their own strengths and weaknesses.

If you prefer a big, diverse and dynamic city, then London is your choice. But if you like a smaller, more homogeneous and relaxed city, then Dublin might suit you better.

The data below shows some interesting comparisons between the demographics of Dublin and London. One of the most striking differences is the size of the cities.

London is more than 13 times larger than Dublin in terms of area, and has more than 7 times the population. However, Dublin has a slightly lower population density than London, meaning that there is more space per person in Dublin.

Geographic LocationIrelandUnited Kingdom
Size (Area)117.8 square kilometers1,572 square kilometers
Population (2023)1,270,1729,648,110
Population Density4590 people/km²5518 people/km²
Female Population50.0%51.1%
Male Population50%48.90%
Median Age35.1 years old36.4 years old
Life Expectancy at Birth82.88 years old82.31 years old

Regarding the gender balance and median age, both cities are almost similar. This suggests that they have comparable social structures and lifestyles.

London is a more diverse city than Dublin, with a larger proportion of Asian, black, mixed, and other ethnic groups, which brings both multiculturalism and challenges in integration and social cohesion.

Racial CompositionDublinLondon

Cost of Living in Dublin vs. London 

Cost of Living in Dublin vs. London
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According to LivingCost.com, Dublin is a bit more affordable than London. In fact, it’s 12% cheaper overall!

Dublin ranked as the 253rd most expensive city in the world, while London is the 79th. That means you can save some money on rent, food, and entertainment if you choose to live in Dublin.

If you’re wondering how much it costs to live in Dublin or London, here’s a quick overview based on the data from LivingCost.org.

ExpensesDublin CostLondon Cost
Cost of Living (one person)$2,669$3,029
Cost of Living (family)$5,850$6,932
Monthly salary after tax$3,274$4,290
Housing (Average Rent per Month)
Rent for one person$1,769$1,951
Rent for family$2,972$3,238
Utilities (Average Monthly Bill)
Utility bill for one person$172$177
Utility bill for a family$273$288
Internet plan$56.3$37.5
Transportation (Fare)
1-way ticket (local transport ticket)$2.27$3.84
Monthly pass (local transport ticket)$120$108
Taxi Ride$21.8$25.1
Gasoline (1 liter)$1.98$2.1
Childcare (Tuition Fee)
Daycare or Preschool$1,387 per month$2,088 per month
International Primary School$11,238 per year$25,849 per year

You might think living in Dublin or London is too pricey, but it’s not that bad when you see how much you can earn there. Even if you just get a minimum wage job, you can still afford to live decently and enjoy yourself in these cities.

Real Estate Prices in Dublin vs. London 

Real Estate Prices in Dublin vs. London
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London is much more expensive than Dublin in every aspect in terms of both renting and buying an apartment. Therefore, if you’re looking for a more affordable option, you might want to choose Dublin over London.

The table below shows the key indicators from Numbeo that tell how affordable or expensive it is to live in these two cities. 

Price to Income Ratio9.9915.94
Rent for 1 bedroom apartment in city centre$2,068.79$2,539.26
Purchase price per sqm for apartment in city centre$7,518.04$16,214.85
Purchase price per sqm for apartment outside the city centre$5,348.56$9,739.61
Average monthly net salary (after tax)$3,219.06$4,205.40

Based on the price to income ratio of both cities, you need almost 16 times your annual income to buy a flat in London, while you only need 10 times in Dublin. That’s a huge difference!

Dublin offers lower rent, which is significant for those on a tight budget. Additionally, the purchase price per square metre for apartments in Dublin is more than twice as low as in London, making it an attractive option for buyers.

Career Opportunities in Dublin vs. London 

Career Opportunities in Dublin vs. London
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London appears to have more diverse job opportunities, and its higher minimum wage and lower taxes may make it a more attractive destination for career prospects compared to Dublin.

Dublin is a hotspot for tech companies where you can find many jobs in network architecture, IT administration, and product management. Dublin’s construction and finance sectors, with many ongoing projects, have also rebounded from the pandemic.

London offers plenty of opportunities in the food and customer service sector, particularly for delivery drivers, with over 4,000 vacancies – just grab your driver’s license and wheels to apply.

Additionally, tech roles like software engineer, product manager, and operations manager can earn you up to €42,000 monthly, but they’re fiercely competitive.

Speaking of salaries, the minimum wage in Ireland is €11.30 ($12.26) per hour, while in the UK it varies from £5.28 ($6.53) to £10.42 ($12.88). Moreover, Irish workers pay more taxes and have lower average salaries than their UK counterparts.

Crime and Safety in Dublin vs. London 

Crime and Safety in Dublin vs. London
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The difference between the crime and safety rates of Dublin and London is not very significant, and you can find safe places to live in both cities if you do some research.

One of the factors to consider when choosing a country to live in is the level of safety and crime. Dublin and London are both popular destinations, but how do they compare in terms of crime rates?

Let’s take a look at the data from Numbeo.

Safety Scale47.1845.97
Crime Index52.8254.03

Both cities have moderate crime rates, with London slightly higher than Dublin.

However, this does not mean that Dublin is much safer than London, as both cities have experienced issues with gangs and drugs, such as the Kinahan cartel in Dublin.

The size of the city may also affect the crime rate, as larger urban areas like London tend to have more crime than smaller ones.

Lifestyle in Dublin vs. London 

Lifestyle in Dublin vs. London
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If you compare living in Dublin or London, you’ll find some differences in the weather, the activities, and the health system. London has fewer rainy days and more things to see and do, but Ireland offers better and free health services.

Let’s see how you can enjoy living in different cities. We’ll look at some things that matter for your quality of life, like the weather, the fun activities, and the healthcare.

Weather in Dublin vs. London

Weather in Dublin vs. London
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When it comes to weather, London often gets a bad rap for its notorious rainy reputation, but hold on a minute! According to travel guru Thomas Cook, London mostly flaunts cloudy skies and clear days, making it a year-round destination.

Meanwhile, Dublin has a mild climate, according to locals and visitors. The city gets some rain now and then, but nothing too crazy that would cause floods.

Dublin’s weather is moderate because of its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. You can expect to enjoy ocean-like, moist, and gentle weather all year round in the city.

To make it easier to compare, here’s a table that shows some of the main weather features of Dublin and London:

Weather AspectDublinLondon
Average Annual Temperature9.4 °C10.8 °C
Hottest MonthJuly (15°C)July (19°C)
Coldest MonthFebruary (5°C)January (6°C)
Wettest MonthOctober (52.3 mm)November (72.0 mm)
Windiest MonthJanuary (22 km/h)January (16 km/h)
Annual Rainfall493.2 mm596.5 mm

Things to Do in Dublin vs. London

Things to Do in Dublin vs. London
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London is a sprawling metropolis bursting with iconic sights like Big Ben, world-class theater productions in the West End, and a diverse food scene, making it a top choice for culture enthusiasts.

On the other hand, Dublin beckons history buffs with its charming old town, including the Medieval, Temple Bar, and Georgian Quarters, not to mention its role as the birthplace of Guinness.

In terms of nightlife, both cities offer fantastic options. London boasts a vibrant scene in neighborhoods like Camden and Soho, while Temple Bar in Dublin is renowned for its cozy pubs and warm atmosphere.

Shopaholics can’t go wrong in either destination, with London’s Oxford Street and Dublin’s Grafton Street providing retail therapy.

Healthcare in Dublin vs. London 

Healthcare in Dublin vs. London
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Dublin has a healthcare system that is easy to access and high-quality for both locals and expats who have been in Ireland for at least a year. You can even get private healthcare insurance or subsidies if you work in Ireland.

Private healthcare in Dublin is awesome, with insurance companies covering everything you need as an expat. Some expats use their own insurance to skip the queues in healthcare facilities.

London also has amazing healthcare through the NHS, which has some of the best hospitals in the world. But there’s a catch: if you’re an expat moving to London, you might have to pay a visa fee to use the NHS services, which can be a pain.

So, if you want to avoid the hassle and enjoy the benefits of Dublin’s healthcare system, you might want to choose it over London’s. It’s a matter of preference, but Dublin seems to have the edge when it comes to accessibility and quality for expats.

Dublin vs. London: How They Stack Up

Here’s the final verdict: Dublin or London, which one is for you?

It’s not an easy choice, since both cities have their pros and cons. It all depends on what you value most and how you want to live your life.

To sum up, here are the results of our comparison based on the different criteria we’ve talked about.

FactorsThe Better CityWhy
CultureTiedDublin and London offer unique and appealing cultural experiences, with Dublin known for its literary and musical roots and friendly atmosphere, while London boasts diversity, cultural institutions, and vibrant festivals
Diversity and DemographicsTiedLondon is ideal for those who prefer a big, diverse and dynamic city, while Dublin is better suited for those who prefer a smaller, more homogeneous and relaxed city.
Cost of LivingDublinDublin is 12% cheaper than London, ranking as the 253rd most expensive city in the world, making it a more affordable option for rent, food, and entertainment.
Real EstateDublinDublin is a more affordable option than London, with significantly cheaper housing options, making it the better choice for those looking to save money and live comfortably.
Career OpportunitiesLondonLondon may offer more varied and appealing career options, as it has a higher minimum wage and lower taxes.
Crime IndexTiedBoth Dublin and London have almost similar levels of crime and safety, and you can find secure places to stay in either city.
LifestyleTied (depends on what kind of lifestyle you prefer)When it comes to weather, Dublin is a great choice for those who enjoy cooler and sunnier conditions, while London is more suitable for those who prefer warmer and less frosty weather.

London has everything from world-class museums and galleries to vibrant nightlife and food experiences.

If you're considering a move and healthcare is a priority, Dublin has the edge in terms of accessibility and expat-friendly healthcare services.