February 7, 2019

Moving to Ireland from America


  • Always look left when crossing the road, cars don’t stop, they beep!
  • It’s safe, but keep your wits about you. Phones and wallets are commonly swiped by people on bikes. Most thiefs are opportunists, they see an opportunity and take it but don’t create them.


  • Because we’re an island the weather is very changeable. In a single day you can get every season. Sometimes if you get stuck in a the rain you can wait it out under an awning.
  • I find a rain coat/pants much better than an umbrella, it’s generally quite windy and the umbrella will be useless.


  • It’s difficult to open an Irish bank account as you will need proof of your Irish residential address which can be difficult to get when you first arrive. Make sure that you have access to enough money to keep you going until you manage to get one open.
  • Annual leave – Full time employees are entitled to 20 days leave + national holidays
  • Healthcare, you can go to any GP that takes ‘walk-ins’ the charge is anywhere from €50-65. Prescriptions are much cheaper here, ie antibiotics approx €15


  • Buy your meat at the butchers if you can, its great quality and similar price to the supermarkets. Most Irish meat is of a very high standard. TOP TIP: ask the butcher to cut up your meat for you, for how you intend to use it.
  • Tipping, 10%+ for meals, you don’t tip bartenders, but do thank them!
  • two shopping areas, grafton (southside) street and henry street (northside)
  • We have high tax so it’s often cheaper to buy things on
  • Customer service can be hit and miss, and don’t expect anything to happen with any speed. The Irish attitude is very relaxed, but this can be infuriating. Ask for the bill or you might not get it.


  • The Irish love to apologize. Be prepared to have people constantly apologizing to you for anything and everything.
  • Soccer is soccer here (unlike the rest of europe), football is an Irish (Gaelic) sport. Nothing like american football. Other Gaelic sports are hurling and camogie.
  • The irish are generally sports fanatics.
  • Some things here just take a lot longer. I feel like I stand in a lot more queues for a lot more time.  Papers I have to fill out or letters I send go unanswered for a long, long time.  I may not get a response at all.  If you’re calling a public service office, you may not get to talk to anyone, and you may not get answers to your voicemail.
  • Ireland is not part of the UK in anyway, don’t make the mistake and say it is in some way. We were repressed by England for 100s of years.

While I’m at it, the UK in general can be a bit confusing to the rest of the world.

  • England is the country
  • Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales
  • The United Kingdom consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • However, The Northern Irish aren’t English or British in any way they’re Irish.


  • Yer man = That man, Yer one = that woman
  • ‘Half 10’ is half past 10 so 10:30.
  • What’s the craic/story? Any Craic? = what’s going on?
  • Lots more you’ll hear!


  • Get use to the metric system. 1km = .6miles
  • Dublin bus, don’t always trust the screen.
  • Get a leap card, this is good on all buses, LUAS (tram) and DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit – Train line)
  • Street names, these can be really hard to find. Not all streets have the name posted.
  • Taxi’s have a meter that runs when you get in, there is a €1 charge for additional passengers or for each bag you put into the boot (trunk). Sundays and bank holidays can charge premium rates.

Rathmines Area for Kids


Belgrave Square and Harolds Cross Park (has a coffee and snacks kiosk).


Portobello (neighbourhood next to Rathmines)
Community Hall, Bloomfield Ave. SCR. Dub 8
Mon & Thurs 10.30am – 12.30pm

Rathmines Library also have a playgroup
Toddlers at Twelve Parent and Toddler Group meets every Monday from 12pm – 1pm. All welcome! No booking required but places are limited.

Parents and Toddlers
Baptist Church Grosvenor Place Rathmines (Don’t be put off as it’s a church, churches are used more as community centres here, there’s no religion involved) A community playgroup for pre-schoolers and their parents to meet, play and get to know each other. All are welcome, please check with supervisor for available spaces. Email:
Thursdays, 10:30am – 12:00 noon

Kid friendly places:
  • Hannas book shop (cafe)
  • Fallon & Byrne (cafe/shop)
  • Family yoga in the park on saturday mornings in Dartmouth Square
  • The Swan Leisure centre does swimming classes for all ages and free swim. is a great resource for things to do with kids around the city

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