Lisbon Vs Dublin – What’s The Better City To Visit And Live In

Having grown up in the south of Ireland and moving to the nations capital after graduating college, I spent 10 years in Dublin, working for some of the largest companies and eventually starting out with my own Digital business which I built and scaled before becoming a full time blogger.

When I was earning enough money passively, I decided I wanted to travel around Europe and Lisbon was the first place that caught my attention as they were welcoming tourists while Ireland remained completely shut down.

I booked an Airbnb in central Lisbon, boarded a cheap flight from Dublin and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Read on to discover how I found both of the cities from the point of view of first impressions, accommodation, cost of living, work opportunities, friendliness of the locals, food and more.



First Impressions






Cost Of Living






Career & Opportunities









For Nomads



History & Attractions






First Impressions of Dublin

I first arrived in Dublin a decade ago and the first challenge that my and an old college friend faced was finding an apartment. They were few and very expensive and that has only gotten worse since.

The second thing you notice is that Dublin is a large city for Ireland with the largest population in the country by far. It has plenty of good areas for night life like Temple bar, lots of gyms and tons of restaurants but the biggest draw to Dublin for most people is work as Dublin has a highly educated, English speaking workforce .

The Irish charm and nightlife of Temple bar attracts a lot of American Tourists each year also and Dublin is a city that has a little bit of something for everybody.

First Impressions Of Lisbon

Hoping off the plane from Dublin in Lisbon, the first thing to notice was the heat and the fact we had to wear masks in the taxis and public buildings due to Covid.

The second thing to notice was the impressive array of buildings and the hills, the city is split in two in the downtown area by a massive hill that is almost impossible to walk up but I braved it more than once during my month in Lisbon.

After settling in the Airbnb it was time to hunt out some eating opportunities and I discovered the prices to be a good bit better than Dublin with plenty of great deals available through Uber Eats and I was ready to settle in and enjoy the month in Lisbon.

Weather In Dublin

The first thing to get out of the way is the weather. If you get two weeks of solid summer sunshine, you are doing well and that will often be interrupted by wind and rain storms so if you are visiting Dublin make sure to bring your rain gear, no matter the season.

Winters are cold and as Ireland is an island, it often gets battered by wind and rain, especially in every season besides summer.

Weather In Lisbon

Lisbon has got as close to the perfect climate as I have discovered while travelling. It gets hot in the summer but intolerably hot like in Malaga and it gets cooler in winter but nothing like the freezing wind and rain that I’ve grown accustomed to in Dublin and Ireland.

With the mild weather year round and the perfect summers only broken up by the occasional thunder storm, Lisbon is the winner hands down when it comes to the weather.

Better Weather – Winner – Lisbon

Cost Of Living – Dublin

In Dublin the cost of living is as high as you are going to find in Europe’s largest cities such as London and Paris.

Let’s leave Accommodation out of it for now and compare the food, transport and other aspects before moving on to rent and finding a place to stay.

Restaurants are particularly expensive in Dublin but if you know where to find the best lunch deals and delis, food doesn’t have to cost too much.

Luigi Malones In Temple have an excellent lunch deal with starter, main course and drink for €10 which is really good value but you will pay over twice that at night.

Same with Monto Café in Dublin 2. The lunch menu costs €7 while the exact same dish will cost over twice that at night.

A trip to Nandos for 2 is likely to cost well over €30 and a trip to Milanos for two could cost as much as €50 with 1 drink.

A return ticket on the Luas, the cities metro system can cost over €5 which is incredibly high and the will almost cost €2.

When it comes to drinks, you are talking over €6 a pint in many places and in Temple they will increase the prices every hour, leading the pints costing over €10 which is very high.

Dublin is a very expensive city to live in, but there are tricks and tactics you can use to keep the costs down.

Cost Of Living In Lisbon

Before I visited Lisbon, I had read all the hype about how cheap it was and I really didn’t it find it to be as cheap as I expected.

Again, I found a lunch deal where you would get a large lunch, coffee and a drink for €5.50 which was one of my favourites and there were various lunch deals from €5 in good quality restaraunts so good value again but nothing to blow you away and the food was very good quality almost every where.

A trip to a burger place in downtown will cost €10 for a burger and drink so again a little bit cheaper but not that much. Fast food like Kebabs and ordering on Uber eats was cheaper where you could get two for one deals and make some good savings.

Something like Subway was the exact same price and Dublin and there was minimal difference in McDonalds and Burger King.

Although I didn’t use the public transport much, it was a lot cheaper than Dublin and the beer was also an incredible amount cheaper than Dublin at €2 per pint max.

Overall Lisbon has better cost living by a good bit but not as much as I was expecting.

Winner – Lisbon

Accommodation – Dublin

Dublin has taken a beaten so far and if you think that is going to change in this section, you are mistaken.

The rent in Dublin is astronomically high and if you find an apartment, you will need to queue for a viewing and if you are lucky enough to picked by the landlord to become the resident, you will have to pay an extortionate amount.

It is common for a 1 bed apartment to go for €1,700 in the city and €1,400 outside the city. A much more likely option is to share for most people but you can still expect to pay handsomely for the experience, upwards of €800 to share a 2 bed apartment.

More manageable for couples but still, the high rent is one of the worst parts about Ireland’s capital.

Accommodation – Lisbon

The accommodation situation in Lisbon is a lot lot better than Dublin but not as cheap as other cities like Malaga or eastern Europe.

You can find Entire Airbnbs from €20 a night in Lisbon where you will be lucky to find an Airbnb under €60 in Dublin.

Translated to long term monthly rent and you are talking €700 or €800 for a 1 bedroom in the city centre which is good but not great and becomes a lot more manageable as a couple or when sharing.

It is also much easier to find a rental in this buyers market opposing the sellers market you will find in Dublin.

Winner On Accomodation – Lisbon – A Lot

Work Opportunities – Dublin

There is two ways to look at this. If you need to find work in Dublin or you can work from anywhere or if you are trying to network and grow a business on the ground.

Dublin has all the biggest companies in the world including Ebay, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Adobe and more. If you are looking for a skilled job with good payment, Dublin is one of the tops spots in the world alongside Dublin, especially if you have college education and speak English.

If you want to network, find customers and grow a business, Dublin is also a great place to do it with excellent co-working spaces and networking events happening all the time.

If you make all of your money online and don’t need to be in any physical location, Dublin is going to be expensive.

Work Opportunities – Lisbon

If you speak Portuguese or even English, there are plenty of work opportunities in Lisbon as major center of European commerce, it is just not as vast as Dublin but you will find major companies like Google, Deloitte, Accenture and Microsoft, there just isn’t as much opportunities.

If you make all you money online and it doesn’t matter where you live, Lisbon will make more sense and if you want to progress you career in a skilled field, Dublin is likely going to be your best bet.

Work Opportunities – Winner – Dublin

Friendliness Of The People – Dublin

Dublin is a big city with warm, welcoming people on the most part but the streets can get pretty crowded and the people can be quite aggressive if you rub them up the wrong way.

This is going to be the same in any major city and the Irish Craic agus Ceoil that people have come to know and love will be perfectly on display every night in Temple Bar with live music and expensive pints.

Overall the people of Dublin are friendly and warm although Dublin has been facing an increasing homeless crisis along with drug and crime problems to boot.

Friendliness Of The People – Lisbon

The people of Lisbon were warm and friendly on almost all interactions I faced on my travels and they almost all had a good level of English which is to be expected as it is a tourist city where the tourists can outnumber the residents by 2 -1 at times.

Both cities are highly multicultural and both cities are accepting of foreigners if not indifferent two them.

There is also a slight homeless problem in Lisbon but it doesn’t seem as bad as Dublin.

Friendliness of the people in Dublin and Lisbon is a Draw.

Attractions And Places To Visit – Dublin

Dublin is a strong tourist city and as such welcomes a huge swath of tourists every year with plenty of attractions to keep them occupied from the nightlife of Temple bar, to a tour of the Guinness factory to a visit to Phoenix park where you can relax all day or even take a visit to the zoo.

There is no shortage of historical venues to visit in Dublin and you can also take a trip on the Viking boats or take a city tour.

Attractions and Places to Visit – Lisbon

Lisbon is characterized by a stunning waterfront and port area where locals go to hang out and drink beer in the evenings when they finish work and it also a vast city stretching many many miles with a ton of attractions including:

  • Football Stadiums Of Sporting Lisbon And Benfica
  • Belem Tower
  • Jeronimos Cemetery
  • &
  • Castillo De Saint Jorge
  • Lisbon is always well known for its cheap party and extensive night life.
  • Close by is the royal city of Cascais which is also beautiful for a visit.

Overall Attractions & History – Winner – Dublin

Pros & Cons Of Both Cities

Dublin Pros

  • Lots Of Job Opportunities
  • Rich History And Culture
  • Never Too Hot
  • Lots Of Parks And Green Spaces

Dublin Cons

  • Expensive
  • Homeless Problem
  • Weather

Lisbon Pros

  • Excellent Weather Year Round
  • Cheaper Than Dublin
  • Good English Levels
  • Great For Nomads

Lisbon Cons

  • Getting More Expensive
  • Hills everywhere
  • Slight Homeless issue


Overall if you are trying to find a job, network or grow a business from the ground up, Dublin is going to be the better place every time.

If you are interested in rich culture, history and attractions, Dublin is also going to be the winner.

If you speak Portuguese and want to find a job, Lisbon is good option or if you make all your money online, with location independence, Lisbon has better weather, accommodation and prices for you to do so.

Overall Winner For Us – Lisbon

Don’t forget to check out our top 10 cities for Digital Nomads Guide