Commuting to Dublin: Is it right for me?
There’s no denying that Dublin’s salaries are enticing. At roughly 18% higher than the rest of the country, it’s hard to avoid being seduced by the better career prospects that come with working in the capital.
But there’s a catch. Dublin’s also has the highest average property price in Ireland. So, it’s no surprise that many of us are thinking about casting our nets a little wider than the confines of the city.
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of locations within reach of the capital that are so much more than simply ‘commuter towns’ - they’re thriving communities with lots on offer.
In this post, we’ll look at the benefits of commuting, dissect some of Dublin’s top commuter towns and discover if commuting is a smart move for you.
The Case for Commuting
Right off the bat, moving to a commuter town almost always means you’ll be able to afford a nicer home than what you’ll find in the hyper-competitive Dublin market.
Depending on where you go, you might discover that your budget allows for an extra bedroom or a nice big garden that’s out of reach in the city.
You’re also likely to find that your cost of living decreases the further you go outside Dublin too. It’s worth keeping in mind that commuting isn’t free, but having said that, there are not many €6.50 pints being served in Drogheda.
From a lifestyle perspective, commuter towns are typically quieter and less crowded than Dublin. When you go out on a Saturday night, you won’t have to wait 45 minutes for a table or fight tooth and nail to get to the bar counter.
Additionally, many of Dublin’s commuter towns have wonderful close-knit community vibes to them. You don’t have to feel like a nameless and faceless worker bee among the masses but instead can form real, lasting bonds with the people in your community.
What Are Some of Dublin’s Best Commuter Towns?
So, we’re looking for affordable houses, solid economic growth, and vibrant feels. Here are 5 of the best commuter towns for buyers on the hunt for an alternative to the big smoke.
Naas, Co. Kildare
Naas is a Kildare town with a strong sense of community.
It’s only a 45-minute trip to Dublin by car and it’s also serviced by Bus Eireann and the train.
Not that you’d be in a hurry to leave – the town offers a lovely selection of restaurants, bars, cafes and even has its own cinema and theatre too.
There’s a great farmer’s market on Sunday mornings and lots of quality schools and sports clubs to choose from.
Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Maynooth is another charming Kildare town that’s home to one of Ireland’s top Universities.
The campus itself makes the ideal spot for an early morning jog or weekend stroll, while the streets are fast becoming one of Ireland’s lesser-known foodie hotspots.
You’ll find various restaurants and independent cafes run by passionate locals. The town is served both Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann and the train to Connolly only takes you 45-minutes.
Navan, Co. Meath
Navan is a wonderful blend of town and country living. Straddling the beautiful Boyne River, Navan has a host of great schools and amenities that are well suited to family living.
The Boyne Ramparts walk makes the perfect weekend stroll, the Solstice Arts centre is perfect for that culture fix and let’s not forget Tayto Park - which you’ll doubt be nagged by the kids to attend at least once a fortnight.
Traffic can be problematic into Dublin, but you’re looking at no more than about an hour each way.
Skerries, Co. Dublin
Skerries is a charming seaside town that offers residents a super relaxed-pace of life.
Any commuting-induced stress can be instantly quelled with a relaxing evening amble along the seafront - taking in the panoramic views of the five islands surrounding the town.
There’s plenty of good schools and sports clubs - especially if you’re into water sports like sailing, kayaking, and costal rowing. Skerries feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and yet you can get into Conolly in just 35 minutes by train.
Other Good Commuter Options
- Bray, Co Wicklow
- Greystones, Co Wicklow
- Wicklow Town, Co Wicklow
- Ashford, Co Wicklow
- Rathnew, Co Wicklow
- Ashbourne, Co Meath
- Drogheda, Co Meath
- Dunboyne, Co Meath
- Sallins, Co Kildare
- Ratoath, Co Meath
- Kilternan, Co Dublin
- Rush, Co Dublin
- Lusk, Co Dublin
How to Make the Most of Your Commute
So far, we’ve discussed the benefits of commuting and some nice towns to put down your roots. However, plenty of commuters can easily spend two hours each day getting to and from work. And that’s not exactly a barrel of laughs.
But, commuting time doesn’t have to be dead time if you choose to spend it wisely. It’s a great opportunity to smarten-up with some entertaining podcasts, unwind listening to new music, learn a new language or get engrossed in a thrilling audiobook.
Whatever takes your fancy, the most important thing is that you do something productive that leaves you feeling satisfied.
Otherwise, you might start to resent the time that your commute is chomping out of your day and arrive home in a foul humour.
City living is an attractive lifestyle for many, but it’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. If you’re not mad about concrete streets, costly square meters, and bank-balance-decimating martinis, then commuting might be the right option for you.
Sure, you’ll spend more time traveling to and from work, but it’s an investment that can deliver the best of both worlds; a nice city pay-packet with good career prospects, along with the laid-back charm and lower living costs of smaller town life.
From Ashbourne to Maynooth and Greystones to Navan, Dublin’s commuter towns are certainly worth a look for urban workers on the hunt for great value properties.