Cork sits on the beautiful southwest coast of Ireland. It has a rich and varied history which Corkonians will happily tell you about over a pint of Guinness. It’s renowned for its art and culture and has its own opera house, a jazz festival and art and music educational facilities. Cork has many multinationals that have made their headquarters in the city which is helping alleviate the unemployment problem.
If you are considering moving to Cork, the various costs listed below will help you make an informed decision on what costs are involved when moving and living in the Rebel County of Ireland.
Quick Cork Facts:
- Population: 581,231 (2022)
- Official Language: English (de facto) with other languages being spoken in the city, including Gaelic, Polish, French, Lithuanian, Romanian, Chinese and many others.
- GDP Per Capita: €74,700 EUR (2019)
- Whales and Dolphins: Cork is the best place in Europe for whale and dolphin watching.
- Currency: Euro (€, EUR). As of early 2023, $1 USD = €0.94 EUR, £1 = €1.14 EUR, $1 CAD = €0.69 EUR, $1 AUD = €0.63 EUR
1. Moving and Shipping Costs to Cork
Sample container shipping rates to Ireland from various other countries
2. Cork Housing Costs
Cork house prices, both for purchase and rent, are much more affordable than those in Dublin. Prices obviously vary from area to area but the figures below will give you an indication of what’s available at what price.
Monthly Rental Prices in Cork:
- 1 bedroom flat (apartment) in City Centre: €1,400+
- 1 bedroom flat outside the City Centre: €1,100+
- 3 bedroom flat in City Centre: €2,300+
- 3 bedroom flat outside the City Centre: €1,700+
Cork Home Purchase Prices:
- Price per square metre (10.7 square feet) to buy in City Centre: €3,600+
- Price per square metre (10.7 square feet) to buy outside City: €2,750+
Cork Housing Cost Comparison:
This is how rents in Cork compare with other cities around the globe.
- London is 37.8% more expensive
- New York is 59.1% more expensive
- Los Angeles is 44.6% more expensive
- Toronto is 15.7% more expensive
- Vancouver is 21.6% more expensive
- Cape Town is 115.5% cheaper
- Sydney is 27.1% more expensive
- Melbourne is 4.2% cheaper
- Paris is 5% more expensive
- Dubai is 17% more expensive
How to Save on Housing Costs:
- Share a Flat or House: Cork has a variety of housing to choose from, some of which is available to share. With a house/flat share you will have your own room, or, for a cheaper option, you can share a room. The bathroom/s will be shared with other people in the house. There are many flats available for shared rental as well. Have a look at Rent, Daft, Gumtree and Locanto and find someone you can get on with to share the costs with you.
- Different Areas – Different Prices: Young professionals love the area in the city around the Elysian Tower. It has trendy apartment blocks and is close to restaurants and bars. East Cork has middle-of-range housing and attracts young families. The southern suburbs of Cork, such as Blackrock and Douglas, are more expensive. They have a good selection of older and new properties, most of which have good-sized gardens. If you like the feel of a seaside town, then move out to Cobn or Kinsale. You are not only right on the coast but the countryside is on your doorstep.
3. Cork Food, Grocery and Restaurant Costs
Cork has a good selection of restaurants, pubs and food stores.
- Inexpensive Restaurant: €15.00
- Takeout Coffee: €3.50
- Bottle of Coke: €1.80
- 1L of Milk: €1.20
- Loaf of Bread: €1.60
- 12 Eggs: €3.10
- 1kg Chicken: €8.00
- 1kg Beef: €9.50
- 1kg Apples: €2.30
- 1kg White Rice: €1.40
This is how restaurants and food prices compare with other major cities in the world.
- New York restaurants are 27.8% more expensive and groceries are 47.7% more expensive than Cork.
- Los Angeles restaurants are 18.6% more expensive and groceries are 30.8% more expensive than Cork.
- London restaurants are 5.4% more expensive and groceries are 1.6% cheaper than Cork.
- Toronto restaurants are 4.7% cheaper and groceries are 21.3% more expensive than Cork.
- Vancouver restaurants are 1.3% cheaper and groceries are 24.2% more expensive than Cork.
- Cape Town restaurants are 125.7% cheaper and groceries are 86.2% cheaper than Cork.
- Sydney restaurants are 7.7% more expensive and groceries are 31.3% more expensive than Cork.
- Melbourne restaurants are 3.4% more expensive and groceries are 32% more expensive than Cork.
- Paris restaurants are 4.9% cheaper and groceries are 28.1% more expensive than Cork.
- Dubai restaurants are 0.8% cheaper and groceries are 8.8% cheaper than Cork.
Bonus Tips for Cheaper Food, Restaurants and Groceries:
- Know Your Supermarkets: Cork has a reasonable amount of supermarkets and other stores to suit every income level and palate. Tesco, Lidl and Eurasia are popular for basic foods. Marks and Spencer and Dunnes are more expensive but have a wide variety of fresh foods. There are a number of independent grocers and health shops which sell organic foods. Farmers’ markets are also popular.
- Find Cheap Eats: Trip Advisor, Daily Edge and Yelp all have their own guides to cheap eats in Cork, which include everything from traditional Irish stew to delicious, freshly caught fish.
4. Cork Alcohol Costs
Cork has a good selection of pubs and bars, all come with complementary traditional Irish hospitality. The following is a list of basic prices of beer and wine from the supermarket and restaurants.
- Pint (0.6L) domestic beer at a restaurant/pub: €5.30
- Bottle of imported beer at a restaurant/pub: €5.00
- Pint (0.6L) domestic beer at a supermarket: €2.80
- Bottle of imported beer at a supermarket: €3.70
- Mid-range bottle of wine at a supermarket: €12.00
How to Drink For Less in Cork:
- Keep an eye on the local papers and websites for specials over weekends and public holidays
- Cork has many pubs and bars which offer cheap drinks at various times of the day and week. Have a look at the following sites to see which ones suit your mood and pocket – Partnership International, Yelp and Trip Advisor.
- Scour the areas around the colleges and other tertiary institutions to find the best alcohol deals
5. Cork Transportation Costs
Cork’s transportation system consists of buses and trains. The bus service is run by Buseireann and its routes cover the city and the outlying regions well. The train service is run by Irish Rail and has three commuter rail lines and connects with the national rail service. The bus service is fairly dependable but there are delays during rush hour periods.
Here are some example ticket costs.
- Adult single – €2.40
- One day ticket for bus and train – €7.50
- Monthly season ticket for bus and train – €83.00
How To Save Money on Public Transport:
- Buy a Leap Card and your fares will be up to 20% cheaper
- Buy a bike. Cork is a pleasant city to cycle around
- Walk. The city is fairly compact and a pleasure to walk around
6. Cost of Internet in Cork
Here are some sample broadband internet prices from early 2023 for unlimited downloads:
- Virgin Media: €44.00 per month for the first four months, then €70.00 a month for the next eight months (12-month contract)
7. Cost of Clothing, Personal Items, Gym and Leisure
July is Cork’s hottest month with an average temperature of 16°C. Winter’s coldest month is January, when the average temperature is 5°C. December is the wettest month, with 140mm of rain falling.
Like most places in this part of the world, rain is always a possibility, so it’s wise to carry an umbrella or a fold-up waterproof jacket.
Here are some clothing prices, together with other useful prices.
- Pair of Jeans: €80.00
- Summer Dress: €36.00
- Running Shoes (Trainers): €80.00
- Business Shoes: €87.00
- Short Doctor’s Visit (15 mins): €55.00
- Deodorant: €4.00
- Shampoo: €5.50
- Toilet Paper (4 rolls): €2.50
- Gym Membership: €32.00 – €55.00 per month
- Movie (cinema) Ticket: €11.00
Source: Numbeo and Expatistan
8. Cost of Owning a Car and Driving a Car in Cork
Everyone in Ireland drives on the left. Driving in Cork is fine but the traffic congestion during rush hour is unusually heavy for the size of the city.
If you’re moving to Cork from within the EU, you’ll be able to exchange our licence. There are also other countries that are on the list for reciprocal exchange. You can drive on a foreign licence for 12 months before you need to get an Irish licence. If you are not from an EU country or your country is not on the list, then you will need to take a driving test after 12 months.
Here are some other sample costs of owning and operating a car in Cork:
- Volkswagen Golf: €30,000
- 1 litre (¼ gallon) of Gas (petrol): €1.83
- Registration Fee (if any): Vehicle Registration Tax depends on the size and age of the vehicle
- Other Fees (if any): Motor Tax is determined on the basis of the CO2 emissions of the vehicle.
Source: Expatistan, Gov.ie
Ways To Save Money on Driving in Cork:
- Car sharing or pooling is one way to save money. Try Share Your Ride.
- Taxis can sometimes be a cheaper option, especially if you are going to have to park all day. Try Uber.
9. Taxes in Cork
No matter where you live in Eire, you will pay the same rate of tax. To learn more, go to the government’s website.
Sales Tax or VAT (Value Added Tax) is 23% in Ireland and is added to most goods and services throughout the country. Unlike in some countries, it is always included in the marked price.
Whether you own or rent your home, you will be subject to Local Property Tax based on the value of the property. Learn more about LPT in Cork at Revenue.ie.
Finally, if you decide to buy a flat or house in Cork you’ll have to pay stamp duty. There are various rules and concessions which apply but generally, you pay 1% of property value up to €1,000,000, and 2% thereafter.
10. Flight Costs from Cork
If you do make the move to Cork, here’s approximately how much it will cost to fly to other major world cities based on lowest, one-way fares from Skyscanner as of early 2023:
- New York: €220
- Los Angeles: €400
- Toronto: €300
- Vancouver: €340
- London: €20
- Dubai: €200
- Sydney: €800
- Melbourne: €900
- Cape Town: €400
- Hong Kong: €650
Other Tips on Moving to Cork:
The costs and pricing above should give you a good idea of the cost of living in Cork but perhaps the following extra tips will make your move go smoothly.
11. Moving to Cork Alone
Moving anywhere can be a lonely experience, but moving to a new city can be rather daunting. Here are a few tips about settling into Cork.
- Meetups: Cork has lots of free meetup groups you can find on Meetup. Join Cork Vegan and Veggies, Cork R-users, Cork Ramblers and many more.
- Attend Local Events: There’s always something going on in Cork. Find out what’s on from Whazon, Cork, Discovering Cork and Evenbrite.
12. Moving to Cork with a Family
Cork has a lot to offer families. It has beaches, the countryside and the city. Here’s some extra food for thought.
- New Parents (or parents to be): Check out Mummy Pages.
- Live in a Family-friendly Area: East Cork has a selection of good schools, shops and places to take the kids. It’s close to the beach and the Fota Wildlife Park and Zoo. This part of Cork has a variety of housing which will suit families. For more upmarket areas for families, head to the south of the city, suburbs like Douglas and Blackrock, which have larger homes with good-sized gardens. If you don’t mind a commute to work, the suburbs of Cobh and Kinsale are seaside havens which welcome family and tourists alike.
- Find Things To Do With The Kids: Family Fun, Day Out With the Kids, Discovering Cork and Trip Advisor all have great ideas for activities and events your kids will love.
13. Moving to Cork for Work
Moving to Cork for work is one of the most common reasons people choose to move. While it is possible to move without a job, it makes sense to ensure there are jobs in your field before you make the move.
Cork is fortunate to have had many multinationals relocate their head offices to the city. Pharmaceutical giants, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, have offices and factories here. Both Apple and McAfee have brought their European headquarters to Cork – Siemens is also here. Cork has the world’s second-largest natural harbour and has been a main part of its growth over the centuries. Other employment opportunities are in retail, hospitality and tourism.
Here are a few things to consider when moving for work:
- Salary: The costs we outlined above should give you a rough idea of how much more you’ll want to be making to make the move worthwhile. You can also check salary ranges on sites such as Glassdoor and Payscale.
- How to Find Work: If you want to have a job lined up before you move to Cork, but aren’t sure where to begin, the following sites are good places to start: Indeed, Cork Jobs and Monster. You may also want to Google recruiters in your industry, as they can often help land you some initial interviews as well.
14. Moving to Cork from Australia
There’s a small group of Australians living in Cork. If you are thinking of joining them, here are a few added tips:
- Size Comparison: If you compare the size of the population of Cork with a city in Australia, you’d be looking at Hobart.
- Join Expat Groups: InterNations offers ways of meeting up with other Australians in Cork.
15. Moving to Cork from Canada
There are a few Canadians living and working in Cork. If you’re considering making the move from Canada here are a few things to consider.
- Size: Cork’s population size is a little larger than Regina.
- Expat Groups: To meet up with fellow Canadians living in Cork, have a look at the following sites – InterNations and Irish Canadian Society.
16. Moving to Cork from the United States
There are a small group of Americans living in Cork. If you want to join them, here are a few bonus tips:
- Size: If you compare the size of the population of Cork with a city in the States you’d be looking at a city midway in size between Boise and San Bernardino.
- Expat Groups: Meeting up with fellow Americans will help you settle in Cork quicker. Have a look at the following sites to find like-minded souls – InterNations and Meetup.
17. Moving to Cork from the United Kingdom
There’s a relatively large group of Brits living and working in Cork. If you are going to join them, here are a few things to consider:
- Size: If you look at the population of Cork and compare it with a city in the UK, you’d be looking at Oldham.
- Expat Groups: If you’d like to meet people from home, then have a look at the following sites for British expat groups – InterNations and Expat.com.
Hopefully, the tips and costs above are helpful. If want to get started pricing out how much it will cost you to move to Cork you can start by comparing moving quotes here.