Ireland Working Holiday | Live Work and Play in Ireland

by | Sep 22, 2019 | Ireland Live Work and Play, Working Holiday Visa Destination | 8 comments

The Republic of Ireland is synonymous with many things. Irish pubs, Guinness, Riverdance, Waterford Crystal, leprechauns, kissing the Blarney Stone, the Cliffs of Moher, Yeats, many rock bands and good craic. Now you have the chance to experience all that Ireland has to offer on an Ireland working holiday. Here’s how.

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Difference between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland


The island of Ireland is made up of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of the UK. If you want to live and work there check out a working holiday in the UK. This post is about the Republic of Ireland working holiday and the Republic has its own arrangements. Read on.


The Ireland Working Holiday Authorisation


The Republic of Ireland is part of the European Union (EU), therefore, if you are from an EU member country you will be able to go to Ireland to live and work. Visit the offical EU website to get details on moving to Ireland.

If you aren’t from an EU country don’t worry, the Republic of Ireland has reciprocal working holiday arrangements with a number of counties. Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, United States of America and Taiwan. If you are aged between 18 and 30 (sometimes 35) years you can apply for a working holiday authorisation (WHA). This will allow you to stay in Ireland for up to one (1) year and take casual work to extend your time in Ireland.


How to Apply for the Ireland Working Holiday Authorisation


For full details on how and where to apply for the Working Holiday Authorisation go to Or contact your nearest Embassy of Ireland.


What if I don’t qualify for The Working Holiday Authorisation


Don’t despair if you are outside the age range for a Working Holiday Authorisation as many travellers can still live work and play in Ireland. Most who are outside the age range look into what other visas might be available. Or possibly an Irish Passport if you have Irish ancestry. Some request to be transferred there for work. Many work on-line as digital nomads. And as mentioned before, if you are from an EU member country, you can live and work in Ireland.


How to Get to the Republic of Ireland


Ireland is an island so most visitors to her shores either fly or sail. Dublin International Airport greets many a plane from destinations all around the world. You can also sail from the UK and some parts of Europe on one of the many ferry services that exist.


Things to Do When You Arrive in Ireland


When you arrive in Ireland, Immigration will stamp your passport after viewing your authorisation letter. Once through Immigration and before you can start to live work and play in Ireland there are a number of things to do. These things are particularly important if you intend to work in Ireland.

  1. Register with the Garda Naturalisation and Immigration Bureau (GNIB) to get an immigration card. This registration fee currently costs €300. It is encouraged you book this appointment 8-10 days prior to your arrival at
  2. Apply for a PPS Number. This is like a social security or tax file number for tax purposes.
  3. Open a bank account.
  4. Find somewhere to live.
  5. Find a job.
  6. Purchase a mobile phone and/or sim.

Once you have these things done you can start doing what you came for – to live work and play in Ireland.


Where Will You Live in Ireland – Accommodation Options


People Sitting On Bunk Beds In A Hostel Dormitory

Hostels can be a great place to start your working holiday in Ireland


Short-term Accommodation in Dublin


There is plenty of short-term accommodation available in Dublin and the rest of Ireland. It ranges from a bed in a hostel dorm room to small B&Bs to 5-star hotels. For your initial stay I would highly recommend you book a hostel bed or small hotel room for at least 1-2 weeks. I suggest booking closer to 2 weeks as by the time you get over jet lag, do some sightseeing, sort things and get your bearings, one week will be up. Booking a second week will just help you get everything sorted. Here are some hostel and budget hotel suggestions for your initial stay. These accommodation suggestions are in Dublin because most working holidays arrive and settle in Dublin for their Ireland Working Holiday.


Hostels in Dublin

Jacobs Inn Hostel, only 600m from the city centre.
The Apache Hostel in the Temple Bar area.
Generator Dublin, about 1.2km from the city centre and is great value if you measure it in terms of star rating, facilities and reviews.
Backpackers D1Hostel, only 450m from city centre.
The Times Hostel, College Street, only 500m from city centre.
Backpackers Citi Hostel, Dublin City Centre, 450m from centre.


Budget Hotels in Dublin

RIU Plaza The Gresham, Dublin is a 4 star hotel only 250m from the city centre.
Amberley House by the KeyCollections, 400m from centre, and includes breakfast.
Arcadia House B&B

If you would like a small apartment then check out Dublin Student Apartments and Dublin1 Apartments.For loads more accommodation options in Dublin and Ireland visit for a hotel room.


Long-term Accommodation in Dublin and Ireland


Many travellers set up home in Dublin as Dublin offers the most work opportunities. However, there are other major towns you could live in. Cork is the second largest town in Ireland with Kilkenny, Waterford, Limerick and Galway popular places.

Once you decide where to live be prepared to view properties with lots of other people. Finding somewhere to live is one of the hardest things to do as the rental market, particularly in Dublin is tough. Expect to pay between €500-600 on rent, and you’ll need to put down a month’s rent as deposit. You can search websites for housing on sites like


Work Available in Ireland for Working Holiday Makers?


Enjoy a Guinness after a long day’s work


Work is big part of your Irish working holiday. After all, you will mingle with Irish people and discover working life in Ireland. There is a variety of work available for the working holiday maker to Ireland, here are some popular working holiday jobs.


Hospitality and Tourism Jobs in Ireland


There are plenty of jobs on offer in this area. Different types of positions available are for chefs, cooks and wait staff in the cafes, restaurants and hotels. Bar staff are also needed to work in the pubs. Hours of work can vary and can be shift work to ensure staff are available morning, evening and over night to cater to tourists needs. Expect to receive around €12 per hour for working as a housekeeping assistant to around €15 per hour as a chef. Hostels often employ travellers to work in all areas of their operations so when you arrive ask at the hostel or hotel you are staying at if they are seeking staff. For more on finding work in a hostel read my post Hostel Jobs.


Finance Jobs in Ireland


The Republic of Ireland is part of the European Union and in terms of wholesale Financial services it is the 4th largest provider and has more than 400 financial institutions. This is great news if your background is in finance and you have qualifications as an accountant or in finance. Even if you don’t, the finance area requires administrators and other office administration staff. Most work can be found in Dublin but there are opportunities in other major towns of Cork, Galway, Limerick, Kilkenny and Waterford. Working hours are usually standard office hours of 9am-5.30pm. Don’t forget to bring some corporate clothes to wear.


Au Pair and Nanny Jobs in Ireland


With or without qualifications you could find a child care position. They can range from being a live-in nanny (which takes care of finding a job and accommodation in the one go) to working in a child care centre. Positions can be found all around Ireland.


Sales and Customer Service Jobs


If you have an outgoing personality, are a confident communicator and have great customer service skills then there are many work opportunities to undertake such work in a variety of sales and customer service fields. From industries such as media, to retail, to IT, to pharmaceuticals, to banking jobs are available. Most positions are target-driven, demanding and highly competitive so if you like working in such an environment then this type of work might be for you.


IT Sector Jobs In Ireland 


The It sector is thriving in Ireland. In fact Ireland has the second highest concentration of ICT multinationals in the world, apart from Silicon Valley that is. Ireland has many tech headquarters which are on the lookout for IT professionals. So if you are a App Developer, Software Developer or Tester, UX Designer or Technical Support, this is good news. Most find a position in Dublin, Waterford, Galway or Cork. Hours of work are usually 9am-5.30pm but can be longer if projects require it. You could even see yourself working from home which means you could live anywhere in Ireland.


Nursing Jobs in Ireland


Overseas nurses are in demand to fill positions. To practice nursing you will need to be registered with the An Bord Atlantis, The Irish Nursing Board. Once you are registered you can find a position.


Busking in Ireland


Ireland is well known for the musicians it has produced. Many of them have started busking on the streets of Dublin or other areas in Dublin. If you have a talent, singing, playing an instrument, juggling, etc. you might want to consider busking on your Irish working holiday.


Other Jobs in Ireland


Ireland has many industries where you could find work. So what you do now you can most likely do in Ireland. However, it might depend on how long you are staying in Ireland. If only going on a working holiday you might want to try something different to what you do at home.

There are different ways to find work from walking the streets and dropping off your CV to different establishments to registering with employment agencies. A very good option is to look on-line at sites like,, Recruit Ireland and etc.


Become a Digital Nomad in Ireland


Ireland is becoming a popular digital nomad destination. There are coliving and coworking spaces available and great wifi making it a popular place to work online and travel. There are many jobs digital nomads do, read my post how to become a digital + 18 digital nomad jobs.


What to See and Do in Ireland


There is plenty to see and do in Ireland and you will probably have it in your mind already what things you want to see and do. Most visitors start in Dublin and here are my suggestions to get you started. If you are looking to purchase a ticket into museums or need some inspiration, check out GetYourGuide. They have plenty of options to help you discover Ireland.


Get Ready to Live Work and Play in Ireland


So there you have it, an overview of how you can live work and play in Ireland on your working holiday in Ireland. Once you get the legalities sorted, found a place to live and got yourself a job, then you can get on with what you came for, to experience Ireland and all that it has to offer. If you have been to Ireland on a working holiday or are planning one, I’d love to hear your experiences or answer your questions in the comments following.


Pinterest Pin Pint of Guinness With View Over Dublin Behind.
Pinterest Pin Cosy Joe's Bar In Ireland. A Great Place To Visit On A Working Holiday.

Thanks for sharing!

Useful Travel Resources for Your Next Adventure!


Accommodation: Where Will You Sleep Tonight? If you want a bed in a hostel dorm find a great deal with HostelWorld. I mostly stay in hotels now, is my favourite site for booking hotels from budget to ‘I feel like splurging’. For something completely different I house and pet sitting through Trusted Housesitters – this has saved me thousands on accommodation, no joke!

Flights: I always head to Skyscanner first to find a cheap and flexible flight.

Car Rental: When I need to rent a car I turn to RentalCars.

Train Travel: I love riding the train rails and get the best value from raileurope. And Japan has a great one too – JapanRail Pass.

Bus Travel: Check out Busbud for bus tickets.

Pre-organised Tours: I’ve been on a few in my time with Contiki being my first and favourite. if you are 18-35 years of age you should check them out.

Jump-the-queue entrance tickets: I don’t enjoy standing in long queues which is why I book my entrance tickets and day trips in advance. My favourite website to book them in advance is GetYourGuide.

Travel Insurance. There are a number of reasons why travel insurance is important and I never travel without having bought a policy as you never know when something might happen. SafetyWing is great digital nomads and long-term travellers and World Normads has policies for general and adventure travel.


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Hi. Sharyn here. Savvy Australian female with a passion for travel and working abroad. I’m on a mission to provide you with my best tips, tricks and hacks to work abroad and travel the world. If I can do it, so can you!  Read more.


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  1. Madhu

    That’s really nice,I liked the idea of working holiday.Although India is not in the list.but I am sure it’s great way to explore a place.thanks for sharing

    • Sharyn McCullum

      Thanks. Glad you like the idea of a working holiday. As far as I know India doesn’t have a working holiday visa with any country/ies which is why they aren’t currently on the list. But I hope one day they will be.

  2. Katie Diederichs

    Sounds like a fun opportunity! Too bad I’m over 30 now. Guess I won’t be able to do a working holiday visa in this lifetime! But I definitely want to travel more in Ireland! I loved it on my first visit, and know I have a ton left to explore!

    • Sharyn McCullum

      Even though you are over 30 there are still work opportunities abroad. Check out my Over-30 page for ideas.

  3. Josy A

    I love seeing this! I spent all my summers in Ireland growing up and I LOVE it there. Then a few years ago we moved to Canada and were delighted to find out that loooads of Irish young people come here for their working holidays.

    It is really cool to hear how it works for Canadians to do the same and live in the Emerald Isles for a few years.

  4. MagicandBliss

    I loved the concept of working holidays and Ireland seems to be a wonderful country to spend time in 🙂

    • Sharyn McCullum

      Ireland is a great place for a working holiday. There is plenty to see and do and the people are lively. It is a great base to explore Europe and beyond.

  5. Elena Pappalardo

    I’m very interested in visiting Dublin and it was neat to see that it’s becoming more of a digital nomad destination. Also interesting to read the different options that may still qualify you if you’re outside the age range!


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