Priced out of Ireland? Here's where to move if you are young and broke...
"Don't tell me I'm still on this feckin' island..."
Odes to Ireland are so commonplace that the country is in constant danger of being immortalised. But why anyone should want to immortalise a place that is as flawed and as cruel as Ireland is perplexing. We have bad weather, bad housing and bad transport. One of the only things we do well is granting artistic licence to those who sing, write, film and photograph our soggy provinces.
While Ireland as a whole finds redemption in its natural beauty and occasional moments of national pride, Ireland's cities have become places of hardship if you're young and trying to have a good time. Rent is extortionate, pints are pulled for €6 and a small cinema popcorn costs more than the average weekly wage in India.
Even if you, misty eyed by major key chords of patriotic sentiment or blinded by horizontal rain, still want to live here you probably won't be able to afford it. Rents are at an all time high according to the latest daft.ie report, with the average rent in Dublin coming in at €1,822 and €1,096 in Galway and €1,180 in Cork.
So cast aside the two-hour commute from a satellite town you don't want to live in, forget paying €3 for newsagent coffee while listening to Irish politicians bemoan caffeine culture as though it is the height of opulence and fly away to a country that doesn't have to care so much about Brexit, the Catholic Church and the Healy-Raes.
To make things cruisey, flights, rent and good times for some alternative living locations are priced below.
All you need to do is convince your boss to let you work from home for a week and then smoothly drag that out till Christmas, when Ireland becomes rosy and cosy and the only place any of us really want to be.
All flights shown take off from Dublin Airport at the beginning of March 2018 and were priced on Pancake Tuesday.
Albania's tourism sector reportedly went into drought in after J.K Rowling sent Voldemort to hide out in its luscious forests. Nonetheless the country has survived the curse of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and is one of the most beautiful places in Europe that no one has ever really been to. The Adriatic sea is Albania's coastline, it is cheap as chipper chips to live there and there is 750,000 concrete World War II bunkers still in tact.
Tirana is a colourful place thanks to Edi Rama, the mayor of the city for 11 years who began his life as painter and imposed his passion for art on Tirana's building facades.
Albania is famous amongst backpackers for its pizza, cheap bougie bars and nightclubs that you can afford to drink in without a hip flask tucked into your jeans. The weather in March will be hovering around 17 degrees.
Fly there one way: €129.00
Rent for a one bed apartment city centre : €251.08 (per month)
Domestic beer: €0.69 (0.5 ltr)
Gym membership: €27.74 (per month)
Cinema ticket €3.77
Apples (Kg) : €0.77
Famous for vodka and ice-cream, Gdansk is insanely cheap compared to Dublin. It's a seaside city along Poland's coastline and miles of sandy beach lie 10 minutes from the city centre.
It's small enough to walk around and public transport is reliable. Gdansk is well connected by rail so you can use it as a base to explore Europe at the weekends, although without speaking any Polish it may be tricky to get a job here so you might end up exploring Europe during the week as well.
Private health care in Poland is famous for its affordability and high quality so if you've been putting off getting your wisdom teeth out try Gdansk for a while, at least no one you know will see your chipmunk cheeks.
Fly there (one way): €26
Rent for a one bed apartment in city centre: €474.00
Domestic beer: €1.92
Gym membership: €34.00
Cinema ticket: €5.99
Oranges (kg): €1.05
The capital of Hungary was once two distinct cities, Buda on the western bank and Pest on the eastern bank. Buda where most people live and Pest is the city’s commercial core. It's super cheap to eat out here and with three course meals coming for two coming in under €20.
Budapest has been repeatedly voted as one of Europe's most beautiful cities. It's home to 120 thermal baths and 'Sparties' go on till 3am at the weekends with lights, lasers, DJs and floating chess. An island in the middle of the Danube river which separates Buda and Pest, has a 5.5km rubber coated running track encircling the island and is the happy place for runners, joggers and pram pushers.
The language is fiendishly difficult to learn but Hungary is so small you can reach most other cities in two hours, perfect for a day trip or a weekend. Seven countries border Hungary -Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia- so if you get bored of Budapest itself there are endless possibility for weekends or mini-breaks.
Fly there: €40
Rent for a one bed apartment city centre: €432.00
Domestic beer: €0.73
Gym membership: €36.50
Cinema ticket: €5.61
Loaf of fresh bread; €0.62
You may remember this city from the Eurovision Song Contest of 2017? Me neither.
Kyiv is "one of the most underrated cities on the continent" according to the Lonely Planet, the original trip advisor that tends to bubble with praise.
In this case it is perhaps deserved but tell your parents you are moving to Paris and you'll all happily bicker over how to pronounce croissant, tell them you're moving to Kyiv, and no one is buying chicken for a punny dinner.
Famous for dumplings, bakeries and sausages, Kyiv is a cheap and viable option for when your landlord hikes up your rent and Ireland seems to shrug its political shoulders. It's got rivers and beaches and a bohemian vibe pouring from its mosaic covered streets.
Nights out are cheap with €1 shots and when things get ropey and you're missing home there is an O' Brien's Irish pub in the city centre. Weather in March will be a cool 5 degrees, but quiver not, things heat up in the summer.
Fly there: €126
Rent for a one bed apartment in city centre: €354.00
Domestic beer: €0.47
Gym membership: €12.77
Cinema ticket: €2.64
Bar of chocolate: €0.50
My fifth class teacher, while teaching the capital cities of Europe, used this handy riddle "You wouldn't want to book-a-rest in Romania`'. It's a shame she didn't look up the rent prices there before condemning it to a bunch of primary school children, because an apartment in the city centre will set you back €353.00. That wouldn't get you a shared room and an air mattress in South Dublin.
Bucharest actually means "joy" and "happiness" coming from the Romanian word Bucharie. It's home to one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world, the Carpathian Mountains and has a healthy population of bears.
Also; great and cheap wine.
Fly there: €45.00
Rent for a one bed apartment in city centre: €353.00
Domestic beer: €0.69
Gym membership: €35.00
Banana (kg): €1.11