If you are looking forward to finding a place to stay in Dublin, this post contains some suggestions based on my experience:
First of all, keep in mind that Dublin is outrageously expensive. The prices for housing here are insane at the moment (OK, not as expensive as NYC or SF, but really expensive anyway). Be prepared to spend around 1K EUR for a nice 1 bedroom apartment, and 1.5K EUR for a nice 2 bedroom apartment. Things may improve in the next months, as they just did for the first quarter of the year.
With that said, your first point of reference should be daft. This is the place where all landlords and agencies put their ads, and the place where everyone is looking for apartments. To get started, you need to know where you want to live. Get a rough idea and then locate that place in one of the Dublin postal districts and the ones surrounding it. Given that public transportation is... well... suboptimal, you don't want to live too far from your workplace. Then, hunt for places within your budget... and a budget a bit higher: you can always try to negotiate the rent down and get a nicer apartment than you would otherwise, still staying within your initial budget.
Once you have selected some of the apartments you want to check, call the landlords or agents and ask for an appointment as soon as possible. And, during the visit, check a few basic stuff:
- Whether the house is old or new: if it's new, it'll probably be in nicer condition overall.
- Water pressure: old houses have poor water pressure.
- Electric shower: this is really scary to me, but it is what most old houses have to deal with poor water pressure.
- Carpet: nice, but a horrible mess to clean up.
- Garbage collection service: if the building does not do this for you, you'll have to pay for garbage collection separately. I just bought 3 bin tags and those were almost 9 EUR. Yes: 9 EUR to pay for the collection of THREE garbage bags.
- Location of supermarkets: Dublin is basically a big town, so most roads don't have shops. Make sure that you have a supermarket nearby where you can walk to to get basic stuff.
- Availability of cable/phone: you'll need this for Internet.
- Furniture: most apartments in Dublin are provided fully-furnished, so make sure to pick one with furniture that you like. Ask if you are allowed to replace some. Pay special attention to the mattress and couches!!
- Cutlery: OK, this is part of the furniture, but check what you have. Your landlord may provide you additional stuff for free upon request.
- Washer and dryer: you want to have a dryer, as most lease contracts state you cannot hung clothes on public places.
- Heating and double-windows: you'll need this during the winter.