5 beautiful places to retire in Ireland

The best way to get through a tough week of work is to think about retirement. Here are some places to retire in Ireland that you can dream about—or move to, if you’re ready!


Most of us will spend our whole life working towards retirement. Whether you absolutely adore your job or you despise it, either way, the idea of retiring and having a bit of money set aside to start living some of your dreams is definitely exciting.

However, when it finally does come time for you to retire, it can no doubt be extremely difficult to decide where you would like to retire. At that stage, the chances are any children you might have had are no longer living in the family home and you get a chance to completely change your scenery and experience Ireland from a different part of the country.

Here are five beautiful places in Ireland to retire that will hopefully give you some inspiration and a glimpse into what your life may be like when you get to retirement age.

Ireland Before You Die’s top tips for planning retirement in Ireland

  • If you plan on retiring in Ireland, make sure you are doing so early and leaving yourself enough time to collate your savings, pension and any investments to ensure you have financial stability.
  • It can be very helpful to establish a social network. You may already know the area, or if you don’t, you could join local clubs or groups and start to meet new people from the area you choose.
  • Look around for housing and the right place that suits you. Also settle any legal matters you may have and make all relevant legal and administrative preparations for your plan to retire in Ireland.
  • Lastly, budget well and plan for the cost of living. Estimate as best you can how much you will need and creat a budget to cater for that, and stick to it as best as possible.

5. Bray, County Wicklow – a coastal town with lots to do

Beautiful places to retire in Ireland include Bray

For people who have lived in Dublin their whole life and whose family live in Dublin, Bray might be one of the best places to retire in Ireland. Bray is a popular coastal town located in Wicklow only 12 miles south of Dublin that is full of character and beauty.

It is easily accessible from Dublin by train or driving, but it is also outside of the hustle and bustle that many people associate with life in Dublin.

The population of Bray is about 32,000, and it has all of the shops and amenities that we have come to expect in our modern life. For people who enjoy the outdoors, you have lots of things to do such as watch the swans relax in the harbour or take the very scenic coastal walk from Bray to Greystones.

READ MORE: Let us help you make this decision by reading our article on the top 5 best things to see & do in Bray

4. Salthill, County Galway – a beach setting not far from Galway city

Beautiful places to retire in Ireland include Salthill
Credit: Instagram / @yolandazaw

Salthill is a coastal area in the city of Galway with a population of around 20,000. Salthill is a popular tourist spot that a lot of Irish people visit during the summer months to go to the beach. The promenade at Salthill overlooking Galway Bay is two kilometres long and is an amazing place to watch the sunset.

Salthill itself has plenty of bars, restaurants, and amusements, and it is only a short drive from the heart of Galway city, allowing you easy access to all the benefits of the city centre but you come home to the more relaxed and laid back vibe in Salthill, making it one of the best places to retire in Ireland.

3. Killarney, County Kerry – scenic, welcoming, and great for exploring

Beautiful places to retire in Ireland include Killarney
Credit: Instagram / @zacmacinnes

Killarney is a relatively small town in County Kerry, but it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland. It is known for its national park, beautiful scenery, cleanliness, and general warmth and welcomeness.

Although it may take some time to adjust to the local accents, when you are in this part of the country it seems there is an infinite amount of beautiful scenery to explore and take in. Although Killarney is filled with nature and culture it isn’t lacking in industry. There are plenty of pubs, restaurants, shops, and amenities to prevent you from getting bored.

READ: The 10 best things to do in Killarney, Ireland

2. Ardmore, County Waterford – a laid-back, charming coastal village

Ardmore is a small laid-back village

If you picture your retirement a lot more laid back, with a slow pace of life in a coastal village, then Armore might be your best place to retire in Ireland. The permanent population of Ardmore is about 300 people, and that is what makes it so special.

Of course, there are plenty of other coastal villages around Ireland with populations this size, which are just as beautiful as Ardmore, but there is just a charm and a feeling you get in Ardmore that you don’t get everywhere else. As a place with only two shops, a few pubs and a few places to eat, you’ll get peace and quiet while still having what you need.

1. Kilkenny, County Kilkenny – a historic city with a relaxed lifestyle

Kilkenny is the perfect city for retirement if you love history

Kilkenny is located in the south of Ireland bordering five other counties which makes it very accessible and a great place to retire. The city itself is very beautiful with lots of historic buildings that add massive amounts of character to the feeling of the city.

The population of Kilkenny City is about 25,000 people, meaning that it still has a lot of industry and a lot going on, but the lifestyle is more relaxed than some of the bigger cities in Ireland.

If you are interested in history, then Kilkenny is a great place for you to retire in Ireland as it is packed with culture and an endless amount of history to learn about and experience.

RELATED: Need an idea of what Kilkenny is like? Then check out IB4UD’s article on the 10 best things to do in Kilkenny, Ireland

Your questions answered about the most beautiful places to retire in Ireland

Should you have any more questions, then you are in the right place. Here, we have outlined the most frequently asked questions about beautiful places to retire in Ireland.

Where is the best place for Irish people to retire?

We have ranked Kilkenny as the best place for Irish people to retire! Abroad, however, the Algarve region in Portugal is regarded as a good spot.

Where is the prettiest place to live in Ireland?

This is a difficult choice, but perhaps the coastal town of Kinsale in County Cork along the Wild Atlantic Way is the prettiest place to live in Ireland.

Where do the happiest retirees live?

These would include Portugal, France, Spain, Italy, and … Ireland!

Where is the happiest place to live in Ireland?

In 2021, Waterford city claimed the award for the best and happiest place to live in Ireland, winning against Clonakility, Galway city, Glasough and Killarney.

NEXT: Read Ireland Before You Die’s article on the top 10 best places to live in Ireland

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