Small on size, big on excitement, Belfast promises adventure to all those who seek it, with picturesque views too.

I found Belfast extremely charming. The people are interesting and kind, and it’s easy to meet locals. There’s a lot of nature around the city, including a beautiful bike path along the River Lagan, and hiking trails up mountains. (Second year student, Queen's University Belfast)

What Belfast's famous for...

Game of Thrones

Many locations in Northern Ireland will look familiar to GOT fans. Catch a tour at Belfast's Titanic Studios where filming took place.

Belfast nightlife, according to students

The clubs are spread around the city, although there’s not much distance between them. Filthy McNastys and Limelight are very popular. Student nightlife is more expensive and quieter at the weekend, as lots of the Northern Irish students go home. Most clubs close at 2am, but this is okay once you’re used to it – more chance of you waking up for your 9am! Lots of pubs, both aimed at students and more traditional Irish pubs – all are great. (Second year student, Queen's University Belfast)

Whiskey

A favourite tipple in Northern Ireland, with many distilleries in Belfast itself.

Belfast nightlife, according to students

Cathedral Quarter [has] so much character packed into a small street, [and] is booming with bars and music. You will always find a quirky bar hidden somewhere, and it will become your go-to with friends! (Second year student, Ulster University)

Belfast architechture

Immerse yourself in the architecture of Belfast, ranging from Georgian to modern buildings.

Student life in Belfast

Local gems, tips, and things to do, as recommended by students.
Low on cash
The Ulster Museum is free, and has a great Game of Thrones tapestry. The Botanic Gardens are a lovely place to sit in the summer. (Second year student, Queen's University Belfast)
Treat yourself
The pubs in the Cathedral Quarter are expensive, but [have] a great atmosphere. You can also hire the Belfast Beer Bike with your friends and a bartender. (Second year student, Queen's University Belfast)
Friday feeling
Cuckoo is a 'geekeasy' and 'barcade', where you can have a couple drinks and play Guitar Hero or Mario Kart. (Second year student, Queen's University Belfast)
Sunday chilling
Kelly Cellars has the best Guinness in town. On Sundays, local musicians play jam Irish music. It’s very cosy. (Second year student, Queen's University Belfast)
When family visit
There is a great viewing platform at the top of Victoria Square, the main shopping centre, from which you can see all of Belfast’s most famous landmarks. (Second year student, Queen's University Belfast)
Feeling cultural
[Belfast] is a case study [in] conflict resolution. No matter what direction you walk in, there's always something to learn. (Second year student, Queen's University Belfast)
Catch up with mates
If you really want to impress someone, take them to The Crown. Every detail is divine. I also recommend The Pocket. I often treat myself there before an exam. (Second year student, Queen's University Belfast)
Grab a bite
Boojum. It's a religion. For £6 you get a burrito the size of your forearm, and it's absolutely delicious. (Second year student, Queen's University Belfast)

Belfast in pictures

The Botanic Gardens

I can come here and relax on my own, or with friends. It’s nice to be able to escape from the city, and be surrounded by nature and flowers. (Rebekah, second year student at Ulster University)

Maggie Mays

Chips, cheese, and gravy, takeaway style, with one of Maggie May’s famous milkshakes, served in a big jar. (Queen's University Belfast student)

 

Living in Belfast, according to students

The Holylands are fantastic, especially if [you're] on the outskirts like me. Full of students and very cheap. Five minute walk to the university, the library, and the gym. Close to a few express/smaller shops and wine shops. [It's] quite a long way to a big shop, half an hour into the city centre for Lidl, or 25 minutes to Lisburn Road to a Tesco Metro. [There are] parties in the streets around Paddy’s Day and in the summer – whether or not these are allowed, is another matter. (Second year student, Queen's University Belfast)

Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle, a Game of Thrones location. (Caitlin Scott, second year student at Queen's University Belfast)

Living in Belfast, according to students

I live on Queen street. It’s great to be right in the city centre, with Tesco’s around the corner and McDonald’s. Although it can be pretty noisy with traffic and the drinking carts that pedal around the city. It’s only five minutes to get to uni, and I can get a Starbucks on the way. (Second year student, Ulster University)

Giant’s Causeway

Giant’s Causeway, a must see if you’ve never been. (Caitlin Scott, second year student at Queen's University Belfast)

Living in Belfast

Housing, travel, and budgeting tips.

Average weekly rents*
  • Private landlord
  • £52 - £88
  • Cheap
Housing value for money*
  • Fair deal
Local transport*
  • £15.50
  • Weekly Network Wide Ticket
  • (Bus)
Where you'll find students*
  • Stranmillis
  • The Holylands
  • Lisburn Road

*Average mean rents via Spareroom.co.uk (Feb 2017). Value for money via Which? University Survey 2016. Local transport via local operators' website.

Student money tips

An alternative night out that won't cost you much at all, is Late Night Art in the Cathedral Quarter. [It] happens monthly, and offers free wine and art viewing. (Second year student, Ulster University)

The cost of living as a student soon adds up, us our budget calculator to find out roughly how much you'll need each month.

​Discover more savings on student life in Belfast with UCAS student discounts. Find the latest deals, from fashion brands and eating fresh, to big discounts on tech and travel.