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Top Reasons to Attend University in Belfast

  • Population 281,000
  • Student population 40,000
Belfast is Northern Ireland's largest city, and both the cultural and political capital. Queen's campus is within Belfast's Golden Mile of pubs, clubs, café bars, restaurants and entertainment venues. Student life tends to concentrate here, for the Golden Mile provides part-time jobs as well as recreation.
Universities in Belfast

Getting around

  • There is a reliable and reasonably priced integrated bus and rail network run by Translink. Travel cards are available.
  • Cycling is possible but the weather puts many off.
  • Ferry services operate out of Belfast and Larne.
  • Flights to London take about 1 hour. There are flights from Belfast International and George Best Belfast City Airport to over 20 European cities as well as a number of North American locations. Both airports operate regular bus transfers to the city centre.
  • Cross-border train services run from Belfast to Dublin and back up to eight times daily. The journey time is approximately 2 hours.



  • Belfast Giants ice hockey team is based in the Odyssey Arena. Ulster rugby is played at Ravenhill Stadium.
  • There are 11 golf courses and centres within the city boundary.
  • The Millennium National Cycling Network, incorporating a 20-mile route in the greater Belfast area, serves cycling enthusiasts.
  • Ten-pin bowling is offered at two venues and the Dundonald International Ice Bowl is one of Northern Ireland's principal leisure and entertainment facilities with an Olympic-size ice rink.
  • There are five leisure centres within Belfast with pools.
  • The Belfast City Marathon in May is a major sporting event.

Culture and nightlife

  • Belfast has over 400 bars and restaurants and many theatres, galleries and cinemas. Major concerts are staged at the Waterfront Hall and the Odyssey. BELSONIC is the summer music festival. Ulster Hall has been recently restored.
  • Clubs and live music are part of the scene, whether impromptu folk music sessions in the pubs or big name concerts at the Queen's Union. Odyssey (the £100-million Landmark Millennium Project) features Ireland's largest all-seater indoor venue, the Arena; W5, Ireland's interactive discovery centre and the Odyssey Pavilion, a development of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and Storm multi-screen cinema.
  •  The renovated Ulster Museum won the 2010 UK Art Fund Prize.


  • High street names and designer labels are amply represented. Go to Ormeau Road or Lisburn Road for designer names. Donegall Pass is the antiques sector.
  • Northern Irish crafts are also on offer in abundance.
  • The Victoria Centre is the newest shopping centre. It is a breathtaking urban design on four floors with a central communications area to take shoppers to different levels including a viewing gallery at the top from which to view the city.
  • St George's Market is popular for fresh, local produce and its fantastic atmosphere; it hosts a Friday Variety Market, Saturday City Food & Garden Market and a range of events throughout the year.

Proximity to the city centre

  • Queen's University: main campus, half-a-mile south.
  • University of Ulster: only about 850 of the student population are based in Belfast, but many of those who study at Jordanstown (7 miles) live in the city.

Find out how safe this city is using our crime figures.

Student Cost of Living

  Average Weekly Expenditure/£
Rent 46.22
Groceries 16.13
Utilites 8.35
Books and Course Materials 4.30
Gym or Sports Membership 2.78
Photocopying/Library Expenditure 1.92

Based on data supplied from the Natwest Student Living Index 2015.

For further information

  • 028 9024 6609
  • Belfast Welcome Centre
    47 Donegall Place
    BT1 5AD

Content was accurate at the time of compilation. Population figures are compiled from the 2011 censuses for England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

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