Explore Effortlessly: A Student Guide To Belfast

Student Guide to Belfast

Written by Kimberly Linhares

From reading cheesy young adult novels to writing reviews about them. Books, have been an escape from reality. Writing, to capture a little bit of everything about my versatile lifestyle. Let’s talk but first grab some coffee!

August 9, 2021

Belfast is a very welcoming city. People in Northern Ireland are known for being friendly, so whether you’re making friends at the university or simply chatting to the locals, you’ll feel at home while living in Belfast. Excellent technology, affordable houses, and reasonably good incomes are huge positive factors of Belfast. This city is a spectacular place to live in as a student with its mind-boggling art, history, activities, and affordable cost of living. We’ve got your back with a student guide to Belfast! 

Belfast Student Life

Living in this beautiful city comes with many perks. Here’s The Ultimate Belfast Student Guide with everything you need to know!

There’s So Much To Do As A Student!

For all you sports lovers, The Ulster Senior Club Football Championship is an annual Gaelic football competition so don’t miss your chance to experience one of the most popular sports on the island of Ireland. Experience a rugby match at Kingspan Stadium, the heart of Ulster Rugby, or catch a football match at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park, home of Linfield FC and the Northern Ireland national football team.

A few miles away from the city, you can explore the Cave Hill Country Park and get a beautiful panoramic view across Belfast. There are plenty of outdoor activities throughout the district, whether you want to join a society with other students or go exploring all by yourself. You could even try out mountain biking at Barnett’s Demesne trail or enjoy a hike in the glorious Mourne Mountains.

An Affordable City And A Beautiful One

According to this student guide to Belfast, there’s no doubt that you can get around the city easily and come across affordable rent in the ‘Queen’s Quarter’ (a well-known area for student accommodation) which means you’ll have more money to spend on making the most of everything that Belfast has to offer! Belfast has also won a few awards for its affordable living.

You could take a walk or a jog along the Lagan river. Keep an eye open for The Big Fish sculpture, its scales are made from ceramic tiles that describe different scenes from the city’s own history. Having fun in Belfast doesn’t cost bundles of money, there are plenty of free things to explore all across the city. You can also explore some of the breathtaking outdoor spaces around the city or take a stroll through the Botanic Gardens between lectures, play the sport in Ormeau Park or explore the Lagan Meadows which is a local nature reserve. 

A Core Inspiration For Creative Minds

Northern Ireland has produced some iconic musicians and writers, from C.S. Lewis to Van Morrison. 

A Fun Fact in this student guide to Belfast: CS Lewis was born in Belfast and the surrounding landscapes likely inspired The Chronicles of Narnia. Among his most famous works was The Chronicles of Narnia, a list of fictional books believed to have been inspired by hills, forests, and castles around Belfast and across Northern Ireland.

The music scene is thriving in Belfast, with live music on every night of the week. From music festivals to cultural events, there’s always an event to look forward to in Belfast. 

  • Culture Night: A unique explosion of energy, arts, creativity, and fun. 
  • Belfast Mela: Northern Ireland’s biggest annual celebration of cultural diversity and an event worth experiencing.
  • Belfast Pride: A colourful, LGBTQ+ festival that’s the biggest of its kind on the island of Ireland 
  • Belfast’s St Patrick’s Day Parade: An iconic event that you definitely shouldn’t miss.

Explore up-and-coming venues such as Black Box and Voodoo or see world-class acts at big venues like the SSE Arena, Waterfront, and the Ulster Hall. 

Thanks to its green countryside, beautiful coastline, and historic sites, Northern Ireland is also a hub for the film industry. Something anybody and everybody would talk about in any student guide to Belfast is the many films and tv shows that have been filmed here, like ‘Game of Thrones (GOT)’ a worldwide famous tv show. A huge amount of GOT fans flock to Belfast to discover some of the set locations, from exploring Winterfell Castle to playing with Direwolf pups, there are plenty of chances to re-enact your favourite scenes. In Belfast, you can also follow the Game of Thrones Trail Map, finding all six stained glass windows that depict iconic scenes from the tv show.

Student City Guide To Belfast

Roots Of An Enthralling History

In the 1800s, industry in Belfast was thriving among shipbuilding and the production of rope and tobacco. The city covered its way into the world’s linen industry. By the end of the 19th Century, Belfast was known as the world’s linen capital and was nicknamed Linenopolis. Many of the city’s linen houses were in the district now known as the Linen Quarter. Fun facts aside, let’s talk about the history that we still get to see up until this day.

Belfast’s art and history lie in the beauty of the city itself. It is full of street art and graffiti. A walk around the Cathedral Quarter and you’ll see curated street art spaces and urban galleries, while a tour around West Belfast offers a look at the city’s troubled history. There’s plenty of walking tours to learn all about the history of Belfast, Northern Ireland, and the ‘troubles’ during your time at university in Belfast.

The Ulster Museum shows you Northern Irish history, located near Queen’s University campus. Step back in time at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, where you can explore thatched cottages, farms, and schools that show what life was like 100 years ago.

Don’t miss discovering the history of the Titanic, the famous ship built in Belfast that sank in 1912. Visit the Titanic Belfast to learn about this fascinating event and explore the famous slipway, where the Titanic was first set afloat into the water. 

Ireland In Arm’s Reach

This is the most important fact about the city in this student guide to Belfast. The city is located on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland. Being a coastal city, it’s easy to access golden beaches, as well as beautiful forests and countryside throughout the island. Head north along the Antrim coast and you’ll reach Giant’s Causeway, an area of incredible basalt rock formations that you can explore for free. There’s plenty more to see in the area, surf the famous West Strand in Portrush or cross the infamous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. 

Heading slightly further astray, take the train two hours north of Belfast for a day out in Derry, also known as Londonderry. Further west lies Donegal, a weather-beaten stretch of coastline speckled with beaches, pubs, and villages. It’s also easy to visit Dublin, the capital of Ireland, by train. Belfast is the perfect base to explore Ireland and you must make the most of this beautiful city while living a student’s life.

Thank you for reading this blog on ‘Explore Effortlessly: A Student Guide To Belfast’ If you’d like to read more, here are some blogs that might be of interest to you:

  1. Ways To Make Friends When Studying Abroad
  2. 6 Mandatory Things To Do With Your Roommates
  3. 5 Easy Ways On How To Fill Your Room With Plants

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