Belfast is the capital and largest city in Northern Ireland and is located on the East coast on the mouth of the River Lagan. Belfast is the 12th largest city in the UK and the second largest city on the island of Ireland. A major port city, Belfast was the home of linen manufacturing in the United Kingdom during the Industrial Revolution.
Nowadays the city docks remain a commercial and industrial hub. Famous as the birthplace of the HMS Titanic, the city enjoys a rich maritime history and is still home to large ship repairers and manufacturers. The city is split in two by the River Lagan with the western side home to the city centre and the governmental and civic buildings.
There’s plenty to see and do in the city including the HMS Titanic Museum, Belfast Castle, the grand Belfast City Hall, Botanic Gardens, Victoria Square Shopping Centre, St George’s Market and the Ulster museum which has a fascinating collection of 9000 years of Irish history. The city is served by 2 airports as well as offering regular ferries to England and Wales and trains and buses around the rest of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Popular Student Areas of Belfast
The Holylands gets its name from the religious street names in the area and sits right behind Queen’s University which make it an incredibly popular area for students. Holylands is home to a diverse population and offers very reasonable prices for house shares and private accommodation. The university is right on your doorstep as well as the Ulster Museum and Botanic Garden. The area is also not too far from the city centre so amenities are all on hand.
South of the city centre is the commercial and residential area of Lisburn Road. A generally leafy suburb within a very reasonable distance of the university. Lisburn Road itself is particularly long and runs most the length of the South of the city.
The north end of the road is home to some galleries, boutiques and cafes whereas the more southerly side offers some great takeaways, pubs and shops which makes it very popular with the local student population. The area is also an easy bus ride away from the city centre and is also close to the national football stadium, Windsor Park.
On the east side of the River Lagan and to the south east of the city centre is Ormeau Road. The area is home to a wide range of independent eateries and bars, and offers some fantastic outdoor spaces (in particular Ormeau Park) without feeling disconnected from the city. In fact, the university remains in easy reach across the river and there are also regular buses into the city centre.
Just south of the Queen’s University Campus and right in the middle of the three previous areas is Stranmillis Road. Popular due to its proximity to the university but also it’s arts and music scene, with a number of celebrities having lived around the area over the years.
The popular Lyric Theatre is situated here as well as some trendy bars, cafes and eateries. Prices for student housing and student accommodation here remain reasonable and for that reason it’s a popular choice.
Just north of Queen’s University, towards the city centre, is Botanic Avenue. Home to a great range of restaurants and takeaways but due to its proximity to the city centre and university it can be slightly pricier.
Top Universities in Belfast
- Queen’s University Belfast
- Ulster University