The Northern Irish city of Belfast is a rich hub of culture, much of which revolves around university life. Queen’s University Belfast is located in the city’s Golden Mile, and Belfast Metropolitan College has campuses throughout the city. Student life in Belfast is buzzing, with plenty to keep you entertained when you’re off-campus.
The best places for students to visit in Belfast
St George’s Market
Shop ‘til you drop at one of Belfast’s oldest attractions. St George’s Market was built in 1890 and attracts shoppers from all over the country on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Visit the award-winning market and browse the stalls; enjoy a cup of artisanal coffee, pick up some unique gifts and sample plenty of tasty goodies.
Take a stroll through the Palm House and the Tropical Ravine, in the beautifully lush Botanic Gardens. Entrance is free, and it’s a great way to unwind, surrounded by beautiful exotic plants and flowers.
Victoria Square Shopping Centre in town is a great spot to enjoy some retail therapy. While you’re there, you can also take the opportunity to visit The Dome, a famous fixture of the Belfast skyline with 360° views of the city.
Enjoy a pint in one of the city’s oldest traditional pubs. Kelly’s Cellar was first built in 1720, and still has many of its charming original features. Guinness and homemade beef stew are the order of the day in this cosy pub.
Empire Music Hall
The three-floor Belfast Empire Music Hall is a popular nightspot for students to enjoy live bands and stand-up comedy. From blues, jazz and rock to traditional Irish tunes, there’s something to get everyone dancing.
The Cathedral Quarter
The city’s Cathedral Quarter is a bustling area where you’ll find a wide selection of bars, clubs and restaurants. Soak up the atmosphere among the historic buildings and street art, centred around the majestic St Anne’s Cathedral. This neighbourhood is particularly popular among students from Ulster University, which is located in the Cathedral Quarter.
The SSE Arena, formerly the Odyssey Arena, is Northern Ireland’s biggest indoor sports arena. Join the local sports fans and cheer on the Belfast Giants as they battle it out on the ice.
If rugby is more your scene than ice hockey, take in a game at Kingspan Stadium, and see the Ulster Rugby champs in action.
The Big Fish
Arty types will enjoy a visit to the Big Fish, a 10-metre long printed ceramic mosaic sculpture in Donegall Quay. The fish’s ceramic skin is printed with a variety of images and texts related to the city’s rich history.
Excited for your Belfast student stint to begin, but not sure where to stay? Fresh offers student accommodation close to major Belfast campuses, where you can make yourself at home and enjoy your time there to the fullest.