Living in Belfast
Belfast was awarded the recent title of most improved City in the UK during 2014. This index also rated Belfast number 6 in the top 10 best cities to live and work in the UK. This assessment assessed cities on factors such as jobs, income, health, skills, work-life balance and travel to work time.
Belfast is one of Europe’s most friendly and fashionable regional capitals. Described by Lonely Planet as a ‘must-see visitor destination’, it was also voted one of the world’s top 10 destinations by National Geographic Traveler in 2012. Referred to as a ‘treasure with an incredible atmosphere’, Belfast offers a variety of cultural, sporting, educational and social opportunities. Whether you’re a culture-lover, an explorer, a sportsperson or a history buff, Belfast has something to offer everyone.Northern Ireland is renowned for its beautiful beaches and coastal scenery and has a fascinating history and cultural heritage that showcases stunning castles, monasteries and historic industry. The region is renowned for the friendliness of its population.
Moving to Belfast
Cost of Living
In the 2012 Worldwide Cost of Living survey carried out by Mercer, Belfast was recognised as having the lowest cost of living in the UK.
World Class Education
Queen's University, Belfast
Queen's University Belfast is a member of the Russell Group of 24 leading UK research-intensive universities, providing world-class education underpinned by world-class research. Founded as Queen’s College in 1845, it became a university in its own right in 1908. Today, it is an international centre of research and education rooted at the heart of Northern Ireland.The University has won the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education on five occasions – for Northern Ireland's Comprehensive Cancer Services programme and for world-class achievement in green chemistry, environmental research, palaeo-ecology and law.
University of Ulster
Ulster is a university with a national and international reputation for excellence, innovation and regional engagement. They make a major contribution to the economic, social and cultural development of Northern Ireland and play a key role in attracting inward investment. Their core business activities are teaching and learning, widening access to education, research and innovation and technology and knowledge transfer.They are a major contributor to the Research and Development capacity within Northern Ireland and we support local business and industry. The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise confirmed the strength and quality of our research and the advances that we are continually making
Second Level Education
According to the Huffington Post 14/08/14 “Northern Ireland has outperformed the rest of the UK in the proportion of students achieving A-level grades A*-A. Almost 30% received the coveted higher marks, with students performing well in sciences, mathematics and art and design.”
Belfast boasts a wide range of entertainment venues including an arena, concert halls and an opera house, as well as more intimate theatres and clubs. Together they play host to stand-up comedy and theatrical performances, international music artists as well as world-class music festivals and events such as the MTV Europe Music Awards.
Belfast offers shoppers a mix of big-name stores, designer boutiques, innovative arts and crafts shops and rejuvenated markets. City centre shopping centres such as Victoria Square and Castle Court offer a wide selection of High Street shops to suit all tastes. There is also a variety of vintage, charity and low-cost outlets throughout this stylish city.
Food and drink
From the finest European and world cuisine, to Michelin-starred local restaurants and budget cafes, Belfast offers something to suit every culinary taste and budget. Historic pubs, stylish bars and cool clubs help to ensure Belfast lives up to its reputation as a "treasure" with an "incredible atmosphere" (National Geographic Traveller 2012)
A safe place to live
Northern Ireland was recently named the safest region in the UK (British Crime Survey 2012). Street crime and burglary rates in Belfast are much lower than in comparable European or American cities (Northern Ireland Annual Abstract of Statistics 2009) and the overall trend of recorded crime in Northern Ireland has been downward in recent years. The 2009–10 crime level was the lowest observed in the last decade (PSNI Annual Statistical Report, March 2010). The increasing numbers of visitors coming to Belfast often comment on the warm and sincere welcome they receive.