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Living in Belfast, Northern Ireland:
Tips for Moving and Visiting

12 local experts

If you've been wondering what it's like to live in or visit Belfast, the Crowdsourced Explorer community can help. We asked 12 people living in Belfast what someone who is considering moving to or visiting there should know. Here are their pros and cons, tips, and advice:

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12 comments on “Belfast”

Belfast is a flamboyant city, with so many wonderful things to see and do for residents of all ages. House prices are competitive, with a range to suit all budgets. There are many excellent primary and secondary schools, including integrated colleges. Belfast is a welcoming city, compact, full of character and charming.

Because of the history of conflict dating back over 300 years, there still remains an undercurrent of suspicion about new arrival to particular areas. This is especially the case in the east and the west of the city.

Belfast is a wonderful place with a fast growing tourism economy. Hotels have been springing up in the city to meet the demand of eager travellers. Food and culture are also areas of growth, with an increasing number of new and exciting restaurants offering world fare at affordable prices. It’s a great place.

Despite it’s turbulent past, Belfast is currently a very safe place with plenty of cultural activities to engage in. Recently it has been the site of choice for filmmakers and TV show creators alike, being the background for shows such as Line of Duty, Game of Thrones and The Fall.

To live in Belfast, one must be acutely aware of the delicate nature of cultural identity which is so inextricably connected to almost every aspect of life here. For example, someone who is Belfast born-and-bred can make a reasonable guess at someone’s religion from the newspaper that they read or the way in which they pronounce the letter ‘H’. It is therefore important to consider how your actions and words could be interpreted by different members of the community and ensure that no offense is caused to anyone. Another example of this is the contentious matter of whether to refer to the city of Derry (as nationalists call it) or Londonderry (which is the title preferred by those from a unionist background).

Belfast is an impressive city for its size, with a rich history of maritime engineering. Previously viewed as a war zone due to the violent Anglo-Irish conflict of the 1980s and 1990s, Belfast is now home to a thriving music and gourmet scene. Another side of Belfast is its maritime history: the birthplace of the Titanic, the city has expansive and well-preserved historic shipyards, and a museum dedicated to the Titanic and her influence on the city. With two easily accessible airports, Belfast is ideal for both international students, and professionals looking for a new adventure.

Belfast contains a gorgeous blend of both old and new. The city centre ranges from the Cathedral Quarter, with its famed cathedral, City Hall museum, and a clock which leans more than the Tower of Pisa, to Botanic, a student hub with brilliant nightlife. Any visitor to Belfast should try and see both, as each side of Belfast has its own charm and culture.

Hannah, says: 2020

Belfast is a vibrant youthful city. It is small enough to explore thoroughly and has an efficient transport infrastructure providing a gateway to the whole of Ire! and. The people are warm and friendly and renowned for their “crack”. English is the first language, currency is the British pound and driving is in the left.

Belfast is a wonderful city, with many bars, restaurants, and cafes that one can enjoy at very little expense. The cobblestoned streets of the newly gentrified Cathedral Quarter are perfect for a lazy Saturday afternoon, strolling along, listening to live music, and, surveying the fantastic street art.

If you are a tech professional you will find many career opportunities in the City. The current trend of foreign direct investment, mainly from American companies, has helped pull the city out of its troubled passed and into the future, where it competes with other technology hubs throughout the world.

Belfast is a small, vibrant city. In the succeeding years after the Northern Irish conflict, Belfast has become warm and welcoming. Due to Belfast’s compact size, it is possible to live in leafy suburbs while still being close to its vibrant cultural centre and nightlife. Belfast has an incredibly affordable housing market and is perfect for young professionals.

Before moving to Belfast, know just how small it really is. It won’t quite match up to the images of the “bustling metropolis” projected in tourist board advertising campaigns; rather, it will disappoint and slightly underwhelm you. We have a troubled history and although there are remnants of this trouble in little cracks of city life, you will receive a warm and sunny welcome from everyone you meet.

Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland. There are many tourist attractions here and the tourism industry is reasonably well sustained. Belfast is more globally recognised for the political instability during the time of ‘The Troubles’, however it is not a safe and peaceful place and I recommend a visit.

Bethany, says: 2020

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