5 Great Reasons to Move to Belfast

I visited Belfast a couple of years ago and I loved the city so much. It’s vibrant, safe, has an interesting history, and the people are very friendly. Belfast has evolved so much over the past few years, with more and more great companies moving their headquarters there. Belfast is not a large city, so it’s less crowded than London for example.

Recently, a research conducted by CIA Landlord Insurance revealed that Belfast is the most affordable city for young adults to live in. Let’s see some of the reasons why young adults prefer to move to Belfast:

Affordable Cost of Living

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Photo by Dimitry Anikin on Unsplash

Compared to other big cities in the UK, Belfast is a very affordable place to live in. The study revealed that the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the city centre is £630, with basic utilities costing around £71 per month.

The cost of a two-bedroom apartment in Belfast averages at £188,000. What can you get for the same amount of money in London? Probably no more than a garage.  In comparison with London, it’s over 283% cheaper to live in Belfast.

When it comes to public transport, bus passes and tickets in Belfast are extremely affordable. A monthly bus pass costs £55, whereas a 7-day travel card in London for zone 1 and 2 costs £37.

When it comes to job opportunities, Belfast ranks 9th position in the top 10 cities with the highest work availability, with 233 jobs per capita for young adults.  The top three cities around the world are Osaka in Japan, Thessaloniki in Greece and Reykjavik in Iceland. 

The average salary in Belfast is £1,740 per month, which leaves a good amount for savings and entertainment, once the bills are covered.

Great Restaurants and Nightlife

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In 2019, at the World Travel Market, Northern Ireland won the Gold Award for the best foodie destination of the year.  And no wonder, with so many local producers growing organic fruits and vegetables, and passionate chefs developing recipes using the country’s finest grass-fed aged beef, and the freshest seafood.

It’s impossible to walk more than five minutes in Belfast without stumbling upon a restaurant with an exciting menu. The city has two Michelin Star restaurants, Ox and EIPIC, innovative cuisines, artisan coffee shops, whiskey bars and historic pubs such as the The Crown, with its stunning design.

The best locally produced foods are found in St. George’s Market, where the independent growers sell their produce from Friday to Sunday. This last Victorian covered market is also a fantastic entertainment space, with live concerts preserving the atmosphere each weekend. The space is also used for the many fantastic festivals, such as the One World Festival, the World Irish Dancing Championship and the Belfast Film Festival.  

Nature All Around

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You don’t have to travel far from Belfast if you love spending quality time with nature, hiking or walking. Just outside Belfast you will find Cave Hill Country Park, which offers plenty of great trails, caves to explore and a gorgeous view over the entire city.  Belfast Castle, where you can have lunch with a view in a historical location, is also here.

Travelling from Belfast to anywhere in Northern Ireland won’t take you longer than two hours. The famous Giant’s Causeway is located only 60 miles from Belfast. If you love castles, there are plenty to visit within an hour away from Belfast. In summer, you can take day trips to Lough Neagh, the largest freshwater lake in the British Isles.

Belfast is also only a 30 minute drive from the coast, where you will find plenty of sandy beaches and walking trails.

If you are a Game of Thrones fan, there are even more reasons to move to Belfast. Castle Ward, the filming location for Winterfell, is only a 50 minute drive South of Belfast. Here you can stroll around the premises, learn archery, and if you’re lucky, even meet one of the dire wolves from the famous series. There are so many Game of Thrones filming locations around Belfast, that it will take a long time for you to discover them and visit them all.

There are Plenty of Things to Do in the City

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There are so many festivals taking place in Belfast every year. In addition to the ones taking place at St. George’s Market, Belfast is also home to many film, music, dance, art and literature festivals. There are also plenty of vibrant food and drink events throughout the year, and, let’s not forget the concerts. Some of the big bands who have visited Belfast in the past include Snow Patrol, U2, Eminem, Pink, and Bruce Springsteen. Already confirmed for this year are Lewis Capaldi, Lionel Ritchie, James Arthur and Liam Gallagher.

Belfast is home to Titanic City, a huge exhibition space with nine different galleries, covering different aspects of the iconic ship which sank in 1912 on its maiden voyage, after hitting an iceberg. The interactive galleries depict scenes in Belfast from the beginning of the 20th century, the shipyard where the Titanic was built, and its entire story, from the planning to the underwater wreckage. You can walk across a replica of the wooden deck, see the cabins and even take a virtual tour around the vessel.  

Located in the world’s largest urban waterfront project, Titanic City is also home to SS Nomadic, Titanic’s “Little Sister”, which offers a unique experience of what it was like to be on board the unfortunate vessel. Nearby, you will find HMS Caroline, the last remaining light cruiser of the Battle of Jutland in theFirst World War. Formerly a battleship, HMS Caroline is today part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy and offers an interactive self-guided tour, perfect for families with children. 

One of the popular places to meet with friends in Belfast is Botanic Gardens. The gardens feature two Victorian glasshouses, home to many exotic plants from all over the world. It’s a lovely green place in the middle of the city, perfect for when you just want to relax with nature. 

The Craic

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A research conducted in 2019 places Belfast in sixth place in the top 10 UK’s happiest cities. As a fast growing sci-tech hub with so many giant companies choosing Belfast as their headquarters, 62.5% of the residents interviewed said they feel happy and have an equilibrate work and private life, meaning Belfast not only offers great work opportunities, but also many ways to make its residents happy.  And here comes the last reasons to move to Belfast for: the craic! 

Belfast is vibrant, with friendly locals and plenty of gatherings you can join if you’re looking to make friends. You can find groups that enjoy the same passions as you, and join their weekly meetings.

There is no better place to find Belfast’s craic that in a traditional pub, on a Saturday evening. It’s hard to explain the feeling you get when all the people in the pub are singing and dancing. You must go to Belfast and experience it for yourself!

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Please note that this is a collaborative post written in collaboration with CIA Landlord insurance.

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19 thoughts on “5 Great Reasons to Move to Belfast

  1. Catherine says:

    I definitely dream of moving abroad with my family for at least a chunk of time. I never knew so many reasons to move to Belfast! Now it’s on my list. 🙂

  2. Sunetra says:

    I have always heard good things about Belfast and seeing these reasons as to why it is a good base to settle is really great. The affordable cost of living & close to nature are the two striking features for me.

  3. Lekha Chellani says:

    I had no idea Belfast had a low cost of living. We have been wanting to move for quite some time now, this post has added another potential option.

  4. Marina says:

    Never been to Northern Ireland but I’ve heard only good things about Belfast! Now I want to go there so badly *w*

  5. Rita says:

    Interestingly awesome. I really tell and see it’s vibrant nature coming from you. I love trying locally produced foods and most importantly the nature all around.
    I just love this.

  6. Jen Nilsson says:

    Well, you’ve convinced me. Now I want to move to Belfast! Honestly, as an American and entrepreneur, it really time to start looking for another place to live. Health care + rent/mortgage is just wildly expensive. Maybe I’ll settle my nomadic buns in Belfast. Thanks for the tips!

  7. Anne Betts says:

    I made a side trip to Belfast purely for the Titanic where I spent a full day. Your list is a reminder I should have lingered longer. Next time I will. Thank you for the encouragement.

  8. Katherine says:

    You had me at affordable cost of living and great bars and restaurants! I loved visiting Ireland, but never got to Belfast. And it sounds like there are lots of great reasons to move there!

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