Belfast is Northern Ireland's biggest city and is also the cultural capital, birth place of the Titanic and home to Queen's University Belfast, a pretty sweet red brick university! The Queen's campus is within Belfast's 'Golden Mile' of pubs, clubs, cafés, restaurants and other venues so student life tends to concentrate here for both part-time jobs and chilling out. Here are 8 reasons that Belfast is an awesome student city!
1. Belfast itselfSo Belfast itself seems to be getting a pretty great wrap at the moment, it's officially the Best UK City according to the Guardian Travel Awards 2016, has over 400 bars and restaurants, a student population of 40,000 and it was also recognised as having the "lowest cost of living in the UK in Mercer's 2014 Worldwide Cost of Living survey and the NatWest Student Living Index 2015". Plus it was named the safest region in the UK during the British Crime Survey in 2014. Pretty good so far, right?
2. The uni
The new £20 million law school at Queen's features world class facilities to support an innovative culture of learning and the school was ranked joint 4th in the UK out of 67 Law Schools for the impact of its research, which is pretty great. As well as law, "Queen's is at the forefront of research globally in areas as diverse as Green Chemistry, Secure Information Technologies, Food Security, Collaborative Research in the Humanities, Conflict Transformation, Health Sciences and Astrophysics" as mentioned by the Complete University Guide.
3. The BrunchBrunch is big business in Belfast, I mean, get a load of General Merchants amazing brunch below and check out this amazing Buzzfeed for 15 more brunch spots to blow your mind.
4. The nightlifeAs previously mentioned, the Belfast 'Golden Mile' is packed with bars and clubs but I thought I'd pick out just one bar in Belfast that really caught my eye. The Perch Rooftop Bar looks super cool, different and serves really interested cocktails and also have a food menu!
5. Giant's causewayObviously a must see attraction when it comes to being a tourist in Belfast but it's also a fab place to venture out to if you're studying and the city gets a bit much. There's a tonne of walking trails as well as the six must-see sights of the Causeway, a gift shop and more.
6. Retail therapyVictoria Square is the place to go for all things shopping, retail and fun plus quirky independents are also everywhere like the super cute Kiln & Loom - coffee and a gift shop? I'm sold! Head to Ormeau Road or Lisburn Road for designer names and Donegall Pass is the place to find antiques! St George's Market is super popular for fresh and local produce and has a great atmosphere; it has a Friday Variety Market and a Saturday City Food & Garden Market!
7. Travel linksFlights to London take about 1 hour and it's only 2 hours to Dublin by train plus there's numerous ferries over to England & Scotland so you're never far away from anywhere thanks to the fab travel links by air and rail.
8. FoodThe Queen's Quarter and the Cathedral Quarter are both packed with food places to visit and there's also a tonne of awesome places to eat actually on the Queen's campus itself. Clements, a student-favourite cafe, has three branches over the Queen's uni campus and are 'religious' about coffee. Apparently their portion sizes are pretty generous too. Fancy some lunch? Acapulco serves tacos, burrito boxes, chilli, chipotle chicken, salads and more. I've also spied Bubbacue, a speedy BBQ restaurant and Home Belfast, a healthy eating establishment so there's definitely something for everyone when it comes to food in Belfast. You won't be stuck with a sad kebab at the end of a night out or a uninspiring meal deal for a day at the library, I'm sure!
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