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10 reasons to live in Belfast

belfastMoving across the Irish Sea, we arrive firmly in Belfast, Northern Ireland. 




1. Thing about the area

Everything! From the newly revamped, pedestrian-friendly City Centre, to the addition of gates in the Peace Wall and the subsequent park improvements, Belfast is a rapidly growing place with friendly people and lots to see and do.

"The city centre has all been recently revamped and is clean and pedestrian friendly." Squirted

"Access to mountains/sea/fields/river/city centre - everything you damn well need in one bite-sized little place." SacreBlue


2. Child-friendly cafébcastle

Ground at Next has lots of toys for various ages and a fenced off bit where your child can have a crawl while you have a coffee.

"Little Wing (not quite a cafe, but I don't take my three to cafes - the youngest can wreak havoc)." justupthebend


3. Child-free night out

Cocktails at Apartment or The Merchant Hotel, or a concert at the Odyssey

"I like Café Vaudeville and the Merchant Hotel. Plenty of nice places to eat - 21social, James Street South, Salt Bistro, Made in Belfast, The Cloth Ear, The Apartment. We get a lot of big artists at the Odyssey now, which can be a good night out." Squirted


4. Outside space

Botanic Gardens with its extensive fields for running and its play area and, of course, the Ulster Museum (see Free Visitor Attraction below).

"Has to be Botanic Gardens. Or Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon park. Or the Lagan towpath at Shaws Bridge." Squirted


At a glance

Average semi-detached house price
Belfast: £124,605
UK: £201,427

Average class size for primary schools
Belfast: 28 pupils 
UK: 27 pupils

Average salary
Belfast: £29,000
UK: £26,000

Unemployment rate
Belfast: 7.8%
UK: 7.8%

5. Hidden gem

The Crown Liquor Saloon, which is a National Trust Property and a pub all in one.

"Walking up on Black Mountain." Squirted

"Lagan tow path - bike, walk, feed the ducks, spot the tiddlers, climbing trees, picnicking, or just stuffing your face at nearby Cutters (with added bonus of a swift half)." SacreBlue


6. Schools

It's impossible to pick our best schools as all of our schools are so great.


7. Free visitor attractions

The Ulster Museum with dinosaurs, gems and life in Northern Ireland all in one place.

"St George's Market, Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens. Stormont and adjacent playground Mo Mowlam Memorial Park." justupthebend


8. Day out

Belfast Castle. Great outdoor space and a castle.

"Belfast Zoo, W5, Titanic Museum (I havent been but I know some people who've been pleasantly surprised - not for the under-7s), Open Top Bus Tour. There are obviously loads outside Belfast ie Bangor, Carrickfergus." justupthebend

"When our son was little, Botanic Gardens et al (museum, cafe, picnic, swings blah blah blah). Bit older, the towpath for a bit of tree climbing, tiddler spotting, duck feeding etc. Nowadays, special events in Queen's or W5 - mostly science related." SacreBlue


9. Places to livetheapartment

This is really hard to answer as each area of the city, North, South, East and West, has its own unique qualities. I live in South Belfast so I think it's best, but if you asked someone in each of the other areas they'll say the same.

"A very good friend lives in Knocknagoney and his place is lovely - with Stormont not too far." SacreBlue


10. Places to shop

Victoria Square is a great place to shop, eat and be entertained. The glass lift to the roof dome looking out over the city is well loved by young and old.

"Victoria Square, city centre generally, as pretty much everything is available without walking for miles." Squirted


About Robyn

I wanted to be Local Editor for Belfast because I love Mumsnet and I love Belfast. Belfast, and Northern Ireland in general, have been hiding their good points for so long - I'm hoping to promote what's good about living here, not just for parents, but for everyone.

As an American expat, maybe I wasn't the best choice, but no one has objected yet.



Last updated: over 3 years ago