Relocation

Location Guide: Belfast

Welcome to Belfast

Northern Ireland has the advantage of being geographically within Ireland, while being an economic part of the United Kingdom. That translates into a friendly Irish welcome, stunning surroundings of rugged coastline and lush greenery as well as UK law, taxation, health service and the best education system in the UK.

Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland is located just 2 hours from Dublin, 90 minutes from Scotland by sea and just 40 minutes from England by air. Belfast is serviced by two airports just 20 minutes from the city centre and Dublin airport less than two hours and €8 by coach. With a total population in Northern Ireland of just 1.7M and 270K in the City itself, it is a small and accessible city and has the youngest population in Europe. In a 2014 survey by Moneysupermarket.com, Belfast was named as the second best city in the UK with the “best quality of life.”

Working in Belfast

In a business setting Northern Ireland (NI) has the potential to be the fastest growing economy in the world (on a per capita basis). We have 7M visitors per year and we are the most successful country in Europe at attracting foreign investment (per capita). NI has the largest software development industry in the UK and the best broadband network in Europe.

Recent investments in the city include 800 sq ft city centre shopping emporium (Victoria Square) costing 400M, The Titanic Quarter (where the unsinkable Titanic was actually built) alone will provide 25,000 jobs over the next 5-10 years and various Fortune 100 companies opening European offices in Belfast and nearby Derry.

Tax and National Insurance Contributions are deducted from salary at a total rate of around 21% of gross earnings and of course paying National Insurance insures free medical service, subsidised dental service, and pension contribution.

Life in Belfast

Belfast is sociable, and as one of the lowest rates of living in Europe it remains economical for companies and individuals. The average cost of renting a 2 bedroom apartment in the city is £450-£600 stg. Shared accommodation amongst professionals is available form around £250 sterling.

Northern Ireland is recognised by the British Council as having the lowest cost of living in the UK (or Ireland). We estimate, as a guide, that you should allow around £7000 to cover your personal expenses for one year. Belfast is one of the safest cities to live in within Europe too, with low crime rate.

The city is home to various festivals and events throughout the year as well as hosting many cultural attractions. But let’s not forget in such a small country – nowhere in Northern Ireland is more than 2 hours away by car/coach so there is lots to do and see throughout the country.

Restaurants

Belfast offers hundreds of options for dining from great quality eateries where you can bring your own wine to accompany your meal to Michelin start Restaurants and seafood bars. They also have a great selection of traditional pub grub, and unique Northern irish and Irish delicacies to sample.

For a bit of luxury, try these two restaurants, the first of which is a Michelin Star eatery.

During the working week many of the city’s restaurants offer fantastic special menu’s and discounts such as two main courses and bottle of house wine for £20 or 2x two course dinners and bottle of wine for £25.

Bars

Here’s just a few places we’d recommend. Belfast has no shortage of fantastic bars, whether you fancy a quiet drink, a big night out, or a quirky, indie bar to enjoy an afternoon drink in.

The Average Cost of Living In Belfast

Restaurants

Average

Meal at an inexpensive restaurant

£9.72

Meal for 2 with 3 courses, mid range restaurant

£35.00

Combo meal at McDonalds, etc.

£5.00

Drinks

                                            Average

Domestic Beer (0.5 litre draught) 

                                            £3.50

Imported Beer (0.33 litre bottle)

                                            £3.45

Wine (10 cl glass, depending on brand) 

                                            £4.00

Cappuccino

                                            £2.47

Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle)

                                            £1.22

Water (0.33 litre bottle) 

                                            £1.00

Transport

                                                                                         Average

One way ticket 

                                                                                         £1.85

Monthly Pass

                                                                                        £50.00

Taxi Start 

                                                                                        £2.72

Taxi 1km 

                                                                                        £0.90

Gasoline (1 litre)

                                                                                        £1.38

Monthly Rent and Living Costs

             Average          

Apartment (1 bedroom) in city centre

             £546.00

Apartment (1 bedroom) outside city centre

             £382.00

Apartment (3 bedrooms) in city centre

             £842.00

Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside city centre  

             £570.00

Utilities (electricity, heating, water etc.

for small apartment)

             £109.00

1 minute of prepaid mobile tariff local (no discounts or plans)

             £0.13

Internet (6 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)

             £23.00

There are 4 cinemas around the city centre that offer films for only £3.00 every Tuesday, otherwise it’s £5.50 every other day. It’s always busy on a Tuesday night, but it’s definitely worth it for a cheap screening!

Useful Links:

See the links below for some fantastic tourism videos on YouTube, giving you a great taste of what Belfast and Northern Ireland are like, and the many wonderful attractions they offer.

Here are a few links to Northern Ireland tourist websites, and also a link to an excellent website for renting or buying a new place to live to go along with your new job.

Map

Videos

Photos

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