Postgraduate students who choose to study and live in Belfast soon agree that they’ve made an excellent choice. Apart from impressive academic institutions, this vibrant capital of Northern Ireland isn't short of great attractions. Belfast is a great choice of city for postgraduates because there's so much to learn, see and do in and around the city. The longer you stay, the more it feels like home, and if you're lucky, you might even pick up the accent.
As a postgraduate student coming to study in Belfast, here are ten of the best things you can do in this great British city.
1. Enjoy the Nightlife
It's no secret that students like to party, and that eve extends to the more serious postgraduate students. Well, you've earned that right to enjoy yourself once in a while, and fortunately there's plenty of choice to satisfy even the thirstiest of the many postgrads who frequent Belfast's friendly pubs and clubs. One favourite drinking area is the imaginatively named 'Filthy Quarter' comprising four terrific pubs including the famed Filthy McNasty's.
2. Visit Museums
Get your fill of culture from Belfast's many excellent museums. Ulster Museum displays a huge amount of prehistoric relics and artifacts, while the Ulster American Folk Park depicts the mass emigration from Ireland to North America. There's also the Titanic Belfast Museum, which, as you've probably guessed, is dedicated to the ill-fated, Belfast-built ocean liner.
3. Discover Great Music
Belfast's music scene ranges from countless local pubs with live rock, pop or traditional Irish bands to full-sized concert venues and world-class acts. There are also classical concerts available in venues such as Ulster Hall and Waterfront Hall, two major concert and conference venues.
4. Take A Walk in the Park
Belfast has many beautiful parks, and a full list of them can be found at Belfast City Council website. Belfast Zoo in Antrim Street is popular, and further afield there's a pleasant get-away walk in Lagan Valley Regional Park with eleven miles of riverbank to explore.
5. Get Fit
Sports like football, rugby, Gaelic football and swimming are all very popular in Belfast, both at professional and also at amateur level that you can get involved in yourself. There are also plenty of modern, well-equipped gyms and fitness clubs throughout the city.
6. Cycle Around the City
Many interesting areas of Belfast can be explored quite easily by riding a bicycle through the streets. You can take organised tours and learn from a guide about various parts of the city as you pass through, or, in true student fashion, save money, hire a bike for the day – or buy a second hand one – and go it alone.
7. Indulge in Retail Therapy
There’s some great shopping to be done in Belfast. Victoria Square Shopping Centre has a huge range of retail outlets. There's also a cinema, restaurants, snack bars, amusements and more. It’s an enjoyable place to spend some time if you can resist the temptation to spend more money than you should.
8. Save Money at Markets
Since most postgraduates are no richer than undergraduates – and in many cases even poorer – markets are a popular shopping choice. Head for St George's Market in East Bridge Street, where you can find many needed items, and lots more that you don't need but want anyway, some at great bargain prices.
9. Visit Festivals
Belfast is famed for its festivals. There's always something going on throughout the year whether it's an arts, music, film or whatever other type of festival. They're all well organised, and you can keep up with what's on at Belfast City Council's information list and schedule.
10. Take a Trip
After intense bouts of studying, consider getting away for a few days. Belfast is conveniently located for trips to the beautiful countryside of Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and across the Irish Sea to Scotland or England.