The Graduate School

New Student's Guide to Belfast


Where do Students Live in Belfast?

Most students choose to live within walking distance of the university.  As Belfast is a compact city, this is quite a large area.

Popular locations include the Lisburn Road, the Ormeau Road and the Holylands.

You will find property for rent in these areas on Propertypal, SU Lettings or Gumtree

You can find university accommodation information here, including information on Grant House and the postgraduate halls Mount Charles and Willow Walk, .

Where is the Main Shopping District?

Here is a handy map of Belfast city centre.  The City Hall is at the heart of Belfast, and you'll find the major shopping streets radiating off it.

The major shopping malls are Castlecourt Shopping Centre and Victoria Square.


There are good second hand bookshops and vintage clothes shops on Botanic Avenue. 


The Lisburn Road has high-end fashion shops.

Where do Queen's Students Hang Out?

Botanic Avenue is a very popular street, filled with cafes, bookshops and bars. 

At night, you can always find students in the bars near the halls of residence - The Botanic Inn and the Eglantine Inn (known as 'the Bot' and 'the Egg')

The Cathedral Quarter in the city centre is Belfast's cultural centre. There are galleries, music venues, and lots of pubs with live music.

The Student's Union has a number of bars, shops and cafes.

When the sun shines in Belfast, you can find everyone hanging out in the Botanic Gardens, which are conveniently located beside the McClay library.

I'm New to Belfast. How Will I Make Friends?

The Graduate School runs a Welcome Week at the start of the Autumn semester. This is a series of fun social events for postgraduate students (last year events included Breakfast meet and greets, Speed Mating, Wii competitions, trampolining and film nights).

Your School will also run orientation events and most faculties host postgraduate parties to introduce newbies to staff and students.

The Student's Union runs a Fresher's Week, which will include a Fresher's Fair. You should sign up to a club or society that interests you.

I Have Loads of Questions and I Don't Know Who I can Ask.

For questions related to your course, you should get in contact with your School office. 

For questions related to visas and immigration matters, contact the International Student Support Office:

For any query, you can contact the Graduate School: 

The Student Guidance Centre provides information about disability services, counselling, and careers.

Coffee, Lunch, Dinner, Drinks

Caffeine Fix

Queen's has a wealth of great Cafés on it's doorstep. In addition to Krem, Clements, and Hope on Campus, check out the Black Bear just opposite the Museum; the Museum café has great lunch deals and lovely views of the gardens; Sinnamon on Botanic and Stranmillis have the best coffee in Belfast; and Common Grounds is a great place for a long, chilled, coffee break. Further afield but definately worth the trip is the Dock Café in Titanic Quarter. Ample space and lovely atmosphere for getting some work done...and oh, did we mention tea/coffee and small bites are pay-what-you-can?!

Tasty Bites

For the occasional weekday treat head to Botanic for the best variety in lunchtime fare. Go Mexican at Boojums, Japanese at Sakura, American at Build a Burger, or Italian at Carlito's. Common Grounds on University Ave have a great selection and Bookfinders on University Rd is a hidden gem - you can even bring your own bottle if it's that kind of lunch!

Refined Dining

There are a host of decent restaurants in the vicinity of Queen’s. Beatrice Kennedy, Deanes, and Molly’s Yard are all top quality on the upper end of the scale. Drennan’s on University St. has a lovely atmosphere and is b.y.o. For something a little more exotic check out Archana on Dublin Rd or Sakura on Botanic. The Barking Dog on Malone Rd (just past the Bot) is also great and has some good lunchtime deals during the week.


While the Cathedral Quarter may have the edge on the cool places to be seen in Belfast, there are plenty of options for a post-work drink closer to campus. Madison’s on Botanic do great cocktail deals. The Metro Bar on the Crescent is great for quiet drinks or with a group. The Parlour on Eglantine has plenty of space and always has a bit of life to it. Venturing towards town, choices are Lavery’s, the Globe, and one of the newer additions, Filthy Mc Nasty’s (Dublin Road) which has a great beer garden and cocktail room.

Get Connected

Stay in touch with social events happening in the Graduate School or around QUB by following us on Twitter (@QUB_gradschool), and facebook (