Skip to Content

Cost of living

Stress-free student living

Forget Dublin’s rental squeeze: you won’t face a scramble for a safe, affordable place to live in Belfast.

Student accommodation in the leafy Quarter typically comes in around €510 (£440*) a month, with rent prices in the city around 70% cheaper than **.

In our friendly, culturally-energised city, just two hours north of Dublin, you’ll also pay less for the fun stuff including travel, takeaways and entertainment.

*Exchange rate source: (10/8/23)
** rental price report Q4 2022


Belfast can be over €2,000 per year cheaper to live than Dublin, with the biggest savings to be made on phone and utility bills which average 40% and 43% less, respectively.*

Belfast has the lowest cost of living in the UK.**

*Numbeo, August 2023. Calculated using Cost of Living Plus Rent Index. Based on renting in both cities, assuming net earnings. Basic bills for 85m2 Apartment, Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data

** Mercer Cost of Living City Ranking 2023


Queen’s has 3,500 central student rooms available, while private rental accommodation is easily accessible and more affordable than in other student cities in the UK* and Ireland.

*Belfast has the lowest student rent in the UK (NatWest Student Living Index, 2020).
University Comparison 2023/24
Student Accommodation [1] €6,437.65 (£5600) €6,729.35 €9,600.48
Tuition Fees €5,417.26 (£4,710) €5,681 €5,880
Weekly Travel Costs [2] €17.15 (£15) €11 €11
Cinema Ticket [3] QFT: €5.25 (£4.50)
Cineworld: €9.32 (£7.99)
€£7.99 €£7.99
Gym Membership Off-peak: Free
Peak: £194/year (€226.25)
Free N/A
Bao Bun Meal [4] €18.66 (£16) €20.25 €20.25
  • [1] Queen's University Belfast: cost based on 40 weeks in en-suite room in Elms BT9. Cost includes utilities. Trininty College Dublin: Cost based on Trininty Hall SINGLE ENSUITE bedroom within apartment from Sep 16 2022 - May 10 2023 (33 weeks and 5 days). Cost excludes utilities. University College Dublin: Cost based on en-suite room in Ashfield from 01/09/2023 - 20/05/2024 (37 weeks and 3 days).
  • [2] Based on Weekly travel pass by bus.
  • [3] Costs based on price of Student Standard ticket, nearest Cineworld to University.
  • [4] Based on Bao Bun Meal Deal 3: Baos or rice box, protein, poutine, kimchi or katsu fries & a drink.
Hear from our Students
What I Eat in a Week as a Student

Kathryn Allen, Northern Ireland

My Weekly Budget as a Student in Belfast

Suhani Puneet Abrol, India

Budgeting Tips for Students in Belfast
Affordable Food and Drink

Affordable Accommodation

“In comparison to finding affordable accommodation in Dublin, Belfast was much more accessible and economical from my experience…the city still remains one of the less expensive capital cities in the UK, and while only a train ride from Dublin, it was still close to home.”

Beth Molloy, Dublin, MA Geopolitics

Queen's Film Theatre

Typical living expenses

A standard student cinema ticket will cost you over €2 less than in Dublin; while an off-peak membership to the Queen's PEC is free for those staying in student accommodation.

Read more: Cost of Living comparison between Belfast and Dublin

Student blog: Why I moved from Dublin to Belfast to pursue a Masters

Travel and Transport

A yLink discount card is a free card which will give you 50% off Translink bus and rail travel in Northern Ireland and up to 50% off Enterprise for up to 8 years.

For cross-border travel, you’ll get 50% off singles (on bus/at stations and online) and 1 month returns only (online only), so getting home for a visit is quick, simple and affordable.

Over 24? Apply for the 24 Plus Travelcard which will give you 1/3 off cash and mLink singles, day return, weekly and monthly tickets and up to 50% off Enterprise fares.

More details