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Belfast and Northern Ireland

8 Things you can do in Belfast that you can’t do anywhere else

Belfast is a unique place, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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1. Feel safe in your surroundings 

Though Queen’s is not technically a campus uni, it has a leafy community feel thanks to its prime location next to Botanic Gardens city park and the bustling Botanic Avenue. Students who come here from outside Northern Ireland are often surprised how easy and safe it is to walk around Belfast. 92% of current international students were satisfied with their safety and security at Queen’s and Belfast is in the safest region in the UK (International Student Barometer 2020/21, UK British Crime Surveys 2019/20).  

Walk night


2. Chat to new people

We’re a very friendly bunch here in Belfast, so don’t be alarmed if a random stranger starts chatting to you. We also LOVE tourists, so ask anybody for directions and you’re likely to make a new best friend for life.


Anthony J Myers on Twitter

Nicest thing about Belfast is people's friendliness. Everyone's so chatty.

3. Eat crisps sandwiches

We have the BEST crisps in the world in Belfast (we’re looking at you, Tatyo). So can you really blame us for wanting to eat them all the time – even in a sandwich filling.

Jonathan Porter on Twitter

get your gub round that!! Popup sandwich cafe opens in Belfast. Tayto and Belfast Baps @thatweecafe

4. Eat the best bread in the world

We embrace carbs, and bread is a staple of the local diet. But once you taste soda bread, wheaten bread or Veda, you’ll see why we are obsessed.

Eating Ideason Twitter

Making soda bread with @NIFoodTours thanks to @DiscoverNI totally delicious! #discoverni #northernireland

5. Sunbathe at the first glimpse of sunshine

The first glimpse of summer will likely elicit the phrase ‘Taps off’ from the locals. Translation, 'it’s so hot I’m going to remove my shirt.' And we do. Even in the city centre.

Mark Simpson on Twitter

Official start of summer in Belfast. Just spotted first 'taps aff' of the year in Botanic Gardens. #TapsAff

6. Start sentences with ‘Here’ or Here’s me’.

If you’re really shocked, try ‘Here’s me wha?’

Coaster - Here's Me Wha?

Northern Ireland coaster by Jeff Meredith entitled 'Here's Me Wha?'. Free Delivery Option to UK & Ireland. Next Day Delivery Option.

7. Say ‘bye’ 273 times before you hang up the phone

Getting off the phone with a person from Northern Ireland can take some time.

Andrew Norrby on Twitter

@errolgolf in northern Ireland every phone call ends like this: "bye-bye, bye, bye-bye-bye, bye bye bye bye bye bye

8. Thank the bus driver as you jump off

We’re not just super friendly, we are super polite. You’ll hear people shout ‘thanks’ to the bus driver as they hop off and we smile and say hello to strangers we pass in the street. Londoners are often shocked.

Raymond Walsh on Twitter

The big thing to remember, when you arrive back to London from Belfast, is not to smile at strangers it seems!

Read more about Belfast quirks

Staff writer