Cost of living Belfast as a Student: Your Ultimate Guide
5 min read

Cost of living Belfast as a Student: Your Ultimate Guide

5 min read
Uploaded on
Nov 30, 2022
Last updated on
Mar 14, 2023
Uploaded on
Nov 30, 2022
Last updated on
Mar 14, 2023
Cost of living Belfast
A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore

Belfast is a vibrant and buzzing city with a high quality of life for individuals. But what is it like to live here? This guide aims to give you all the information you need on the cost of living in Belfast so that you can budget and save and see whether this is the right city for you.

About Belfast

Belfast is the twelfth-largest metropolis in the United Kingdom and the second-largest city on the island of Ireland. Despite the fact that many other cities may be more well-known, Belfast is regarded as Ireland's travel and tourism hub. Several of the major universities in the country are located in Belfast, making it a leading contender among foreign education providers. The city has a long history of manufacturing and academic advancement. Two prestigious universities with undergraduate and graduate programmes are located in the town. Universities in Belfast include Queen's University and Ulster University. 

Cost of living 

Belfast itself is not an expensive city to live in. A big part of the appeal is the low cost of living compared to mainland Britain. Also, Belfast is 32.8% cheaper than Seattle. However, the cost of accommodation depends entirely on how you want to live. Whether you are a family or single, the average studio costs between £200 and £400. If you are a student, Your total cost of living in Belfast will also be strongly determined by the type of student housing you choose. You have several various options for student housing to choose from. You can select between on-campus and off-campus housing. PBSAs are the finest alternative for convenient and pleasant student accommodation in Belfast. The accommodation cost will vary based on where you live and the kind of room you have. The following ranges roughly reflect the cost of living in Belfast:

How to save on living costs in Belfast?

The cost of living can be easily reduced by focusing on your family and your own needs. You can easily save money by choosing a house a little far from the city centre. If you are a student, living with friends or renting a room for two people can help you save money on living expenses in Belfast. 

Figuring out what to do with all that saved money?  Check out our 40 Things to do in Belfast blog!

Cost of Travel in Belfast

Another big component of your total cost of living in Belfast will be your travel expenses. The city has a range of public transport options that you can choose from. You can pretty much walk from one sight to the next in Belfast because the city is so compact. If you don't want to travel outside Belfast, you don't need to bother about renting a car because you can get around the city on foot with ease. Beautiful Belfast may be experienced in a variety of ways. Here is a breakdown of the average price of transport in the city, so you can plan out your Belfast living expenses. You can get around Belfast using various modes of transportation, which include: 
On foot - The first method is by foot! Belfast is a wonderful walking-friendly city, and getting around the city on foot is a great way to get some exercise. You can walk almost anywhere you need to go, and while you do so, you can admire the beautiful architecture.  
Cycling - Cycling is another way to get around the city. Sedentary life won't take a toll on your health if you ride your way around the city. Due to the abundance of bike lanes on the roadways, Belfast is an ideal place to bike through. Yet another healthy way to save on the cost of living in Belfast.
Translink - The public transportation system in Northern Ireland is called Translink, which transports people by bus and train. The glider service is a more recent and speedier bus service that connects the various areas of Belfast, whereas the metro buses are the standard city buses that carry you through numerous routes in the city.
Travelling by Train and bus is a great way to reduce your cost of living in Belfast. Both are excellent options for getting around the city, and if you apply for the YLink card (free for students), you can save money on all the costs. Train travel is the second option for moving about the city and the rest of Northern Ireland. You may travel throughout Northern Ireland and to Dublin by train, thanks to Translink.

How to save on your travel expenses in Belfast?

Try walking to stay active and save money! If you want to travel frequently, you should also consider getting combination passes, or special term passes. Several public transit operators provide significant travel discounts to students. If you are a student and any reductions are available, you should take advantage of them to reduce your cost of living in Belfast. 
New to the city? Check out our Student City Guide: Belfast blog to explore the city!

Food and Groceries

When analysing the cost of living in Belfast, we must consider food and groceries. These costs are more difficult to determine because they will surely vary from person to person. An individual, on the other hand, will most likely spend £50-200 a month on food. The following are the prices of some of the most common meals and grocery expenses:
Food is important, and we can’t leave it out when discussing your cost of living in Belfast. Food prices will vary depending on your taste and preferences. 

How can you save on your food expenses?

This one can be hard because the best method to save money on food is to just not eat. But we both know it's not the proper way. You should prepare as many meals as possible at home. You'll discover that eating out swiftly depletes your bank account.
Cooking may be difficult to fit into your daily routine at first, but after a while, it will become a lot easier, and you may even start to like it! If you're a student or bachelor and looking for ideas, visit our quick recipes ideas blog and pick your favourite.


When estimating the cost of living in Belfast, you must account for the cost of basic utilities. Depending on where you live and how much you use these commodities, the monthly cost of your utilities will vary, but they are unavoidable for the smooth running of your home. However, whether you are a bachelor or a family shifting to Belfast, an average amount of expenditure on the essentials that you can expect is £82 - £100 per month.

How to save on utilities when living in Belfast?

Sharing a flat with roommates can help you significantly reduce your cost of living in Belfast. If you are with your family, you can focus on the minimal things which will scratch out a few extra bucks for you, like switching off the lights and making sure to turn down the heat and cooling when you’re leaving your apartment will also help you save on your average living cost in Belfast.  

Tuition Fees in Belfast

Tuition fees would make up a sizable portion of the cost of living in Belfast as a student. As a result, this is a crucial factor to consider when creating your budget. The top universities in Belfast are listed in detail below, along with their tuition costs.
1. Queen's University Belfast - Queen's University Belfast (QUB), a more than 100-year-old institution, is a part of the esteemed Russell Group of UK institutions focusing on research. In its global university rankings for 2021, QS (Top Universities) has placed QUB at position 209 overall. QUB was consistently rated between 200 and 250 by Times Higher Education (THE) in its best university rankings from 2017 to 2020, and it was raised to 200 in 2021. To help you better understand your cost of living in Belfast, here is the fee structure for the postgraduate courses and undergraduate courses at Queen's University Belfast.
2. Ulster University - Located in the city centre of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Ulster University (UU Belfast) is a renowned research and educational institution. More than 25,000 students from all over the world attend Ulster University. Making it one of the most multicultural universities in the world, which grants undergraduate and graduate degrees. Ulster University has ranked among the top 50 universities for the first time in the Complete University Guide (CUG) 2022 League Table's 15-year history. Here is a breakdown of the university’s tuition fees so you can better understand the cost of living in Belfast. 

How can you save on tuition fees in Belfast?

Tuition fees are more or less necessary expenses for students, and it isn't much you can do to get them to lower their pricing. Applying for scholarships or financial aid is the best method to lower your cost of living in Belfast. In the United Kingdom, scholarships such as the Chevening Scholarship are available. You can also check to see if you are qualified to apply for financial help at your preferred university. To know more about the scholarships in Ireland, check out our blog on Scholarships in Ireland

Miscellaneous Expenses

All work and no play make Jack a boring boy. While in the city, there are several different costs to consider when it comes to the cost of living in Manchester. Purchasing stationery, purchasing furniture, attending concerts, shopping for clothes, and sightseeing are all part of the average living cost in Belfast. While living you Belfast, you can expect the entertainment cost will be moderate. A dinner or a nightclub can cost you £15 - 20. Similarly, if you are up for a movie, you should keep at least £8 - 10 in your pocket. A coffee, beer or can cocktail can cost you near about £3 - 8.

How to reduce the cost of miscellaneous expenses while living in Belfast?

These expenses may have appeared to be the most fun, but they are tragically the least required. When trying to cut your cost of living in Belfast, these are the first things to go. Finding less expensive alternatives to these expenses may be the most effective approach to saving money. You might try sharing the costs. Utilities are billed by household rather than per individual, so if you are a bachelor sharing a flat with friends will help you save money on these expenses.

That was all there was to know about the cost of living in Belfast. Even though we may not have included every price, we hope that this blog has given you a general sense of what to anticipate when you start to plan out your living expenses in Belfast and begin developing a budget.