Discover Northern Ireland

You will have exciting opportunities to travel to other parts of the UK, Europe or further afield during your university vacations.


Before making any travel plans we recommend you consider the advice being given by the UK Government and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office about ongoing travel restrictions.

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Ten amazing places to visit in Northern Ireland

There is so much to discover right on your doorstep when you're studying at Ulster! We've put together some helpful guides to give you ideas of what should be on your must-see list and a useful map so you know exactly how to plan your sightseeing trips.

Here you will find a map of Northern Ireland's visitor attractions.

What better way to discover the best places to visit for your morning coffee, the top lunch hotspots or the ultimate 'Ulster fry' than from the personal recommendation of Ulster University students! Get set to explore with our student guides.

  • Belfast

    Food

    "My friends and I basically lived and breathed Centra, it’s a two-minute walk from campus and serves a variety of hot and cold food along with the usual stuff that would be in a corner shop. This means that it is perfect for both breakfast and lunch! They have a small seating area where you can eat or there are some benches between the campus and Centra along with a few seats on the ground floor or first floor of the campus. (If you’re looking for something a little cheaper, Tesco is right round the corner, with their fabulous £3 meal deal.)

    If you have a longer break between classes or just want to go out for lunch or dinner after class, there are a lot of great restaurants or cafes nearby, there’s even The Academy, which is the Ulster University student training restaurant for those studying hospitality.

    A few places to try would be Victoria SquareCastle Court or Cityside as they are very close to campus and have a wide variety of restaurants or cafes to choose from.

    Along with this you should check out Belfast Lives top restaurants for students and Trip Advisers top restaurant choices in Belfast.

    Remember there is no harm in asking if they do student discount!"

    Nightlife

    "Belfast is home to the SSE Arena (previously known as Odyssey and some people may still refer to it with this name). This is where indoor concerts, conventions, and the Belfast Giants (Ice Hockey) games are often held. Along with this there is also the Boucher Road playing fields, which is mainly for outdoor concerts. If you want to book something while you’re in Belfast, make sure to check out Ticket Master to see what concerts are on and where.

    Belfast is has a number of Bars and Night Clubs to suit a variety of different people, so if this is something you're interested in, make sure to click these links to find the best place for you and don't forget to drink responsibly!

    The university also has plenty of events for you to get involved in, so keep an eye on your emails and join Facebook groups to find out more."

  • Jordanstown

    Food

    "The Jordanstown campus has a deli bar called Einstein’s, where you can get Starbucks coffee, sandwiches, drinks, snacks and salads with plenty of seating to enjoy your food. You will also find a Spar on campus along with a Moka coffee shop, vending machines and a U:Eat.

    Want to find out more? Check out the UU Food Facebook page.

    Off campus there are lots of options available to you within walking distance;

    Whiteabbey Village is home to Whose Art CaféSozoLittle Wing Pizzeria, Mauds Café, Bureau Bar, two Indian restaurants (Kinara and The Spice Merchant) and a few other takeout places. For more suggestions check out Trip Adviser's top restaurants near Jordanstown.

    A few other options can be found in Monkstown, where there is a Spar, Tesco Express, Mauds (this one is a sweetshop instead of a café) Asher’s Bakery and Toto Chinese takeaway."

    Nightlife

    "Jordanstown isn't known for it's bustling nightlife but with Belfast so close and easy to get to, it's worth checking out the Belfast post above!

    Another option you may have is going to Carrickfergus, now again it doesn’t have a massive night life either, but they do have a Cinema, McDonalds, Ownies Bar and a few other restaurants you could try."

  • Coleraine

    Food

    "In terms of lunches you have a few options on campus, these would mainly be the canteen, a few coffee shops that sell sandwiches and other lunch type foods or there is a Spar, which is basically a corner shop that you can buy a selection of items in.

    If you’re looking for some places to visit off campus, I have been to TidesRamore and 55 degrees North, all of which are lovely and have some good deals. However, the best way to find a restaurant that suits you best is to look at Trip Advisor as you will be able to look through the list of restaurants, and check out their reviews and menu. Just remember to check if they have any student deals or student discount, I mean, there’s no harm in asking!"

    Nightlife

    There are various hotspots that students typically frequent, popular places would be The Anchor, Villa, Me & Mrs Jones, Kiwis Brew Bar and The Atlantic. Each venue offers something different and all serve food if you're getting hungry! Another good spot if you just fancy a drink is The Harbour Bar, plus they usually have live entertainment on at the weekends, which gives it a great atmosphere.

    If you are wondering how to get to these places, the best bet is to book a taxi. Prices tend to range from £10-15 depending on exactly where you are going to and from.

    You can also take the train from the University station to Portrush, or visit check out the bus timetable to see what time they are running."

  • Magee

    Food

    "There is small canteen on campus along with a shop and a few places you can go for lunch. The Scullery offers hot and cold beverages, lunch, brunch and sweet treats and has an app you can download for both Apple and Android. Along with this you also have the option of Jitters coffee shops, which also offers tea, coffee, soups, sandwiches, and quiches.

    Near the Magee campus you have the option of a few fast food restaurants, more coffee shops, FitzroysQuaywest and a few other restaurants that can be found here."

    Nightlife

    "If you're going 'out out', it would have to Rosie Joe's. There's also The Metro Bar, which also has fairly popular student nights. If you're into gigs and live music then Sandino's, Bennigan's, The Grand Central, and Peadar's are all good music bars, though less students would generally call it their regular.

    Taxis from Duncreggan Student Village and Coppin House to the city centre would take about 10 minutes and might cost you a fiver."

  • Republic of Ireland

    Your UK visa/immigration permission does not give you immigration permission to enter the Republic of Ireland.

    It is your responsibility to find out whether you need a visa in order to enter the Republic of Ireland.

    If you do require a visa in order to enter the Republic of Ireland, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct visa before you cross the border between Northern Ireland (UK) and the Republic of Ireland.

    Please note that there can be serious consequences if you are stopped by the Irish police (Gardaí) inside the Republic of Ireland without the correct Irish visa.

    If you do not require a visa in order to enter the Republic of Ireland, there will be no opportunity for you to request immigration permission to enter the Republic of Ireland as a visitor when you cross the border between Northern Ireland (UK) and Republic of Ireland.

    You should therefore carry with you evidence of your immigration permission to be in the UK, a letter confirming that you are studying at Ulster University, and evidence of your journey to/from Northern Ireland (e.g. a return train ticket to Belfast).