Belfast Basic Information

Belfast has redefined itself into a tourist hotspot specialising in night-time entertainment attracting theatregoers and hens/bucks parties. It is advisable to keep both political and religious views close to your chest while in the area as the city is still feeling very tender from historic civil unrest verging on urban war that nearly tore the port town in two. The Irish are bubbly accommodating folk; however they do speak blooming quick! Politely explain that you didn’t catch a word and, with a chuckle, locals will tone down the lingo, just for you!

Visa Requirements

Australian passport holders looking to visit the UK for less than 6 months do not require a visa. If you are planning on staying longer than 6 months, or looking to study or work in Belfast, then you will need to apply for a visa before you travel. Your type and length of study or work will determine what type of visa you can apply for. You may also be eligible for a working visa if you are a Commonwealth citizen or have UK ancestry. All foreigners are required to register their place of residence within 24 hours of arrival. Please be aware that this information is only a guideline. For up-to-the-minute visa information, please contact your local British embassy.

Currency

The UK uses the British Pound. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and British Pound changes constantly, so keep an eye on the exchange rate and purchase Pounds when the rate is at its best. For safe spending, it is also recommended to bring a credit card or Multi-currency Cash Passport™ with you. A Multi-currency Cash Passport allows you to transfer money onto the card in Pounds and access it with a much lower fee than a typical bankcard. Always tell your bank or credit card company your travel dates before you leave so you can access your account from overseas.

Food

It’s amazing to think once upon a time Belfast was home to just 1 restaurant. Today, the city is home to a practical smorgasbord of dining opportunities from quaint gastro-pub fare to Michelin-star cuisine. For a quintessential Irish dining experience, look out for the city’s traditional pubs with a genuine passion for all things Irish. For a traditional meal, you can’t go past a beef pie washed down with a pint of Guinness. Seafood is also popular in Belfast with many restaurants sourcing ingredients from the nearby bay.

Nightlife

Twenty years ago, the bars in central Belfast would have called their last round at 9pm. Today, the city parties ‘til dawn in everything from smart and stylish cocktail bars, sport bars and clubs to, of course, traditional Irish pubs. Students that live and study in the city often head down the ‘Golden Mile’, the name given to the stretch of Dublin Road, Great Victoria Street and Bradbury Place that eventually ends at the adequately named University Road. For some festive fun anytime of the week anytime of the year, follow the sound of singing down the many side streets for some in-pub homebrewed entertainment. Find your way to one of the best- reviewed pubs in Belfast, the Duke of York public house, which boasts an electric atmosphere, excellent range of brews and live entertainment all set within a traditional-style venue that puts you straight at ease. This pub and many others can be found on Commercial Street in the heart of the city.