words Al Woods
The United Kingdom is rich in tradition and history, which is why it’s long been one of the most popular destinations from people across the globe to visit, whatever their age. It’s also a great place for students to visit, whether to further their studies, on a gap year, or simply as part of a travel adventure.
Northern Ireland, and especially its capital city Belfast, is possibly the friendliest and most rewarding part of the United Kingdom to visit. Here are three reasons why it’s a great travel destination for students from America and across the world.
A Home from Home, with a Gaelic Twist
Many Americans have an Irish heritage, so traveling to Belfast can seem like a journey to discover your family roots. Wherever you come from, however, you’re sure to find a warm welcome in the city that has a smile around every corner. Belfast has all the shops you know and love, and of course they speak English there, so in some ways it can feel like a home from home. You’ll soon learn to love its Gaelic twists, however, as you can find the unique shops and traditions that show Belfast’s Gaelic origins, and you’ll also be able to hear people speaking Irish. Look out for Irish folk music nights, always a memorable occasion.
A Sports Mad City
Whatever sport you love, you’re sure to find it in Belfast. It’s a sports mad city, and there are many bars that show live sporting events from some of the world’s most popular sporting competitions, from the English Premier League to the NFL. Belfast is also proud of its own sporting teams, including the Belfast Giants ice hockey team who are the current champions of the United Kingdom’s Elite League. You’ll also find professional rugby and soccer teams, and the traditional sports of hurling and Gaelic football and hurling are as popular here as they are across the rest of Ireland. It’s also a city with lots of green spaces, and perfect for running or cycling in.
A Great Place for Food and Drink
You’ll never be short of fabulous places to eat and drink in Belfast. There’s something for every budget, from their three Michelin starred restaurants to exciting street food. Belfast is renowned worldwide for its live music, its clubs and especially its hostelries, and so you simply have to find time to visit Whites Tavern, Belfast’s oldest pub. It dates back to 1630, and when you walk inside, you can imagine being back in the seventeenth century. Original items are still in place, and the tavern has an air of authenticity that keeps people returning to it time after time. They serve great wine, spirits and Guinness as well, of course, so it’s a perfect place to relax after a day sightseeing or hard at study.
Belfast fully deserves its reputation as a great place to live, work, play and study. Whether you stay for a week, a semester or complete a degree there, you’ll always find exciting things to see and do. It’s a city rich in history, from the Titanic to Whites Tavern, and you can make your own memorable moments every time you visit.