Belfast Botanic Gardens
29 April 2021

A guide to living in South Belfast


Are you planning a move to South Belfast? Well are here to help. We have created a guide to living in South Belfast which showcases the top eateries, local attractions and more!

Living in South Belfast

From leafy avenues to tree-lined streets, South Belfast is a chic and charming area that emits a suburban atmosphere despite its close proximity to the city centre.

South Belfast is home to an array of eclectic neighbourhoods such as the prestigious Malone Road, the bustling Lisburn Road and the student favourite – Botanic Avenue.

Those in search for a culinary delight, or a Saturday night beverage, flock to the Lisburn Road where a variety of palettes are catered for. Along with an abundance of fine eateries, the Lisburn Road has also become known for its selection of charming shopping boutiques.

Belfast’s infamous ‘Golden Mile’ begins south of the city where the Dublin Road leads to Great Victoria Street, Bradbury Place and University Road, encompassing a number of top restaurants and lively bars.

Towards the Golden Mile’s southern extremity is the University Quarter. It is here that you will find Queen’s University, a building that has become instantly recognisable and a landmark in the Belfast area. Surrounding the magnificent university are streets lined with Victorian houses which add another layer of charm to the area.

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Who is South Belfast ideal for?

Beautiful period houses line leafy streets with these Victorian and Edwardian houses adding to the grandeur and character of the area. Many contemporary apartments are also found in South Belfast, perfect for young professionals. Several arterial routes lead into the city centre while both Metro Services and trains offer services both in and outside of the city, ideal for those working commuters.

With schools, outdoor parks and a host of amenities on the doorstep, South Belfast emits a suburban feel that allows families to reside in a picturesque area outside the bustle of the city centre.

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Where to eat in South Belfast?

  • Molly’s Yard: Resting in the heart of Belfast’s Queen’s Quarter, Molly’s Yard is an award-winning restaurant that is housed in a converted Victorian stables and courtyard. Serving modern Irish cuisine, emphasis is placed on preparing food which is fresh and seasonal.
  • Scalini:  Scalini is the Italian word for steps, a very apt name for this pizzeria which is spread across multiple floors – each with its very own character. No matter where your eyes turn, you are treated to a spectacular Italian vista. This family run restaurant is a stone’s throw from Queen’s University and the Botanic Gardens.
  • Cutters Wharf: Located on the banks of the River Lagan, Cutters Wharf is the perfect setting for any occasion. Whether you are after a tasty pub lunch, al fresco dining or a light beverage, Cutters Wharf caters for all tastes.
  • SHU Restaurant: Set in a Victorian terrace on the stylish Lisburn Road, SHU has won many accolades over the years and it is no surprise it is such a hit with the locals. Awards include Food and Wine Magazine’s Best Restaurant In Ulster Award and an AA Rosette Award for Culinary Excellence.
  • Deanes at Queens: Local, simple and hearty food is on the menu in South Belfast! Deanes at Queens is a stylish restaurant which takes advantage of its enviable location with a terrace overlooking the striking architecture of Methodist College and the Botanic Gardens.
  • Deane & Decano: Deane & Decano is a smart and stylish restaurant with an Italian flavour. With an array of menus including brunch, evening and Sunday dinner, there is something for everyone in this South Belfast restaurant.
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What to do in South Belfast

  • Queen’s University Belfast: Queen’s University Belfast is one of the leading universities in the UK and Ireland. The Lanyon Building’s design borrows from Gothic and Tudor character and is an instantly recognisable landmark in Belfast. Why not take a tour around the campus and immerse yourself in the history of Queen’s University Belfast.
  • Botanic Gardens: The Botanic Gardens is an important part of the city’s Victorian heritage and proves a popular meeting place for those of all ages. These gardens are home to The Palm House, which contains a range of tropical plants and seasonal displays, and The Tropical Ravine where some of the oldest plants seeds can be found.
  • Ulster Museum: Located in the grounds of the Botanic Gardens, the Ulster Museum captivates people of all ages. From art lovers to history buffs, dinosaur fanatics to Egyptian enthusiasts, there is something for everyone in the Ulster Museum.
  • Ormeau Park: Opened to the public in 1871, Ormeau Park is the oldest municipal park in Belfast. With an array of woodland, flower displays and wildlife, you will be forgiven for forgetting that you are in Belfast. A number of events are in this area each year, including concerts and band performances. Ormeau Park is also popular with sporting fans due to the access of bowling greens, tennis courts and soccer pitches.
  • Windsor Park: For football fans, Windsor Park is a must-see. Home to the Northern Ireland football team, Windsor Park offers the opportunity to relive their favourite NI sporting moments before embarking on a stadium tour.
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Schools in South Belfast

  • Methodist College Belfast: Methodist College Belfast, also known as Methody, is a grammar school with over 1,800 pupils aged 11-18. There is also a Pre-school and Preparatory Department that offers a superb educational experience for over 300 pupils. The school is renowned for the opportunities that it provides for its students.
  • Wellington College: Wellington College is a co-educational grammar school that is committed to the equality of opportunity for all pupils. This school offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities, including Duke of Edinburgh, photography, music, drama and Headspace Group, the latter being a relaxed well-being support group.
  • Victoria College Belfast: Victoria College is a leading non-denominational school in South Belfast. This college provides a superb educational experience for girls aged between 2-18 years old. This award winning college holds the International Schools Award, the Investors in People Bronze award and the Green Flag Eco award.
  • Malone Integrated College: Malone Integrated College is an award winning school where children of all abilities are welcomed and given the opportunity to reach their full potential. Through the classroom curriculum to the extra-curricular activities, students are able to participate in an outstanding education experience that guides their self-development and allows them to play an active role in society.
  • Rathmore Grammar School: Rathmore Grammar School is a Catholic co-educational voluntary grammar school in South Belfast. This school seeks to create a vibrant and caring learning atmosphere where pupils can develop their spiritual, moral, cultural and intellectual selves.
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