Moving to Belfast from Australia
Affordability 5 out of 5
Safety 4 out of 5
Healthcare 3 out of 5
Traffic Flow 5 out of 5
Property affordability 4 out of 5
Climate 5 out of 5
Environment quality 5 out of 5
Looking for the buzz of a capital city in the United Kingdom without the crowds and expense of London? For an affordable city on the up, look no further than Belfast in Northern Ireland! Not only will you find with heaps of culture, great job opportunities, and beautiful scenery, but you could find yourself rubbing shoulders with the stars of Games of Thrones in the local pub, as it’s filmed in the city’s Titanic Studios.
Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom – you shouldn’t confuse this with the Republic of Ireland, a separate country with Dublin as its capital city. Belfast has a population of around 334,000, with more than double that number living in the larger metropolitan area. It’s only just over 100 square km in size, so it’s a pretty great city for expats to get to know quickly and easily.
If you’re considering a move to Belfast from Australia, you won’t need to worry about a language barrier as English is the main language spoken in Northern Ireland, though you’re sure to pick up a few words of Irish Gaelic if you make friends with the locals. The currency in Northern Ireland is pounds sterling, used across all of the United Kingdom. You’ll notice that a lot of the larger shops in Belfast will accept Euros too, as this is the currency used across the border in the Republic of Ireland. To keep your phone and laptop charged up when you arrive in Belfast, you’ll need a plug adaptor for your Australian electronic devices, to fit the 3-pin sockets in Northern Ireland.
If you’re tired of the scorching heat on the Gold Coast or the changeable weather in Melbourne, starting your new life in Belfast will offer you quite a mild climate. Sure, Ireland is infamous for rainy days no matter the time of year, but overall, you won’t have to deal with any extreme hot or cold weather.
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Whatever your tastes and interests, Belfast has something for everyone – live music, cool bars, a well-established literary scene, up-and-coming restaurants, family-friendly shops and cafes, and spectacular historical sights, all within the friendly village-like community of Belfast’s city centre. On top of all this, you can escape the city altogether in no time and explore the stunning hills and coastline around Belfast that are only a short drive away. You won’t want to miss visiting the iconic Giant’s Causeway on the northern coast.
Healthcare in Belfast
Before your big move to Belfast, it's wise to think about medical cover for when you're out there.
That's why we've partnered with Cigna for private medical insurance in Belfast. With four levels of annual cover to choose from and extra modules for more flexibility, Cigna will sort you out with a plan that suits your needs.
Start building a customised plan with a free quote to protect your most important assets – you and your family.
You might be aware of Belfast’s recent difficult history, known as the Troubles, which clouded life in the city from the late 60s to the late 90s. Life in Belfast is totally different nowadays, it’s a modern and welcoming place for everyone and the past is remembered and respected. You can learn more about Northern Ireland’s history at the great Ulster Museum and through the colourful murals on ‘peace walls’ all over the city.
If you’re thinking about moving from Australia to Northern Ireland for a short time, or if you have a job offer and plans to move permanently, there are various options available for Australians to get a visa to live in Belfast. A company in Northern Ireland will be able to support and sponsor your visa application if they have offered you a job before you move to Belfast. For skilled workers, this may be the easiest and most secure way to get the visa and work permit you need. The Irish Consulate in Sydney will be able to assist you with getting the right visas for your family if you are hoping to move together. There’s another very popular option for Aussies looking to move to another country to experience life and work, through the Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa. It lasts for 2 years and is open to 18-30 year olds coming to the UK from Australia. Why follow the thousands of Aussies that pitch up in London every year when you could have a totally unique and authentic experience in Belfast instead?!
Shipping to Belfast
Once your visa paperwork is underway and you’re starting to pack your suitcases and boxes for the big move, it’s time to look into shipping costs from Australia to Belfast. Follow Movehub’s top tips for an efficient international move – plan well, declutter and hire professional packing services – and you’ll be settled in Belfast with your beloved possessions before you know it! It will cost around $5000 to fill a shipping container to set off from any major Australian port to Belfast. This is a great option if you’re moving from a large family home on a more permanent basis. Shipping one or two boxes of essential belongings will cost around $600, a sensible investment for individuals or couples. Check out the form at the top of this page to get more accurate costs for shipping from Australia and get planning your move to Belfast now!
Birthplace of the Titanic, Belfast has long been a world capital for shipbuilding. Even in modern times, it continues to be a centre for this industry as well as many other import and export businesses. There are opportunities for workers with a lot of different skills in engineering and logistics available in Belfast’s dockyards. Belfast’s economy is doing well and the cheap cost of living and property prices in the city are attracting more and more young business owners and start-ups, making the most of the city as a place to nurture new business.
Getting around this compact city by public transport, for commuting and more, is really easy with the bus and train network, especially if you pick up an iLink card to pre-pay for all your travel. The train network can take you out to the countryside and coast, or even across the border to Dublin for plenty of great day trips. If you’ve got friends in London, there are regular direct flights on low-cost airlines too.
Property and accommodation
Whether you’re looking to rent or buy property in Belfast, a really desirable location is the new Titanic Quarter just north of the city centre. It’s full of modern apartments with classy waterfront vistas. The Cathedral Quarter is the place to be if you love cafe culture and a friendly, artsy vibe. This area is very central so you can expect to pay a little more here compare to other areas further out, like Queens or Gaeltacht Quarters. Wherever you choose, there’s so much to explore and you’re never far away from all that Belfast has to offer.