Top 7 Best places to live in Northern Ireland with the Best quality of life – 2024

Home to a population of more than one million people, Northern Ireland is surrounded by family friendly neighborhoods and stunning oceanside views. Northern Ireland is known as a peaceful haven and can be a home for anyone!

For individuals and families interested in art, culture, and finding good job and educational opportunities, moving to England is a good alternative; however, Northern Ireland is a better option for those seeking a quieter and more relaxed lifestyle while still enjoying many of the advantages of England.

Read on to discover the top 7 places to live in Northern Ireland with the best quality of life in 2024.

best places to live in nothern ireland map infographic

Methodology

Based on “Best” being a subjective word, below is our methodology to compile the best places.

Using our existing ranking of the safest and cheapest places to live in Northern Ireland, we based our ranking on 3 criteria: safety, affordability and quality of life. 

Our safety ranking methodology is based on a careful analysis of crimes, which is derived from Police Service of Northern Ireland records recorded in the last quarter of 2022 for each district where the neighbourhood belongs. The crimes include violence against the person, sexual offences, robbery, theft offences, criminal damage, and other crimes against society. To ensure accuracy, we calculated the average number of various crimes per 1000 people.

Affordability takes into account the prices of housing and renting. We collected the data from Northern Ireland House Price Index: Quarter 3 2023 and Housesforsaletorent UK. To help you compare, as of November 2023, the average cost of buying a property in Northern Ireland is £179,530 and the average rent for a 1-bedroom flat is £730 as of December 2023. 

The “Best quality of life” aspect is measured based on feedback from real people who have moved to this area in our database or real people from trusted online forums. More specifically, we look for positive feedback on job opportunities, quality of education, quality of healthcare, feeling of safety, public transportation, environment (cleanliness), as well as availability of recreational facilities and parks.

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Best places to live in Northern Ireland

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1. County Fermanagh

Apartment in County Fermanagh
  • Crime rate: 71.43 crimes per 1,000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: £515
  • Average property buying cost: £160,396

County Fermanagh, one of the six counties of Northern Ireland, is filled with lakes and waterways of all shapes and sizes, such as Lower Lough Erne and Lough Melvin. What makes County Fermanagh unique, as noted by many locals, is its natural scenery, walkability, and peacefulness. You can find many residents enjoying fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and generally appreciating the outdoors.

It is common for the locals to enjoy the delicious food and drink of County Fermanagh, numerous restaurants, bakeries and other local producers of gin and craft beers. The county has a crime rate of 71.43 crimes per 1,000 people making it a secure environment.

As of December 2023, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is £515, and the average property price is £160,396.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (Dec 2022), House For Sale To Rent (Dec 2023) & Northern Ireland House Price Index (Nov 2023)

County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

2. Omagh

Apartment in Omagh
  • Crime rate: 82.38 crimes per 1,000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: £1,509
  • Average property buying cost: £160,396

Omagh is a town located in County Tyrone in Northern Ireland. The area is known for its street markets, shopping, and light manufacturing businesses. On the high street, you can expect to find entertainment with a range of bars and restaurants to wind down after a week’s work. If you love rugby, be sure to catch a game during the season, as Omagh has its own team known as the All Ireland League.

Locals love relaxing by playing golf at Omagh Golf Club or catching a movie at Omniplex Cinema Omagh. You can enjoy your favorite Irish music at Omagh’s annual West Tyrone Feis, where art and music are celebrated.

As of December 2023, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is £1,509, and the average property price is £160,396. As for safety, Omagh has a crime rate of 82.38 crimes per 1,000 people.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (Dec 2022), House For Sale To Rent (Dec 2023) & Northern Ireland House Price Index (Nov 2023)

Omagh, Northern Ireland

3. Londonderry (Derry)

Apartment in Londonderry (Derry)
  • Crime rate: 101.83 crimes per 1,000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: £2,173
  • Average property buying cost: £164,092

Londonderry is the second-largest city in Northern Ireland and lies along the River Foyle. Also known as Derry, locals note that the job market is booming, with businesses such as bars, restaurants, and retail stores always hiring. As for safety, Londonderry has a crime rate of 101.83 crimes per 1,000 people

Londonderry is renowned as the festival city in Northern Ireland. The city hosts’ world-class events like Derry Halloween, Europe’s biggest Halloween Festival, the City of Derry Jazz Festival, the GAA World Games, and Foyle Maritime Festival, to name a few. Derry boasts a lively nightlife, with closing time at 2 am on Waterloo Street.

As of December 2023, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is £2,173, and the average property price is £164,092.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (Dec 2022), House For Sale To Rent (Dec 2023) & Northern Ireland House Price Index (Nov 2023)

Londonderry (Derry), Northern Ireland

4. Bangor

Apartment in Bangor
  • Crime rate: 182.10 crimes per 1,000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: £852
  • Average property buying cost: £198,338

The coastal city of Bangor is located in County Down, Northern Ireland, within the Belfast metropolitan area on the south side of Belfast Lough. Bangor is the perfect place if you are looking for a good climate in Ireland, as it has one of the sunniest and driest climates in this area. This city is famous for its beautiful coastlines, making it convenient for locals who love spending time by the seaside and coastal walks.

In Bangor you can find the Royal Ulster and Ballyholme Yacht Clubs, as well as thriving independent businesses and top-rated schools like Bangor Grammar School and Bangor Central Integrated Primary School. Additionally, Bangor is among the best places to live in Northern Ireland as the number of crimes per 1,000 people is 182.10

As of December 2023, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is £852, and the average property price is £198,338.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (Dec 2022), House For Sale To Rent (Dec 2023) & Northern Ireland House Price Index (Nov 2023)

Bangor, Northern Ireland

5. Lisburn

Apartment in Lisburn
  • Crime rate: 231.62 crimes per 1,000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: £891
  • Average property buying cost: £207,824

Lisburn is a city in Northern Ireland considered an excellent place to move to, offering a blend of rural and urban environments. As noted by locals, Lisburn is advantageous for its easy accessibility to Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, just a 21-minute drive away. Residents enjoy walking in the town centre, where everything is in close proximity, including Wallace Park, home to the community Cricket Club.

Lisburn is also home to highly rated schools and lovely parks recommended by locals like Friends’ School Lisburn and Lisnagarvey High School. This district also offers different locations with a lot of history, as well as contemporary art galleries. As for safety, Lisburn has a crime rate of 231.62 crimes per 1,000 people. 

As of December 2023, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is £891, and the average property price is £207,824.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (Dec 2022), House For Sale To Rent (Dec 2023) & Northern Ireland House Price Index (Nov 2023)

Lisburn, Northern Ireland

6. Enniskillen

Apartment in Enniskillen
  • Crime rate: 310.76 crimes per 1,000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: £1,509
  • Average property buying cost: £160,396

Enniskillen is the largest town in County Fermanagh and holds many historical landmarks important to Ireland’s culture like the Enniskillen Castle. If you are looking to move to a peaceful and small town, Enniskillen is the perfect place for you. The town is an hour and thirty minutes away from the city centre of Belfast and the International Airport. 

Locals have noted that the town offers basic amenities, including shops and grocery stores, along with traditional pubs like Blakes of the Hollow or Charlie’s Bar. The Buttermarket features a collection of studios, galleries, shops, and cafés for residents to enjoy. Additionally, residents take pleasure in picnics by the River Erne, where Marina Erneside is located.

As of December 2023, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is £1,509, and the average property price is £160,396. As for safety, in November 2023, Enniskillen had a crime rate of 310.76 crimes per 1,000 people. 

Police Service of Northern Ireland (Dec 2022), House For Sale To Rent (Dec 2023) & Northern Ireland House Price Index (Nov 2023)

Enniskillen, Northern Ireland

7. Newry

Apartment in Newry
  • Crime rate: 358.18 crimes per 1,000 people
  • Average 1-bed apt rent: £521
  • Average property buying cost: £160,955

Newry, also known as the Gateway to the North, offers stunning views of the Mourne Mountains and the Ring of Gullion. The city is renowned for its shopping, as highlighted by locals, with shopping centers such as The Quays and the Buttercrane. Newry enjoys the luxury of having beaches along its coastline, perfect for warm summer days. Residents make the most of the great weather by engaging in activities like sailing, fishing, horseback riding in the countryside, or hill walking.

One of the advantages of moving to Newry is its strategic location. The city is a 48-minute drive to Belfast or a one-hour drive to Dublin, Ireland. For those who prefer not to drive, there’s no need to worry, as Newry offers its residents the Dublin Coach Service for £7, providing convenient travel to Dublin.

As of December 2023, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is £521, and the average property price is £160,955. As for safety, in November 2023, Newry had a crime rate of 358.18 crimes per 1,000 people. 

Police Service of Northern Ireland (Dec 2022), House For Sale To Rent (Dec 2023) & Northern Ireland House Price Index (Nov 2023)

Newry, Northern Ireland

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Conclusion

If you are planning to move to Northern Ireland, take the time to explore these counties and find the one that best aligns with your lifestyle and preferences. Always consider factors such as amenities, proximity to the county centre, safety, and the unique characteristics of each area. 

Northern Ireland offers a unique experience that blends the warmth of a friendly community. Are you moving soon? Discover the best removal companies in Belfast

 

Last year’s ranking (2023)

  1. Mid Ulster
  2. Fermanagh 
  3. Ards and North Down
  4. Bangor
  5. Lisburn and Castlereagh
  6. Causeway Coast and Glens
  7. Mid and East Antrim
  8. Newry, Mourne and Down
  9. Armagh City
  10. Newtownabbey 

 

Our rankings are meticulously curated, considering affordability and quality of life. It’s important to highlight that certain places were excluded from last year’s lists due to insufficient rental data. Moreover, entries with higher average housing pricing in the previous year were excluded from the current rankings. We encourage readers to weigh these rankings in light of their individual needs and preferences for a more informed decision-making process.

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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