2 day itinerary for a weekend city break
If you travel for food, you will be inspired by Belfast
Early-risers experience Belfast’s pulsing food culture first-hand with a trip to the Saturday morning City Food and Garden Market in St George’s Market. The market takes place every Saturday from 9am until 3pm and by 10am the place is buzzing. The market offers a huge range of local, continental and specialty foods and is a great place to see, taste, and talk to artisan producers about local food and drink.
After visiting the market retrace your steps to the city centre and indulge in some retail therapy in the newly opened Victoria Square Shopping Complex. Pull up a stool at the Oyster Bar and soak up the ambience with a plate of fresh Dundrum Bay Oysters.
After the hustle and bustle of the city centre make your way to the exclusive Lisburn Road in the south of the city. A trail of chic designer boutiques, art galleries and interior shops is peppered with al fresco cafés, delicatessens and confectioners. Make sure to visit; The Arcadia, Cargoes, Swanton's Gourmet Foods, The Yellow Door Deli and The Chocolate Room.
In the evening experience the thrill of Belfast’s Big Wheel. Located beside Belfast City Hall, the structure offers spectacular views across the city from a height of 200ft. After the heady rush why not enjoy early evening drinks in one of Belfast’s cosmopolitan bars. The Apartment, Café Vaudeville, Northern Whig and Irene & Nan's offer extensive cocktail lists.
Later for haute cuisine in plush surroundings, try Cayenne , where cutting-edge global menus are brought to life with flair, or Michelin-starred Deane's Restaurant in Howard Street. Both chefs cleverly marry local ingredients with classic European cuisine in dishes such as Rankin’s summery ravioli of local crab with shellfish and tomato vinaigrette, or Deane’s signature scallops with pureed roast cauliflower, black pudding and beurre noisette. Reservations are recommended at all restaurants in Belfast.
Michael Deane also recognises the demand for more laid-back dining. With Deane’s at Queens, and Deane’s Deli, you can snack on local ‘tapas’ dishes or satisfy a larger appetite with honey-glazed pork belly with creamed Savoy or a pie of venison and celeriac mash.
In fact when dining in Belfast you will be spoilt for choice, read our City Cuisine.
The pace in Belfast is slower on Sundays but there are still a wide variety of activities and places to visit. After a belly-busting ‘Ulster Fry’ in your Hotel or Guesthouse, take advantage of this quiet time to take a leisurely walk through one of the city’s many parks. In Botanic Gardens, visit the Victorian Palm House and Tropical Ravine or revel in the horticultural brilliance of the Rose Garden at the Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park.
Take a trip to the historic Belfast Castle and Cave Hill Visitor Centre, set in the picturesque Cave Hill Country Park. Learn about the fascinating history of the castle and browse around the antique shop, while working up an appetite for traditional Sunday Lunch in the basement Cellar Restaurant.
You can see all the City’s many sights and landmarks from one of the bus tours, including the colossal Harland and Wolff cranes, which are located in the same shipyard that was central in the building of the Titanic. The bus tours depart regularly from Castle Place and in the summer months take a guided boat trip down the River Lagan to see where the Titanic was launched from.
Before you go home make sure to enjoy a pint of Guinness in the beautifully preserved Victorian pub, the Crown Liquor Saloon built in 1849 and owned by the National Trust. You will find many local hostelleries have traditional music sessions or afternoon jazz or just good old fashioned craic and banter.