Belfast City Break
Belfast is the perfect place to go for a lively weekend break - you can be guaranteed a weekend to remember in this buzzing city. With trendy bars, great events and unique visitor attractions, discover some of the city’s hidden gems.
#1 Titanic Belfast
Titanic Belfast is a 'must see' visit in any tour of Belfast and Northern Ireland. Housed in an iconic, six-floor building, it is located right beside the historic site of this world-famous ship’s construction.
Take an alternative tour of the Titanic Quarter with a Titanic Boat Tour. Find out all about the world famous ship with the Lagan Boat Company. The one-hour boat trip is filled with interesting facts and gives you some great views of Belfast Harbour. Visitors get the chance to see original photos of the shipyard and Belfast giving you a real insider view into this historic, world famous story whilst also seeing all the key Titanic attractions and sights. The tour costs £10 per adult.
Or stick to dry land with Titanic Walking Tour.
#2 Catch a film at the QFT
Queen’s Film Theatre is Northern Ireland’s foremost independent cinema located beside Queen’s University, showing the very best in new and classic world cinema. Tickets cost between £4 - £8 for most films.
Eat at: Deane's at Queen's, Cafe Renoir, Cutter's Wharf, Lolita.
#3 Crumlin Road Gaol
Crumlin Road Gaol is one of Belfast’s most historic buildings dating back to the nineteenth century. Visitors can explore first-hand the building’s colourful past and gain a unique and memorable insight of the daily lives and routines of both prisoners and prison officers over the Gaol’s existence. Adult entry for public tour is £8.50.
Eat at: The Canteen at The MAC, Coppi,The Dark Horse, Made in Belfast.
Image courtesy of Crumlin Road Gaol.
#4 Black Taxi Tour
The world famous Belfast Black Taxi Tour is an ideal way to find out all about the city’s history including the famous murals of Belfast and other visitor highlights like Queen’s University, Titanic Quarter and more. See here for a list of options.
Eat at: Any of the great eateries located centrally - Robinson and Cleaver, Meat in a Bap, Treehouse, Chubby Cherub or Boojum. For a taste of the Deep South, with barbecued pork and tasty American sides on offer then Bubbacue is a must, or if you'd prefer something a bit more exotic there is Cafe Havana, Belfast’s first Cuban styled cafe/ bistro based in the city centre with fantastic, iconic Havana decor and great food.
#5 All aboard the SS Nomadic
Step aboard Titanic’s little sister – the refurbished SS Nomadic. In 1911 Harland & Wolff built the Nomadic as the first and second class passenger tender to the Titanic. Now, over 100 years later, the last remaining White Star Line ship has been restored to her original glory and is back home in Belfast’s historic Hamilton Dock. Come on board and experience over 100 years of authentic maritime and social history. Admission is £8.50 for adults.
Eat at: Crane View Kitchens, McHugh's, The Belfast Barge.
#6 Grab a gig in The Black Box or Oh Yeah Centre
Catch all things arts and cultural with some live music, theatre, literature, comedy, film, visual art, live art, circus, and cabaret at The Black Box. Also in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter lies the Oh Yeah Music Centre, a converted three-storey warehouse, home to performance space, rehearsal rooms, a song writing room, music exhibition and where you can catch live music performances.
Eat at: Made in Belfast (where the food is as unique as the decor), The Cloth Ear, 2 Taps, The Spaniard.
#7 The MAC
Catch an exhibition in The MAC, Belfast’s newest creative venue. Located in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter, the centre offers a wide range of exhibitions, workshops, theatre and more. Entry to exhibitions is normally free.
Eat at: The Canteen at the MAC, Coppi,The Dark Horse, Made in Belfast or Alley Cat in the Cathedral Quarter offers fantastic burgers and a great selection of world beers.
#8 Under the Dome at Victoria Square
Great views and great shopping all under the dome at Victoria Square, Northern Ireland’s biggest and brightest shopping centre, where old and new sit comfortably side by side. The dazzling glass dome is also a viewing gallery where you can look across the Belfast rooftops at the spectacular views. The quaint, Victorian Jaffe Fountain is a centrepiece at the front door, returned to the same spot where it stood in 1870.
Inside Victoria Square, there are four floor levels, with over 50 stores, Odeon 8 screen cinema and 18 eateries including Wagamama, Cosmo, Prezzo, Nandos and Pizza Express. With Northern Ireland's first House of Fraser store, you will also find the first Northern Ireland openings for prestigious brands Hollister, All Saints, Phase Eight and Hugo Boss plus high street favourites Topshop, River Island, H&M and Urban Outfitters.
#9 Ulster Museum
Visit Northern Ireland’s treasure house of the past and present. The Ulster Museum is home to a rich collection of art, history and natural sciences and free to all visitors. From Ireland to the South Pacific, ancient relics to hands on activities, the museum offers something for everyone from the simply curious to the enthusiast. Entry to the museum is free.
Eat at: Deanes at Queen's, Boojum on Botanic Avenue (for a taste of Mexico - great burritos), The House, Cutter's Wharf or Lolita.
Image courtesy of NMNI.
Belfast is home to many legends and heroes including George Best, Van Morisson, David Holmes and the godfather of punk music Terri Hooley. For the football fans out there, a visit to George Best’s birth home in East Belfast will probably be top of your list of things to do in Belfast. Music fans can enjoy the Belfast Music Tour – a rolling journey across the city that reveals the music, the artists and the landscape that have brought character to the city. The trip lasts two hours – a chance to visit the locations that have birthed some legendary songs.
Belfast city does not disappoint when it comes to a night on the town and for anyone new to the city, a night in the Cathedral Quarter is a must, boasting a huge range of bars, restaurants, cafes and music venues including the well known Duke of York, Black Box and The Spaniard. Belfast has got a fantastic live music scene and great venues including The Limelight which is host to many local and international acts. For those who fancy a night of pure luxury a visit to the exclusive Ollies in the Merchant Hotel is a must. Love a laugh? Then head to The Empire in the Queen’s area of the city for a night of comedy.
Regular bus services run daily from Dublin to Belfast and other major towns and cities, which takes away the cost of both petrol and parking. Belfast City centre is very easy to navigate and you will find shops, pubs and restaurants are all withing walking distance. Check out some ways to come and visit us at buseireann.ie, www.irishrail.ie and translink.co.uk.
Take the Train
Leave the car behind and have one less thing to worry about on your short break. Irish Rail are offering great discounts on train travel between Belfast & Dublin – with fares starting from €14.99, be sure to book online and in advance of your journey!