With excellent eateries, bustling bars and world-class attractions to enjoy, Belfast is buzzing
Belfast © Nataliya Hora / Bigstock.comWith excellent eateries, bustling bars and world-class attractions to enjoy, Belfast is a brilliant destination for a short break.
Belfast will surprise you. It’s a mix of past and present and it’s keen to make a statement. Spend a day discovering its delights and you’ll be left wanting more.
After a comfortable night in one of the city’s many quality hotels, while away the morning in the multi-award-winning Titanic Belfast. Voted the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction, it tells the story of the city and its tragic liner in a totally immersive way. This incredible exhibition tells the story of the world’s most famous ship right at the place where she was launched into the water. Explore the shipyard, travel to the depths of the ocean and see recreations of the cabins. You can keep the maritime theme going at the nearby Titanic Pump House and Dock, the SS Nomadic (one of the last White Star Line ships in the world) and the HMS Caroline (a WWI naval ship).
Then call in at St George’s Market, housed in a grand Victorian building, to browse antiques and crafts and lunch on some delicious local fare.
Afterwards, take a bike, taxi or walking tour. There’s one to suit everybody – foodies, music fans, art aficionados, history buffs, literature lovers and culture vultures.
Follow the C S Lewis and Van Morrison trails in the east of the city to see the locations that inspired their work, and stop by the house that soccer legend George Best grew up in.
Or download the Literary Belfast iPhone app and go on a journey through Belfast's history and literature, from the splendour of City Hall and the lives commemorated in Writer's Square to the back alleys and suburban streets where the city’s finest writers lived and worked.
For a tour with a tipple, join the Belfast gin jaunt which visits five pubs where artisan gin can be sampled and expert insights shared.
Alternatively, take a ride in one of the city’s famous black taxis to see Belfast’s famous murals and main landmarks and to hear their stories from a local. Jump on a city bike, along the River Lagan from the Botanic gardens to the docks, you quickly get a sense of the cityscape.
As evening approaches, it’s time to enjoy an award-winning cocktail in the Merchant Hotel’s Great Room before wandering through the cobbled streets of the Cathedral Quarter, jammed with top-class restaurants and lively bars.
Food choices abound, from Hadski’s brasserie and Italian favourite Coppi to the edgy Muddler’s Club and the funky Made in Belfast. The area is also the heart of Belfast’s nightlife scene and is perfect for a post-dinner pub crawl.
To end the evening with some music head for a traditional music bar such as Maddens or Fibber Magee’s, seek out the Limelight for the best in contemporary live music, or hit the city’s top clubs, El Divino, The Box or Thompson’s, to dance into the wee small hours.