Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links in the blog are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may earn a wee commission at no additional cost to you. I promise I’ll use that $ to keep this blog running and to treat myself to some creamy pints of Guinness. Cheers!

Page Contents

  • Welcome To Belfast
  • Things To Do In Belfast
  • Where To Stay in Belfast: Airbnb, Hotels, Hostels
  • Getting To Belfast: By Bus & By Flight
  • Recommended Restaurants in Belfast
  • Currency In Belfast
  • Safety In Belfast
  • And That's A Wrap!
  • Related Blog Post: Thinking About Visiting Dublin?

Welcome To Belfast

Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, is an ancient city steeped in history and culture. There's something about Belfast that gives me the vibe of a cheerful grandfather, the life of the party, loved by everyone. The locals are incredibly friendly, and they sure know how to have a good time. My time here was superb, and I can confidently declare Belfast as my favorite city in the United Kingdom — yes, even more than London, and that's a bold statement!

In my view, 3-4 days provide ample time to savour the essence of this city. If time is of the essence, you can condense some of these experiences into a fun-filled weekend trip. So, come on and explore this travel guide I've crafted for you!

Things To Do in Belfast

Explore Cathedral Quarter, Belfast’s Heartbeat

Every city has a neighbourhood that can be dubbed ‘the heartbeat of the city’. For Belfast, that neighbourhood is Cathedral Quarter. It’s a bustling neighbourhood buzzing with restaurants, cafes, pubs, and nightlife. If you’re in Belfast, this is the main place to be!

Cathedral Quarter in Belfast, Northern Ireland

From trendy cafes to Michelin-starred eateries, the culinary scene in the Cathedral Quarter is a gastronomic journey. And amidst it all are the iconic Irish pubs that invite you to soak in its warm ambiance, enjoy live music, and be part of the lively pub culture that defines this eclectic quarter.

Wander Around Belfast’s City Centre

As you stand in awe of landmarks like Belfast City Hall and the Grand Opera House, you'll feel the strong vibes of the city's industrial legacy. From historic cobblestone streets to the modern beats of street, you must spend some time capturing the essence of this city.

Belfast City Centre is also a modern shopping haven that caters to every taste. Dive into the diverse mix of boutiques and local stores, finding gems that reflect the city's flair. Victoria Square Shopping Centre has a handful of chic offerings and a panoramic dome offering stunning city views.

Take A Stroll By River Lagan

Belfast is built along the banks of River Lagan which has a really scenic riverside. The riverbanks offer a picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll providing a soothing backdrop to the flow of the water. If you’re a jogger, you’re going to love this!

River Lagan in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Drink The Night Away With New Friends At The Belfast Pub Crawl

This was one of the most enjoyable experiences I had in Belfast! Going to a pub crawl is a an awesome way to make friends and explore the nightlife of a new city.

Belfast Pub Crawl in Belfast, Northern Ireland

The Irish love their nightlife! You'll find soulful live acoustic music in most pubs. As the night progresses, you’re bound to join the Irish folk singing and dancing along to the live music.

Belfast Pub Crawl

Recommended Experience

Def check out this pub crawl if you’re a creature of the night. I made a ton of new friends throughout a long fun night which included tons of singing and dancing!

Book The Pub Crawl Today

Visit Belfast’s Famous Peace Wall

After the start of prolonged sectarian conflict known as The Troubles in 1969, the Belfast Peace Walls were built to ease tensions between the Loyalist and Nationalist communities.

In a loud call for peace, people from all over the world have come to cover this wall in messages, graffiti, stickers, and murals promoting love and unity.

Peace Wall in Belfast, Northern Ireland

I highly recommend doing some research and learning about the political differences between Ireland and Northern Ireland. A great way to do that is with the Black Cab Tour in the section below which in fact also covers a stop at the Peace Wall.

Learn About ‘The Troubles’ With The Black Cab Tour

This one-hour tour will give a good insight into the political struggles of Northern Ireland and Ireland - all of this while being seated in the back of a classic Irish black cab (hence the name). The tour goes into the dark history of the conflict between the United Kingdom and Ireland and the situation today. This tour tugs at your heartstrings with the stories of misery and grief. Don't be surprised if you shed a tear or two during your ride.

You make a few stops along at way at certain key landmarks. Our tour guide told us personal stories about growing up during the struggles. The tour is a maximum of two people so it only going to be you, your plus one, and your tour guide.

If you choose not to go for the tour, you should definitely try and visit the Peace Wall mentioned earlier in this post.

Belfast Black Cab Tour

Recommended Tour

Enjoy a guided tour with a Belfast taxi driver showcasing the history of Belfast and the Troubles. Visit murals and hear accounts from both sides of the conflict in the Falls and Shankill.

Book The Black Cab Tour Today

Spend A Weekend Morning At St George’s Market

St George’s Market is the perfect way to start your day on a weekend morning with the energy of the city slowly coming to life as the clock ticks. St George’s Market is a big open concept market with lots of small business stalls ranging from local artists to trendy handcrafted jewellery to sizzling street foods. To add to the magic of the market, there are local musicians strumming live acoustic tunes and putting smiles on people’s faces.

Take note that St George’s Market is open only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and closes by 2pm so plan your visit accordingly.

Explore The Grand Titanic Building

The world's most historically famous cruise, The Titanic, was built in Belfast. Check out The Titanic Museum for an immersive and fun experience of the history of the Titanic and how it affected the economic growth of Belfast.

"She was totally fine when she left Belfast" says everyone in the city in reference to the Titanic, comically shunning anything to do with the iceberg crash.

Titanic Building  in Belfast, Northern Ireland

In addition to the history, it is a really cool building to check out with some really inspiring architecture! You can see the dockyards on which The Titanic was built as well while enjoying the views of the Belfast harbour.

Titanic Building  in Belfast, Northern Ireland

The Titanic Experience with SS Nomadic Visit

Link For Tickets

Learn the story of the legendary ocean liner and her fateful journey across the Atlantic at the Belfast Titanic Experience, the world’s largest exhibit dedicated to the Titanic. Journey through 10 galleries at the site of the ship’s construction.

Buy Your Titanic Experience Tickets

Make A Day Trip To The Giants Causeway and Game of Throne’s Dark Hedges

The Giant’s Causeway is a beautiful collection of thousands of hexagonal rocks stacked along the Northern Irish coast. On a clear day, you might be able to catch a glimpse of Scotland from The Giants Causeway if you're lucky.

Giants Causeway  in Belfast, Northern Ireland

I really enjoyed learning about the mythical story of how The Giants Causeway came to be. It is said back in the day, Irish Giant Finn MacCool had challenged Bennandonnar, the giant of Scotland to a duel. To ensure the giant had no excuse, Finn began to stand up these hexagonal rocks to create a pathway between Ireland and Scotland so the Giant could cross over.

Giants Causeway  in Belfast, Northern Ireland

The Giants Causeway is 3-4 hours away from Belfast so it's advisable to book a tour to get there. On your way back to Belfast, you can stop by The Dark Hedges, an eerie forest were a famous Game of Thrones scene was shot. Do check it out if you're a Game of Thrones fan!

Giants Causeway and Game of Throne’s Dark Hedges

Recommended Tour

Discover the Giant’s Causeway on a day tour from Belfast. The fully-guided tour takes you to see the famous sights and the stunning scenery along the Antrim coast before reaching the Giant’s Causeway.

Book Your Causeway Trip Today

Catch A Sunset At Belfast Castle

If Belfast is on your travel radar, don't miss the chance to visit Belfast Castle. Situated majestically on Cavehill, this 12th-century structure offers you a glimpse into the city's past. The castle's rich history invites visitors on a journey through time, decorated with charming intricate antiques. The castle's gardens provide a peaceful escape and the traditional tea room offers a taste of traditional Irish hospitality.

Lastly and most importantly, This spot has some unparalleled views of Belfast making it the perfect sunset spot!

Drink A Pint Of Guinness At The Duke Of York Pub

Tucked away in the heart of Belfast's Cathedral Quarter, Duke Of York is the most iconic pub of Belfast. If you like beer, you owe it to Belfast to come and have a pint of Guinness.

Duke Of York in Belfast, Northern Ireland

The interiors of this pub have a strong vintage feel with old school posters and signs decorating every surface you see. The street of the pub has a contrastingly different yet picturesque vibe filled with hanging lights, cobbled streets, and trendy neon signs.

Explore The Vibrant Street Art & Graffiti Scene In Belfast

The streets of Belfast is a vibrant canvas for tales told through vibrant murals and graffiti. Belfast attracts a host of international artists who add to the ever-evolving canvas of our city’s streets.

Street Art in Belfast, Northern Ireland

From the political murals that narrate Belfast's complex history to the contemporary urban artworks that breathe life into forgotten spaces, each stroke of paint adds a unique chapter to the city's narrative.

Slowly Sip On A Steamy Irish Coffee

If you enjoy a coffee and a drink, it makes 100% sense to order an Irish Coffee when you’re in the Isle of Ireland. Irish Coffee is a world famous drink that’s a mix of hot coffee, classic Irish Jameson whiskey, sugar, and cream. It’s surely delicious and the best possible nightcap in Belfast.

Irish Coffee in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Where To Stay in Belfast

There's no question for this one. To make the most of your time in Belfast, you must stay in the Cathedral Quarter or in the City Center. As mentioned earlier in this article, these neighbourhoods are where all the city’s hustle & bustle is.

Here are some top recommendations for your accommodations.

Recommended Airbnb In Belfast

During my time in Belfast, I stayed in a beautiful Airbnb right at the edge of Cathedral Quarter and I absolutely loved it! It was centrally located right in the heart of the city.

🏠 Exclusive 2-bedroom apartment in heart of Belfast

Recommended Hotels In Belfast

Here are some of the highest-rated hotels in Belfast's city centre.

🏨 The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast

🏨 Holiday Inn Belfast City Centre

🏨 Crowne Plaza Belfast

Recommended Hostels In Belfast

Here are some of the highest-rated hostels in Belfast.

🛏️ Botanical Backpackers

🛏️ Vagabonds

🛏️ Global Village

Irish Slang: Words To Know

The Irish have some really interesting slang they use in their day to day. I was a fan to learn some of these words!

Craic”

“Craic”, pronounced “crack”,  refers to a fun time and a sense of entertainment. I'd say it's kinda synonymous with “vibe” if I had to describe it.

“What’s the craic?” roughly translates to “What’s up?”

“Is the craic good there?” would mean something on lines of “Is it fun there?”

Grand”

From what I understand, “grand” is usually used in response to a question. In the true Irish meaning of the word, “grand” means ”ok”, “fine”, or “adequate”. Depending on the tone of voice and situation of usage it could mean anything from very good to absolutely dreadful.

This one’s a tough one to get a hang of since it’s heavily contextual, not literal.

Restaurant Recommendations

As mentioned earlier, Belfast has a fantastic gastronomical scene! However, amidst all the restaurants I tried, these two particularly stood out to me.

The Cloth Ear

The Cloth Ear is a classic upscale Irish pub connected to The Merchant Hotel. This spot has some delicious innovative cocktails with an Irish twist!

The Cloth Ear in Belfast, Northern Ireland

🍴 The Cloth Ear

Mourne Seafood Bar

Being a port city, Belfast is home to some incredible seafood eateries, and Mourne Seafood Bar easily claims its spot as one of the best seafood restaurants in the city.

Mourne Seafood Bar in Belfast, Northern Ireland

🍴 Mourne Seafood Bar

Getting To Belfast

Getting To Belfast By Flight

Belfast has well-connected international airport you can fly in to. I had taken a quick cheap EasyJet flight from Luton Airport in the Greater London Area.

Check out some of your flights options below with Skyscanner.

Getting To Belfast By Bus

Belfast is just a quick 2-hour bus ride away from Dublin, with multiple daily departures connecting the city centres of both destinations. If you're already in the Isle of Ireland, getting around is super easy and convenient.

Currency In Belfast

Since Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, the currency used in Belfast is the Great Britain Pound (GBP). However, if you drive to the south of the island to the Republic of Ireland, the currency changes to the Euro. If you're planning to visit both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, remember to keep both pounds and Euros with you.

Safety In Belfast

I had zero safety concerns during my time in Belfast. It's an incredibly tourist-friendly and safe city, especially if you stick to the main tourist areas, such as Cathedral Quarter. Following the golden rule of travel—avoid doing anything foolish—and you should have a worry-free experience.

Sign Up For Genki Travel Insurance Today

Worldwide Health Insurance For Travellers

To stay protected, I always make sure I’m covered by insurance at all times across the globe. For my last couple of travels, I’ve been using Genki for my insurance. Genki is an insurance company that is literally dedicated to world travellers. They’ll have you covered for every country with a flexible month-to-month plan and no long-term commitment.

Knowing that Genki has me covered makes life a little less stressful or me. If you’re interested, you can use my link and sign up for Genki with my link below 👇

Get Insured With Genki

And That's A Wrap!

Belfast, with its lively streets and warm-hearted people, has established itself into my travel narrative as a city that embraces you with familiarity and novelty. From the soulful echoes of live music in the Cathedral Quarter to the visual tales whispered by the Peace Wall, every second I spent in this city felt like I was being told a new story.

Catch that flight and visit Belfast and get a sense of Irish history, culture, and frolic with a pint of Guinness or a strong Irish coffee. I guarantee you that the craic is good and that you’ll have a grand time you won’t forget!

Related Blog Post

Thinking About Visiting Dublin?

A Traveller’s Guide To Dublin: Make The Most Of Your Time In Ireland's Capital

Recommended Blog

If you're visiting Belfast, it's worth making the trip south to Dublin. It's just a quick 2 hour drive down. Dublin is the heart and soul of Ireland and is one of the most vibrant cities in all of Europe — filled with culture, history, and energy.

Explore Dublin

About Me

Niv with a backdrop of a beach and a sea

Hey, I'm Niv and welcome to my blog! I've been travelling almost full-time for the past 3 years while running my business remotely. I'm here to share all I've learnt on my travels with you from travel advice to location recommendations as well as tips for solo travellers and digital nomads. So grab your bags and your laptop and let’s catch that flight ✈️

Connect with me on instagram 📸

Recent Blog Posts