Explore the Baronial-style Belfast Castle
Why to go?
Brimming with character, this northern star proves an enticing escape tucked into a tiny corner of the UK. Belfast is a bustling cultural hub that’s steeped in history: from Victorian façades and the docksides that launched the Titanic, to the politically charged murals of the Shankill and Falls roads.
With scenery and fresh air on its doorstep, Belfast is just a hop, skip and a jump from the Giant’s Causeway’s oversized stepping stones and the swooping branches of the Dark Hedges. Back in town, outdoor adventures continue at Cave Hill, which winds its way to the baronial-style Belfast Castle, surveying over the Lagan River.
Belfast's charming pubs brims with character
Belfast’s academics mingle in the eclectic 18th-century Queen’s Quarters, where Queen’s University’s book-laden students wander between cafés and tree-lined cobbles up to the Botanic Gardens. When night falls, explore the Gaeltacht Quarter’s buzzing hub of Gaelic culture. Haunts like the long-established Dirty Onion and the beloved Liquor Saloon are irresistible to anyone on the hunt for a good dose of traditional Irish music – and the friendly chat the locals are loved for.
The countryside around Belfast is captivating
When to go?
Head to the Northern Irish capital in spring – before summer’s crowds hit and the prices shoot up. The weather is pleasant and longer days mean a clamber over Black Mountain or a day uncovering Games of Thrones territory can be savoured for longer. Folk festivals like Féile an Earraigh pop up around March, while St Patrick’s Day gets the party started on 17 March.
Where to stay?
The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast – Belfast, United Kingdom
Grand in its design and setting, this lavish spot is within ten minutes’ walk of City Hall and the Grand Opera House. Sumptuous rooms are decked out with Egyptian linen, while the restaurant offers a fine-dining setting, and the bar is the perfect spot for a cocktail or a glass of champagne.
Ramada Encore Belfast City Centre – Belfast, United Kingdom
This hotel is ideal for embarking on some Belfast sightseeing, as it’s situated in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter and is within easy reach of the much-loved Titanic Museum. There’s an onsite restaurant serving European dishes and cocktails, but there are also plenty of options in the nearby streets and close to the SSE Arena.
Ten Square – Belfast, United Kingdom
Ten Square is set in the 19th-century Yorkshire House, which pre-dates the neighbouring Belfast City Hall. Inside, modern rooms provide the ideal crash pad after a day of exploring the city, while the on-site Jospers Restaurant dishes up locally sourced prime-aged beef and succulent seafood.