Visit Belfast: Your Travel Guide

Wedged between Ireland’s breathless scenery and the sea, Belfast is a city that will revitalise even the most world-weary traveller. Cultural lodestone and educational centre, it's filled with remarkable Victorian architecture, tributes to the “Titanic” … and effusively friendly locals!

Things to Do in Belfast

Belfast City Hall
Queen Victoria granted Belfast city rights in 1888. Over a century on, this city hall is one of the city’s legacy buildings – from its beautiful frescoes and marble columns, to its stained glass windows and checkerboard floor. Gather in the Titanic Memorial Garden, admire the neo-Gothic façade, then tour the Main Room to see paintings of the city’s councilmen and women.
Donegall Square, Belfast, Antrim BT1 5GS, United Kingdom
Open Monday-Sunday 08:30-17:00.
St. Georges Market
Think you’ve died and gone to foodie heaven? These indoor markets have been in operation for over a hundred years and are showing no sign of letting up! Pick up fresh Portavogie fish and Cookstown pork, antiques, bargains and artisanal products. There’s a great chipper atmosphere with lots of music and cheer, especially from the red-nosed, tweed-jacketed farmers!
12-20 East Bridge Street, Belfast, Antrim BT1 3NQ, United Kingdom
Open Friday-Sunday 06:00-16:00
Albert Memorial Clock
Belfast’s own version of “Big Ben”. This clock tower holds a central position in Queen’s Square, surrounded by trees, fountains and sculptures. Its two-tonne bell was designed by famous Irish clockmaker Francis Moore. Telling the time since 1869, the clock tower was erected as a memorial to Prince Albert by order of Queen Victoria.
Queens Square, Belfast BT1 3FF, United Kingdom
Big Fish
“Kiss the fish”. Subject of endless “selfies” and city icon, this statue is located on the shores of the Lagan River. The outer shell of the fish is constructed with turquoise-tinged ceramic tiles, which are painted with images that relate to the history of Belfast. According to folklore, you’ll gain the “wisdom of the fish” if you stick your tongue in its mouth!
1 Donegall Quay, Belfast, Belfast BT1 3EA, United Kingdom
St. Annes Cathedral Belfast
St. Anne’s is part of the heritage and spirit of Cathedral Quarter. It was built in the neo-Romanesque style at the turn of the twentieth century. Bright and compact, it’s filled with magnificent artworks. Don’t miss the chance to see the Titanic Pall, embroidered with gold crosses and Stars of David in remembrance of the people who lost their lives on the Titanic.
Donegall St, Belfast BT12 2HB, United Kingdom
Open Monday-Saturday 09:00-17:15, Sunday 13:00-15:00
Belfast Murals
If walls could talk. Some 4-km of concrete walls separated the Protestant North and Catholic South. They’re covered with pastiches of revolutionaries at arms, political slogans, images of knights and soldiers, and more. Since this site is a former conflict zone, we recommend taking a tour with a qualified local guide – the Black Taxi Tour Company is one of many.
71 Shankill Road, Belfast BT13 1FD, United Kingdom
Queen's University Belfast
Enter the world of C.S. Lewis. This was the environment that fuelled the imagination of one of Ireland’s greatest writers. The campus holds hundreds of Victorian-era buildings, all pleasant porticoes, Doric columns and lancet windows. The Lanyon Building is literally un-missable, a masterpiece of Victorian-era architecture that’s beautiful as the sunset spills over it.
University Rd, Belfast BT7 1NN, United Kingdom
Open Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00 and Saturday-Sunday 10:00-16:00
Botanic Gardens
Tree-enthusiasts take heed – they’re all here in the city’s largest botanic garden! This public garden has been attracting locals since the Victorian-era, filled with fields of rambling roses and bordered by herbaceous perennials. During the warmer months, the gardens are filled with the sound of students from the neighbouring Queens’ University caucusing between classes.
College Park, Belfast BT9 5AB, Northern Ireland
Open Monday-Sunday 09:00-18:30. Changes seasonally.
Titanic Belfast
Forget the James Cameron film – this mesmerising museum casts a spell all of its own. Through interactive exhibits and artefacts, some of which were salvaged from the sea, you’ll learn the story of the S.S. Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage across the Atlantic – from the builders who toiled on its construction, to mementoes from survivors and those who perished aboard the ship.
1 Olympic Way, Queen's Road, Titanic Quarter, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT3 9EP
Open Monday-Sunday 09:00-18:00. Changes seasonally.
Belfast Castle
Sunset at Belfast Castle. It might be something of a cliché to some, but this is really the city’s most romantic spot. This mid 19th-century Scottish baronial-style manor is surrounded by ambling parkland, well-tended gardens and views over Holywood and the Lagan River. The stillness is interrupted only by the sounds of wedding parties, or dogs rustling through the grass.
Antrim Rd, Belfast, Antrim BT15 5GR, United Kingdom
Open Tuesday-Sunday 09:00-22:00 and Sunday-Monday 09:00-17:30

When to Go to Belfast

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Traveler's Reviews & Photos

10
Exceptional
Belfast is a lovely cosmopolitan city but not too big to lose it's own identity. Beautiful buildings, lots to see and do and very friendly locals. Taxi and bus fares are much cheaper than back home in Manchester.
Celtic Tiger
United Kingdom
May 28, 2017
8
Very Good
Sunday afternoon tea in the First Class Dinning Room on board the Titanic. We had supper at the Crown Bar and it was very good with great atmosphere. It is very easy get around Belfast. A visit to the Titanic Exhibition is a must.
James
United Kingdom
May 28, 2017
10
Exceptional
Laid back but friendly city with loads of cultural things to do. Black taxi tour and city jail a MUST. So many funky bars and restaurants. Can't wait to visit again!!!
Vanessa
Ireland
May 28, 2017
10
Exceptional
The most beautiful coast line in Ireland. Giants Causeway and the carrack rope bridge is amazing
Ronald
Canada
May 28, 2017
8
Very Good
Easy to get around. Great bus service. Titanic exhibition very interesting. Barking Dog Restaurant fantastic.
Judith
United States of America
May 28, 2017

Accommodations and Hotels in Belfast

Dukes At Queens

8.7 Excellent

Score from 1,758 reviews

$118

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    307 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    303 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    259 related reviews
Jurys Inn Belfast

8.4 Very Good

Score from 3,984 reviews

$77

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    748 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    593 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    171 related reviews
Holiday Inn Belfast

8.8 Excellent

Score from 2,501 reviews

$97

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    532 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    456 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    241 related reviews
Clayton Hotel Belfast

8.2 Very Good

Score from 2,313 reviews

$114

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    353 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    297 related reviews
  • “great pool area”
    130 related reviews
Ramada Encore Belfast City Centre

8.3 Very Good

Score from 3,392 reviews

$82

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    644 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    469 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    190 related reviews
Holiday Inn Express Belfast City Queens Quarter

8.3 Very Good

Score from 2,133 reviews

$91

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    258 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    247 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    213 related reviews
Park Inn by Radisson Belfast

8.5 Very Good

Score from 2,006 reviews

$127

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    358 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    275 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    171 related reviews
Radisson Blu Hotel Belfast

8.5 Very Good

Score from 1,792 reviews

$152

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    275 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    195 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    143 related reviews
Travelodge Belfast

7.9 Good

Score from 1,571 reviews

$83

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    298 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    191 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    60 related reviews
Discover Belfast

Popular Neighborhoods in Belfast

Queens Quarter

39 properties

All activity in Queen’s Quarter seems to pivot around Queen’s University. Most of the University’s faculty and students live in this area, which is filled with grand Victorian houses, inviting parks and laid-back cafés. While you’re there, see the historic Lanyon Building on-campus, stroll in the Botanic Gardens or visit the Ulster Museum.

Titanic Quarter

13 properties

Every Belfastian had a family member that worked on the Titanic's construction. History's largest luxury liner was constructed here a century ago in Harland and Wolff’s shipyards. Visit the Titanic Museum and Titanic Studios, see some of the sets from TV's "Game of Thrones" in The Paint Hall, or stroll around Belfast Harbour Marina.

Cathedral Quarter

12 properties

Take a trip to Old Belfast. The old trade and warehousing district is rife with hip bars, like The Duke of York and The Dirty Onion. Stroll past the city’s oldest buildings and churches on Waring Street and Hill Street, shop in Victoria Square for brand-name clothing, or visit Kelly’s Cellar for live Gaelic music and a pint or two of Guinness.

Gaeltacht Quarter

2 properties

If you’re hankering for a taste of ‘ole Ireland, here’s your chance. This area's patriotic residents live in idyllic surroundings. Sometimes, you'll spot artfully-designed political murals on the park walls. The Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich is located here – it's a well-known cultural centre that preserves Gaelic arts and culture.

Local Tips for Belfast

St George's Market
Louise by Louise

Louise recently took an Emerald Isle road trip and the non-stop rain failed to dampen her spirits!

I’m crazy about uncovering unique finds and that’s why I love St George’s Market. Buzzing with activity on Fridays and Saturdays, its stalls sell food, jewellery, books … and almost anything else going! Check out live music and feast upon some homemade Irish scones when you’re there.

  • St George's Market, 12-20 East Bridge Street, BT1 3NQ
  • visit-belfast.com
  • Open Friday 06:00-14:00, Saturday 09:00-15:00, Sunday 10:00-16:00
Cave Hill and Belfast Castle
Jayne by Jayne

Now enjoying city life, Jayne grew up in the country and still loves finding the odd tree to climb!

I’ve always loved long walks and nature, so when I was living in Belfast, I would venture out to Cave Hill and Belfast Castle. It’s perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle, having a stroll through the forest and enjoying city views.

  • Belfast Castle Estate & Cave Hill Visitor Centre, Antrim Road, BT15 5GR
  • visit-belfast.com
  • Open Tuesday-Saturday 09:00-22:00, Sunday-Monday: 09:00-17:30
Harlem
Emily by Emily

Emily visited Ireland with her family and loves to finish a long day sightseeing with a cup of tea.

I’m always drawn to quirky, independent cafés like this hidden gem, which is great for brunch. Harlem features little details like cow-shaped milk jugs and table tops filled with seashells. Have a chat with the barista - he may adorn your coffee with some specially requested latte art!

  • Harlem Cafe, 34 Bedford St, Belfast, County Antrim BT2 7FF
  • harlembelfast.co.uk
  • Open Monday-Thursday 08:45-16:00, Friday 08:00-23:00, Saturday 09:00-23:00, Sunday 09:00-17:00. Check website for details
Filthy McNastys
Jack by Jack

Jack can’t resist a good bar and can often be found hanging out in the city’s coolest spots.

Filthy McNastys is a fun spot to get a bit of everything. Its décor is alternative with pianos for tables and wine served in watering cans! It has a great atmosphere, accompanied by live acoustic music and a cocktail bar.

We couldn't find a certain restaurant so called in at a fast food outlet to ask directions. One chap promptly used his phone to pull up directions on Google Maps and then one of the ladies said it wa near by and actually walked us part of the way.

Black taxi tour was wonderful. Our guide Brendan was very passionate. Hands on tour at City Hall. Again friendly informative guide.

Belfast shopping is varied and interesting great selection of shops

Easy to get around, stylish shops and restaurants

Booking.com asked travelers...

Why do you recommend Belfast for food?

The choice of restaurants was surprisingly good.

Get out there early

Transportation

Belfast Transportation

Air- Belfast International Airport

Located 18 miles north-west of Belfast, the city’s international airport is also known as Aldergrove Airport. The fastest connection to the centre is via the Airport Express 300 bus, which runs 24 hours a day and leaves every 15 minutes from outside the terminal exit. The journey time to the city centre is around 30 to 40 minutes. You can buy tickets in the arrivals hall or on the bus, costing GBP 7.50 for a single, or GBP 10.50 return.

Train

Belfast has 4 main railway stations: Belfast Central, Great Victoria Street, City Hospital and Botanic. There are regular connections to nearby cities such as Derry, Bangor, Portadown and Larne. Enterprise trains from Central Station to Dublin Connolly depart every 2 hours, offering links to SailRail services which connect you to UK cities such as London. Tickets are bought online, at station ticket desks or in the Visit Belfast Centre in Donegall Square.

Bus

Pink and white-coloured buses are run by Translink and main stops include Donegall Square, City Hall and Queen Street. You buy tickets on board and small change is given. Fares range from GBP 1.40 to 2.20 depending on the destination, while Metro Day Ticket fares start at GBP 3.40, depending on when you travel. Top-up Smartlink Travel Cards cost GBP 1.50 to purchase and you can include 10 journeys for GBP 10.50, or 7 days’ unlimited travel for GBP 16.

Taxi

Taxis can be picked up at main points across the city and most offer credit and debit-card paying facilities. They generally have a “Taxi” sign on their roof, have a yellow license plate and a taxi meter. Fares begin at around GBP 3 per 0.25 miles, although this will increase at night and on holidays. Black Hackney-style cabs are also available but are generally used for tours around Belfast with the drivers offering great insight into the city’s history.

Ferry

Belfast’s ferry terminal is a 10-minute drive from the city centre and is just off the M2 Motorway. Follow signs to the Stena Line if you’re driving there. Ferries go to Cairnryan in West Scotland, to Birkenhead near Liverpool and on to the Isle of Man.

Car

Parking is restricted in many areas and some are designated for residents only. Street parking is generally limited during weekdays until 18.00 and the city centre is made up of “Pay and Display” zones. Here you can pay for an allotted time at machines (with coins only) and rates vary per area. Your ticket should then be displayed on your windscreen, otherwise you may get a fine. Multi-storey car parks are available across the city but tend to be more expensive.

Food in Belfast

Top Restaurants in Belfast

Upscale Dining
Gourmet
The Apartment
Upscale Dining
International
Deanes
Upscale Dining
Gourmet
Café Vaudeville
Mid-Range Fare
Italian
Chubby Cherub
  • Upper Arthur St, Belfast, Co Antrim BT1 4GJ, United Kingdom
  • Open every day 10:00-23:00
  • 0044 28 9031 2964
Cheap Eats
International
Love & Death Inc
Upscale Dining
International
4th Wall
Mid-Range Fare
Local
Ginger Bistro
Mid-Range Fare
International
Havana Bank SQ
Cheap Eats
International
Little Wing
Upscale Dining
Gourmet
Brasserie Malmaison
Mid-Range Fare
Mexican
Chiquito
  • Unit 4, Victoria Shopping Centre, Victoria Square Shopping Centre, Ann St, Belfast, County Antrim BT1 4QG, United Kingdom
  • Open Monday-Saturday 09:00-23:00 and Sunday 09:00-22:30
  • 0044 28 9043 6770
Mid-Range Fare
Grill
The Dirty Onions
Upscale Dining
Gourmet
The Great Room
Upscale Dining
Local
Hooligan's at the Barge
  • 1 Lanyon Quay, Belfast, UK BT1 3LG, United Kingdom
  • Open Monday 13:00-16:00 Tuesday-Thursday 12:00-23:00 Friday-Saturday 12:00-23:30 Sunday 13:00-18:00
  • 0044 28 9023 5973
Cheap Eats
Local
John Hewitt
Mid-Range Fare
Italian
Speranza
  • 16-19 Shaftesbury Square, Belfast, County Antrim BT2 7DB, United Kingdom
  • Open Monday-Thursday 12:00-22:00 Friday-Saturday 12:00-23:00 and Sunday 13:00-21:00
  • www.speranzabelfast.com
  • 0044 28 9023 0213
Mid-Range Fare
International
Laverys
Upscale Dining
International
Metro Kitchen
  • 13 Lower Crescent, Belfast BT7 1NR, Northern Ireland
  • Open every day 17:00-21:30
  • 0044 28 9032 3349
Upscale Dining
Local
Molly's Yard
Upscale Dining
Gourmet
Beatrice Kennedy
  • 44 University Rd, Belfast, County Antrim BT7 1NJ, United Kingdom
  • Open Tuesday-Thursday 17:00-21:30 Friday-Saturday 17:00-22:30 and Sunday 12.30-14:30 and 17:00-20:30
  • 0044 28 9024 6058
Mid-Range Fare
Local
Bistro 401
  • Titanic Quarter, Queen's Island, Belfast BT3 9DT, United Kingdom
  • Open every day 09:00-19:00
  • 0044 28 9076 6386
Find accommodations in Belfast

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