A Guide to the Capital of Northern Ireland

Traveling to Belfast

Discover Belfast, the dynamic capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, where historical allure meets contemporary vibrancy. From cultural delights to historical landmarks, scenic wonders to bustling nightlife, Belfast offers a kaleidoscope of experiences for every traveler.

 

In this comprehensive guide, uncover essential insights to plan your Belfast adventure, from optimal travel times to transportation options, accommodations, and an array of must-see attractions. Let’s delve into the heart of this captivating city and unlock the secrets to an unforgettable journey.

When is the best time to visit?

Experience the magic of Belfast at its peak by planning your visit between May and October. During these months, you’ll bask in delightful city weather and discover a bustling calendar of events. While this period sees a surge in tourism, it guarantees more favorable conditions compared to the unpredictable chill of other seasons. Immerse yourself in Belfast’s vibrant atmosphere and don’t miss out on some of the city’s most exciting events, including the St. Patrick’s Day Festivities in March, the Belfast International Arts Festival in October, and thrilling Halloween Celebrations also in October.

How do I get to Belfast, Ireland?

Traveling to Belfast is a breeze, offering convenient access by air, sea, and rail.

 

By Air: Belfast boasts excellent air connectivity, with direct flights available from more than 20 European cities and various locations across North America. The city is served by two airports: George Best Belfast City Airport and Belfast International Airport.

 

By Sea: Belfast is easily reachable by sea, with ferry crossings from both Scotland and England. Enjoy swift journeys aboard superfast ferries, with travel times as short as 1 hour. Choose from reputable ferry operators including Stena Line, P&O Irish Sea, and Isle of Man Steam Packet Co.

 

By Rail: Belfast is seamlessly connected by rail to Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland. Embark on the scenic Enterprise Train service, operated jointly by Translink and Irish Rail, departing from Dublin’s Connolly Station and arriving at Lanyon Station in Belfast. With 8 daily departures, this picturesque route offers a delightful journey experience.

Where To Stay in Belfast

Belfast has a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels and cozy B&Bs to budget hostels and self-catering apartments. The prices are very reasonable, and the quality is high. You can expect to pay around $50-$150 per night for a double room with breakfast included. Some of the best places to stay in Belfast are:

Discover unparalleled luxury and sophistication at The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast. Located in the heart of Northern Ireland’s vibrant capital, our boutique hotel offers discerning travelers a truly unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in stylish surroundings with elegant rooms and suites featuring modern amenities and plush bedding. Indulge your palate at our award-winning restaurant, where locally sourced ingredients are expertly crafted into culinary masterpieces. Unwind with a cocktail at our chic bar or pamper yourself with a rejuvenating spa treatment. With our prime location near top attractions like Titanic Belfast and Victoria Square, as well as our commitment to exceptional service, The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast is the perfect choice for your luxury getaway. Check rates and reviews here.

 

The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast

Experience unparalleled luxury and elegance at The Merchant Hotel, Belfast’s premier five-star boutique hotel. Situated in the historic Cathedral Quarter, our opulent hotel boasts exquisite Victorian architecture blended seamlessly with modern amenities. Indulge in luxurious accommodations in our meticulously designed rooms and suites, each offering a unique blend of comfort and sophistication. Treat your taste buds to a culinary journey at our award-winning restaurants and bars, showcasing the finest local and international cuisine. Unwind and rejuvenate at our state-of-the-art spa and wellness facilities, or explore Belfast’s vibrant culture and attractions right at our doorstep. Whether you’re here for business or leisure, The Merchant Hotel offers an unforgettable experience of luxury and refinement. Check rates and reviews here. 

 

The Merchant Hotel

Bullitt Hotel, situated in the heart of Belfast’s bustling Cathedral Quarter, exudes contemporary style and urban charm. This boutique hotel offers a unique blend of modern design, comfort, and convenience, making it the ideal choice for both leisure and business travelers. The hotel features chic and thoughtfully designed rooms and suites, each equipped with modern amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. Guests can indulge in culinary delights at the on-site restaurant, sip craft cocktails at the trendy rooftop bar, or unwind in the inviting lobby lounge. With its central location, Bullitt Hotel provides easy access to Belfast’s cultural attractions, shopping districts, and vibrant nightlife. Whether visiting for business or leisure, guests are guaranteed a memorable stay characterized by stylish accommodations and exceptional service at Bullitt Hotel. Check rates and reviews here.

 

Bullitt Hotel

The Titanic Hotel Belfast stands as a tribute to the city’s maritime heritage, offering guests a unique and immersive experience in the heart of Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. The hotel features elegant and spacious rooms and suites, meticulously crafted to provide modern comfort while paying homage to the shipbuilding legacy. Guests can dine in style at the hotel’s award-winning restaurants, relax with a drink in the historic Drawing Office Bar, or explore the fascinating Titanic Belfast exhibition located adjacent to the hotel. With its stunning waterfront location and rich historical significance, the Titanic Hotel Belfast offers an unparalleled destination for travelers seeking a memorable stay in Belfast. Check rates and reviews here.

The Flint offers a modern and sophisticated accommodation experience in the heart of Belfast’s bustling city center. With features sleek and spacious studio and one-bedroom apartments, each thoughtfully designed with upscale amenities and modern conveniences to ensure a relaxing stay. Guests can enjoy the flexibility of self-catering with fully equipped kitchens, or explore the vibrant dining scene in the surrounding area. With its central location, The Flint provides easy access to Belfast’s top attractions, shopping districts, and cultural landmarks, making it an ideal choice for both business and leisure travelers seeking a stylish and convenient home away from home in Belfast. Check rates and reviews here.

 

The Flint

what to do in Belfast

Belfast brims with captivating attractions, blending rich history with vibrant activities to cater to all tastes. Explore the city’s heritage through iconic landmarks like the Titanic Museum, Ulster Museum, and City Hall. Dive into Belfast’s lively nightlife, cultural happenings, and culinary delights. Here are some top activities to add to your Belfast itinerary:

 

Titanic Museum: Immerse yourself in the story of the Titanic, from its Belfast origins to its fateful voyage. Engage with interactive displays, authentic artifacts, and a replica of the ship’s grand staircase. Don’t miss a visit to the Titanic Dock and Pump House or a harbor boat tour.

 

Ulster Museum: Delve into Northern Ireland’s history, art, and culture at this captivating museum. Explore ancient relics, natural specimens, fine art, and local crafts. Be sure to view the renowned Girona Gold, a treasure trove salvaged from a Spanish Armada shipwreck.

 

City Hall: Admire the architectural splendor of Belfast’s civic center, featuring a majestic dome, marble staircase, and stained glass windows. Take a complimentary guided tour to uncover the building’s history, and pay respects at the Titanic Memorial Garden.

 

Cathedral Quarter: Experience Belfast’s creative heartbeat in this cultural district, home to galleries, theaters, and music venues. Visit St. Anne’s Cathedral, the MAC, and the Black Box, or join a guided walking tour or pub crawl to discover local gems.

 

Gastronomic Scene: Indulge in Belfast’s culinary delights at its diverse array of eateries, from traditional pubs to trendy cafes. Sample local favorites like Ulster fry, soda bread, and Irish stew, or savor contemporary dishes like seafood chowder and salt and chili chicken. Join a food tour or cooking class for an immersive gastronomic experience.

 

Antrim Coast: Take a scenic drive along the picturesque coastline, adorned with charming villages and historic landmarks. Marvel at the natural wonder of the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring interlocking basalt columns. Explore the lush valleys of the Glens of Antrim, steeped in folklore and culture.

 

Mourne Mountains: Embark on an adventure in County Down’s granite peaks, offering breathtaking vistas and scenic trails. Discover historic landmarks like the Mourne Wall and immerse yourself in the landscape that inspired literary works like C.S. Lewis’s Narnia.

 

Giant’s Causeway: Witness nature’s artistry at this awe-inspiring geological formation of interlocking basalt columns. Explore the rugged coastline, listen to tales of mythical giants, and marvel at the mesmerizing rock formations.