A short guide to Belfast: Where to stay, what to eat, drink and see

A cheap flight to Belfast over a bank holiday weekend? Sign me up! The birthplace of the Titanic and previously one of the most dangerous cities in the world back in the 80’s. Down for that! Now far from that today, and very much worth a visit! Carry on reading this short guide to Belfast to find out where to stay, where to eat and drink, and what to see!

We booked to stay for 2 nights. Originally with not much idea of what Belfast has to offer we decided to spend one day exploring the city and the second day on a day Game of Thrones tour around Northern Ireland.

Where to stay in Belfast?

The best place to stay in Belfast is in the Cathedral Quarter or Linen Quarter which is the city centre. This is where the most famous pubs and bars are! Most of the hotels are around this area. If you are doing any kind of tour the pick up will most probably be from here too.

Options for a cheaper place to stay but within reach of the centre would be the Queen’s Quarter or the Titanic Quarter. We stayed in an Airbnb which was in Queen’s Quarter and a 30 minute walk from the centre. Something I learnt on this trip is not to book an Airbnb just because it says a dog lives there. The dog wasn’t there and we had to walk a long way to the city centre…

What to do in Belfast?

When we arrived in the city we thought what can we even do in Belfast? Could have used a guide to Belfast as we had no clue about the city at all! All I knew I wanted to see some of the famous graphite pieces and pubs around the city.  If you only have a limited time in Belfast, say only 1 day It’s best to visit the most popular quarters first. But you will need 2 days or more to fully explore it!

The Quarters

Linen Quarter

The city centre is actually part of the Linen Quarter. Full of shops, cafes and restaurants its now one of the coolest quarters. You can easily spend time here exploring. Check out the stunning Crown Liquor Saloon, or the cool rooftop bar at The Perch. There’s also a beautiful town hall building.

guide to belfast

Looking Towards Belfast City Hall

Cathedral quarter

Explore the streets around Hill street/ Commercial ct. Every turning you can find cool pieces of graphite at The Duke of York pub and cute alleyways where different pubs/ bars are located. When the sun is shining, people fill the streets. You get a good vibe of the city with the live music and singing locals. Check out this guide to Belfast’s best pubs!

Everyone enjoying the sun outside the pubs on Hill Street.

Titanic quarter

After that head for the titanic quarter to check out where the famous Titanic ship was built. The area is going through a regeneration and this part of the city feels quite different. You can enter the Titanic museum at a fee. But there’s lots of nice places around the area to sit and chill by the water.

1 day in belfast

guide to belfast

The cranes which built the famous ship

If you have more than one day in Belfast, you will want to explore these other quarters of the city. One day was simply not enough time to explore it all.

Market Quarter

If you want some market food check out St. George’s Market. Which is only open Friday-Sunday but closes quite early. With over 200 stalls, selling anything from fruit, veggies, books to arts and crafts.

Smithfield and Union Quarter

Supposed to be the cities coolest place to go clubbing and the unofficial LGBT quarter. It’s also home to the 130 year old Belfast central library.

Queen’s Quarter

Named after the Queen’s University, take a walk around the beautiful university campus. Visit the Botanic Gardens or check out the Ulster Museum.

Gaeltacht Quarter

Check out the Peace Line which is on Falls Road. Surrounded by amazing graphite which each have their own story to tell. There are Official Black taxi tours which run around this area and will take you to the best spots.

Where to eat in Belfast

It seems like most restaurants in Belfast need you to book a table for at the weekend. highly recommend dinner at Darcy’s Belfast. The food is amazing! They have traditional Irish dishes with modern twists, and offer vegan options.

We had plans to go to Kitch restaurant or The Ginger Bistro on our other night, which both have great reviews online. For more places to eat check out this guide to Belfast food scene.

Where to drink in Belfast?

Belfast if definitely a great place for a night out. Would love to go back and explore the nightlife. Our GOT day trip around Northern Ireland killed us off for the evening. But check out the pubs around the Linen and Cathedral Quarter.

We managed to check out the beautiful Crown Liquor Saloon for drink on our final night. Before our long walk back to our accommodation.

Overview

One of the reasons we chose a trip to Belfast was due to the cheap flight we found. Though because we wanted to do the Game of Thrones day tour, one day in Belfast was not enough! Two days to explore would be perfect! It would be a great place to go back in the summer and enjoy all the pub gardens. I hope to return one day.

I hope this short guide to Belfast was helpful! It’s a lovely city to visit!

If you are considering a day trip I highly recommend the Game of Thrones tour we did around Northern Ireland. Even if you aren’t a fan its worth it! Read the post here.

About Hayley Crone

Hayley is a Digital Nomad who has spent the past few years turning her love for travel into a full time income & lifestyle. Head for Horizons is designed to give you the BEST tips to help you travel better and work online. CLICK HERE to read more about me and how I could help you!