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Belfast Travel Guide: Best Places To Stay, Eat And See (For 2023)

Are you looking for a comprehensive Belfast travel guide?

Belfast, by far the largest city in the North, has a pace and bustle found nowhere else in Northern Ireland. Many will remember the city as the core of the Troubles, which dominated Northern Ireland’s politics for over three decades beginning in the late 1960s and claimed so many lives.

However, following the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, the majority of politically driven violence has diminished. Based on a comparison of national crime numbers, Belfast was recently declared the safest city in the United Kingdom.

As part of its dedication to peace, the city now invites visitors from all over the world, notably from countries other than the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

A visit to Belfast today offers a glimpse of a one-of-a-kind city that has finally begun to celebrate, rather than struggle for, its position as a cultural crossroads between Britain and Ireland. Belfast’s turbulent history also makes it an appealing destination for travelers from all over the world.

The city undoubtedly radiates a determined optimism, with new hotels, bars, restaurants, clubs, and stores opening at an astounding rate.

Belfast Travel Guide (For 2023)

Are you planning to visit here soon? This Belfast travel guide will help you make the most of your trip and discover why this Northern Ireland city is more than its difficult past.

Best Time To Visit Belfast

Belfast International Airport

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Belfast is located inland in the eastern part of Northern Ireland, hence it is dryer than the western cities. In the winter, the days are short, but the evenings are long. Winter is the wettest season, but it can rain at any time in Belfast.

Belfast is best visited between April and October. Summer is a terrific season to visit because the average high temperature is 82 degrees, so you’ll never be too hot. Bring an umbrella and water-resistant shoes, though, in case of rain.

How To Get Around Belfast

Sightseeing bus Belfast

Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland, is a compact city that can be easily navigated by foot or by bicycle. Translink manages the city’s public transportation system, which is advantageous for those who wish to explore the city’s outskirts or use Belfast as a base for journeys to other regions of Northern Ireland.

Here’s a quick guide to navigating Belfast to help you get anywhere in the city.

  • Belfast bus network
  • Northern Ireland Railways
  • By Taxi
  • Car rental
  • Bike rental
  • Scooter/Motorbike
  • Walking

Where To Stay In Belfast

Belfast is an Irish city worth visiting for its history, culture, nightlife, and food scene.

While Belfast is quite compact, many of the city’s top attractions are within walking distance of one another, making it easier to determine where to stay in Belfast. Check out this Belfast travel guide for the city’s best accommodations, which include options for travelers of all budgets and preferences.

Ten Square Hotel

Ten Square Hotel Belfast

A short walk from the city’s main attractions, the Ten Square Hotel is a great place to stay while in Belfast. If you’re looking for a great location in the heart of the city, look no further than Ten Square.

Belfast Cathedral, the Titanic Quarter, the SSE Arena, Waterfront Hall, Belfast Cathedral, and shops are all within a 5-minute drive from the hotel.

Upholstered furniture, quirky artwork, and cozy wood paneling are all part of this stylish hotel’s decor. The chic guest rooms, on the other hand, feature wallpaper and luxurious linens. Enjoy the delicious food and drink options at this well-known steakhouse bar. Ten Square promises a pleasant stay at a reasonable cost.

To book, click here.

Europa Hotel

Europa Hotel Belfast

Europa Hotel is situated in Belfast’s city center, right next to Great Victoria Street Railway Station. This historic hotel, which opened in 1971, has long been a favorite of A-listers, dignitaries, and those in the know.

There is an elegant piano lounge, a modern bistro (the Causerie Restaurant), extensive meeting space, and 272 bedrooms here, including family-friendly interconnected rooms.

At the Europa Hotel, the rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated with glass and chrome in the bathrooms. There is no charge for using the free Wi-Fi that is available throughout the public spaces. Parts of the BBC documentary series Lobby Lives have been shot at the Europa Hotel, which is part of the prestigious Hastings Group.

To book, click here.

The Fitzwilliam Hotel


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It’s no surprise that celebrities flock to this stylish hotel. For good reason, the hotel’s opulent decor and friendly staff make for a truly relaxing experience. As far as location goes, you can’t go wrong.

The Fitzwilliam is just a short walk from the Opera House and City Hall. Modern art, colorful furnishings, and stylish interiors abound in these impressive luxury hotels in Belfast.

Restaurants and coffee shops are on-site, as well as a fitness center and free Wi-Fi. Room amenities include a laptop safe, a mini-refrigerator, complimentary coffee and tea, a desk and seating area, as well as other standard features Coffee and tea are provided in the lobby, and room service is available. Lounge areas are available for guests to relax in, as well as a 24-hour front desk service.

To book, click here.

Where To Eat In Belfast

For a city of its size, Belfast has a remarkable variety of dining options. The city has fine dining, brasseries, and bistros, as well as gastropubs, cafes, and some of the greatest fish and chips in the country.

Here are the greatest places to dine in Belfast, whether you’re searching for classic Irish cooking like the Ulster fry, Colcannon, or stew, or more sophisticated fare.


Address : 1 Oxford Street – Belfast BT1 3LA


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One of only two restaurants in Northern Ireland to be awarded a Michelin star, OX is conveniently located near the Lagan River and the market. For as long as OX has been in business, it has been known for its laid-back atmosphere and dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients that are meticulously prepared.

Inspired by his work in Michelin-starred kitchens in Paris, Chef Stephen brings fresh ingredients to life on the plate by combining his imagination and creativity with the ingredients. OX guarantees menus that include high-quality meat and fish, as well as seasonal vegetables and fruit. Every dish at OX is prepared with meticulous attention to the freshness of the produce on the premises.

When you visit, try their tasting menu where each set offers a feast of flavors from a variety of cheeses, seafood, vegetables, and meat.

The Muddlers Club

Address : 1 Warehouse Lane, Belfast BT1 2DX


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Between Waring Street and Exchange Place in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, you’ll find this Michelin-starred eatery. The Muddlers’ Club gets its name from a secret society that used to meet in the building more than two centuries ago. They serve contemporary cuisine in a casual setting and use only the freshest, locally sourced produce.

Gareth McCaughey, the restaurant’s head chef and owner, personally selects the freshest, locally grown ingredients every day to guarantee the quality of each dish served. The Muddlers Club features an open kitchen, so diners can watch as the chefs transform raw ingredients into elegantly simple dishes right in front of them.

Established Coffee

Address: 54 Hill St. Belfast BT1 2LB


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With its simple and authentic menu, Established Coffee is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. Minimalism is pushed to its limits at this Belfast cafe, which is a testament to its success. Do not be put off by the fact that it looks too simple; the coffee served here is some of the best in Belfast.

A menu that boasts of healthy and affordable dishes, traybakes, and lunches for people on a tight budget makes Established Coffee loved by its patrons. If you’ve been strolling around Belfast Cathedral Quarter and looking for a perfect place to enjoy a meal, Established Coffee is sure to satisfy you. Try their selection of coffee and tea as well as a variety of toasts and sandwiches. 

Where To Drink/Party In Belfast

Belfast is recognized for its enthusiasm for having a good time, or “the craic,” and the city has a dynamic and diverse nightlife. The pub scene in this Northern capital ranges from old alehouses to gastro pubs serving steaks washed down with excellent craft beers. There are also trendy rooftop cocktail bars with magnificent views of the city.

Check out this list of the best places to party and drink while you’re in Belfast for a taste of its local nightlife.

White’s Tavern

White's Tavern

Ever wondered what Guinness pies taste like? Aside from having a pint of that black stuff, the White’s Tavern is one of the coolest bars you can lounge into. With its simplistic, yet clean and homely interior, it is one of the oldest buildings known in Belfast.

If you want to try some of their local dishes, the Co. Down Supreme of Chicken, Roast Prime Irish Beef, the Grilled Kilrea Rainbow Trout, the Irish Lambs Liver and Bacon, the Northern Irish Lamb Stew, the Fresh Portavogie Scampi, and the Pan Seared Local Cod, all of which are less than 11 euros per local dish meal. Enjoy some of their great beers, whiskeys, have a hearty local Irish meal, and enjoy your stay in White’s Tavern!

The Crown Liquor Saloon


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Commonly known as the Crown Bar, the great pub is located at Great Victorian Street, and is considered one of the most traditional. The bar boasts of a myriad of fine-tasting ales and beers, fresh and local food, and the notable Irish merriment and hospitality. The historic bar, with its carved-mahogany booths and ancient stained windows, gives you the Medieval period feel.

The booths offer privacy, a sanctuary even, from the bustling streets of Belfast. If you are looking for an authentic medieval and classy pub experience, the Crown Bar is the bar for you.

The Belfast Empire

The Belfast Empire

You have no time to be shocked in the interior of the, since its dark-fuchsia colored seating, table, and fixtures focus on the pink, punkish, and warm atmosphere that this bar provides. Great-tasting whiskeys, ales, and wine can be found in their comprehensive menu. 

Things To Do In Belfast

Belfast Castle

Belfast Castle

Belfast, the city of Northern Ireland and the birthplace of the lost ocean liner RMS Titanic, was once a major shipbuilding center. The city’s violent history is also well-known.

These days, however, Belfast is quickly building a reputation as a must-visit destination. The Titanic Quarter, which is a must-see attraction, as well as the castle and historic tours, are highlights of any Belfast visit.

To make the most of your time, this Belfast travel guide has a list of the top tourist attractions and things to do.

Learn the history of Titanic in the Titanic Belfast Museum

titanic belfast

The Titanic Belfast Museum is one of the top places to see in Belfast. This huge museum offers self-guided tours for visitors who want to walk through the history of the RMS Titanic.

The tour starts with a piece of information on the history of Belfast in the 20th century followed by the shipbuilding industry in Belfast which includes the building of RMS Titanic by a local shipbuilding firm, Harland and Wolff.

A series of galleries then shows the launching of the Titanic, its voyage and the great tragedy. Artifacts and replica interiors of the Titanic are also inside the museum.

To enhance the experience, there are also interactive activities. The tour ends with photographs and video footage of the sunken Titanic.

Stop by the Belfast Castle

Belfast Castle, Northern Ireland

Built-in Scottish baronial style, the Belfast Castle is perfect for a quick stop before hiking in Cave Hill or visiting the Belfast Zoo. Visitors can only tour a portion of the castle though because most of the space is used for events like weddings and conferences. There are also offices and dining venues here.

The tour shows different exhibits of the history of Belfast Castle. Cafe and restaurant are also available.

Watch a musical in the Grand Opera House.

Grand Opera House Belfast

Grand Opera House is the remaining Victorian theater in Northern Ireland in present times. This theater has become one of Belfast popular landmarks and is popular for its beautiful interior.

From 2500 seats to 1000 seats, the theater still hosts various performance acts like ballet, theatrical plays, musicals, operas, pantomime, family shows, and educational talks.

A self-guided tour is also available for those who want to know the history of the theater.

In 2020, the theater is expected to undergo a large restoration project.


Travel Tips And Resources

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What To Wear: If you want some ideas on what to pack for Ireland, check out this packing list guide for Ireland.

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