City Guide: Belfast

If you’re looking for a UK city break with a difference, then don’t miss the enigmatic capital of Belfast. From talked-about restaurants to thought-provoking heritage, the city has a rich repertoire of cultural experiences to unpick. Divided into characterful quarters, you’ll find old-world pubs singing with trad music, bustling foodie markets, a proud portside heritage, and sleek, modern waterside spots perfect for sundown evenings. Unravel this captivating city here and book that much-needed staycation. 

St George’s Market

Belfast Bites

Belfast has made somewhat of a name for itself when it comes to eating. With such close proximity to rolling countryside and the Irish Sea, the city’s kitchens are filled with the best local produce. 

Start your foodie adventure at St George’s Market. Particularly on a Saturday, you’ll find the finest artisanal treats and mouthwatering local bites, a perfect starter to the day’s forage. Fine eateries like the lauded Muddler’s Club or the fusion tastes of Howard Street show off the talents of the city’s best chefs. 

However, sometimes nothing beats the classics – soak up the historic atmosphere of Kelly’s Cellars over a bowl of Irish Stew and a stout, and swing by stalwart food shop Sawers for some take-home treats. 

Belfast Botanic Gardens

Culture on foot

Belfast is a city alive with history and culture. Discover local artists and rich performances at the Black Box and MAC arts centres, or unpick the contemporary murals around the Cathedral Quarter. 

More famous are the murals of the Shankill and Falls roads, and those that decorate the towering Peace Wall – for local insight and first-hand accounts of what happened in these areas during the Troubles, opt for the famed black taxi tours. 

Back in the city, go further back in time at the Ulster Museum, or enjoy your own moment of peace at the lavish Botanical Gardens. There’s a bustling clutch of stories to unravel if you know where to look. 

Cathedral Quarter

Meet the locals

You’re pretty much guaranteed an unforgettable night out in this convivial city. Whether your thing is kicking back in a trinket-laden trad pub with stout in hand, or hopping from crafty bars with live music to well-heeled cocktail spots, Belfast has the lot – after all, it loves to throw a good party. 

Most will make for the Cathedral Quarter, a worn-in nightspot with historic pubs like the characterful Duke of York and the worker’s haven, the John Hewitt. Walk the cobbles under the Umbrella Passage and spy the intricate murals that flood the quarter in colourful stories, before sinking into Muriel’s for a craft cocktail and a dash of live music. 

Titanic Belfast goes green for St Patrick’s Day. Credit: Titanic Belfast.

Titanic Belfast

Discover Belfast’s industrial heritage in the Titanic Quarter. The ill-fated ocean liner was built in the shipyards of Belfast, the largest ship the world had ever seen. The immense pride of the city in pulling off such a feat was sadly overshadowed by the tragedy of the Titanic’s maiden voyage, which caused shockwaves around the world. Now, a remarkable piece of architecture, the Titanic Museum, explores the fascinating Titanic story with immersive experiences and renowned exhibitions. Shadowing the height and lines of the famed liner, learn about Belfast’s incredible shipyards, the remarkable achievements of the local workforce, and the tragic stories of those that embarked on the doomed voyage across the Atlantic.