Make a break for brilliant Belfast and find a city on a high
Belfast is only two hours from Dublin, yet it’s a stunning city with a world-class dining scene, vibrant nightlife and a fascinating history and culture just waiting for you to explore.
The magnificent city of Belfast goes from strength to strength. Recently voted the best region to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet, alongside the Causeway Coastal Route, it’s one of the best cities in Europe to go out in, with world class restaurants and some of the most characteristic, historic and modern pubs. With a warm welcome from the locals, grandiose architecture and a surprise around every corner, a break in Belfast is an unforgettable experience and with the current exchange rates, your euro goes a lot further.
Belfast’s last covered Victorian Market was built between 1890 and 1896 but there has been a market on the site since 1604. Today it remains the heart of Belfast City with people coming from far and wide on a Saturday and Sunday to sample the very best of local cuisine. Since the £4.5m refurbishment in 1997, St. George’s Market has been the meeting place for Ulster’s artisan producers where foodies can explore the very best of high end cuisine under a glorious glass roof in a surrounding of Victorian splendour.
Awarded the accolade of The World’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the World Travel Awards 2016, Titanic is so much more than an exhibition of the world’s most famous ocean liner. Inside the iconic building that houses Titanic Belfast you’ll find an astonishing immersive experience dedicated to the city’s ship building and maritime heritage, full of personal stories and original memorabilia that will take you back to a time when the world’s biggest and best cruise liners came out of Harland & Wolff, Belfast. When visiting Titanic, be sure to pick up the White Star Premium Pass, which also gives you the chance to step on board the nearby SS Nomadic, the last remaining White Star line ship in the world.
The MAC Belfast in the city’s Cathedral Quarter is home to an eclectic mix of visual art, theatre, dance, family workshops and lots more. Stimulate your imagination and experience the unexpected in this award-winning centre that can live with any major museum of modern art. Belfast is a thriving, vibrant city and its arts show us the best of this city’s qualities – endlessly inventive, joyous, thought-provoking and fearless.
OX is one of Belfast’s Michelin starred restaurants and has garnered a stellar reputation both at home and abroad. Belfast-born chef Stephen Toman and sommelier Alain Kerloc'h have honed their skills and talents in various influential restaurants, now put into practice against the backdrop of their own relaxed riverside restaurant. Whether you decide to go for the popular 4-10-4 lunch menu, or the seasonal tasting menu, OX will surprise you with the rich inventiveness of its food. And with a diverse drinks selection offering both affordable quality and high-end wines by the glass, your perfect dining experience awaits.
A recent addition to Belfast’s array of tourist attractions, the HMS Caroline is a decommissioned C-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy and the last surviving ship from the Battle of Jutland in the First World War. Today, this magnificently restored ship is a museum and café that offers a fascinating glimpse into another time and a way of life that has more influence on the way we are today than we will probably ever know. With world-leading exhibitions, a Virtual Access Suite that brings you to hidden corners of the ship and perfectly restored decks and living quarters it’s an unmissable tribute to a ship that has called Belfast home for over 90 years.
From renowned Belfast Chef Michael Deane this latest, fresh addition to the Deanes portfolio is a star of Belfast’s fine dining scene. Gaining its first Michelin star in 2016 and retaining it for 2017 Deanes EIPIC offers an exciting menu with influences from far and wide. The kitchen, led by Alex Greene, continues to serve food that reaches the pinnacle of epicurean creation.
The Clayton Hotel in Belfast offers the perfect base to enjoy a break in Belfast. Whatever you’re looking for, from executive suites, to double and family rooms you’ll find the excellent quality and comfort associated with Clayton Hotels right in the heart of Belfast. Enjoy the top-notch fare in the hotel restaurant or enjoy a drink in the fabulous cocktail bar before you explore Belfast by night.
The Victorian era prison, known locally as The Crum is a gruesome yet fascinating insight into the history of crime and punishment in Northern Ireland. Filled with dark secrets, the gaol was home to prisoners for over 150 years with 17 of them losing their lives to the gallows. Today, it is a conference centre and museum that perfectly manages the balance between entertainment and respect for a macabre past.
With something for everyone, from history buffs, art lovers, the culturally curious and inquisitive children the Ulster Museum at the Botanic Gardens hosts a vast array of art, historical artefacts and specimens from the natural world. The Ulster Museum’s art collection contains one of the finest collections of Irish art to be found anywhere in the world.
An iconic Belfast Bar, The Crown Liquor Saloon features carved mahogany booths where you can slip in and enjoy a few drinks at ease in splendid surroundings. Stained glass windows and oil lamps adorn the décor of this unique heritage pub that is the jewel in the crown of Belfast’s pub scene. Now owned by the National Trust and has been lovingly restored over the years.
No trip to Belfast would be complete without a ramble around the city’s Cathedral Quarter. Once the hub of publishing in Belfast, where you can still find the offices of the Belfast Telegraph, the area surrounds St. Anne’s Cathedral. The cobbled streets and winding laneways of this bohemian quarter come to life at night as the seemingly never-ending array of characteristic pubs, restaurants, clubs and watering holes fill up for the evening. Enjoy the party atmosphere with the locals as they let their hair down and give you a real Belfast welcome.
Northern Ireland has so much to see and do and with the stunning city of Belfast just a short drive up the road there’s never been a better time to visit. Go see what you’re missing.
For more information on a short break to Belfast, visit discovernorthernireland.com