We recently visited Belfast for 2 nights & fell in love with the city, everyone we spoke to was so positive and inspiring about the troubles. It was amazing to see the City’s regeneration. Here’s a few of the places we visited & my tips for exploring Belfast.
We got the 300a from Belfast International airport into the City Centre. It was then about a 5 minute walk to our hotel. This was the most cost effective way I found of getting into the city centre at £10.50 each return. It took around 30 minutes.
We stayed at the Bullitt, which I found on Lonely Planet as one of their top picks. I fell in love with this hotel straight away with its cool & quirky decor and super friendly staff. From the minute we checked in the staff were so friendly and gave us the best tips for the area and offered to book trips for us.
We stayed in a Dinky room, which was Dinky but perfect as we were hardly in the room. The bed was so comfy & there was a big rainfall shower and a mini fridge so everything you need for a few nights away. Bullitt provide you with a bag to hang on your door each evening with your preferred time for your breakfast in the morning, they then filled it with granola & yogurt, fresh orange & a piece of fruit.
We also had a bigger breakfast one morning in the Bullitt lobby , I had Eggs Benedict & Stu had the Meaty One Brioche. Both were really tasty & the price was reasonable.
Bullitt has its own roof top bar Babel, where we had drinks one evening. The views were amazing but as it was freezing the outside area was shut. It would be even better in the summer.
St George’s market
As soon as we arrived we headed to St George’s market for lunch. There was an amazing choice of food stalls and we decided on paella & patatas bravas which were both lovely. It was the day after St Patrick’s day and the atmosphere was brilliant with a trad band playing. Definitely visit if you are there over the weekend.
Black Taxi Tour
Without a doubt the tour we did with ‘Taxi Tour Belfast’ was the highlight of the trip for both of us. We were picked up by Joe from our hotel in his Mercedes mini bus and spent a fascinating few hours going round the political murals of Belfast. Joe was so intelligent and gave us a first hand insight into the troubles and told us what it was like for him growing up in Belfast at the height of the troubles. We visited the international peace wall, falls road & Shankill Road areas. He was so knowledgeable and answered all of our questions, I think we both went with our own pre conceived idea of what happened but left with a totally different insight. We both said it was honestly one of the most interesting things we have ever done and I think if you’re heading to Belfast you should definitely put this on your list.
Crumlin Road Gaol
We visited the Crumlin Road Gaol using a discount voucher we got with Booking.com and really enjoyed our visit. It was really interesting to get an insight into how the prison used to be run & life as an inmate. Our guide was really informative and answered all of our questions.
Hop on Hop off open top Bus
On our last day we decided to do the hop on hop off bus as there was still quite a few places we wanted to see. We had another voucher through booking.com so we got it at a discount. We got off at the titanic museum, Stormont (which is well worth a look round for the beautiful views) & the crown liquor saloon. It was nice to get an overall view of the city & the guides were all really friendly and knowledgeable about the city.
Victoria Square Dome
As we got off the bus the tour guide suggested we go to the Victoria Square Dome for views around Belfast. It was free and you go up to the top floor for 360 degree views around Belfast. There was signs pointing out all the landmarks.
Mourne Seafood Bar
I found Mourne as it was highly rated on trip advisor and we wasn’t disappointed. We both had mussels and were really impressed they were so tasty & fresh. We also had sides of champ & truffle fries and really enjoyed the meal.
On our second night we visited the Chubby Cherub, we are off the Date night menu which was 2 courses and 2 glasses of wine for £29.95. We had the bruschetta & crostini to start and Meatball Linguini & herb gnocchi for main. We loved the food & the quirky cosy style of the restaurant.
We visited a few bars both on friends recommendation and ones I found on Lonely planet. Here’s a few we loved.
Crown Liquor Saloon – this pub is a national trust property and dates back to 1885. It was really interesting to see all the old style features & we had a nice lunch in there.
The Dirty Onion- in the cathedral quarter with live music most nights.
Cathedral Quarter – this was right near our hotel and there was loads of really cool bars, definitely start your night out in this area.
Duke of York- this the coolest little pub & the Murals surrounding it are well worth a look at.
Muriel’s cafe bar – Muriel’s was a few doors down from our hotel & had the best gin menu! The atmosphere was brilliant on the Sunday.
John Hewitt- a traditional pub & owned by the man who made Jawbox gin, so definitely worth a try while you’re in there.
Love & Death inc- this had good happy hour & good cocktails.
The Spaniard- a really cool rum bar, it was packed even on a Monday night.