Belfast city breaks

Recent years have seen Belfast transform itself into a fashionably hip city break destination with something for all ages and all tastes. Its Victorian architecture has been given a facelift, shipyards are rising again as chic shopping, entertainment and living areas while a vibrant nightlife and foodie scene all add to the many charms of Belfast city breaks. Belfast is quickly becoming one of the UK's latest cultural hotspots. The recent re-developement of the city centre has introduced a newly-polished Belfast with a number of sights to see and places to explore. Be sure not to miss the Titanic Quarter, which occupies the city's old docklands and shipyards.

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Things to do in Belfast

Beautiful Belfast

The Northern Irish capital of Belfast is a fascinating place to explore, with its strong sense of history, and thriving cultural and bar scenes. Experience it for yourself on one of our cheap city breaks to Belfast.

Shopping in Belfast

While the usual choice of global brands can be found in Belfast, Belfast holiday packages give you a chance to search out some of its quirkier shopping destinations such as vintage shops on Dublin Road. St George's Market sells everything from food to clothing as well as local craft products perfect for souvenir shopping.

Belfast Boozers

Belfast is perhaps unusual in that its best nightlife is found away from the centre (although the city’s compact size means that you’ll not have to go far to find a cool bar, pub or club during your Belfast city break). The majority of the city’s bars can be found on the Golden Mile, including the Crown Liquor Saloon, a must-visit place for its opulent Victorian décor. If you wander down the full length of the mile, you’ll find yourself in the pleasant southern suburbs around Queen’s University, where we recommend stopping by the stylish and colourful wine bar The Chelsea. The Cathedral Quarter is also an up-and-coming part of the city, home to several galleries, the Belfast Film Festival, a lively gay scene and excellent drinking spots like The Dirty Onion, a pub housed in one of the city’s oldest buildings, which pays tribute to local tradition with its drinks selection, and its nightly live music.

Exquisitely Edwardian

Blossoming as a city in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Belfast is filled with Victorian and Edwardian architecture, and a real sense of neo-classical style. While investigating the bars of the Golden Mile and the Cathedral Quarter see the Grand Opera House, which remains a popular theatre today, and the impressive St Anne’s Cathedral, where you’ll also find the 40 metre-high contemporary sculpture the Spire of Hope.

Romantic breaks

Top couples things to do include sipping cocktails and listening to jazz at The Merchant Hotel or taking in a show at the Grand Opera House. If the sun is shining enjoy strolling hand in hand through the Botanic Gardens or the grounds of Stormont Estate.

Family-friendly Belfast

With a good choice of cheap holidays to Belfast available, it's a perfect city destination for the whole family. Get a feel for the city by taking a trip on an open-top bus. Kids love seeing the sights from above and it's easy to hop on and off to visit attractions such as the Belfast Zoological Gardens. The kids will also love Aunt Sandra's Candy Factory or Funky Monkey Belfast.

Best time of year to visit Belfast

Belfast's climate is similar to the rest of the United Kingdom with clearly marked seasons. As long as you're prepared for all weather conditions, Belfast holiday packages can be enjoyed throughout the year. In April and May, spring flowers are blooming in city parks while April sees the Belfast Film Festival which showcases the work of both Irish and international filmmakers. Irish music and dance are celebrated along with street parties and parades during Féile An Phobail in August while the Queen's Arts Festival in October provides a warm start to winter.

Top places to visit

  • Belfast Cathedral: St Anne's Cathedral was started in 1899 but not completed until late in the 20th-century. It features Hiberno-Romanesque architecture and a striking black and white-tiled floor laid out in a maze pattern that leads to either a dead end or salvation.
  • Titanic Belfast: Titanic Belfast is a unique contemporary building occupying the slipway where the ill-fated Titanic was built. Inside is an interactive and multimedia exhibition that tells the ocean liner's tragic story. Visits end with a noisy and smelly high-tech ride through a shipyard recreation.
  • Ulster Museum: If you want a potted history of the world as well as easy-to-follow exhibits detailing Northern Ireland's history, then pay a visit to Ulster Museum. Highlights include the Armada Room, the Early People's Gallery and the Egyptian Room.

How to spend your break in Belfast

As Belfast's popularity as a city break destination grows, more and more hotels, bed and breakfasts and holiday apartments appear so you'll be spoilt for accommodation choices when booking your Belfast city breaks. Business-style and luxury boutique hotels can be found in the centre while budget and mid-range choices are generally located south of the city centre.

Cinematic sights              

Belfast played a key role in the Titanic story, which you can explore at the high-tech Titanic Belfast, and the Titanic’s Dock and Pump House; the last spot where the ill-fated ship stood on dry land. You might even come across a star of screen on your city break to Belfast, as the city has become a popular filming location. Much of the epic action of Game of Thrones is filmed at the Paint Hall studio in the Titanic Quarter, and iconic locations from the series, like Winterfell (Castle Ward Gardens) and The Kings Road (The Dark Hedges) can be seen on tours departing the city centre.

Hit the road

If you get out of town during your cheap Belfast city break, you’ll soon come across some of Northern Ireland’s famously rugged scenery. Clamber up Cavehill to take in great views of the whole city (and, on clear days, even see the Isle of Man and Scotland). Also nearby is the start of the Causeway Coastal Road; a particularly beautiful driving route, where you’ll pass through the dramatic Glens of Antrim and find yourself at the unique Giant’s Causeway, with its fascinating hexagonal rock columns.