Belfast City Guide

Ireland has a violent history that ended not that long ago. In 1998 to be exact. The years before 1998 are called “the Troubles”. During these years of civil war the unionists/ protestants and the nationalists/ catholics fought a battle over whether Ireland should become an independent nation or part of the United Kingdom. But oh my, a lot has changed since then… This is my Belfast City Guide!

Belfast City Guide

Nowadays Belfast is a bustling city with warm pubs and beautiful street art. The people here are some of the friendliest I have met in the world and Belfast is one of the safest cities in the United Kingdom. During a previous visit to the country, I fell in love with Dublin and the colony of butterflies in my stomach has grown even more during this sunny trip to Belfast. We did not use our umbrella once and I think I even got a bit of a tan!

Belfast City Guide

Belfast is an important port city and is famous for ship building. This is where they build the Titanic! But the city is also known for the world’s best wiskey, great restaurants, cosy pubs, tasty specialty beers and Guinness ofcourse!

Belfast City GuideStreet art by Australian artist Smug One / Belfast City Guide

Sleep
Naomi, Authentic Chic Lifestyle, and I stayed at the lovely Bullitt Hotel. The rooms are comfortable and spacious. There is a great bar and rooftopbar: Babel where they serve killer cocktails and there are live performances every now and then.

Belfast City Guide

To do:
Black Taxi Tour
A local drives you through the city, shows you favorite spots, pubs and restaurants and tells you personal stories about the troubled history. A unique experience! The Irish are great storytellers. Our driver was mr. Billy Scott! You can book a tour through TouringBelfast.

Belfast City GuideBelfast City GuideBlack Cab Tour & The Peace Wall / Belfast City Guide

Visit The Peacewall
This huge wall, full of writing and street art, seperates the protestant neighbourhood from the catholic neighbourhood. This is where most people were killed during the war. Bill Clinton and the Dalai Lama wrote loving words on the wall and so did we: ‘We are one.’

Belfast City GuideBelfast City Guide

St. George Market
At this award winning market you will find delicious food, beauty products, clothing and antiquities!

Belfast City GuideBelfast City GuideBelfast City GuideBelfast City GuideSt. George Market / Belfast City Guide

Visit the Titanic Museum
This impressive, 32 meters high museum, is just as high as the Titanic was. Inside you learn all about the history of Belfast and hear stories about the Titanic. It is an amazing experience with lots of interactive galleries! In one area you can try a 3D experience. I felt like I was on board of the Titanic… before it sank…

Belfast City Guide

Book a High Tea in The Great Room at the Merchant Hotel
Like you would expect at a 5* hotel you get the royal treatment here. In this huge, impressive, Art Deco space, you feel like you’re going back in time. The cakes are almost too beautiful to  eat. Fun fact: one of my favorite Netflix series, The Fall, was filmed here! Unfortunately I couldn’t find Jamie Dornan anywhere…

Belfast City GuideBelfast City GuideHigh Tea at The Merchant Hotel / Belfast City Guide

Explore Cathedral Quarter and check out the beautiful street art here. Don’t miss Hill Street! I think this is one of the best areas in the city, with lots of unique shops and pubs. Our hotel, Bullitt Hotel, is located just minutes away of Cathedral Quarter.

Belfast City Guide

Visit University Quarter: the Ulster Museum, the Botanical Gardens and the Queen’s University.

Belfast City GuideBelfast City Guide

Special Shops
* The Friend at Hand: for the best wiskey in the world.
* No Alibies Bookstore
* Co Couture: award winning chocolate, the best in the city.
* Sawers: the oldest deli in Ireland, with a loooot of delicacies! Enter at your own risk…

Belfast City GuideBelfast City Guide

Coffee
Established Coffee: delicious coffee and a great work spot for a Latte & Laptop session. You can also grab your coffee to go!

Restaurants
OX: restaurant with a Michelin star by the water. We had an AMAZING 8-course-tasting-dinner here, with beautiful wine pairing and a meet & greet with the chef! The atmosphere is relaxed and the dishes are prepared with seasonal products from local suppliers. I loved the fresh truffle, the Dory with Vanilla and the goat cheese dessert!

Belfast City GuideBelfast City GuideDishes at Restaurant OX / Belfast City Guide

Taylor & Clay: this restaurant at the Bullitt Hotel specialises in meat. They have an Asador Grill here and serve tender Wagyu Beef! Try some of the delicious cocktails too, like the Espresso Martini!

Restaurant tips by our Black Cab Tour driver Billy
Deanes, Holahan’s at the Barge, Harry’s Shack, Brunel’s, Mourne Seafood Bar, Coppi Restaurant and Ginger Bistro. I liked the look of Fish City too, but we didn’t have enough time to go there for dinner!

Belfast City GuideBelfast City Hall / Belfast City Guide

The Best cocktails
* BabelBullitt Hotel: love this bar with a beautiful ‘garden’ rooftopbar and tasty drinks!
* Love & Death Bar: number 1 spot for cocktails in the city
* The Tipsy Bird: stunning interior!
* Grand Central Hotel Belfast: the highest cocktail bar in Ireland with an amazing view over Belfast. I took the first photo of this blogpost there!

Belfast City GuideThe Dirty Onion / Belfast City Guide

The best pubs
* The Filthy Quarter:  I loved this spacious pub with live music and a laid-back vibe. A really cosy and fun place for a night out!
* The Dirty Onion: located in the oldest building in Belfast, build in 1780. An authentic and warm Irish pub with a modern twist. On the first floor you find Yardbird: a rotisserie, where you can satisfy your chicken craving.
* The Duke of York: the most famous pub in Belfast located in the heart of Cathedral Quarter.
* Muriel’s Cafe Bar: specialised in gin.
* The Spaniard: specialised in rum.

Other great options are: The Perch, Fibber Magees, Bittles Bar, Sunflower, Kelly’s Cellar and The Crown Liquor Saloon.

Belfast City GuideBelfast City GuideCity Hall / Belfast City Guide

Extra tip: you need a plug adapter depending on where you are from. In the Netherlands we have different plugs than in Ireland.

Click HERE for the best rates at the Bullitt Hotel!
Check the website of  Visit Belfast for more useful tips about Belfast.
Click HERE for my Dublin City Guide!

This Belfast City Guide is sponsored by Visit Belfast.

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