Belfast is the largest city in Northern Ireland and its capital. It is located on the east coast of the country, on the floodplain of the River Lagan, and it attracts over seven million visitors every year. Some are drawn by the chance to experience the famous Irish craic, some by the city’s growing reputation as a centre for international business and others by the rich history of a place that has changed dramatically over the centuries.
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation. If you don’t have the budget to revel in four or five star luxury, or would simply rather have more cash left over to spend on exploring the city itself, there is a plethora of three star accommodation within the centre of the city and slightly outside. Whether you want the certainty of a national chain, the quirkiness of a locally run bed and breakfast or the reliable comfort of a family guesthouse, you’ll be able to find a three star bedroom to suit your needs.
Nights Out in Belfast
One of the things Belfast is justly famous for is a lively, raucous, nightlife. Booking a three star hotel in the centre of the city will mean you’re just a short walk – or even stagger – away from some of the best pubs, clubs and bars in the UK. At the end of a night sipping Guinness, carousing with friendly locals or sampling a few single malts, you’ll be grateful that your hotel room is just a few minutes away.
One of the advantages of a night out in Belfast is the sheer range on offer. The Crown on Great Victoria Street, for example, was first built as a coaching house in the 1820s serving gin to thirsty travellers to and from Dublin. Now fully restored to its original tiled splendour, it is the only working pub in the UK to be owned by the National Trust.
The Cathedral Quarter, around St. Anne’s Cathedral, is home to a selection of some of the more bohemian, hip and stylish bars in the centre of Belfast. The Duke of York is one of the most famous Cathedral Quarter pubs, boasting a huge selection of Irish whiskey and live music at the weekends. Just outside the Cathedral Quarter is the Sunflower, a former traditional bar now converted into a venue celebrating craft ale and traditional folk music.
Food in Belfast
If you plan on spending the night exploring some of the drinking establishments of central Belfast, all just a stroll from your hotel bedroom door, the chances are you’ll also want to dine as well, and the choice is equally eclectic and satisfying. From traditional British fish and chips to simple pizza all the way up to high end dining, the choice is yours.
Whether you want a delicious sandwich by the roaring fire of a friendly pub, or cocktails and Asian cuisine in the ultra-stylish The Apartment, in Donegall Square, you’ll find a plateful that perfectly meets your needs.
When to Stay in Belfast
Belfast offers the warmest of welcomes throughout the year, and the range of three star hotels, guesthouses and bed and breakfasts means you’re never far away from something to see, do, eat and drink. Visit in May for the annual Blues on the Bay music festival, June for the aquatic spectacle of the Tall Ships Races and April to enjoy the Belfast Film Festival.