A cultural capital of the United Kingdom, Belfast is a city where Celtic tradition dovetails seamlessly with modern architecture to form an incredibly diverse tourist experience. The city offers a range of accommodation to suit the needs of any visitor, from backpacker hostels perfect for exploring Belfast on a shoestring, to more extravagant five star hotels for a more sophisticated experience in Northern Ireland's comely capital.
Backpacking in Belfast
Hostels are ideal for visitors looking to save money on their trip to Belfast. North-east of the River Lagan, in the area surrounding the beautiful Botanic Gardens, you'll find several backpacker hostels offering en suite and shared dormitories, with breakfast included at most. The hostels are situated close to Queen's University, meaning Belfast's vibrant nightlife can be explored easily, while the nearby Ulster University, brimming with fine art, is a cultural hotspot not to be missed.
Five Star Hotels in Belfast
For those seeking a more lavish experience of Northern Ireland's capital, the area further north of the river boasts a plethora of 5 star hotels, suited to those with a taste for fine dining and plush surroundings. The impressive and modern Waterfront Hall venue in the area offers the chance of catching a big name act right on your doorstep, having played host to the likes of comedian Billy Connolly and local musical favourite Van Morrison among others.
If the nature of your visit is more business than pleasure, the location of these five star hotels is just as handy. The Waterfront Hall boasts 14 meeting rooms and the main auditorium is home to several business expos each year.
Arts in Belfast
The Gaeltacht Quarter of Belfast is home to the Aisling Ghear Theatre Company. This district of Belfast is firmly rooted in Celtic tradition and the Irish language is encouraged in these parts. Several bed and breakfast options are available to tourists in the area looking to sample true Irish living. Booking a hotel in the Cathedral Quarter also gives you the chance to absorb Belfast's rich artistic offering, with street performances commonplace in the day and at night.
Eating in Belfast
While most hotels and hostels in Belfast offer food on their premises, booking a hotel near the Cathedral Quarter and city centre is a must for the foodie. Along the cobbled streets of this picturesque part of the city lie some of Belfast's best loved restaurants and bars, where you can sample local cuisine and even learn to cook it with courses available in some establishments.
Sports in Belfast
A short walk from Windsor Park, home of the Northern Ireland national football team, you'll find Englantine Avenue and Wellington Park. These two streets are littered with guest houses that ensure you'll be at the heart of the action on match day. Budding Rory McIlroys should book a hotel in the suburban south of the city, where Balmoral Golf Club, founded over 100 years ago, is a favourite among golfers on holiday in Belfast.