It's that time of the year. Summer is over; Christmas is so close but just too long to wait for another little break. That’s when the words ‘city break’ come to mind. Belfast is a world-class city that everyone needs to visit boasting a range of tourist hotspots, restaurants and cafes. The best thing is that it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to get here!
Our city is award-winning, scooping accolades such as The Guardian's 'Best UK City' in 2016. Since then Belfast's gone from strength to strength having been voted the 'Rising Star' of 2017 by National Geographic and Lonely Planet's 'Top Place to Visit' in 2018. When delegates come to Belfast for a conference, they love to explore as much as they can while they are here...Belfast has a wealth of history and an atmosphere they can’t resist!
A highlight for me was visiting the Titanic Museum…this is somewhere I will definitely be going back to in my own time. I absolutely loved Belfast, the whole city feels very up-and-coming, with lots of 5* hotels opening and so much to do; the bars, shopping, breweries and distilleries, and museums to name just a few things!
Kimberley Money, Events Executive at Bien Venue
When it comes to accommodation, you want that hotel that ticks all the boxes. What are the reviews like? Is it good value for money? Is it near the city centre? The beauty about Belfast is the compact nature. Hotels, pubs, restaurants and shops are all within a 15-minute walk. From 5* luxury hotels to budget friendly accommodation, there is something for everyone.
Why not try
The plush Grand Central Hotel, with top-class service and stunning 360° views of the city from the Observatory bar, has rooms available from around £126 per night. The Maldron Hotel chain has also recently expanded into Belfast city centre and with rooms from £66 per night you won’t be disappointed. If you're planning on painting the town red and just want somewhere to grab 20 winks, Belfast offers plenty of budget-friendly options from £56 per night, such as the Travelodge.
Fuel up on coffee
Belfast is full of little coffee shop gems, all of which are all pretty great in their own right. Behind the bright yellow door facing Queen's University is the quaint and chilled setting of The Pocket coffee shop, who proudly source their coffee directly from independent farmers. Get your ‘Insta’ game on for Established Coffee. Not only are the drinks artistic, it's arguably the best coffee in the Cathedral Quarter. Town Square café is another option based in the buzzing Botanic area, offering a range of brews to enjoy including their renowned Aeropress coffee, which was awarded first place at the Northern Ireland Aeropress Championship.
Wine and dine
Wining and dining in some of Belfast’s finest food houses won’t break the bank. According to Culture Trip, Belfast is one of the cheapest cities in the UK for food and entertainment! You can visit OX, one of Belfast's three Michelin star restaurants, for their delicious autumn menu and feast on six courses for £60 or four courses for £40 from Tuesday to Thursday. Made in Belfast on Talbot Street has a real stand out identity, it’s funky interior and bustling atmosphere makes for a great evening out and a 3-course menu is priced from just £22. If you're lucky enough to be in Belfast midweek, Taco Tuesday in La Taqueria is another amazing value offering. What's more, the frozen margaritas are the perfect accompaniment to the spice of the homemade Mexican salsa.
Have a drink
The cobbled streets of Cathedral Quarter are filled with brilliant pubs, this is the place to be to have ‘the craic’ and is ideal for a pub crawl. Some great pubs include The Harp Bar, The Duke of York and The John Hewitt Bar where the traditional music will have you giving your best Riverdance impressions all night long.
After being in the sector for nearly 20 years, the atmosphere engendered on the Thursday night in Cathedral Quarter, as the culmination of the event, was truly one of the best I have experienced in all that time
Robert Aldhouse, Sales Director at Haymarket.
Belfast has so much history and conference delegates especially love to see how the city has progressed throughout the years and why we're tipped as one of the trendiest spots in Europe. The hop-on-hop-off tour bus is great to get around the city and learn about the different areas of Belfast for only £14.99. Another fantastic way to see Belfast is by taking a black taxi tour. After all, who knows more about cities than the taxi drivers? Titanic Belfast’s architecture is stunning and the museum takes visitors through a detailed story of the Titanic. The building is located beside the River Lagan and has stunning views of the marina and the SS Nomadic come rain or shine.
Who doesn’t love a shopping trip on a city-break? The trendy Victoria Square is located in the heart of Belfast, with hundreds of brands to choose from including House of Fraser and Urban Outfitters. For those on the trip worried that they'll spend all day traipsing from shop to shop and left to carry the bags, worry not! Victoria Square also boasts a fantastic cinema, a range restaurants and the dome, which has spectacular 360° views of Belfast.
Now that you have a detailed guide on where to go for your next city break, what are you waiting for? Make it Belfast.
*All hotel prices are based on rates from Wednesday 6 November 2019-Thursday 7 November 2019*