A Belfast travel guide – a city reborn with modern dining and traditional pub nights

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A Belfast city break offers visitors a new view of Northern Ireland’s first city. Experience grand Victorian buildings transformed into luxury Belfast hotels and cultural centres. Make the most of the famous Belfast welcome with modern Irish dining and traditional music in pubs.

Revealing history

Discover old Belfast on the High Street in the city centre, home to Belfast’s very own leaning tower, the Albert Clock. The yellow Samson and Goliath cranes in the Titanic Quarter, visible across the city, are a reminder of Belfast’s maritime past and the ill-fated RMS Titanic that was built here. Many try to understand the Troubles on tours of Belfast’s political murals, while at Holywood’s Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, you can explore rebuilt Belfast houses.

Ulster on a plate

There’s a food revolution happening in Belfast. Local foodies head to St George’s Market on Saturdays for fresh Portavogie fish, Armagh beef and Tyrone goat’s cheese ice cream. South Belfast restaurant Beatrice Kennedy serves traditional Irish cuisine with style, while Michelin-starred Deane’s does it with an international twist. The Ulster breakfast of fried potato bread and soda bread remains a favourite. The meat pasties at Long’s Fish Restaurant in West Belfast are legendary.

Belfast nightlife

Sup Guinness and enjoy traditional music cocooned in a snug (private booth) and enjoy traditional Irish music, or bar-hop along the Golden Mile to South Belfast’s lively university area. Follow the trail of the 1798 United Irishmen rebels to the city centre’s Kelly’s Cellars, and explore the alleyways off High Street and the Cathedral Quarter, home to the city’s oldest watering holes.

A song and dance

The restored Ulster Hall hosts popular music and the Ulster Orchestra, which also performs at the modern Belfast Waterfront. Big-name bands fill the Titanic Quarter’s vast Odyssey Arena, while the city centre’s Grand Opera House presents ballet and musicals within its Victorian grandeur and 21st-century architecture.