Catch the key sights in Northern Ireland’s buzzing capital with Natalie Marsh’s guide.
Titanic Belfast: One of the biggest draws to the city, top tourist attraction Titanic Belfast gives visitors a thorough insight into the history of the famous ocean liner, which set off across the Atlantic from here. With reconstructions and an interactive ‘ride’ through the shipyard, learn how the Titanic was built and the role it played in the city’s construction industry. Tickets are £19 for adults, with admission to the Titanic’s original tender ship, the SS Nomadic.
St George’s Market: For delicious food, local produce and unique artwork, head to St George’s Market in the centre of the city. Stroll past stalls where market traders showcase homemade arts and crafts and stack tables high with food and drink from around the world, or pause for a break while listening to local musicians playing traditional music.
Make time for…
Kelly’s Cellars: The oldest pub in Belfast, Kelly’s Cellars is right in the heart of the city. It was built in 1720 and still maintains its traditional look and feel. The pub is popular among locals as well as tourists and hosts Irish musicians for live music performances – plus it makes a delicious Irish stew, the perfect hearty dish to accompany some local Guinness.
Flight or ferry: Ryanair, easyJet, FlyBe, Aer Lingus and British Airways all have direct flights from the UK to one of Belfast’s two airports – Belfast City Airport and Belfast International Airport – with a flight time of around an hour and 15 minutes from London. There are also ferry connections from Liverpool, Cairnryan in Scotland and the Isle of Man.
Where to stay…
Grand Central Hotel Belfast: The latest addition to Hastings Hotels’ stable, this 23-storey-high property – the tallest in Northern Ireland – has 300 luxury rooms with great views over the city. It takes its name from the original Grand Central, a grand dame hotel that opened on Royal Avenue in 1893 and hosted the likes of Winston Churchill, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in its heyday. Rates start at £190 including breakfast.
Super Break: A three-night stay at the four-star Holiday Inn Belfast City Centre on a room-only basis starts at £229 per person, including flights from Stansted to Belfast International, departing July 12.
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