The best places to stay in Belfast are analyzed in this post, featuring cost of travel and the best moments to visit this charming city in the UK
Where to Stay in Belfast? Are you travelling to the Northern Ireland and want to enjoy its capital to the fullest? Check our guide featuring the best areas to stay in this unique city, the biggest Irish city in the United Kingdom.
Belfast is the capital Northern Ireland. They have a population of just under 334,000 people and have a growing tourism industry. It is also the part of Ireland that is in the UK and therefore uses Great British Pounds rather than Euros.
It has a somewhat checkered past that has put off tourists for many years. The city was the centre of religious troubles throughout the 70s and 80s. However, it has gone through a change of image in recent years.
During your stay in Belfast, it will be possible to notice the marks that the political and religious conflicts left in the city. Mostly of them, through the artistic manifestations painted in some districts.
Tourism in Belfast Overview
Another somewhat infamous credential of Belfast is the building of the RMS Titanic, one of the world’s most famous shipping disasters. This has led to one of Belfast’s biggest tourist attractions.
Titanic Belfast is a multi-story monument and museum to the ship. It covers the entire process from start to disastrous end. Even Belfast being a rather small city, some important sights are far from each other. Thus, an excellent idea to understand well the geography of the city, and to visit the main sights of the city is to use the Hop on – Hop off tourist bus.
In addition to the Titanic Museum mentioned above, another important point that portrays much about the history of the city is The Belfast Peace Wall. The wall that in times of conflicts divided the city. Today, the wall represents through art, what the population faced a few years ago.
Other attractions in Belfast include the Folk and Transport Museum, the Ulster Museum, the Botanic Gardens, the Queens University, the Parliament, the Crumlin Road Jail and the Belfast Castle.
If your stay will be longer, it is highly recommending to take a tour or rent a car to go to the north of Northern Ireland, to visit the Giant’s Causeway, the Carrick Hope Bridge and also the Dark Hedges.
Those places become even more popular after being a location the HBO series Game of Thrones. It is possible to find private or group tours to visit all of them. But remember, Irish weather is unpredictable. So, we recommend to book the tour with no more than 2 days in advance in order to increase the chances to get a good weather.
Best Places to stay in Belfast
Below we will list some of the best areas to stay in Belfast and optimize your level of comfort when visiting Northern Ireland.
Belfast Central Train Station
The area around the Belfast Central Train Station can be an excellent choice for railway enthusiasts. It is also at a walking distance to most attractions in the city centre, a must for your stay in Belfast.
Click here to check accommodation options near the Belfast Central Station on Booking.com
The Queen’s Quarter
Further south is the Queen’s Quarter. This district feels leafier and suburban than much of Belfast. Originally built as an area where richer people could get away from the industrial heart of the city, it now hosts the Botanic Gardens and a university. In this area you will find B&B and Hostels with good facilities and welcoming prices.
Click here to check accommodation options in the Queen’s Quarter on Booking.com
The Titanic Quarter
This is the newest of Belfast’s Quarters. It has gone through a lot of development in recent years and lays claim to the cities heritage and innovation centres. This also means it has some of the newest built hotel. It is a very popular area for those who are traveling for business, due to the close location to the port.
Click here to check accommodation options in the Titanic Quarter on Booking.com
Reasonably Priced Accommodation in Belfast – €€
Dukes At Queens – One of the best options if you are staying at the Queen’s Quarter in Belfast.
The Gregory – This cosy property is just a short walk to the Belfast Botanical Garden and ideal if you are traveling by car.
Luxurious Hotels in Belfast – €€€
The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast – A great boutique option with a modern style and just a short walk to the Belfast City Hall.
The Merchant Hotel – An excellent choice for a luxury stay in Belfast. The Great Room Restaurant, one of the most refined in Belfast is also in this hotel.
Cost of Travel in Belfast
From outside of Ireland, Belfast has an international airport to connect it to the rest of the world and a port that runs frequent ferries to the rest of the UK.
From Dublin, you are able to get to Belfast by bus or by Train. By bus the return ticket costs around €27 and the journey takes 2h30. However, if your budget is more flexible, by train the journey is faster. It takes around 2h from Dublin to Belfast. The return ticket costs around € 50.
In terms of cost of travel, it is important to have in mind that Belfast uses one of the most valuable currency in the world. Compared to other cities of UK, such as Edinburgh and London, we are able to say that Belfast is not as much expensive as them, but surely it is important to consider a bigger budget compared to Dublin, capital of Republic of Ireland.
For example, the ticket to the Titanic Museum experience costs, £17.50. A meal with soft drink for one person in a standard restaurant will not cost less than £20.
Since Northern Ireland is such a small country, public transport is fairly widespread and easy.
There are integrated bus and train networks across the whole country with Translink. The only complicated part of travelling in Belfast is figuring out how much it costs. The website is not very user friendly, but the prices appear to be average for a capital city.
Best Months to Visit Belfast
The climate varies but is generally temperate in Belfast. Winter site at around 5°C. In the Summer an average is around 15°C. As with most places in Europe, Christmas is a lovely time to visit as it has a lot of celebrations going on. The weather can be chilly, but the city is incredibly beautiful due to the Christmas decoration. There is also more entertainment during this time of the year.
Avoid Marching Season! Marching is a big thing in Northern Ireland, especially in Belfast were their religious issues are always quietly simmering. Protestants and Catholics live in different areas of the city and for most of the year this works just fine.
Even during marching season, its usually very safe and polite. Officially the season runs between April and August. But most of the marching is in July and there are websites you can check the time you’re planning on going.