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Flight and hotel Belfast

An introduction to Belfast

Situated on the eastern coast of Northern Ireland, capital city Belfast has a fascinating past and is now enjoying something of a rebirth as a cultural centre. Home to lively pubs, great live music and a revamped city centre, there is plenty for visitors to enjoy on a weekend in Belfast. Celebrate the city's industrial heritage by day, and enjoy the warm welcome afforded by the locals by night.

What To Know Before Visiting Belfast?

Visitors can fly to one of the city's two airports when taking package holidays in Belfast. Belfast International Airport is located about 12 miles outside the city, while the smaller George Best Belfast City Airport is just three miles from the city. Flights to Belfast arrive from several locations across the UK and Ireland, but George Best Belfast City Airport handles mainly domestic traffic, including flights from Cork to Belfast and flights from Dublin to Belfast.

Visitors arriving at George Best Airport for a weekend in Belfast can get to the city centre via train or bus, while Belfast International Airport is served by regular buses. The main language in Belfast is English, and the currency is the pound – though some large hotels will accept Euros. Belfast is in the same time zone as London.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Belfast?

The weather can be very unpredictable throughout the year in Belfast, and winters are particularly cold and wet. Belfast is a lively and fun city throughout the year, but it really bursts into life when the locals celebrate St Patrick's Day with a parade and lots of pints of Guinness! Book a flight to and hotel in Belfast in March if you want to join the party.

What To Do In Belfast?

One of the more intriguing visitor attractions on a weekend in Belfast is a taxi or walking tour of the political mural, which decorates the walls of buildings in two parts of the city, the Falls Road and the Shankill Road, which were at the centre of the so-called Troubles in the 1970s and 1980s. These tours are a fascinating way to learn about the interesting and sometimes tragic history of Northern Ireland, from locals who lived through the conflict.

Nights out on package holidays in Belfast revolve around great local beers and live music – and Laverys, near Queens University, is one of the best places to find both. If you prefer your bars with some historical character, The Crown in the city centre is decorated with coloured tiles and stained glass windows, and looks much the same as it did when it opened in the 19th century.

Shopaholics should spend some time in Victoria Square, Belfast's largest shopping mall, which is home to High Street and designer stores, as well as restaurants and a cinema. You can even take a glass lift to the top of the iconic dome which sits atop the shopping centre and enjoy the amazing view across Belfast.

What To Visit In Belfast?

There are lots of attractions for visitors to enjoy while on city breaks in Belfast:

  • Titanic Belfast celebrates the city's shipbuilding heritage, including the most famous ship the Belfast yards ever built – the Titanic. Learn about local history, as well as the fascinating story of the world's most famous voyage.
  • Take a boat trip around the harbour and along the River Lagan to see where the shipyards used to be located and experience Belfast's industrial heritage first hand.
  • If you are blessed with good weather, head to the city's Botanic Gardens for a stroll among the exotic trees and plants.
  • Kids will love Belfast Zoo, a vast animal park which is home to an intriguing free-range population of ring-tailed lemur.
  • Check out the artistic and historical exhibits at Belfast's Ulster Museum, featuring artefacts from across Northern Ireland.
  • Head out of the city on day trips to some of the other great visitor attractions in Northern Ireland, including the unusual geological formation at the Giant's Causeway and the dizzying Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge near Ballintoy.

What To Eat In Belfast?

Start your day with a traditional Irish breakfast – also known as an Ulster Fry – which is somewhat like the full English breakfast, but usually served with potato bread or soda bread and fantastic locally produced black pudding.

Dublin may be the home of Guinness, but you can still enjoy pints of the Black Stuff in Belfast pubs, as well as great beers made by local breweries. You can even take food and drinks tours around the centre of Belfast, where you can experience the best bars and restaurants the city has to offer; a fantastic way to spend the evening on city breaks in Belfast.

And don't forget about Irish whiskey, which is just as delicious as the Scottish version. Distilleries across Northern Ireland are open to visitors for tours and free samples, including the Echlinville Distillery at Newtownards.

Souvenirs From Belfast

You will want to bring back from souvenirs of your unforgettable stay in Belfast, both as gifts for friends and family and for yourself. Bottles of Irish whiskey make a great gift for those who enjoy a tipple. Ireland is also famous for its linen industry, and you can buy beautiful gifts for the home in many shops in the city centre. Treat yourself to a traditional knitted Irish jumper – perfect for keeping you warm on a trip to the wild and windswept Ulster coast!

The visitor shop at Titanic Belfast sells a wide range of reproduced items, including posters advertising the Titanic's maiden voyage and other memorabilia, as well as books about the famous ship and Belfast's maritime history. All of which are truly unique gifts for a friend who is interested in history.