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Photo of Belfast

About Belfast

Belfast is a long way from the town littered with bullet holes that you saw on the news during 'The Troubles'. It's now thought of as a great place for a lively city break, or else home of the new Titanic Museum. These days the best places to stay in Belfast are a mix of hip haunts and glorious old traditionals.

The shimmering and angular Titanic Belfast museum doesn't just occupy a prime piece of docklands real estate on the site of the shipyard where the Titanic was built. It's also surrounded by its own quarter - the Titanic Quarter, a large scale regeneration of the docks and Belfast's incredible maritime landmarks. They've cleverly retained the huge cranes, Samson and Goliath, which were used in the construction of many great ships, and added several floating museums, including HMS Caroline.

Beyond the Titanic are the relics of 'The Troubles', the white, pillared, neoclassical facade of Stormont, the Ulster Museum and Crumlin Road Gaol, which offer a fascinating reminder of this city's violent past.

But these days there's more of a gentle melding of Irish and British culture, which makes for a unique city, totally unlike London or Dublin. Belfast's many years as a no-go zone means its relatively unspoilt and undiscovered.

One of the best ways to discover Belfast is on one of the city's now famous Black Taxi Tours, where an experienced driver, usually one who worked through 'The Troubles' will show you their city, complete with personal details. Another very personal tour is the Belfast Mural Tours.

But Belfast isn't just about history and grand Victorian architecture, modern Belfast is home to a number of impressive art galleries and plenty of buzzing bars.

What not to miss:

  • Visit the Titanic Belfast museum, an impressive tribute to the famed boat.
  • For a reminder of the city's history make a stop at the fascinating Ulster Museum or Crumlin Road Gaol.
  • Take a stroll through Cave Hill Country Park and enjoy the fabulous city views.
  • Jump into the heart of the city at the bustling St George's Market.

Our pick of the best places to stay in Belfast are perfect bases for making the most of this fascinating city.

The best places to stay in Belfast

For a city break

  • Converted from a 19th Century bank, the Merchant Hotel is an eclectic and rather opulent transformation, harking back to the Paris of Napoleon possibly. Think silks, rich velvets and gold and chintz wallpapers.
  • Ten Square in South Belfast is a fashionable boutique hotel in a Grade I listed building. Central and hip, its has comfortable rooms and a popular steakhouse and bar within walking distance of many of Belfast's main attractions.
  • The Crescent Town House has just 17 elegant Georgian rooms, behind a charming 19th Century facade. Plenty of regal reds and greens and antique furniture. It's great value.

For a central location

The Bullitt is a designer property, boasting a central location and featuring contemporary and quirky interiors with plenty of artwork adorning the walls.

For best of both worlds

  • If you want the best of the city, but a bit more peace and quiet, then try Rayanne House, a traditional property in leafy Holywood. Here you'll find smart rooms and fab food, plus you're not far from the beach.

For luxury

  • Culloden Estate and Spa is a luxurious hotel and spa overlooking Belfast Lough. Surrounded by peace, you're just a short journey from the centre of town. You'll be spoiled by the service and luxurious facilities.

For an apartment or holiday home

  • If you've decided that a self catering property would be more suitable for your holiday, then we recommend you visit our online booking partner Booking.com where they have a wide selection for all tastes and budgets.

Travel information

  • Fly to George Best Belfast City Airport just two miles from Belfast's city centre or by train travel to Great Victoria Street Station located in the heart of the city. Ferries arrive in Belfast from several ports in Scotland and England.
  • Best time to visit - Belfast is a year round destination with each season offering its own charm. However, for the best chance at warm, dry days plan your trip in the summer months (May - August).
  • If you plan to hire a car, we recommend you visit our online partner Holiday Autos for the best prices.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Belfast

  • Crescent Town House 17 rooms from $81


    Excellent city centre choice at a reasonable price. Elegant interiors behind a 19th century traditional facade. Georgian rooms with mahogany canopy beds as well as modern, simple rooms. Excellent food at the bar and restaurant and a small hotel cafe. Great value and good location.

    Local exploring  -  Many of Belfast's sites are within walking distance
    City Style  -  Classic hotel in the heart of town
    Local markets  -  The Friday Variety Market
    Great walks  -  Botanic Gardens
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  • Ten Square 22 rooms from $124


    Fashionable boutique hotel in a Grade 1 listed building, located in central Belfast. Comfortable rooms and excellent steakhouse and bar mean that this is the perfect place for relaxation after a busy day of business or pleasure in the Northern Irish capital. A hip spot in the centre of the city.

    Sights nearby  -  Bang in the centre of town close to City hall and walking distance to most major attractions
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  • Rayanne House 11 rooms from $156

    Belfast (Holywood)

    A traditional property located in a leafy corner of Holywood yet within easy reach of Belfast city centre. Rooms are decorated in a classic style with antique pieces, rich colours, fabrics and vibrant wallpapers. There is a manicured garden and terrace. Enjoy the famous, first class 'Titanic' menu!

    Great walks  -  Picturesque St Patrick's Trail is just a 45 minute drive away. The Mountains of Mourne have routes available for all abilities.
    Sights nearby  -  The historic Carrickfergus Castle is worth a visit.
    Full of character
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  • The Bullitt 43 rooms from $156


    The Bullitt is situated in the heart of Belfast, the ideal spot for a city break. This designer property features contemporary and quirky interiors with plenty of artwork adorning the walls. Their funky rooms feature king-sized beds and satellite TVs. Breakfast on-the-go offered daily. A great stay.

    City Style  -  The Bullitt enjoys a fantastically central location
    Local exploring  -  Be sure to see all that the city has to offer!
    Sights nearby  -  Head over to Odyssey Arena sport and entertainment complex or visit the historic St Peter's Cathedral
    Great walks  -  Wander aimlessly through the city and get a feel for its atmosphere
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  • Culloden Estate and Spa 105 rooms from $176

    Belfast (Holywood)

    Luxury hotel and spa overlooking Belfast Lough. Opulent interiors, great food and five star service. Ideal for a short spoiling break to Northern Ireland if you don't want to be in the heart of Belfast, and great for business travellers.

    Views  -  Fine views over the gardens and Belfast Lough
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor Pool
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  • Merchant Hotel 62 rooms from $456


    Stunning transformation of a former 19th century bank. Eclectic contemporary rooms evoke a romantic Napoleon III-style Paris - luscious velvets and silks, rich wool carpets, gold and red chintz wallpapers, and statement artwork. Superb bar, spa and gym plus a live jazz bar. Divine.

    Foodies  -  Berts Jazz Bar serves delicious dishes, fine cocktails accompanied by live music
    City Style  -  Historic accommodation in the heart of Belfast
    Spa breaks  -  One of they city's most renowned spas
    Sights nearby  -  UNESCO World Heritage site, the Giant’s Causeway
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Fodors
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