Belfast

Unique attractions, friendly faces and quirky corners to be explored

Overview

The sexiest voices in the world apparently. That was the outcome of recent poll finding the Northern Ireland lilt to be the one we love the best. As if that’s not reason enough to take a short hop across the Irish Sea, Belfast has become one of the UK’s most vibrant and exciting destinations. Explore the small capital’s eclectic neighbourhoods and discover a fascinating underworld of history, art, music and a few surprises in between. With extra time you can always venture further afield with some brilliant options for half and full day excursions.

Belfast hosts a conservative estimate of 2 million annual visitors each year, with many attracted by the multi-award winning Titanic Belfast and the Tourist Board’s huge campaign showcasing the region’s many sites used in the hugely successful series ‘Games of Thrones’. The majority arrive in the summer months and school holidays, so at Low Season Traveller we recommend flipping this and exploring between October and March. Yes, the weather is cooler, but the welcome you’ll receive from the people of Belfast will be just as warm as in the high season. Come prepared for a bit of rain and you’ll see that the city has a wealth of things to discover. The parks are beautiful in the autumn, and there are plenty of pubs with a roaring log fire going on a winter’s day where you may even be mistaken for a local. Now, if only you could perfect that accent…

City Living

Start your day with a morning stroll in the beautifully verdant Victoria Park which runs along the Lagan River. There are several trails to follow, many centring round the Lake which is home to swans, waders and herons. Reward yourself with coffee before heading to the RMS Titanic attraction commemorating the fatal ship that began life in Belfast and met its doom in the North Atlantic. Continue for lunch among the tantalising local food stalls of award-winning St George’s Market. Take a tour of Crumlin Road Gaol which once housed notorious prisoners and political activists. Pop into the historic cathedral, consecrated in 1904 and continue for drinks and dinner in cobbled streets of the bustling Cathedral Quarter.

Out & About

Within a mere half hour’s drive there are some stunning, fascinating and historic sites where, in the low season, you’ll avoid the summer crowds. Our recommendations are Hillsborough Castle, actually a Georgian mansion, with gorgeous gardens or Castle Espie Wildfowl Wetland Centre on the shores of Strangford Lough, home to hundreds of native and exotic birds. Autumn is the time when visitors can see the centre’s huge population of Brent Geese migrating. Hilden Brewery is a working brewery with a fabulous restaurant in a beautiful setting. For a really natural experience, head out to the coast and the amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Giant’s Causeway, formed from 40,000 interlocking basalt rocks. Was it really created by local giant Finn McCool? Come and see and decide for yourself.


Low Season Saving

Up to 40% off versus peak season prices


Tourist:Local Ratio

Peak Season

Low Season

20:1
10:1


Major Airport

George Best Belfast City Airport BHD, Belfast International Airport BFS

Low Season Months

Jan
4°C
80mm
1hrs
Feb
4°C
60mm
2hrs
Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
9°C
90mm
3hrs
Nov
7°C
80mm
2hrs
Dec

Hotels

Top Experiences

Titanic Belfast

Open year round, this attraction boasts nine floors of fascinating exhibitions dedicated to the ill-fated ship and Belfast’s shipping industry. In low season, there is often a ‘kids go free’ offer on.

White's Tavern

Established 1630, it’s Belfast’s oldest licensed venue. Great food and regular live music, this traditional pub is in an historic trading alley and has beautiful wooden beams and exposed brick walls.

Ulster Museum

A fabulous day out for art lovers, history buffs and curious children. Continues to have temporary exhibitions through the low season. Set in the botanic gardens and entry is totally free.

Insider Tips

  • St George’s Market is open Friday to Sunday only, with different specialities each day. Watch for its Twilight Market with evening cooking demos and live music.
  • The CS Lewis Festival takes place in November, celebrating the author’s work in the city where he was born with Narnia related workshop and discussions.
  • Follow Victoria Park’s lovely poetry trail, where you’ll find ten nature-themed poems written by local school pupils and etched onto metal plaques.

Good To Know

  • A great way to see the sights of Belfast is to hire a bicycle. Loads of fun and you’ll see more in a short length of time. A city-wide scheme offers 47 pickup points.
  • For a guided experience, take a black taxi tour. Your cabbie will take you wherever you want to go, giving their political and historical insights.
  • Late night art at the city’s many art galleries on the first Thursday of every month when they stay open late showcasing a vibrant visual arts scene.

Food & Drink

Michelin starred restaurants.

£££££

Belfast has three of them… Ox, Muddlers Club and EIPIC, all of which are worth a visit.

The Crown

£££

Iconic bar with magnificent mahogany and etched-glass Victoriana. Hearty Irish cuisine washed down with a pint of the black stuff.

The Duke of York

££

Filled with memorabilia and music. It is known for housing an impressive collection of Irish whiskey.

Reviews

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