The Northern Irish capital Belfast has become increasingly popular as a UK city break destination because of the newly opened Titanic Belfast Museum, the mighty buildings and grounds at Stormont and an excellent shopping and dining district.
Whether it's a leisurely weekend or a longer holiday in and around the province, Belfast has accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets, from humble B&Bs to five-star luxury hotels.
Visitors can take advantage of well-known brands such as Travelodge, Premier Inn and Holiday Inn Express. Radisson, Ramada, Clarion, Jurys, Hilton and Malmaison represent the more upmarket chains found here. The city centre is the most convenient for the main attractions, but many people choose their Belfast hotels near one of the two airports as an alternative for business trips.
Belfast is probably best known for its wealth of maritime attractions such as the Harland & Wolff ship yards, the stunning modernity of the Waterfront centre and the city's associations with Titanic. Upmarket hotels in this area are abundant and many hold a good position overlooking the docks and with easy access to the sparkling nightlife. Alternatives across the river include B&Bs and apartments around the main thoroughfares of Bradbury Place or Orneau Road, within reach of central sights like the beautiful Botanic Gardens and shopping at Victoria Square.
Staying a little further out of the centre in areas such as Newtonabbey makes sense both for a more tranquil experience and for exploring further north along the fascinating coastline and the Giant's Causeway. Nearby you'll also find family attractions such as Belfast Castle and the zoo near Whitehouse. If you're making a longer break of it, Northern Ireland's vast lochs, the rural county of Derry and the pilgrimage site at Knock can be visited on a number of day trips from the capital.
As a buzzing hub, Belfast is an exciting place to visit at various times of year. During the busy autumn season the Ulster Bank Festival puts on a show to rival Edinburgh in the arts and comedy stakes, as well as the enthusiastic Halloween celebrations which follow and the young people's film programme Cinemagic - in November. There's the traditional music festival in February, the St. Patrick's Day carnival in March and a maritime festival in the summer months. As you would expect, these peak times bring their share of visitors to the city so it's advisable to book Belfast hotels well ahead of time.
From listed buildings to contemporary guest houses, there really is accommodation for every type of traveller that is convenient for most locations in and around this city.
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