Book hotels in Belfast to explore the city's maritime features, shops, and a lively calendar of events...
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.
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.
Belfast has accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets, from humble B&Bs to five-star luxury hotels...
Whether it's a leisurely weekend or a longer holiday in and around the province, 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 location for the main attractions, but many people choose their Belfast hotels near one of the two airports as an alternative for business trips.
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.
Upmarket hotels in the waterfront 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.
The cultural highlights of Belfast are some of the best in Northern Ireland...
Find out what to see during your visit to the nation's capital.
Top five attractions
Situated in the city's Titanic Quarter and telling tales of the world-famous ship and her ultimate demise, this museum and experience is not be missed.
A firm family favourite, the zoo is located in Antrim Road on the edge of Cavehill and it offers the chance to see and learn about hundreds of animals, including the native - and rarely seen - red squirrel.
Journey to the city's Botanic Gardens to find this appealing museum. The collection is vast and it unveils treasures from around the globe as well as those from across the centuries. It's the perfect activity for a rainy day in Belfast.
Crumlin Road Gaol
Closed in 1996 after housing prisoners for more 150 years, “The Crum” can now be seen by tourists. It's a unique attraction; tours last 70 minutes.
At just over an hour from Belfast, this breath-taking spectacle that nature created is an easy and worthy day trip. Of course, some believe that the hexagonal rock columns were made by legendary giant Finn McCool and not by a volcanic eruption 60million years ago.
Find out more about the biggest annual events in Belfast...
There's a decent line-up of events throughout the year in Belfast, so you are in with a good chance of seeing something great whenever you choose to visit.
St Patrick's Day; March: A colourful parade winds through Belfast before ending at Custom House Square, where the crowds are treated to a free music concert. The party doesn't stop there - simply follow the music and laughter and find a traditional pub in which to celebrate the nation's patron saint.
Belfast Music Week; November: All kinds of music can be heard during this eclectic and enjoyable experience. There are hundreds of performances taking place around the city in distinctive venues such as Crumlin Road Gaol and a skate park in the Titanic Quarter.
Christmas; November-December: Belfast is a wonderful place to spend some time during the festive period, with the city's Winter Wonderland crowning a fantastic array of events and activities. There's also a lovely Christmas market, which is perfect for picking up unique gifts.