A Belfast Itinerary in Northern Ireland that will Kick Ass and Take Names

November 24, 2017

How to create a Belfast Itinerary that won’t Bore you to Death (fingers and toes crossed anyway)

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I feel like Belfast, Northern Ireland gets a bum rep in the United States. I mean, no one is sitting around going, “Oh gee honey, let’s plan a Belfast itinerary for our honeymoon.” And even if aforementioned imaginary friends do book some snazzy, Ireland tours, Belfast probably won’t be on either the vacation or honeymoon list. That’s  because when people think of a luxurious vacation they think of Rome, Maui, the Bahamas, but Belfast? At best, most people will give you a funny look and a raised eyebrow when you mention Northern Ireland. At worst they’ll call the psych ward because they think you have lost your mind (no worries guys, I saw padded cells just my size in Belfast. Talk about an added perk of Ireland vacation packages).

cat meme
How you probably feel about my post right now.

Even my friend who lives in Dublin was like, “Why are you going there?” Now this Belfast adversity stems from the city’s turbulent past (cough, rogue car bombs, cough, Molotov cocktails flying through the air) or the fact that this city is more famous for building the Titanic, with two giant yellow cranes, than for any site in particular. But whatever the reason, I’m here dispel any and all Belfast rumors.

In this post we will hear the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth (FYI Unicorns are real. It’s a giant conspiracy) as we look at Belfast, Northern Ireland, raw, real, uncut and totally personal (But no nudity because I for one am not a fan of dick pics. Do guys really think that’s gonna woo a woman? Oh sorry, this isn’t Opera. Moving on). Just think of this post about weekend break Ireland style as the Watergate scandal, except that my findings will not get anyone impeached. And actually, all my post is gonna reveal is that Belfast is hella awesome, oh and that there are not as many wasted hooligans as you might think. Actually, I don’t think I ran into a single drunk person. Seriously, no one shouting at the top of their lungs, “Woo-who! White girl wasted! (Now Daytona during spring is a whole different story.)

No wet t-shirt contests either. All you’ll find is a healthy dose of culture, history, and natural beauty in the more Northern portion of the Emerald Isle. But sadly no Leprechauns, pots of Gold, or bouquets of four leaf clovers. Drats, you’ll just have to bring your own Lucky Charms. Just save me the freeze dried horse shoe marshmallows because those are my faves and I need all the luck I can get. While you’re at it, bring a raincoat and some Wellies because Ireland is super green for a reason, and not because the whole country is bathed in fertilizer.

So if this tepid description of Belfast has even mildly peaked your interest then continue on my dear reader and be get inspired to plan some Ireland vacations of your own. Maybe i’ll reveal that I’m secretly a red headed Leprechaun from Northern Ireland! Kidding, I just know that a lot of people expect everyone to have red hair and they don’t. Truth be told, Scotland has more people with red hair than Ireland.

***The best time to visit Belfast Northern Ireland and plan most of your epic trips to Ireland (weather wise) is between April and September. But that being said, Ireland is an island that lives by the principle, “Survival of the fittest”. So be prepared to embrace your inner Bear Grylls as you may experience all four seasons in one day (Now worries, you’ll survive…barely). It’ll also be very quiet the two weeks around July 12 for the local, Protestant marches (major holiday). 

1. Titanic Museum Ireland

Okay, so I don’t mean to brag or anything, but New York City is kinda home to some of the finest museums in the ENTIRE world. Not all of them mind you but some of them. So I kind of know a baller museum when I see one and the Titanic Museum is a big deal (we’re talking’ pimp daddy status). “Why is this museum all that and a bag of chips?” you might rightfully wonder?

Titanic Museum
The Titanic Museum in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Well, I’m so glad you asked. For starters, this museum (aka one of many fine ass Belfast attractions) isn’t your typical, “Oh, here’s a bunch of old stuff and a boring ass plaque about it that you need to read if you’re gonna get anything out of the museum” kind of museum at all. Rather, this museum is a multimedia extravaganza. They have movies, they have rides, that have scrolling panels beneath your feet that make you feel like you’re floating above the wreckage of the Titanic itself! Pretty wicked right?

So if you only have time to see ONE of the major things to do in Belfast, Northern Ireland, then this museum should be it. A friendly reminder though that while the museum does delve into the stories of the passengers and survivors (spoiler alert) of the Titanic ship wreck itself, a great deal of the museum is dedicated to the history of Belfast and the lives of the people who helped create perhaps the most famous ship in the world.

Therefore, you will not hear mention of Jack Dawson or Rose (no way in hell will I be able to spell her last name) from the movie (I think my heart will go on). So if you want to relive those infamous moments of “I’ll never let go, Jack,” or “I’m the king of the world,” then definitely attend the afternoon tea at the Titanic Museum (I missed out on this one because I thought they had tea on Saturdays and Sundays. BIG Belfast mistake). During this tea service, you are seated in a room that has a replica of the immortal staircase from the Titanic movie, so you can pseudo live out all your Leonardo DiCaprio fantasies for real (maybe not all because this blog has a solid PG-13 rating. Okay, maybe R because of the profanity but no sexy time in public).

***Please note that you should make your reservations for afternoon tea at the Titanic Museum in advance so that you don’t miss out. Also be forewarned that I have heard mixed reviews about the food so proceed at your own risk.

***PS the museum is always crowded because it is easily the most popular attraction in all of Belfast so be prepared. To avoid crowds, book your tickets online (it’s also 5 per cent cheaper), and either arrive early or late in the day (Be aware that last admission is 1 hour 40 minutes before closing time and you need at least two hours to really appreciate the museum).

***Belfast’s attitude to the Titanic is can be summed up on a T-shirt that states: ‘She was all right when she left us.’ Preach Belfast, Preach.

***Last one and then I swear, I’m done. If you’re really into Titanic history than take the Titanic Harbor Boat Tour with Derek Booker (best hour ever). He is Belfast’s leading Titanic expert and relates epic tales about not only the ship, but the characters in the shipyards who built the ship itself. 

Address: 1 Olympic Way, Queens Road, Belfast

Getting There: Take bus 26, 26B, or 26C to Titanic Belfast.

Hours: From April – May, and September the museum is open daily from 9am-6pm. From June-August the museum is open daily from 9am-7pm. And from October – March the museum is open daily from 10am-5pm

Admission: General admission is £15.50, for people over 60, Monday-Friday is £11 and Saturday/Sunday are £13, for students admission is £10, for children 5-16 admission is £7.25, and free for anyone under 5. A family ticket that includes 2 adults and 2 children is £39. The visitor guide is £5.99 and the audio guide £3.

2. Cave Hill

Cave Hill.
The view from Cave Hill.

I’ll admit it, I am so not a hiker. I mean sure, I like a leisurely walk through the woods as much as any city slicker who has been awkwardly transplanted into the woods, but I am not all into the sweating profusely and almost falling to my death as I try to scale a mountain that has a near vertical drop. I am super clumsy so when it comes to hardcore hiking, I am like, “Thanks but no thanks. You hike enough for the both of us.” So then why oh why did I decide, against my better judgement and hike up Cave hill during my stay in Belfast?

Is it because I fell prey to the ad campaigns of Belfast tourism, which professed that I need to visit Belfast and experience its natural wonders? No, I totally made that up to divert you from the terrible truth. See, my secret shame is that it was all Instagram’s fault. I saw how pretty the view from the top is, and my insatiable need to succeed at Instagram completely overwhelmed me (Hi, my name is Kelly and I’m an Instagram addict). So before I knew it, I found myself slipping and sliding up some narrow path that was adorned with an overwhelming number of insanely prickly bushes.

Grumpy Cat Meme
True Story.

Sadly though, my outdoor skills are about on par with those of Troop Beverly Hills, so I quickly ascertained that there was no view and that I must be on the wrong path. Now ordinarily, this would have been no problem, except for the fact that I was not wearing hiking shoes, just Steve Madden flats. Plus, the downhill path was encrusted with rocks and mud that made me feel like I was ice skating more than I was walking. So in a matter of mere seconds, I found myself laying at the foot of the hill, hands covered in scraps and my butt totally covered in mud. Yup, I looked like the Abominable Snowman had his way with me and then took a dump on me. Talk about living the dream.

Moral of my incredibly heart wrenching tale of woe? Wear proper hiking gear, stay on the marked trail, oh and bring water. I forgot that tiny detail and almost sucked the stream dry. But then I remembered that the water was probably littered with bacteria that would slowly eat away at my insides so I held back until I stumbled upon a convenience store (obviously the convenience store was on the road, after I had exited the Cave hill trail. But the trail is pretty close to the Belfast City centre).

***So this is the United Kingdom so duh, Belfast has a castle, and its right near Cave hill, hence the mention. I didn’t make it there but my host told me that the castle was small and rather underwhelming but the choice is yours. Just throwing the option out there in case that’s your bag baby.

3. CS Lewis Park

CS Lewis Park
Simba ain’t got nothing on Aslan!

I kept asking people where this park was and everyone looked at me like I had 6 heads. So in case you have no idea what the hell I am talking about, CS Lewis is the iconic author of the chronicles of Narnia series  (an iconic children’s book series that, like all halfway decent books, has been turned into a movie).

Not surprisingly, this author was originally from Belfast and locals are quite proud of that fact, hence the small park that has been erected in his honor (and by small I mean tiny. You can walk through the whole park in about 5 minutes). So why the need for a visit if this park is so minuscule? Well, besides the fact that you will obviously obtain immediate Instagram fame and glory if you post your pictures of this park on social media, it is also a charming piece of nostalgia that enables you to revisit some of the most memorable characters of your childhood. You know, its kind of like meeting Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, except that you won’t find Dorothy in this park because the chronicles of Narnia wasn’t about her. Instead, you’ll encounter some epic characters like Aslan (the badass, big shot lion), Jadis the White Witch (runaway as far and as fast as you can), Mr. Tumnus (the fawn), and many other lesser known characters that I can’t remember because I’m not some weird ass, hermit like, CS Lewis guru (But almost. Something to aspire to). So make sure you take a small detour and mosey on through this charming little whippersnapper of a park.

4. City Hall (it’s free)!

City Hall
Yes, this is pretty much as blue as the sky gets.

So I literally jumped off the bus from the airport and the first building I saw, right smack in front of me, was city hall. Now, I was not super enthused because in my pre-trip research (nerd alert), I hadn’t heard too much about this building being insanely interesting. However, as shameful as this is, being the wannabe, social media vixen that I am, I decided to snap some Instagram photos and see if there was anything mildly interesting inside. I mean, my hopes weren’t too high because I’m not really into politics. But my whole mentality when I travel tends to be, “Well, why not?”

So with that motto in mind, I swaggered on into City Hall to see what this government building was all about (and by swaggered I mean tripped over my own two feet and into the building because yes, I am THAT smooth. Like butter I tell you).

Anyway, after I recovered my balance, I walked past the front desk, thoroughly prepared to hand over a small fortune, but to my utter shock, it was free! Like for real, what’s free anymore, besides a cold or the flu or an accidental pregnancy (Totally kidding on the last one. Please don’t hate me)?

But yes it was indeed free and WAY better than I thought it would be. I mean sure, some of the more political information about the inner workings of the local government was kind of a snooze fest, but some of what I learned, dare I say it, was down right interesting. That and the stained glass windows here are uniquely beautiful. Not only do these artistic windows lack any religious connotations at all, (thank God because snippets of my past make me feel like the anti-Christ in training) but they are flipping gorgeous and so damn quirky, but in the best way. Not in a, “What the hell were they thinking kind of way.” I mean, somehow they managed to artistically incorporate two large, yellow cranes, and the Titanic into one stunning stained glass window. Legit, who does that? Well, Belfast does, duh! Anyway, definitely check it out and you can stay as long or as little as you like. It all just depends on how into local politics and government you are (I’m not that refined. I ogled at the stained glass windows and practically had drool coming out of my mouth. Okay, minus the drool. I hope I”m not THAT gross).

Address: Donegall Square, Belfast

Getting There: All buses lead back to City Hall so you can basically hop on any you find. The stop will be either City Hall or Donegall Square.

Hours: Open Monday – Friday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and on Saturdays and Sunday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Admission: FREE

5. Cathedral Quarter Street Art

Street Art Belfast
I know I just met you and this is crazy, but here’s my number. Call me maybe?

New York City is known for a ton of shizzle; food, culture, diversity, and the list basically goes on and on, into infinity since it is probably one of the most popular city’s in the world. But whatever, I live there so it’s not as exciting for me. Now, I purposely left out one of my favorite things about New York City because it pains me to say this, but Belfast does it better. Like way better than New York. Like, Belfast is so above New York that it is in another galaxy. And while yes, I could be talking about scones because the ones in New York usually taste like sawdust mixed with ass,  for once in my life, no, I am not talking about food (totally weird right? I know, I was surprised too).

Okay well you probably know what I’m talking about because the above title kind of gives it away. Like duh Kelly, of course you’re talking about street art. You literally spelled it out right next to the number five. Sorry guys, didn’t mean to insult your intelligence but you are correct. Belfast does street art like 20,000 times better than New York City, at least in my humble opinion because Belfast is like a street art buffet for the eyes. You literally walk down all these quaint streets in Cathedral Quarter and are completely mesmerized by all the epic street art all over the walls. Now in that moment, you’ll immediately think, “Okay, it can’t get any better than this.” And then poof, it totally does, as long as you keep walking! Seriously, this happened to me so many times that I just gave up trying to figure out if and when the visual ecstasy would end (It didn’t really, I just had to go home because I am old and my feet hurt).

Belfast Peace Wall
Somehow, the shards of metal on the top of this wall make this peace wall look not so peaceful

Therefore, rather than sit here and tell you, ad nauseam, about all the artistic delights that made me practically oh and ah my pants off (I assure you, none of my clothing came off in public. That ship has sailed and that story that is suited for another, way more provocative blog post), I suggest you just go and see it. I swear, you won’t regret it. Just think like Disney World only no rides and more adult and mildly sombre in nature, but totally fun. And no pervs wandering around in animal costumes, pretending to be Simba the lion. Actually, I take that back. I don’t know if there are pervs under those costumes, but they totally freak me out. And no, you don’t need a tour because this stuff is everywhere. Just head towards the city center, away from the water, and walk about a block or two past the Albert Clock. Then turn right, before you hit City Hall, and you’re there. Literally, the walls in this quarter of the city are covered in street art. To get the most out of this street art mecca though, I would hunt for it on a Sunday since most shops are closed and have all those protective metal screens down that are covered in the latest urban art trend of the month. I have no idea what you call them. Protective gates maybe? Well, whatever they’re called they are always covered in street art and are most visible on Sundays when most stores are closed.

6. Crumlin Road Gaol (It’s an old jail in Belfast, And it’s’ okay, I had no idea what this was either at first)

Crumlin Jail
Kind of like in Monopoly, just visiting.

So I really had no idea what to expect. I mean it’s a jail so how exciting could it be? Yeah well, Belfast is like that. It has this subtle way of being awesome and exceeding all your expectations. And I promise, I didn’t mean to make that sound like a bad thing, I mean geez, who would want to be excited? God, the nerve of Belfast being awesome like that.

To visit the jail that was designed by Charles Lanyon and built in 1845, at a cost of £60,000, you need to hop on a super awesome tour. It takes about an hour and is pretty fun and informative since the tour guides are really helpful, so don’t be freaked out just because it’s a mandatory learning experience. No, I swear its fun, but then again I find the musical 1776 to be super fun so you may not want to take my word for it. Actually, someone proposed where those prisoners sentenced to death were executed so clearly I’m not the only one who thought it was fun (and yes, that is a totally true story). So I think you’ll definitely be amused.

Between the padded cells, the Governor’s office, the execution cell where 17 men were hanged between 1854 and 1961, the flogging room and the tunnel under Crumlin Road to the courthouse where prisoners were sentenced, this tour is a totally creeptastic way to experience the so called underbelly of Belfast history. Plus, I was super cool and went in October, right before Halloween, so it totally got me into the spooky Halloween spirit and obviously I totally planned it that way (Not at all. But I want more of this good juju and not the bad luck of losing your bag or incurring the wrath of a flight delay). Plus, you can totally add to your street cred and say that you ended up in jail while you were in Belfast. No one needs to know that it was a guided tour. You could just play at all cool and be like, “What can I say, I thugged out and started an international incident of awesome.” #bestpickuplineever

*** Fun factoid is that the prison was designed to hold 500 prisoners but ended up housing up to 900 inmates during the Troubles (I wonder is they all held hands and sang Kumbaya?).

*** Even better than the standard tour is a Paranormal Tour (£13), for adults over 18, with grisly, historic tales of murder, mayhem, and pandemonium of the homicidal variety.

Facebook Jail meme
This is what REAL freedom is all about

***A great tour that I totally recommend. Plus, it doesn’t take that long so you have nothing to lose and some stellar Instagram photos to gain. Yup, we do it all for the gram. And I liked going at 10 am on a Sunday because me and another couple were the only ones on the tour. And we all know how much I LOVE crowds (yes, by love I mean loathe). Oh and the cafe is rubbish so eat before or after you arrive. You can also walk right into the center of Belfast from here. Just head straight DOWN the road.

Address: 53-55 Crumlin Road, Belfast

Getting There: Take bus 11A or 12A to Crumlin Road Gaol

Hours: Tours are offered daily from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm (start time of the last tour of the day).

Admission: General admission is £8.50, for students and adults over 60 tickets are £7, for children between 5-15 tickets are £6.50, while children under 5 are free. A family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children is £25.

7. Black Cab Tour (ONLY CASH IS ACCEPTED SO HIT THE ATM HARD)

I have to say, this was probably my favorite part of my Belfast Ireland trip. Seriously, how could you not love someone who as soon as you get into their cab says, “Well, what the hell are you doing in a shit hole like this?” Yup, welcome to Belfast, and no, he wasn’t some weirdo stalker that just happened to me be waiting for me outside of my AirBnB. When you book the tour (and you have to prebook the tour), you tell the tour company where the real life, black cab should pick you up (they’ll also drop you off anywhere you like) since it is a black cab tour, emphasis on the cab part.

Black Cab
Living the Black Cab thug life.

From there, your guide will show you around Belfast for 90 minutes and escort you the Catholic Falls Road, Protestant Shankill Road, the wall murals, the so-called Peace Walls keeping Protestants and Catholics apart, the docks and the university area. Along the way, your cab driver will relate his (maybe her) first hand experience of the political turmoil that existed during the Troubles. And these guys know what  they’re talking about because in order to become a black cab tour guide, you must have been incarcerated during the time of the Troubles (my driver was badass and told me that not only would he be shot if he walked through the Protestant section of the city, but he showed me a picture of himself, holding his baby son, with a huge ass gun. So yup, he was legit).

All kidding aside though, the power of this tour lies in the fact that these drivers experienced this political upheaval and violence first hand. Therefore, they’re not just blathering on about something that they read in a book. No, they are talking about their first hand experience of what it was like to be confined to jail cells that had feces slathered all over the walls (True story and I know that comment alone sold you on this tour. I mean who doesn’t want to hear the details of communal fecal smearing? Kidding but this really did happen).

***This tour is amazing and will give you an up close and personal look at Belfast’s violent past. Just bare in mind that your tour will be very different depending on who leads it, so take what is said with a healthy grain of salt because these people were imprisoned for their political convictions so clearly their account of past events will not be unbiased. My tour guide was a republican but I would love to hear the perspective of a Unionist and compare the two tours because I’m a nerd and that’s what we do!

***Its super easy to book since you can do it online. Just schedule the tour at any time you like and the driver will pick you up from any location you like. There are also a bunch of different companies that offer this tour so shop around and find the best deal. And no, all the tours won’t be completely filled.

Hours: Tours operate daily from 8am-8pm or by special appointment.

Admission: A minimum charge of £30 includes three people. Above that, there is an additional £10 per person fee for up to six people.

8. Ulster Museum (It’s free too)

Ulster Museum
A moment of silence for those lives that have been all consumed by the Game of Thrones television series.

I expected very little from this museum since a) it was free and b) it seemed about as interesting as picking my nose (which I don’t find interesting at all). But I gave it a chance because my AirBnB host recommended it (and she was super nice and I totally trusted her). Besides, I was looking to kill time before my flight departed anyway.

Well, when me and the Ulster Museum first met, it was not love at first sight. I mean I couldn’t find change to store my bag in a locker, I got lost trying to locate the entrance, and to top it all off, there was an insanely loud group of students that I wanted to permanently silence with a taser because they were so annoying. So, yes, I almost wanted to forget the whole thing and drown my sorrows with a cup of coffee and a piping hot scone, but then I took a deep breath, realigned my chi, did some lamaze, and mentally regrouped.

I went back in on a wing and a prayer and thank God I did because this museum is awesome. Okay, maybe not ALL of it is awesome but the first floor gives an in-depth, historically accurate, and down right interesting description of the Troubles. Then the second and third floors kind devolve into this lame natural history exhibit with weird ass, fake fish. Needless to say, I almost ran through his section. Had  I known that they had a stellar contemporary art exhibit on the 4th floor, I would have literally booked it straight to the 4th floor? But you live you and you learn.

Game of Thrones meme
The only Game of Thrones meme I really understood.

Also on the fourth floor, is an insanely long tapestry that sits in its own Free Willy size room. This textile was created using traditional Irish weaving techniques and details the events that have occurred throughout the entire Game of Thrones series. Yup, a lot of the Game of Thrones episodes were filmed in Northern Ireland so the show is kind of sort of a big deal here (for fans and not locals who get pissed off when fans invade their quaint country roads and make it impossible to drive anywhere. Whatever you do, don’t be THAT tourist who later becomes a speed bump).

Sadly though, I don’t have HBO so I have never actually seen an episode of Game of Thrones, but I would definitely give it a preview before you head to Belfast. I mean sure, the sights are pretty no matter what, but if you watch the show then you can better understand the significance of these sights to basically the entire planet, minus me (I basically sat there with shiny ball syndrome and just keep being like, “Oh, pretty…”)

***This museum is absolutely lovely, but not the biggest museum I’ve ever seen. So I think you could easily see most of it in a couple of hours. Also check out some of the cafes across the street since the food there is delicious (thanks local college students). The Ulster Museum is also in the Botanic Gardens which are definitely picturesque and worth a stroll through if it isn’t raining too hard.

***Another great museum that I didn’t get to visit is the Ulster Transport and Folk Museum. You guessed it, this museum has a folk section (recreates rural and urban Irish life in the early 20th century) and a transport section (contains planes, trains, and automobiles that are all linked to Northern Ireland’s history) that take a full day to explore so budget your time accordingly. And yes, you must pay £8 to get in. 

Address: Botanic Gardens, Belfast

Getting There: You can take the number 8 bus and get off at Queen’s University or you can take the number 7 bus and get off at College Park.

Hours: Open everyday, except Mondays, from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Admission: FREE!

9. Queen’s University

Queen's University
Told ya Hogwarts existed!

Literally right down the street from the Ulster Museum is Queen’s University. And while there sin’t much to do per se, the campus is gorgeous and made this Harry Potter nut feel like she had finally gotten her Hogwarts letter and had arrived to begin her education at this immortal school of witchcraft and wizardry. Not familiar with Harry Potter? That’s okay because Muggles don’t get it. Basically, Queen’s University has a lot of pretty, castle like buildings that remind me of Harry Potter, so go see this campus, like right now. Just tell your boss that Kelly said you need time off and I am sure he or she will totally understand.

When you go though, try and blend in because this is a working campus and you don’t want the popo dragging you off the school grounds (So don’t rock a huge camera, insanely white velcro sneakers, and a multicolored baseball cap because then everyone will know you’re a rabble rousing tourist. Wanna blend in? Have some sort of rain gear on, be super friendly, and then complain about the tourists and their Game of Thrones obsession. Then speedily develop an accent or just don’t talk at all. Just take an impromptu vow of silence and all will be right with the world). Trust me, no one wants to hear that you started an international incident because you forcibly coerced some poor student into taking a selfie with you and then, on top of that, asked for a bit of their scone too (you cheeky bugger you). And even though the aforementioned student had red hair, this is still not a valid excuse for getting all Paparazzi on the locals.

***To get here, you can use the same bus that you would use to visit the Ulster Museum.

10. St. George’s Market

Full House Meme food
Little Michele, you know me so well!

I am hanging my head in shame because I missed out on this epic, local market that has some of the best food in the city. I know, I am a total disgrace to anything and everything good is this world since I am a food inhaler and totally dropped the proverbial ball on this one.

Why you may wonder? Well, this market is only open Friday through Sunday, and I totally missed that memo. I truly thought it was open on Mondays and I could totally swing by before I went to the airport but nope, not a chance. These purveyors of foodie goodness (as well as Suki Tea, Ann’s Pantry bakers, Hillstown Farm, and even live music) close at 4 pm on Sundays and I am almost morose over the fact that I missed it.

Plus if you go, added bonus, not only is their epic food but this market is super historical since it was started in 1896 and is Ireland’s oldest continually operated market. Yup, boom, just dropped a knowledge bomb on you. But legit, don’t make my mistakes and make your tummy super happy by going and eating enough for the both of us (Seriously, eat like 12,000 scones and desserts for me. Pretty please). But added nugget of knowledge, they only accept CASH so be prepared!

***So I totally missed out on some foodie goodness, but happily, this isn’t the only great place to eat in Belfast. You can also check out places like Avocca (epic food and the scones are amazing), Victoria Shopping Center, Chubby Cherub, Morningstar Gastropub, the Merchant Hotel, Cafe Parisian (crepes are to die for), and many more. So if you end up pulling a Kelly, never fear because you definitely won’t starve to death.

***I don’t drink so Crown Liquor Saloon didn’t really impress me all that much. I mean sure it is an immortal piece of Belfast history since it was built around 1885, but it is still a bar where locals do tend to go if you wait until around 6 pm. Sure, I found the vintage design to be quaint and aesthetically pleasing, but its bar so unless you drink, it’s really not that fun. I would suggest visiting this bar on your way in or out of the city since the bar is located right scores the street from the Europa bus station that has buses to and from the Belfast airport.

Address: 12-20 East Bridge Street, Belfast

Getting There: Free bus to the market from multiple city centre stops

Hours: Friday from 6am-2pm, Saturday from 9am-3pm and Sunday from 10am-4pm (food is one of the only reasons why I would get up at dawn).

THE END

Sometimes that’s all wanna end the post with because if I’m honest, I’ve already given you all the essential information that you really need for your Ireland trip or Ireland vacation or Ireland getaway or whatever you call it. But then its like my years of proper essay writing education kick in and I feel totally guilty that I am not leaving you with a proper conclusion. I mean, it’s not like you care or are even still reading this or like any of this is even remotely grammatically correct. But somehow, I feel like the post can’t just end with the hours of operation for some of the best Ireland attractions out there. I know, I’m a total weirdo and it shows since this is actually a dilemma that I face every week. To conclude or not to conclude, that is the question. Maybe I should just beg you to click on my ads and be all Oliver Twist and be like, “Please sir, I want some more clicks on my ads.” Okay, I’ll stop. I won’t be all destitute and start blogger shouting, “Alms, alms for the poor”. Sorry there I go again, being all awkward and shiz. Well, my faithful internet friends, if you’re out there then tune in next week to see how I socially embarrass myself and to find out what weird and whacky things I’m gonna say next.

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Planning a #Belfast #itinerary for #northernireland? Then check out this post which details all the stunning and essential #attractions and #tourist #sites that you will need to add to your #vacation #bucketlist. #wanderlust #trip #budgettravel #europe #wanderlust #ireland
Planning a #Belfast #itinerary for #northernireland? Then check out this post which details all the stunning and essential #attractions and #tourist #sites that you will need to add to your #vacation #bucketlist. #wanderlust #trip #budgettravel #europe #wanderlust #ireland

girlwiththepassport

Nanny by day and travel blogger any other time.

I love writing and traveling and bearing my soul on the page.
I want to inspire others to face their fears and join me on an adventure.

https://www.instagram.com/girlwitthepassport/
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11 Comments

  • Madhu 3 weeks ago

    Loved reading the post and your writing style..thanks for sharing an eye opener on Belfast😊

  • Alyse 3 weeks ago

    This is such a thorough guide, and I loved all the memes, hehe. I’d really love to get to Belfast someday as I think I’d enjoy learning more about its history and I’d really love the street art. It’s very meaningful in Belfast. Thanks for sharing your tips! (And P.S: I’m a fellow weirdo who also loves conclusions – I couldn’t just end a post with opening times, either!)

    • girlwiththepassport 1 week ago

      Right? It feels so weird to me to just end, with nothing to signal the end. Makes me feel like my post is naked

  • Amy Poulton - Page Traveller 3 weeks ago

    Haha! Love this guide – Game of Thrones AND cats memes in one place? Take me to Belfast!

  • Anisa 3 weeks ago

    I didn’t know that Belfast got a bad rap! I actually have been wanting to go for awhile mainly because of the Titanic Museum and street art. I also want to do a day trip to see Giants Causeway. I actually almost booked a ticket a few days ago. Hopefully I will get there soon.

  • Lisa 3 weeks ago

    I really need to get back to Ireland and visit Northern Ireland. We just didn’t get time on last trip. Great tips to add to our list when we get back there.

    • girlwiththepassport 1 week ago

      It is an amazing place!! So glad I made it there but there is still so much to explore in Ireland

  • Olivia Johnson 3 weeks ago

    Thanks for giving such a wonderful information. It is very helpful.

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