Cool nightclubs,superb eateries and enough eateries to satisfy every taste and budget: just some of the things that make a break in Belfast so exciting...
Ten things to see and do in Belfast
Ten things to do in Belfast
Recently named the best UK hotel in the International Hotel awards, The Merchant is a five star luxury hotel housed in a Grade A listed building. The rooftop gymnasium offers panoramic views of Belfast city, and the spa is the perfect place to relax and recover once you've shopped until you've dropped. Check out www.themerchanthotel.com for more details.
Titanic Belfast is be the world's largest Titanic visitor experience. Located 100 yards from where the Titanic was built and designed, and on the banks of the River Lagan where she first set sail, the exterior of the new visitor centre is 90ft high and replicates the size of the hull of the famous ship. Visit www.titanicbelfast.com for more information and to book tickets.
The largest festival of its kind in Ireland, the Belfast Festival is a celebration of all that the city has to offer in terms of theatre, dance, music (including jazz, classical, folk and pop), literature, comedy, and visual arts. It attracts audiences of 60,000 every year. Check out www.besfastfestival.com for more information.
Run by Niall McKenna, who featured in BBC Two's Great British Menu programme and won particular acclaim for his desserts, The Bar and Grill at James Street was opened in 2011 and is based in an old linen mill. There's also a private dining room and cookery school on site. And the chips in truffle oil are truly quite something. Visit www.belfastbargrill.co.uk to book a table.
Belfast's Metropolitan Arts Centre is a melting pot of cultural delights, covering music, theatre, dance and art. Based in the city's historic Cathedral Qaurter, the MAC will house two theatres and three art galleries, as well as a cafe/bar and much more. Visit themaclive.com to find out what's on.
Head to the uber-cool bar at the Malmaison for a cocktail or three. Try a Belfast Mal speciality - the Espresso Martini. Or better still, gather some friends and book yourselves a cocktail master class where you'll learn how to mix your own drinks. How's that for a Saturday night with a difference.
Take a bus trip through the heart of Belfast to learn about the city's musical heritage. You'll hear tales about the hometown of Van Morrison, Ash, Stiff Little Fingers and Snow Patrol, and find out about historic visits to the city by musical legends such as Led Zeppelin, The Clash and U2. The tour ends at the Oh Yeah music centre with a tour of the Belfast Music Exhibition.
Ireland's oldest covered market and one of Belfast's best-loved tourist attractions, St George's was built in the 1980's. You'll find more than 200 market stalls selling everything from flowers and fresh fish to artisan cheese and hand-made jewellery. It's the perfect place for some laid-back retail therapy and people-watching on a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning.
Susie Millar runs Belfast's original and only Titanic-themed tour guided by a direct descendant of a crew member. The great grand-daughter of an engineer who perished on board RMS Titanic, Susie will take you on a poignant excursion around the Drawing Offices where the Titanic was designed, and out to the slipways where the ship was launched, weaving her own unique family history into the details of the Titanic story. Visit www.titanictours-belfast.co.uk for more information.
You'll find more than 50 stores at Victoria Square, including House of Fraser, Topshop, Cruise, Reiss and H&M. And leading fashion stylist Rebecca McKinney is on hand to offer a personal styling service. Whether you want to revitalize your wardrobe, update your look or shop for a special occasion, Rebecca can help you redefine your style. Visit www.victoriasquare.com to find out more.