Take a tour for a local insight on Belfast’s many gems

Titanic Quarter
I lived in Japan a number of years ago and have a couple of my Japanese friends flying into Belfast for a few nights before flying on to America. I don’t know Belfast at all but want to show them some of the highlights during their stay. If you could recommend some things to see and places to stay it would be great. Thank you!

I lived in Japan a number of years ago and have a couple of my Japanese friends flying into Belfast for a few nights before flying on to America. I don’t know Belfast at all but want to show them some of the highlights during their stay. If you could recommend some things to see and places to stay it would be great. Thank you!

Belfast is a wonderful city which is full of culture and life making it a brilliant stop over for your Japanese friends!

Located just on the outskirts of the city, the iconic Titanic Quarter is one of the city’s newest and most popular attractions making it a must see during your stay. Explore the multiple galleries which document everything from the construction and launch of the infamous ship through to her tragic end. Furthermore, with a live undersea exploration centre, the aftermath of the disaster and the present day wreckage of the Titanic can be discovered.

Crumlin Road Gaol is another of the city’s highlights. Renovations were recently completed on this 19th century listed building after it closed its doors as a working prison in 1996 allowing it to re-open to the public. The Gaol is an extremely interesting place to spend an afternoon and a number of guided tours are available throughout the day which will take you through the lives of the Gaol’s past inhabitants, including the 17 condemned men who were executed there.

St. Georges Market, which was under construction from 1890-1896, is one of the city’s oldest attractions. The vibrant and colourful market is home to almost 250 market stalls and the finest of fresh local produce. The historic market offers visitors the opportunity to experience some of Belfast’s local specialities. Hop on/hop off bus tours are available throughout Belfast city and are a fantastic way to see any city but if you are looking for a private guided tour, then the famous black cab tours are a must. The locally-guided tours are tailor-made to your interests and the commentary is guaranteed to be informative and witty.

If you and your friends choose to travel outside of the city centre for a day, Belfast Castle Estate is an ideal destination and offers spectacular views over Belfast Lough and the city itself and is the perfect location for a picturesque day out.

After a long, weary day of sightseeing, no doubt your party will be looking for a place to relax over a sumptuous dinner. Belfast is a melting pot of cuisines and has something to suit all tastes. The Barking Dog on Malone Street in Queen’s Quarter is a local treasure and serves up traditional, rustic dishes in a warm and inviting atmosphere. For slightly more contemporary dining, 21 Social in the city’s Cathedral Quarter is a brilliant choice. This stylish restaurant and bar serves a range of dishes with a modern twist. Located nearby, 4th Wall is another of the city’s great restaurants for fresh, local dishes.

Bittles Bar, off Victoria Square, is a great place for after dinner drinks and is full of character and charm. Overlooking the River Lagan, Cutters Wharf is an ideal choice for an evening cocktail. Whites Tavern on Wincellar Entry, is one of the city’s oldest bars and its rich history makes it another great stop during your visit.

Where to Stay:

Hilton Belfast (*****)

Prices start from €76 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

The luxury Hiton is located near many of the city’s attractions and amenities including Belfast City Hall, Ulster Hall and St. Anne’s Cathedral. The hotel includes an on-site restaurant and a bar and lounge for guest enjoyment. The hotel also features a 24-hour fitness centre. Guestrooms are fully air-conditioned and include minibars and coffee/tea makers. Rooms are equipped with televisions with cable channel, video-game consoles and pay movies. Hair dryers and trouser presses are also included.

Radisson Blu Hotel (****)

Prices start from €100 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

Within walking distance of the Ormeau Baths Gallery and Ulster Hall, the Radisson Blu is ideally located for a visit to Belfast city. The hotel features two on site restaurants for guests to enjoy. Wireless internet access is also available throughout. Guests may also use nearby fitness facilities. Guestrooms include TVs with pay movies and satellite channels. All rooms offer city views, minibars, in-room safes and hairdryers. 24-hour room service is also available.

Wellington Park Hotel (****)

Prices start from €81 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

Situated in the heart of the city centre, the Wellington Park Hotel is within walking distance of Queen’s University and Ulster Museum. The hotel features an on-site restaurant, cafe and a bar/lounge. Additional features include a rooftop terrace, 24-hour room service and dry-cleaning/laundry services. Guest parking is also available. Complimentary wireless internet access is available throughout the hotel. All rooms include hair dryers, desks and direct-dial phones.

Ramada Encore Belfast (***)

Prices start from €64 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

This city centre hotel is located minutes from the Metropolitan Arts Centre and St. Anne’s Cathedral. The Ramada Encore includes a restaurant and bar/lounge for guests to enjoy during their stay. Guestrooms include high-speed internet access (at a surcharge), flat-screen televisions with satellite channels and pay movies. Laundry facilities, 24-hour room service and daily housekeeping are also offered.

For more information and travel tips on planning your holiday visit www.Hotels.com or call 1800 55 3338 to wake up happy on your holiday!