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Belfast

A former industrial powerhouse with a troubled past, Belfast has pulled off a remarkable transformation into a hip party town.

Titanic City

These days the Titanic is so closely connected to Belfast's identity that there is a whole neighbourhood named after the ill-fated liner: the shipyards where Titanic was constructed are now part of the Titanic Quarter. At its centre is the stunning, star-shaped edifice of Titanic Belfast, a state-of-the-art multimedia museum that has become the city's number-one tourist draw. Around it are several other sites with links to the Titanic, and the former drawing offices of the Harland & Wolff shipping company are now part of the Titanic Hotel. No visitor to Belfast leaves without learning something about that ship.

Nightlife

Belfast's nightlife is often loud, sometimes intoxicating and always fun. From traditional pubs to sleek cocktail bars to crowded clubs, the scene is generally friendly and accessible. At weekends, locals and out-of-towners converge in the Cathedral Quarter, where the party spills out into the streets. Many bars have live music, ranging from informal traditional sessions to jazz, blues and folk music, ukulele jams, and crowd-pleasing cover bands. No matter what day you visit, there will be live music somewhere and a pub open and ready to serve you a drink.

Food & Drink

There are so many excellent restaurants in Belfast that the biggest problem might be choosing between them: there just aren't enough mealtimes to sample them all. Fresh produce from nearby farms and seafood from local ports is transformed into sublime dishes in restaurant kitchens. From high-end seasonal tasting menus to innovative fusion cooking, creativity is rife. Not to be outdone, craft brewers and gin distillers in and around the city contribute to an ever expanding menu of local beverages. As well as innovative new cooking, Belfast's restaurants still do the traditional stuff pretty well too. Bring an appetite!

Arts & Culture

Belfast's rich cultural heritage is reflected in its vibrant theatres, world-class musicians and thriving visual arts scene. In the Cathedral Quarter, international and local street artists have brightened the neighbourhood with their thought-provoking work, while the quarter's Black Box and MAC arts centres foster local talent. The annual Belfast Film Festival showcases the work of local and international film makers and the Belfast International Arts Festival is one of the largest arts festivals in the UK and Ireland. In May, the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival brings music, drama, poetry, street theatre and art to the neighbourhood.

Planning Toolkit

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Belfast.

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Traditional music and dancing in Belfast

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