Belfast, Northern Ireland
Back in November (2018), three of us booked return flights to Belfast for £20 each in the black Friday sale. It was almost rude to not have booked them.
Belfast was never on my list of places to visit during my time living in the UK. I guess it just wasnt on my radar, unlike places such as Dublin or Edinburgh.
We were in Belfasst for two nights and three days (Saturday-Monday) and I would personally say that is enough time to get all the main ‘attractions’ done plus other things.
Read on for where we stayed, what we did and where we ate!
What we did
Day one: Saturday
We arrived into the Belfast International Airport (note: there are two airports!) and got an uber to our hostel around mid-day. We visited the Cathedral Quarter which was great and has the ‘Instagram street’ there as well. There are loads of pubs and bars in this area so we ended up getting a pint (when in Ireland!). Belfast has so much amazing street art and we found the most awesome art behind a closed iron door (photo below).
We were super tired so we got pizza for dinner and ended the night watching a movie at the hostel.
Day two: Sunday
Up bright and early for the all-day Paddywagon Tour to Giants Causeway. I highly recommend this tour as you visit other sites around the Belfast area too. The first stop of the day was at the ‘Dark Hedges’ which are famous for being in a scene of Game of Thrones (I haven’t watched GOT but was still cool to see!). Then we went to the Carrick a Reed Rop Bridge which is 30m above the rocks below. Let me just say that trying to cross a bridge whilst taking photos and in strong winds is not exactly an enjoyable experience but the photos are (hopefully) worth it!
You do have to pay £8 for to cross the bridge which isn’t included in the tour fee so make sure you have cash if you’re wanting to do it!
The Giants Causeway was the last stop of the tour which was as amazing as I was expecting it to be. It is a national heritage site and you get an audio guide included with the tour (the entrance fee is all included in the paddywagon price) . It’s about a 15 min walk down to the rocks but you can get a bus to and from for £1.80 each way if you wanted. It was absolutely horrendous weather when we were there and as it is the windiest point in Ireland, and the name did not let us down. I didn’t have a rain jacket or umbrella and have never been that soaked in my life. It also hailed at one point so safe to say, we got the bus back up the hill. But it made for some absolute laughs and funny memories i am sure we will all look back on and laugh at!
We got back to our hostel around 5/5:30 and warmed ourselves up before heading out for diner and a few cocktails.
Day three: Monday
We had booked a Black Cab tour (when we landed in Belfast) for 11am. Our driver, Joe picked us up on the dot and took us around Belfast for about an hour and a half, giving us a run down on the history of the city/Northern Ireland which is pretty heavy stuff! It is super intense in terms of the politics but he answers any questions you have! We paid £35 for us three plus a tip at the end!
We got dropped off at the Titanic Museum which we walked into and then decided against, at it was nearly £19, and we just weren’t down to pay that (apparently it is great though).
We ended up going the Victoria mall as you can get a 360 degree view at the top for free! Went to the movies to fill in time (Green Book is INCREDIBLE!) and then we were off to the airport!
Where we stayed
I book all the hostels i stay at through the app ‘Hostel World’ and we found the Global Village Hostel through that app, which was rated the best hostel in Belfast and had amazing reviews! We paid around £35 for the two nights (which is pretty standard) and that included free-breakfast (toast and cereal).
Location wise it’s good and the price was fine, but the hostel itself just falls below par compared to other hostels I have stayed in.
Where and what we ate
Pizza at Pizza Boutique
The Dirty Onion (oldest building in Belfast and it even had a couple playing the violin and accordion!!)
House Belfast (dinner and cocktails plus breakfast- amazing service!)
Five Points pub - live music and a great Irish pub, what more could you want?!
Other places that were recommended to us but didn’t get a chance to visit were:
St. George’s Market - Friday to Sunday and has lots of food, local crafts and live music.
Filthy McNasty - bar/club so many people told us to go to!
Belfast was a brilliant weekend away and I have not laughed that much in a hot minute! The hospitality of the Irish is nothing less than amazing, they are super friendly and always up for the craic!
It definitely exceed my expectations and i would recommend anyone to visit as it has a good mix of history, great food and unreal scenes (it almost felt like i was back in NZ).
Until next time,