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Belfast Guide

Ready to hit the emerald isle? Good, because there’s so much going on, we’d be very impressed if you managed to fit everything in! Here’s a quick and easy guide to the best stuff Belfast has to offer, as well some useful stuff which will keep everybody on the right track.

Getting in


By far the easiest and fastest way to get to Belfast is in the air and luckily, loads of budget airlines travel there really frequently from all the major UK airports. Get in to George Best City airport and get to the city centre in around 30 minutes by taxi or a little more on a far cheaper bus service which leaves every half an hour at least.


In the Northwest of the UK, there are plenty of terminuses from which you can take a ferry in conjunction with a rail ticket. Known more commonly as a ‘RailSail’ ticket, pick one up from any UK train station and reach the dock via rail before boarding ship!


It might take a while but if you’re keen to have your car with you in Belfast, take a ferry which allows cars and then roll into port and drive straight off. Ideal for busting annoying taxis and buses and works well if you and the girls want to explore the Irish countryside when you’re away.

Entertainment Venues

Odyssey Arena

In 2005, this fantastic venue was shortlisted for a worldwide award – it’s one of the best on the planet! Massive acts like Julio Iglesias, The Wanted and Disney on Ice are all coming up and ice hockey is a regular feature too. Located on Queens Quay, there’s always something great going on here.

Waterfont Complex

Voted the 2nd best conference facility in the world, there’s a whole lot more to this place than blue sky thinking and pencil pushing. See fantastic live shows here, from classic orchestras and opera to big comedy acts like Jimmy Carr, Ross Noble, Sarah Millican and dance from Anton du Beke. The view over the water from the top of the Waterfront Complex isn’t to be sniffed at either!

Belfast Empire

If you’re looking for something a little more traditional to the city, the Belfast Empire and music hall is for you. See local musical and comedy talent in open mic sessions, enjoy club nights as well as great food and drinks on site.

Ulster Hall

This venue is swanky and traditional and is host to loads of great shows from incredible orchestral talent to bigger names like The Overtones and Stiff Little Fingers and even film. It houses a fabulous grand organ which plays a part in many shows and is a beautiful Victorian building.

Top of the Shops

Belfast isn’t half bad to enjoy a little retail therapy but why shop in all the same stores you can find at home too? We’ve compiled a list of all the best independent shops in the city.


This shop is stuffed to the brim with truly beautiful stuff. The incredible team here are focussed on the art of ‘upcycling’, meaning making old furniture look fantastic with just a little love and care. If you love homewares, art and trinkets, this shop makes for a fantastic browsing spot. Even if you don’t quite have the room in your weekend bag for a desk or chest or drawers, you can pick up reasonably priced jewellery, screen printed bags and kitchen pieces too.

Lisburn Road

One of the most buzzing and lively spots to hang out, drink, eat and shop in Belfast, the Lisburn road is home to beautiful independent shops, boutiques, gift stores and trendy wine bars. A real must for a stylish afternoon in the city.


Located on the Lisburn Road, Bison is a seriously fashionable place where you can pick up everything from a fabulous pair of sparkly earrings to a pair of jeans that fit like a dream and dazzling party frocks. Local designers line the shelves, making it easy to pick up a unique and individual look.

No Alibis

If there are any bookworms amongst your hen group, be sure to take a trip to No Alibis, one of the coolest book shops we’ve ever seen. They specialise in American and Irish crime fiction which is a little oddly specific but despite this, their selection is pretty incredible.

Because the best things in life are free…

Sometimes, you have better things to spend your money on than pricey museum entry and overpriced attractions, especially on your hen so we’ve put in the legwork to find you the very best free stuff to do in Belfast!

Ulster Museum

Entry is free of charge here and it’s great if you fancy a little taste of culture on your weekend. See art, exhibitions, lectures and talks and everything from local artists to international beauties.

Botanic Gardens and Palm House

A real must for those with green fingers, see how Victorian gardeners made their tropical plants grow in the fabulous, old-style domed greenhouse. The botanic gardens is a fantastic place for a walk or a picnic when the weather is warm and tropical seedlings like banana, cinnamon and vines can all be seen by the river’s edge.  

FCO travel advice

Travel Safety & Information

For information on staying safe and healthy while travelling abroad as well as local laws and latest government advice on destinations visit the FCO Travel Aware website.

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