Europe Travel

48 Hours in Belfast

We recently took a trip up to Belfast and can you believe I have never been? Crazy! Anyways determined to change that we took a little weekend break to the Northern Irish capital over the Bank Holiday. It is super easy to get to from Dublin, you can either take the train from Connelly or take a bus. We opted to take Dublin Coaches as it was only 20 return, bargain! The bus will see you up there within 2 hours.

We stayed in the Holiday Inn city centre as it was a cheap option and I’ve stayed in multiple Holiday Inns around Europe and I think they are grand. The hotel was within walking distance of most things. Also, just an FYI if you sign up for their reward scheme you can request late check out.

After we checked in we went on the hunt for some brunch, I had been recommended French Village by one of my friends so we decided to check it out. I got the French toast which was delish. The place is right by the University and Botanical Gardens so to walk off a bit off our indulgence we strolled through the grounds of the university and the gardens. Interesting fact, both the Queens University Belfast and the National University of Ireland, Galway where built around the same time but the blueprints for the two schools got mixed up and Galway ended up with the building intended for Belfast and Vice Versa. In my opinion, Galway ended up with the better deal. Within the gardens, we found the famous Palm House which is filled with exotic plants. A great spot for a quick instagram!

From there we strolled into the city centre to explore. We browsed through the exhibitions in city hall, popped into some stores in Victoria Hall and ate our way through St. Georges market (the last Victorian covered market in Belfast). Taking a break from exploring we went into Established Coffee which is nestled among the cobbled streets of the cathedral quarter. Established coffee was by far my favourite coffee shop with everything from amazing coffees on tap to a mouth-watering selection of treats.
After we were revived from our coffee break we continued our exploration out along the river passing along the way a giant salmon of knowledge. We walked with no purpose and ended up at the Titanic museum. We didn’t go it because €23 is an extortionate amount to pay for a museum but also we had heard from multiple people that it really wasn’t worth it. However they do an offer for €11 for the last hour, so if you really want to check it out at a lower cost than this would be perfect, read more about it on their website!

For dinner we had booked into La Taqueria, I got this recommendation from Nathalie Emmanuel from GOT and I have to say it was the best Mexican I had in a long while. We got so much food I had to be rolled down the stairs. But you cannot leave before you try their churros! We headed back to the cathedral quarter to grab some drinks after dinner before wandering back to the hotel.

The next morning was made extra sweet thanks to late check out so we took our time before heading out to brunch. This time we tried The National, portions are small but it is a cute place to grab breakfast. We had booked in for a black cab tour in the afternoon so we headed back to the hotel to meet our driver. The black cab tour takes you all through the recent troubled history of Belfast. We drove onto the Catholic Falls road and to the gates that still close to this day dividing the Catholic and Protestant communities, we drove to the Protestant Shankill road to some of the murals. We stopped off to write on the peace wall and to the different memorial gardens. It was so informative as our driver was a native to the Falls road and grow up during the troubles. It was one of the best tours I ever did and I would highly recommend doing it.

After we finished went to grab a coffee and a bit of respite at Kaffe O a scandi inspired coffee shop. After sipping on perfectly brewed coffee we took to the streets again to do a bit more exploring and some more shopping. Before leaving we grabbed dinner at Made in Belfast in their cathedral quarter location. They have an awesome deal of steak and chips for £10. After that, we swung back to Holiday Inn grabbed our bags and hopped back on the bus to Dublin.

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