Live music, great eats and plenty of craic make Belfast the perfect city break | The Sun
TRY BEFORE YOU BUY
Hit St George’s Market to sample some of the city’s best food and catch free live music. Feast on everything from just-caught seafood to locally made soda bread.
If you have a sweet tooth, head straight for Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory. The stall groans under the weight of mounds of delicious fudge and sweets.
FYI, market stallholders are generous with samples – so much so that you can almost have a free lunch!
For great shopping, look no further than Victoria Square, which has become an icon of “new Belfast” (Victoriasquare.com).
It also has an amazing dome with 360° views of the city, so you can get your bearings with landmarks such as the Harland & Wolff cranes, the Parliament Buildings at Stormont and Cave Hill.
CHASE THE CRAIC
Grabbing a cheeky pint of Guinness and enjoying some live music is almost obligatory in the city.
The Belfast Empire Music Hall (Thebelfastempire.com) and Limelight (Limelightbelfast.com) are two legendary venues, but for a traditional Irish knees-up, head to The Second Fiddle, which boasts an impressive array of craft beer and cider (Thesecondfiddlebelfast.co.uk).
Famed for its innovative menus using the best local ingredients, Deanes Meat Locker is one of the city’s must-book tables.
The tender rump steak, £28, is cooked to perfection and served with triple-fried chips, but leave room for a perfect tiramisu, £6.50 (Michaeldeane.co.uk).
STAY WITH THE STARS
Made famous by BBC fly-on-the-wall series The Hotel People, Grand Central Hotel is Belfast’s tallest building and has amazing views.
Head up to The Observatory to order from hilarious bar manager Cáelan, one of the stars of the docu-series. A double room costs from £150, including breakfast (Grandcentralhotelbelfast.com).
A little out of town is The Culloden Estate And Spa, a luxe hotel favoured by Liam Neeson.
Order the Bridgerton-inspired afternoon tea – all dainty pastries and finger sandwiches – perfect for a gossip in elegant surroundings, £35 per person.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be served by charismatic manager Andy, who also stars in The Hotel People (Cullodenestateandspa.com).
DO YOUR DUTY
Die-hard Line Of Duty fans can indulge their passion for the BBC drama on a guided tour visiting the locations of some of its most memorable scenes.
The experience begins with lunch in Grand Central Hotel, before taking in sites such as Belfast Central Library, which doubles as AC-12’s HQ, and the tunnel where the agents have secret meetings.
You’ll also learn about The Troubles, taking in peace walls, which were erected to separate Catholic and Protestant neighbourhoods. Tickets cost £65 per person (Mccombscoaches.com).
TAKE IN THE TITANIC
No visit to Belfast is complete without a stroll along the River Lagan’s waterfront to the former dockyard where the Titanic was built in 1909. It’s now home to the iconic, ship-shaped Titanic Belfast museum.
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It takes you from Edwardian “Boomtown Belfast” to present day, with a live stream of the ocean wreck. Tickets cost £21.50 for adults and £10 for 5-15 year olds (Titanicbelfast.com).
Then swing by Belfast City Hall to visit the beautiful Titanic Memorial Garden, dedicated to the 1,512 people who lost their lives, which is free to enter (Belfastcity.gov.uk/cityhall).
Return flights from mainland UK to Belfast take just over an hour and cost from £49 (Britishairways.com).
The Hotel People is on BBC2 every Sunday.
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