The blog by

The Blog by Aisling Nolan

24 hours in…Belfast

Hi everyone,

I’m back with another 24 hours in series and these are fast becoming one of my favourite types of posts to do, as not only does it set my travel bug going it also lets me relive some of my most loved cities and trips  that I’ve been on and then I get to share them with you all. Today I have a post on 24 hours in Belfast which is one of my favourite cities. Belfast is a city often over looked by many people in Ireland as a destination for a weekend get away due to its history, however I hope I can dispel any bad thoughts you might have and show you that Belfast is a fabulous city to spend 24 hours (or longer!) in!

I moved to Belfast in 2013 and from the moment I arrived I loved the place, the history, the atmosphere, the people, the social scene. It was brilliant and now I love nothing more than heading up on a weekend to visit with my friends and take in some of our old haunts.

Getting to Belfast is super easy, it has two airports and it is only 90 minutes drive by car from Dublin you can’t afford not to go!

10am: Check into the Gregory guest house and B and B on Eglantine Avenue. ( I never stayed but passed this place  so many times and it looks amazing! It has fantastic reviews on Trip Advisor too so I think you’ll be in for a treat. It’s where I’d stay if I was having a Belfast get away!)

11am: Maggie Mays does some of the best breakfasts in Belfast, and in my opinion no trip to the city is complete without getting an Ulster Fry from Maggie’s. They have two locations around Queens quarter  so either one is a great option. I always stop in on my trips to Belfast.

12pm: Visit my alma mater of Queens University, take a photo with the pondering Gaileo and admire the three sided Quadrangle! Yes only three sides. Visit the library and head up to the first floor to see the C.S. Lewis reading room and pas through the wardrobe door and see what waits inside. Pop into the great hall and see the portraits of some of the islands most recognisable famous who are Queens alumni. Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney and former President of Ireland Mary McAleese.
1.30pm: Walk into the city center and see City hall, and Victoria Square and see what Belfast shops have to offer. Listen to the buskers as some of the best music in Belfast is on the streets.

2.30pm: In Victoria Street shopping center is my favourite all you can eat Chinese restaurants but here are plenty of places around. (if you’re like me you’ll have stopped reading by now!) If you want a true treat and a taste of Belfast head to the 19th century ale house The Morning Star which you reach through the archway of Pottingers Entry where you will no doubt pass some buskers. The pub was one of the terminals for the Belfast to Dublin mail coach and can trace its history back to 1810 so you know you are in for a treat. The food is fantastic and the staff even better!

3.30pm: To truly understand Belfast to have to understand its history and there is no better way to feel like a tourist but get a local sense of history, that to take a black cab tour up both the Falls and Shankhill and everything in between!black-cab-tour

4.30pm: Head out to the Titanic Quarter and say hello to two of Belfast most well know and well loved landmarks, Harland and Wolff. You are in the middle of history again but another type and this is the history of Hollywood epics. You are standing in the ship year that built the ship that couldn’t sink. (Eeep!) Visit the new interactive museum and feel what it was like to be on board that iconic ship. Look out on the point where it entered the water for the first time and experience in real time the series events which led to its demise. Well worth the visit and to spend a few hours. Brilliant for adults and children alike. (This was one of the best afternoons my friend James and I ever spent! We got some green screen photos, bought tacky captains hats and and sang Celine Dion to our hearts content! If that isn’t tempting enough I don’t know what is! Its not all tacky! We were just that day!!)h-and-w

6pm: Head back to the Gregory to get ready for dinner at one of my favourite eateries. I have a choice of two and you can go wrong either way and both are within walking distance of the guest house, so you can take a stroll through Belfast terraced house lined streets if it’s not raining!

7.30pm: Dine at the Barking Dog or Deans at Queens, two of my choice Belfast restaurants (if you want to be in the city, try Made in Belfast in Cathedral Quarter, their steaks are amazing!)

10pm: Head to the cool and outdoor secret garden in Filthy McNastys and sit beneath a blanket and enjoy a post dinner drink if you want to mingle with the younger crowd and maybe have a little dance into the night or if you fancy something a little more upmarket go for a cocktail in The Merchant or Café Vaudeville. The Apartment also has some of the best views over city hall and some great drinks to boot!the-merchant

The Merchant Hotel, Belfast

Late: Head back to the Gregory for a great nights sleep.

10am: Check out of the guest house after enjoying your home cooked breakfast and take a brief stroll through the botanic gardens.  Have a seat on one of the benches and watch the world go by, and then your 24 hours are up!
What a jam packed but enjoyable day in Belfast, have you anything to add to the list?
Much love,

Aisling. X


1 Discussion on “24 hours in…Belfast”
  • Love Belfast too and also did a degree at QUB. Maggie Mays really do the most amazing brekkie, I thought the Irish fry was good but it’s nothing compared to the Ulster fry, mmmmm. Having recently been to The Merchant for cocktails, I can vouch for them being absolutely delicious. Want to go back now!!! Great round up!

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