A weekend in Belfast
Looking for a short break within easy reach of the UK mainland? Belfast is less than an hour's flight time from most of the UK's major airports, and Belfast "George Best" City Airport is just 10 minutes from the city centre. Here are some top tips for spending a weekend in Belfast...
Call in for a pint of Harp at one of Belfast's oldest and best loved bars - what better way to start your weekend in Belfast! The Crown is located directly opposite the Europa Bus station and across the road from the Great Victoria Street train station, making it easy to find.
This richly decorated bar features brocaded walls, ornate mirrors and wood carvings - but the crowd is far from pretentious and there's always a good buzz on Fridays.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast in Maggie May's cafe on Botanic Avenue, which serves up tasty stuffed Belfast baps.
A black taxi tour of Belfast will give you an insight into the city's troubled past. You'll see some of the city's most notorious "peace walls" and some of its most famous political and cultural murals, all the while enjoying lively commentary from the driver.
On a sunny day, head to Cutters Wharf for a late lunch. It's got a great outdoors seating area on the banks of the River Lagan, just a pleasant walk (around 25 minutes passing through the University area) from the city centre.
For some retail therapy, the flashy new shopping centre Victoria Square is hard to beat - but if you prefer something more boutique, head for rows of unique shops on the Lisburn Road. And while there, enjoy your evening meal at Belfast's top Indian restaurant, the Bengal Brasserie.
The Duke of York is highly recommended for your evening's entertainment. It's tucked away on a cobbled street in the Cathedral Quarter - head to the John Hewitt and ask one of the smokers outside for directions. There's usually great traditional bands playing and always a brilliant atmosphere.
Don't leave Belfast without tucking into a traditional Ulster fry - most restaurants and cafes will be serving it on a Sunday morning. It's similar to a full English breakfast but includes fried potato bread and soda bread.
Round off your weekend in Belfast with a leisurely tour of the Titanic Visitor Centre, and see the dry dock where the mighty ship was built. It's also handy to the City airport for your flight home.