24 Hours in Belfast // City Centre
March 7, 2017 Laura Caldwell 0 Comments
Centred around Belfast’s imposing City Hall on Donegall Square, Belfast’s City Centre is a sprawling mass of shops, eateries and bars. Although people are slowly moving more towards the Cathedral Quarter and other popular areas, Belfast’s historic City Centre can still hold it’s own.
From the majestic city hall to the modern Victoria Square, Belfast’s City Centre has been rapidly growing over the last ten years, culminating in a vibrant, inclusive city that cater’s to everyone’s needs.
Arthur Street Cafe
41 Arthur Street
Located inside Avoca, an Irish family-run business that is also one of the world’s oldest surviving manufacturing companies, Arthur Street Cafe may sound quite unassuming at first. But just one look at the delights that the breakfast menu holds lets you know everything you need to about this hidden gem. From homemade granola and organic porridge to free range scrambled eggs and loose leaf tea, Arthur Street Cafe is a little slice of heaven, and the perfect start to a packed day in Belfast’s City Centre
St George’s Market
East Bridge St
One of Belfast’s oldest and dearest attractions, St George’s Market was built in the 1890s, and remains one of the best markets in the UK and Ireland. Winning numerous awards and accolades over the years, the market was named UK’s Best Large Indoor Market in 2014 and was named ‘Best Market’ at the annual Observer Food Monthly Awards too. Pop down to St George’s on a Friday for the Variety Market (6am-3pm), on a Saturday for the City Food and Craft Market (9am – 3pm), and on Sunday for the Sunday Market (10am – 4pm). Always bustling with life, music, good craic and interesting produce, you won’t be disappointed by this atmospheric hive of activity.
6 Bridge Street
“Clogging Arteries Since 2012” – It may not look like much from the outside, but this New York style Deli is about as good as it gets when it comes to quick, tasty and filling food on the go. Serving everything from sloppy joes and philly cheesesteaks to chicken wings and pancakes, the hearty portions, cheeky attitude and friendly staff make for the perfect lunchtime stop. There’s even free wifi and a great £5 meal deal, so it won’t break the bank.
1 Victoria Square
After lunch, it’s time to do a bit of shopping, and Belfast’s flashiest shopping centre Victoria Square is the destination of choice. With nearly 100 shops, restaurants and services on offer, this multi-million-pound shopping centre is a symbol of Belfast’s growth and regeneration over the last few years, and contains the UK’s largest House of Fraser along other high-end retailers. Once you’ve had your fill in the shops, you can even ascend to the top of the iconic Dome which allows for stunning panoramic views across the city. Running hourly from 10am to 4pm you can even catch a free tour of the dome with an expert tour guide who points out areas of interest.
The Crown Bar
46 Great Victoria Street
Stepping into the historic Crown Liquor Saloon is like stepping back in time. With dark wood snugs and hundreds of mosaics and mirrors, the Crown is an excellent example of a Victorian gin palace, complete with carved wood and decorative trimmings. A veritable assault on the senses, there genuinely is nowhere like the Crown.
56 Howard St
Opened by award winning chef Marty Murphy, Howard St is all about fresh, local ingredients cooked well. With industrial style decor and an extensive list of cocktails and carefully selected wines, Howard St is the ideal place to get a true taste of what the Belfast culinary scene is all about. With a very reasonably priced Pre-Theatre menu available Tuesday to Saturday (5pm-6.30pm), it’s definitely worth giving this one a try before a trip to the Grand Opera House across the road.
The Grand Opera House
2-4 Great Victoria St
Over to the Grand Opera House for a bit of theatre, and you can catch any number of plays, musicals, ballets and operas here throughout the week. First opened in 1895, Theatres Trust once commented that the ” magnificent auditorium is probably the best surviving example in the United Kingdom of the oriental style applied to theatre architecture”. With plush red seating, gold adornments and intricate ceiling murals, a night out at the Grand Opera House truly feels like a night at the opera. You can check out their website for listings.