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Are you wondering how to spend 48 hours in Belfast? You’re in the right place!
Since I was studying abroad in Dublin, I knew that I’d have to make a trip up to Belfast at least once. There’s so much history in Northern Ireland, and I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan, so it just had to happen.
Here’s how to spend 48 hours in Belfast Ireland!
Note that this itinerary was put together by me when I was in college and therefore includes all budget-friendly activities that were best for a student studying abroad.
How to Get to Belfast from Dublin
Since Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland, it’s not that difficult to get to, and it’s easily connected to Dublin!
I was coming up from Dublin, so I took the train from Dublin Connolly station to Belfast.
Plus, you get some great views out your window! I highly suggest sitting on the right side of the train so that you can see all the coastal views. This is an easy way to get to the city with just 48 hours in Belfast.
Another option is to take a bus which is a relatively cheap option. However, I’ve had my own mishaps with how unreliable buses are in the past, so I’m not sure I’d suggest this option unless you have a lot of time on your hands or you really need to spend very little money.
You could also rent a car and drive there yourself if you’re somewhere else in Ireland, which could get you some pretty lovely views but might cost more.
If you are flying into Belfast, be sure to fly into Belfast International Airport.
Where to Stay in Belfast
Now, there are many options for places to stay for 48 hours in Belfast.
You could also stay at a hostel if you wanted. My friend spent the night at the Belfast International Youth Hostel and said it wasn’t that bad.
However, one thing that I always suggest is to double-check the prices of Airbnb. Sometimes you can snag a fantastic deal for an Airbnb, plus then you can also save money and cook your own meals!
Since I was going to Belfast with my two friends, this was the route we chose. We stayed at a great Airbnb near Queen’s University (which, unfortunately, is not up on Airbnb anymore), and it was within walking distance of almost everything we wanted to see!
What to Do (Day 1): Do a Day Tour to get out of the city!
Since we knew we would only have 48 hours in Belfast, we had to make the most of our time by also trying to explore some more of Northern Ireland. So, we took the first day to do just that by booking a tour, which I recommend if you’re visiting for a limited time.
My friends and I booked a tour with irishtourtickets and did the Game of Thrones day tour from Belfast during our 48 hours in Belfast. The tickets were super affordable for us as students.
If you’d rather get around yourself, you could also consider doing a Northern Ireland road trip.
Breakfast at The Bridge House
We woke up around 7:30 and walked over to one of the Wetherspoon’s branches: The Bridge House.
I’m honestly not sure what opinion the locals have on Wetherspoon’s, but if you’re looking for something cheap and okay to eat when you’re in a rush, I think it’s a great option, especially as a student studying abroad.
The Bridge House is only a 7-minute walk from the Irish Tour Tickets pick-up location, which is excellent. Breakfast didn’t cost more than £7, and I got a coffee and a delicious breakfast. After eating, we made our way over to the pick-up location.
All we had to do was walk into the Irish Tour Tickets office, where they directed us to our bus. It was so easy! Then, we were off.
Morning stops on the tour
This is such a great way to start your 48 hours in Belfast. Your whole day will luckily be planned out for you from 8:45 to around 6:45. It’s excellent! The day begins at Carnlough Harbour, featured in season six of Game of Thrones.
Next, there’s a stop at Cushendun Caves, which was my favorite part of the tour. This area is lovely and is fuel for your camera!
Lunch at Fullerton Arms Restaurant
Though lunch is not included, the tour stops at Fullerton Arms Restaurant where you can eat Game of Thrones-inspired food! Everything costs about £10-15. Plus, there’s a room where you can get photos with the Iron Throne in! It was a lot of fun.
To learn more about Fullerton Arms, check out this link. It is a restaurant, and you can stay at this location if you’d like!
Afternoon stops on the tour
That’s right, there are so many stops! Make sure you bring your camera because you’re going to be snapping pictures absolutely everywhere.
After the tour ended, we headed back home to have some dinner.
Dinner: Cook your own food at your Airbnb!
My friends and I made a quick walk to a local grocery store and picked up a bunch of food to make for dinner.
We ended up having spaghetti, dinner rolls, and meat sauce. What a treat!
If you stay at an Airbnb, it’s super easy to save money by cooking your own meals, which is one of my suggestions!
What to Do (Day 2): Belfast Sightseeing!
Breakfast at Eddie Rocket’s
Don’t get me wrong, I know there are better places to eat for breakfast, but this place was closest to where we stayed. We also knew it was affordable since we’d eaten there in Dublin.
Belfast City Hall
Belfast City Hall is a must-see when visiting Belfast. If you’re looking to go inside, you can go between the hours of 8:30 – 5, 7 days a week. There are also public tours at 11 AM, 2 PM, and 3 PM Monday – Friday or 12 PM, 2 PM, and 3 PM on the weekends.
I loved looking at the architecture of this building, even from the outside!
If you’re interested in the history of this building, it first opened in 1906 after Belfast was finally considered a city by Queen Victoria in 1888. The Baroque building was made out of Portland stone and cost almost 128 million pounds!
Explore the Cathedral Quarter
The Cathedral Quarter is named such due to being the area surrounding Saint Anne’s Cathedral. It’s known for its nightlife, but also for its street art!
Since I came to explore during the day, I searched for beautiful street art in the area.
There are also a lot of fun coffee shops, pubs, and other places to eat along incredibly picturesque cobblestone streets. I easily spent about an hour just walking up and down these tiny cobbled streets.
With 48 hours in Belfast, you definitely want to check out this part of the city!
Albert Memorial Clock
This clock tower is in Queen’s Square and was finished in 1869. To this day, it’s one of Belfast’s top landmarks.
The clock tower was made to memorialize Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband.
One of the main reasons that everyone goes to see it today is because it has a slight lean to it!
It’s leaning because it was built on top of marshy ground and soon began to lean four feet on one side. The lean isn’t super noticeable unless you know about it.
Unlike most towers in a city, this is not one that you can go into and climb to the top.
Salmon of Knowledge
The Salmon of Knowledge comes from Irish mythology, but you can see it for real in Belfast!
Supposedly you can give the fish a kiss and get wisdom.
It’s located right along River Lagan, near the Titanic Museum. Some people also refer to it as “The Big Fish,” but I think the Salmon of Knowledge sounds much more interesting.
It’s breathtaking in person; if you get up close to it, you can see a whole bunch of details in its ceramic tiles. Each tile shows some part of the history of Belfast city. The sculpture was built in 1999 to celebrate fish returning to Belfast’s river.
Since it is now the 21st Century, you can actually text the Salmon of Knowledge! Signs are posted everywhere near the fish, and he shares his wisdom through you. Of course, I texted him, and it was pretty fun!
This is one of the most underrated places to visit with 48 hours in Belfast.
Titanic Sightseeing & Titanic Museum
The Titanic was built in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1911! There are so many Titanic sights to see in Belfast because of this.
The top place to visit is Titanic Belfast in Titanic Quarter, a sight to see if you’re looking for titanic landmarks.
Other sights include TITANICa and the Titanic Dock. If you’re really looking to immerse yourself, you could also do a Titanic tour with a local guide.
City Hall is also considered a Titanic sight because the man who created the Titanic also helped a lot with the building ideas behind City Hall.
Beacon of Hope
This is one sculpture that you can’t help but see while walking in downtown Belfast. It is one of the most enormous sculptures in Belfast too and is located in Thanksgiving Square.
The Beacon of Hope is actually based on a design by a woman from Texas. It was built in 2006 and featured a woman holding the ring of thanksgiving.
At her base is a globe symbolizing peace, harmony, and thanksgiving, and its surface even marks the many places that people from Belfast have migrated to and come from.
Lunch at St. George’s Market
St. George’s Market is one of the best markets in the United Kingdom from what I’ve heard! It’s also one of Belfast’s oldest places, as there has been a market there since 1604. The building was built in the 1890s, and the market has been held there ever since.
This is a great place to go to, especially for a quick eat. There’s fantastic macaroni and cheese, sandwiches, and more. Almost everything you could imagine for food is at this market, and there was live music!
On the plus side, from what I’ve seen, almost every booth took cash or a card. This is also a great place to look for any Belfast NI souvenirs.
Coffee Break at Caffe Nero
After exploring St. George’s Market and having a quick lunch, my friends and I went across the street to Caffe Nero to wind down before heading home because of its proximity to where we were.
My one friend was flying back to London where she was studying abroad, so we chatted over some chai teas and lattes and soon had to part ways. We wouldn’t be seeing her again until we visited her in London later in the semester!
After we had coffee, we headed home to Dublin! This itinerary was a great way to spend the weekend, and visiting not only Belfast but also exploring the rest of Northern Ireland is something I highly suggest.
Now you know how to spend 48 hours in Belfast UK!
Frequently Asked Questions: 2 Days in Belfast
Is Belfast in Northern Ireland?
Yes, Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland. It is located on the island of Ireland and is part of the United Kingdom.
Is Belfast in the UK?
Yes, Belfast is part of the United Kingdom. It is the capital city of Northern Ireland and is located on the island of Ireland.
How to reach Belfast?
There are a few ways to get to Belfast.
You can fly into the Belfast International Airport or the George Best Belfast City Airport. Alternatively, you can take a ferry from any of England, Scotland, or Wales ports.
You can also take a train if you’re coming from anywhere else on the island.
What is there to do in Belfast?
There are plenty of things to do in Belfast! For history buffs, there are several museums and historical sites to visit, including the Titanic Museum and Belfast Castle.
Nature lovers can explore one of the many parks or walk along the River Lagan. There are also plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars to keep you busy.
How many days should I spend in Belfast?
There is no set answer to how long to spend in Belfast as everyone’s travel preferences are different. However, we recommend spending at least 2 days in Belfast so that you have enough time to explore all of the city’s top attractions.
If you are pressed for time, 1 day in Belfast may suffice, but you will likely feel rushed.
Check out the videos of our time in Belfast:
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