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7 Best places to stay in Belfast

  • Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)

Last updated: 15 June, 2024
Expert travel writer: Nicola Brady
  • Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)

  • Official star rating:

What could be seen as something of a gimmick is, on the contrary, a sophisticated hotel that pays subtle homage to the RMS Titanic.

Located in the Titanic Quarter (where the legendary ship was built), the hotel is set within the old Harland & Wolff headquarters, where the White Star cruise liner was designed at the turn of the 20th century.

You’ll find vintage posters, rare photographs and memorabilia displayed on the walls, as well as decor that gives a nod to the building’s heritage. The rooms have a vaguely nautical theme, with hanging ship’s lanterns and unique maritime artwork.

The location, around a 30-minute walk from the city centre, means you’ll likely rely on the charming in-house restaurant and bar  – keep an eye out for the tiles that line it; the same ones used in the Titanic’s first-class bathrooms.

Average £110

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2+ bedrooms

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  • Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)

  • Official star rating:

Malmaison Belfast

Place to Stay

Malmaison Belfast

If your idea of the perfect city bolthole is a place filled with dark, sexy corners and perfectly mixed Old Fashioneds, the Malmaison is for you.

While the exterior is a historic landmark (down to the stone gargoyles that overlook the entrance) the interior is a sultry affair, with a calming, chilled-out vibe that counteracts the bustle of the Cathedral Quarter right on the doorstep.

This former warehouse is an ode to lavish opulence, with dimly lit hallways and dark wooden beams. While its standard rooms are perfectly spacious, the higher-end options come with seductive extras like roll-top baths and fireplaces.

At weekends, the downstairs brasserie buzzes with locals, in for a boozy brunch with bottomless Aperol Spritz, or £6 cocktails at the Friday evening happy hour (their whiskey sours are top-notch).

Average £150

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2+ bedrooms

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  • Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)

  • Official star rating:

There’s a palpable atmosphere of seduction from the moment you walk into the Fitzwilliam, with huddled conversations taking place by the warmth of the lobby fire, or by flickering candlelight in the cocktail bar. This is a place where people dress up for a pre-dinner gimlet, before heading out to soak up the Belfast nightlife.

This 146-room hotel is refreshingly spacious, with killer views of the city skyline from the higher floors and the restaurant, where you’ll have a great vantage point of the turquoise dome of City Hall, right around the corner.

This area doesn’t have the raucous charm of the Cathedral Quarter, but you still have some of the city’s best bars and restaurants on your doorstep, and some fantastic independent boutiques just a 2-minute stroll around the corner on Wellington Street.

Average £135

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2+ bedrooms

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  • Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)

  • Official star rating:

The Merchant Hotel

Place to Stay

The Merchant Hotel

Every city has that one hotel – the place where you meet to mark a special occasion, whose name is synonymous with serious luxury.

In Belfast, that’s The Merchant. Right in the middle of the city, the listed building is an Art Deco masterpiece, with plush rooms draped in heavy velvets and furnished with glossy antiques.

The only nod to the modern age is a state-of-the-art gym on the roof, complete with a swish spa and rooftop hot tub.

Despite its historical status, there’s no air of formal stuffiness – instead, it strikes the perfect balance between luxurious and laidback.

The main draw is the cocktail bar – a sleek and elegant room with leather banquettes and bowtied waiters, a tipple here feels like a trip back to 1930s New York.

On drizzly days, a seat by the smouldering open fireplace is the most coveted spot in the city.

Average £250

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2+ bedrooms

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  • Bangor, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)

  • Official star rating:

Helen's Tower. 19th-century folly and lookout tower in Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland 24.04.2021

Place to Stay

Helen’s Castle

Built in 1848, this enchanting 3-storey stone tower rich in local legend, sleeps just 2.

Stone walls, spiral staircases, panelled ceilings and single-floor octagonal rooms combine to create a homely, castle-esque atmosphere.

Stand on the parapet for spectacular views of the surrounding rolling hills, home to some excellent walks.

Average £150

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2+ bedrooms

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  • Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)

  • Official star rating:

Bullitt Hotel

Place to Stay

Bullitt Hotel

With an arty, industrial-chic vibe, Bullitt is a budget hotel with style well beyond its rates. There’s an easygoing sense of cool throughout, from the sculptures outside to the graphic artwork hanging in every room.

Downstairs, the open-plan lobby, bar and restaurant space draws in the locals looking to socialise over a cocktail or brunch. The resident DJ keeps things buzzing in the lobby and courtyard, too.

There’s also Babel, the jazzy rooftop bar and garden, where you can escape the city with a glass of wine and a wood-fired pizza. Be sure to book a table, as it fills up quickly.

You couldn’t ask for a more central location – a few steps from the entrance and you’re right in the heart of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

A word of caution, though – the ‘dinky’ room categories are only suitable for one person; go for ‘roomy’ if you’re travelling as a pair or a couple.

Average £85

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2+ bedrooms

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  • Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK)

  • Official star rating:

Grand Central Hotel

Place to Stay

Grand Central Hotel

Towering above the city’s streets, Belfast’s ultra-modern Grand Central hotel oozes Manhattan chic whilst keeping a reassuringly Irish informal vibe.

The 300 bedrooms come with floor-to-ceiling windows that give incredible views over the rooftops and out towards the distant Mourne Mountains.

For a martini with a difference, head up to the top floor Observatory bar, which the tallest cocktail lounge in Ireland.

Location-wise, you’re in the Linen Quarter, so all of the city’s sights are just a short saunter away – one of Belfast’s best pubs, the Crown Liquor Saloon, is right around the corner, and St George’s Market is just a few minutes’ walk.

Average £144

Extra beds

Pool

2+ bedrooms

Beach

Kids menu

Fitness center

Kids club