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Where To Stay In Belfast (The Best Areas With Map)

Where To Stay In Belfast (The Best Areas With Map)

Deciding where to stay in Belfast can be tricky – the quick answer? The two best places to stay in Belfast are the Cathedral Quarter and Belfast Central.

The other two areas that I’ll give you the pros and cons for below are the Titanic Quarter and the Queens Quarter.

You’ll also find:

  • A map of the different areas in Belfast
  • What to expect from each location
  • Budget, mid-range and high-end accommodation

What to know about where to stay in Belfast

McHughs

Photos via McHughs on FB

 

Before scrolling to my map showing where to stay in Belfast, take 20 seconds to scan the points below as they’ll save you time and hassle in the long run:

1. Belfast is walkable (once you pick a central base!)

Many guides on the best places to stay in Belfast often describe the city as if it were New York, usually due to their limited knowledge of the area. However, Belfast is relatively small. Once you choose one of the central areas, you can walk to most places.

2. There are some areas to avid

As with any major city, there are areas of Belfast to avoid. Personally, I only stay in, and recommend, the areas highlighted on the map below. This isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with staying outside of Belfast City, but for most people, the highlighted areas will be the most suitable.

3. My 2 cents

As a result of this job, I visit Belfast regularly, both solo and with tourists. In my opinion, the Cathedral Quarter and the main centre are the best places to stay in Belfast as they’re well connected with public transport, there is a lot of accommodation options and they’re close to all of the various things to do in Belfast along with the city’s best pubs and restaurants.

 

A map of the best places to stay in Belfast City Centre

 

The map above will hopefully narrow down where to stay in Belfast based on your likes and dislikes. I’ll take you through each area below!

Note: if you book a stay through one of the links below we may make a commission that helps us keep this site going. You won’t pay extra, but we really do appreciate it.

1. The Cathedral Quarter

Anne’s Cathedral

Photos via Shutterstock

The Cathedral Quarter (the red section on the map above) is my go-to base for Belfast, and it has been for the last 5 or 6 years.

Back in olden-day-Belfast, this was the city’s trading quarter and it is home to many of Belfast’s most impressive buildings, like St. Anne’s Cathedral.

As you ramble along its streets, you’ll encounter some of the more popular pubs in Belfast, include The Duke of York in the very colourful Commercial Court.

It’s for good reason that I reply to 99% of all ‘where to stay in Belfast City Centre’ emails advising people to stay in and around the Cathedral Quarter. The location here is hard to beat.

The pros and cons to staying here

  • The pros: Beautiful buildings, close to everything and plenty of great pubs and restaurants
  • The cons: As demand is high, the low-mid-end accommodation is often booked out

Recommended accommodation

 

2. Central Belfast City

Belfast City Hall

Photos via Shutterstock

The best area to stay in Belfast after the Cathedral Quarter is ‘Central Belfast City’ (the blue section on the map above).

Home to Great Victoria Street Train Station, which makes it very handy to get to the likes of Dublin, Belfast Central is also where you’ll find City Hall and St. George’s Market.

One of the reasons that this area will suit most people is that it is within walking distance to everything (e.g. Crumlin Road Gaol is a 30-minute stroll).

Another is that many of the best restaurants in Belfast, like Coco, and great live music pubs in Belfast, like Madden’s, are right on your doorstep.

The pros and cons to staying here

  • The pros: Excellent, central location close to all main attractions
  • The cons: High demand can result (not always) in higher accommodation prices

Recommended accommodation

 

3. The Queens Quarter

Botanic Gardens

Photos via Shutterstock

One of the best neighborhoods in Belfast for visitors looking to stay a short walk from the hustle and bustle is the Queens Quarter.

Also known as ‘the University Quarter’, it takes its name from Queen’s University Belfast and the area boasts plenty of parks along with the Botanic Gardens.

It’s only around a 20-minute walk from City Hall and around a 30-minute stroll from the Cathedral Quarter.

One of the big advantages the Queen’s Quarter has is that most accommodation has their own parking – this isn’t the case with the other places to stay in Belfast mentioned above!

The pros and cons to staying here

  • The pros: Buzzy atmosphere courtesy of the university and more affordable accommodation options
  • The cons: You’re a little further out from the main attractions

Recommended accommodation

 

4. The Titanic Quarter

Titanic Experience

Photos by Chris Hill via Tourism Ireland

Now, personally, I wouldn’t stay in the Titanic Quarter, but I’m including it as many visiting the city want to be close to Titanic Belfast.

The reason that I amn’t overly gone on this location is that, aside from the Titanic Museum and Victoria Park, there isn’t much to this area.

However, for those looking to immerse themselves in all-things-Titanic, the likes of the HMS Caroline and the SS Nomadic and the Samson & Goliath Cranes are all located here.

The pros and cons to staying here

  • The pros: Close to all of the Titanic related attractions
  • The cons: Limited accommodation options

Recommended accommodation

 

Frequently asked questions

Our guide to the best neighborhoods to stay in Belfast has been written based on the experience of visiting the Northern Ireland capital over the last 20 or so years.

However, we’re sure that there are other Belfast areas that pack a punch, too. If you have a place that you’d like to recommend, let us know below.

What is the best area to stay in Belfast?

In my opinion, the Cathedral Quarter is the best area to stay in Belfast. This historic corner of the city is home to beautiful buildings along with many of Belfast’s best bars and restaurants.

Where to stay in Belfast when visiting for the first time?

The three areas in Belfast that I’d recommend people visiting stay in are the Cathedral Quarter, Central Belfast and the Queens Quarter.

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