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From Townhouse to Country House - Where to Stay in and Around Belfast

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Old-fashioned Ulster hospitality isn't limited to Belfast's long-serving guesthouses, where bed and breakfast still means homestyle rooms and freshly baked soda bread. You'll get the same warm welcome at a boutique hotel near Belfast Cathedral, or in a renovated townhouse near Queen's University. Executives can find business-friendly accommodation along the waterfront, while the Antrim countryside is dotted with options for family vacations and romantic getaways.

Belfast Central District

 

Close to Belfast International Airport (BFS) and George Best Belfast City Airport (BHD), the city centre is compact and walkable. Here you'll find major shopping destinations like Victoria Square and a long row of busy pubs and restaurants along Belfast's famous Golden Mile. Belfast Harbour is also central, so the hotels in the area are handy for visits to the Titanic Quarter, business meetings around the Port of Belfast, and concerts or conferences at Belfast Waterfront.

 

If you're in Belfast for a weekend shopping trip or a fun night out, you'll find simple and convenient urban inn-style rooms in familiar hotel chains. Prices are often very competitive. You'll find some of Belfast's older, independent establishments close to City Hall and Belfast Harbour, as well as much newer boutique accommodation inside tastefully refurbished historic buildings.

 

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Cathedral Quarter

 

Years of urban regeneration in the area around St. Anne's Cathedral have converted a rundown district into a fashionable hub of commerce and culture. Where Belfast art and entertainment used to be mostly confined indoors, public spaces like Cotton Court and St. Anne's Square have become open-air forums for street theatre, dance performances, and seasonal markets. It's still recognizably Belfast, but it often looks, sounds, and feels more like continental Europe.

 

Hoteliers have made the most of the Cathedral Quarter's ongoing resurgence. Here you'll find plenty of mid-range options that let you save on a room so you can spend more in designer shops and style bars. You'll also find funky, independent boutique hotels and distinctive 5-star accommodation occupying lavishly restored 19th-century warehouses.

 

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Queens College District

 

Queen's University campus is surrounded by buzzing student bars and live music venues, as well as quiet streets leading south to the River Lagan. Avid readers and hipsters could spend whole days browsing the secondhand bookshops and vintage clothing stores of this district. If your idea of a well-spent weekend involves gourmet coffee, arthouse movies, and walks in the Botanic Gardens, this is where you want to stay.

 

Visitors to Queen's University find it handy to take a room at a nearby guesthouse or bed and breakfast. Arty hotels around Stranmillis Road and Botanic Avenue make ideal bases for nights out at live entertainment venues like Speakeasy and Empire Music Hall. For peace and quiet, book a townhouse overlooking the Botanic Gardens.

 

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Antrim

 

County Antrim stretches inland from Belfast to the shores of Lough Neagh, and seaward to the rugged northeast coast of Ireland. In less than an hour's drive you can be skipping across the otherworldly rocks of the Giant's Causeway, or you can take your time and enjoy the scenery along the Causeway Coastal Route. From here you can set out on the walking holiday of a lifetime, passing over the famous Glens of Antrim.

 

The Antrim landscape can seem wild and even desolate in places, but there's always a town or village nearby where you can find a good old-fashioned inn for a hot meal and a warm bed. Country-house hotels make for romantic getaways and luxury retreats.

 

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