June 12, 2009


Filed under: — @ 12:38 am

The city of Belfast is the largest city in and capital of Northern Ireland, as well as the second largest city on the whole island of Ireland (behind Dublin). Although this city has had a troubled history with the long-term fighting between the Republicans and Loyalists, it has rebounded from those times in the last decade and is now one of the safest cities in the United Kingdom. It is gaining ground as a popular city break destination for travelers from both inside and outside Europe, and there are plenty of options for cheap hotels in Belfast if you are one of those travelers.

Whereas Dublin is easily one of the area’s most popular cities for a long weekend, it is also quite a bit more expensive than Belfast, which is helping to make the latter destination more inviting (especially to budget travelers). And as the city’s stock rises, the number of pubs, restaurants, shops, night clubs, and cheap hotels in Belfast will just continue to rise as well. Even now, the good news for visitors is that, should you get a room close to downtown Belfast, you can explore pretty much everything you want to see just by walking – and for those who are further out, just make sure your hotel is near a bus stop.

Belfast boasts some fine examples of both Edwardian and Victorian architecture, most of which can just be enjoyed by walking around the city center. You can also get a city tour (either by bus or on foot) to help you understand things a bit more – but one tour you should definitely look into is a tour of the city’s many political murals. Different neighborhoods are decorated with oversized murals depicting the political struggle between the Republicans and the Loyalists. A tour guide will help you understand the murals, and many of the city’s taxi drivers make excellent tour guides of the murals.

Some of the cheap hotels in Belfast you should look into for your trip are Madison’s Hotel (35 rooms, 10-minute walk from city center, on-site restaurant/bar/jazz club, breakfast included), The Parador Hotel (on-site restaurant & jazz club, great value for the location), Malmaison Belfast (62 rooms, boutique hotel, free internet access, laundry service available, on-site restaurant & bar, breakfast included), Jurys Inn Belfast (in the city center, 190 rooms, internet access available, on-site restaurant & bar, laundry service available), Days Hotel Belfast (250 rooms, in central Belfast, internet access available, on-site restaurant, laundry service available), and Travelodge Belfast Central (in city center, family rooms available, on-site bar/cafe).

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