Every couple of years a group of my friends go on a girly weekend getaway together. Last time it was Berlin this time we decided on a city trip to Belfast. I caught an early flight with Easyjet from Amsterdam and the others traveled from various parts of Ireland by train & car to meet up.
Girly weekend getaway in Belfast with my besties
Arriving at Belfast International Airport
Ashamedly, I didn’t realise that Belfast had 2 airports until the night before my flight. One is named after a famous footballer George Best Belfast City Airport (BHD) the other Belfast International Airport (BFS) is the one I flew into. On arrival, in the baggage hall I took out some Sterling from the ATM. Which was needed as the Translink bus from the airport only takes cash. If you don’t have Sterling you can purchase a ticket by bank card in the arrivals hall from the friendly tourist information stand. The journey cost £8gpb and the bus leaves every 15 minutes to Europa Bus Centre, in the middle of Belfast city. The journey took about 40 minutes in total as we dropped off some passengers on the way.
Funky Botanic Avenue, Belfast
As I was a little earlier to check in to my Airbnb. I took my time to stroll along the funky Botanic avenue checking out some of the secondhand book shops and charity shops along the way. I also passed some interesting street art, bustling cafés and restaurants en route.
Our Belfast Airbnb
I checked into the Airbnb (it wasn’t behind the above door with the streetart don’t worry) I was greeted with a warm welcome. The 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment was equipped with everything you needed for a great weekend. Including a bottle of prosecco in the fridge, snacks, bottles of water, tea and coffee. It’s the little touches that make all the difference. The living room had floor to ceiling windows on two sides with an L-shaped balcony. In the distance, on one side you could see Stormont Castle in the distance, the home to the Northern Ireland Executive that governs the region.
Brunching in Belfast
After a quick nap, I met the girls and we went for brunch. As Town Square restaurant had a half an hour wait with hungry bellies we walked on to the hipster joint ‘The Other Place’ filled with hungover bodies. I ordered a greasy fry and my veggie friend ordered an omelet. The “mini fry” came with Sausage, bacon, egg, potato, soda bread, a hash brown, and mushrooms. Not for the faint-hearted. I washed it all down with an Americano coffee to get my caffeine kicks.
Fueled up we sauntered into town. Passing groups on peddling bars, street artists dressed for Halloween and buskers singing tunes to the passing shoppers. We popped into funky shops, saw quirky murals, admired the impressive architecture of Belfast City Hall and just enjoyed the sunshine and atmosphere.
Cocktails in Bert’s Jazz Bar
We decided to seek out a cocktail place that was recommended to us. The Merchant is an ornate hotel that is a class above. We walked up to the “Great Room Restaurant” wow did it live up to its name. The centerpiece is a domed glass ceiling that frames an ornate chandelier that hangs above the five-star diners. The decor mixes art deco with a speakeasy vibe. Friendly staff informed us that there was a wait for a table and suggested “Bert’s” downstairs.
A little bewildered we could hear the jazz but couldn’t find the bar. A helpful doorman opened a series of doors and led us through several passageways into the stylish jazz bar. Having survived the labyrinth entrance, as any classy group of girls would do, we propped ourselves at the bar and proceeded to order fancy cocktails. The mixologists were experienced at not only creating the well-shaken beverages but serving them with a suave demeanor.
Slightly buzzed from the cocktails we sauntered back to the apartment to chill for a bit before our other friend arrived from Donegal. She arrived complete with a bottle of poitín she had ‘acquired’ locally as a present. It smelled dangerous yet botanical. I had the sense to keep the cork on that bottle and open the prosecco instead.
Nepalese Food in Belfast
With bubbles inside us, we headed for some food at a Nepalese & Indian Restaurant called the Kathmandu Kitchen located closeby. The neon open sign did nothing to lead me inside but the aromatic smells sure as hell did. A friendly waiter greeted us and led us to a lovely table by the window. Starving at that stage we filled our bellies with a selection of dahl, naan bread, aromatic curries, and biryani. All washed down with a complimentary shot of sambuca. Oh, dear, we’ll never learn!
Hangover cure at Grannie Annies Kitchen
The next morning to ward off the hangover, we ventured out to find a spot to eat and get some much-needed caffeine. We ended up in Grannie Annies Kitchen. Serving up plates of comfort food in an eclectic casual setting. It’s kinda trippy. You have all sorts of chairs, tables pots and pans stuck upside down on the ceiling. I felt like Alice in Wonderland after going down the rabbit hole!
The next stop was the colorful St. Georges Market. I loved the vibe in this place. There were musicians performing in the centre surrounded by people chilling at tables and chairs easting food bought from the surrounding stalls. The was a mixture of yummy food, clothing, arts, flowers, crafts, and fresh produce. You could buy everything from fresh fish, photography or a pair of socks and everything in between.
We wandered around the town aimlessly enjoying buskers and buzz of the Saturday afternoon shoppers. Stopping in the odd place that caught our eye. Eventually, we came across the impressive Victoria Square Shopping Centre. On the ground floor, it had a pumpkin festival for kids where they could decorate their very own pumpkin. Which were proudly on display for parents.
We ventured up to the domed glass roof that had amazing 360 views of the city skyline. In the distance, you can see Cave hill, Harland & Wolff Cranes shipping cranes where they build the titanic as well as buildings old and new. Apparently, they even have yoga here once a month! However, we definitely weren’t energetic enough for that.
It was a beautiful way to finish the day and end our girly weekend in Belfast.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO BELFAST BEFORE? WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS OR FAVOURITE PLACES TO VISIT? LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW ….