Belfast, United Kingdom

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Belfast Guide – Spend Less, Do More

Belfast Town HallYou've meandered through the Belfast Botanic Gardens, you've definitely stopped to smell the roses, both literally and figuratively. The sunlight-drenched beauty of the Palm House blew you away. You've been stuck humming the Titanic theme song all day as you spent a day enjoying the Titanic Belfast visitor experience where you were fascinated by its illustrious history.

You couldn't get enough of museums and you were already at the Botanic Gardens, so you visited the Ulster Museum. You don't want to admit this to all your friends, but you specifically chose to visit the city on St Patrick's day (affectionately known as St Paddy's day) to dress up in excessive green and showcase your best Irish jig. True shamelessness is bestowed on few lucky recipients. If you're looking to get beyond the museums and typical tourist haunts, look no further! Belfast has so many unique propositions for your day.

Intrigued by Belfast's divided past?

Political murals are still scattered throughout the city with walls and security gates dividing problem areas. Take yourself on a walking tour to experience this colorful part of Belfast's history – that part's free! Some suggestions to include in your wanders are the Shankill Road and Falls Road areas. Another option is to take a black taxi tour where real locals will show you the politically sensitive areas of their home in their own taxis. You will enjoy a day full of intrigue and unpredictable stories, peppered with a unique brand of local wit.

For a drink, a great deal on good food, and free live music…

Dunluce CastleThis is how to do it. Head to St George's Market on a weekend for an authentic Belfast experience, jazz music included. Frequented by locals and visitors alike, explore the stalls, where you will find unique offerings such as shark meat. If you can cook like an iron chef, here you'll be able to source all the fresh ingredients for your next masterchef challenge – if not, try some of the precooked delicacies!

After your meal, head to a pub or saloon and order yourself a pint or a schooner as you continue on the live music trail. You are in Northern Ireland after all! Berts Jazz Bar and Restaurant at the Merchant Hotel offers live jazz every single night of the week!

You've done an amazing job booking great value accommodation…

So give yourself a pat on the back! Speaking of the Merchant hotel, it is also the perfect place to treat yourself to high tea! One of Belfast's most decadent hotels, enjoy your triple tiered display of intricate sweet treats and mini sandwiches under crystal chandeliers with golden light and piano music swirling around you.

Why not book tickets to a musical at the Grand Opera House of Belfast? Not only are you there for the show, but to admire the captivating and humbling work of Frank Matcham, the theatre architect of his time. Brace yourself for a first-class experience.

Ready for some natural beauty? Hire a car and drive out to the Giants Causeway, a gorgeous destination, well worthy of its UNESCO world heritage status. The thousands of basalt columns rising from the sea, with glorious greenery-sprouting basalt cliffs towering behind them, deserve to be in the running to be the eighth wonder of the world. The result of a volcanic eruption from eras gone by, this location gets very crowded during the day, so a great way to truly appreciate the unforgettable views is to go in the evening. As daylight lasts till almost 11pm on summer nights, you will have almost two hours after the visitor center closes to enjoy the sunset in all its glory. While you're in the area make sure to walk across the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge! Hope you're not scared of heights!

Spend Less, Do More

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