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Belfast in October(32 Posts)
We’re going to Belfast in October. I’m really looking forward to it as it’ll be my first time there.
We only have 3 nights and I’m looking for top tips to make the most of it. It’s me, dh and 2 kids (lower primary).
We arrive late on Friday so will be heading straight to hotel. Is it pretty easy to get a taxi from airport into Belfast or should I book one?
I was planning to go out to the giants causeway. There are lot of reasonable looking coach trips. Has anyone been on one or got a recommendation for tour providers to use/not use?
What would be your top thing to do in Belfast?
I have visited Belfast 4 or 5 times and am going back in October!
The giants causeway is amazing, the visitor centre is also good, but there was some controversy in the news this week about the National trust charging people to access he causeway when it is a public right of way. If you are up on the northern coast also check out carrick a Reid suspension bridge. We also had amazing fish and chips in ballycastle. We drove up so don't know about organised trips.
In Belfast itself, we did an open top bus tour which was great- the guide was so funny and informative and the history is fascinating. I have also read about private taxi tours which I like the sound of.
Also check out the titanic museum and that whole area which is being massively developed.
I would not expect any issue with taxis but be aware that the City airport is much closer in than the international airport- from the latter I would expect it to be expensive
As a Belfast dweller, I would second all of the suggestions by @angelican, plus Crumlin Road Gaol and Ulster Museum. The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum is a short journey outside Belfast and is also worth a look, and in October they often have autumn or Halloween type events on which are good for kids. I would recommend hiring a car to take the coast road up towards the Giants’ Causeway and you can also do Carrick-a-Rede, Bushmills Distillery, Ballintoy if you are Game of Thrones fans, and Portrush and Portstewart for beaches and ice cream (especially Morelli’s). The very good fish and chips are from Morton’s in Ballycastle. Hope you have a great trip, and let me know if you any other questions 🙂
Which airport are you arriving to? Belfast City (George best) or the international airport? Taxi shouldn't be an issue for either but the City airport is much closer to city centre.
Loads of amazing places to eat in Belfast, for families I would recommend Villa Italia, greenes pizza, the barking dog, coppi, can't think of anymore at the minute. Lots of amazing cafes, established coffee, general merchants, the national (also great for food).
W5 and the Titanic centre worth a visit too
Oh thank you everyone! We’re arriving into Belfast international.
Might look into car hire then!
I think you should consider hiring a car from the airport and then using that car to take you to Giant's Causeway. It might work out cheaper than the taxi (£60 return) to and from the airport and the Causeway coach tour for all four of you. Also it would mean that you can do the Causeway in half a day and spend the rest of the day doing something else in Belfast. Obviously you know your dc, but mine would get a bit bored and wrestless on a whole day coach tour. If you get a car, you can also beat the coach-loads, who often get there at around 11:30!
Visit the amazing St George’s Market for lunch on Saturday. A free market shuttle-bus runs to the market every 20 minutes, 11am - 3pm, to and from the market on Saturdays. www.belfastcity.gov.uk/tourism-venues/stgeorgesmarket/stgeorgesmarketbus.aspx
Belfast’s home Ice Hockey team is the Belfast Giant’s. They play their home games at the Odyssey Arena. Ticket prices are not expensive, you can usually get a ticket for about £10. It’s loads of fun and they usually have competitions and give out free Subway and Pizza during the breaks! Saturday matches usually start at 7pm and it's a great way to spend Saturday night.
Have Sunday lunch in Belfast’s oldest traditional pub – Kelly’s Cellars. It's a very popular pub and it's even got its own merchandise now!
The Titanic museum is excellent but I'd think twice before taking children under 8. I'd highly recommend W5 instead. You could easily spend the entire day there and it's a shame that you probably won't have enough time.
I wouldn't visit Crumlin Road Gaol. You see the prison wings, execution cells and tunnels to the courthouse. It’s brilliantly done and very educational but too heavy.
My 3 kids lived the Ulster folk and Transport museum, I really recommend it. It has a brilliant Titanic section too, and a lovely village/countryside section where you can go into houses and see how people lived 100 years ago. They do lots of fun things at weekends.
I e heard Titanic Museum isn’t terribly child friendly from a few people.
Giants Causeway is great. It works like this ( I think) If you park right up at the visitors Centre you have to pay to park. There is a free car park a 2 min walk away ( at the train station). If you are with National Trust parking is free at Visitor Centre.
If you use the visitor centre you ha e to pay. If you walk to the side you avoid the centre and the causeway is 100% free. The issue is the don’t tell you this and sort of make out like you ha e to pay. There is a bus that cost a £1pp that you can get down or back up.
W5 is fun but can get busy. Little Wing for pizza, yum!
If you want cake and a cup of tea in town go to Avoca, heaven.
If weather is nice see Stormont, it’s a lovely place to walk, see the government buildings and has a very good playground.
Bus tour is long! Hop on/off is your friend maybe?
Thank you this is fab! Have decided to get a taxi from airport (no parking at hotel) but hire a car for a day to go to the giants causeway. That works out much cheaper than a tour for 4 and we’re also then masters of our own time.
Thanks for cafe recommendations! Really helpful too!
I hired a car in Belfast, for 3 days ... cost me £28. I would recommend doing that
If you hire a car, bear in mind that some companies (but not all - why is that?) charge you an extra insurance premium to drive into the republic.
I live in Belfast I would suggest car hire. If coming from international via taxi then I would book one (valuecabs is a local one http://www.valuecabs.co.uk
I think the Ulster folk park is a little boring and would recommend the Ulster American folk park instead which is more fun for children, car hire would be best all round for this also. https://www.nmni.com/our-museums/ulster-american-folk-park/Home.aspx
Titanic building is a good visit https://titanicbelfast.com and close to that is the odyssey sse arena which has a place called (W5) which is fantastic for children https://w5online.co.uk/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0KPV-Kjs3AIVyLTtCh3gmwsyEAAYASAAEgIPBvD
The giants causeway is one to tick off the lose but I do find it incredibly boring because it's just rocks really and in the middle of nowhere so bring a nice lunch with you. A small tip if you go through the centre you have to pay to enter but that's only if you want inside the centre. But entry to giants causeway is actually free via the big entrance next to he carpark just beside the outside toilets
Also bowling and Pizza Hut inside the arena.
There is a market called St. George's market which is on weekends and sells yummy food (curry's, burgers etc)and cupcakes and treats which would be worth a little visit. It's in the centre of town.
Thank you everyone - I really appreciate it! I really want to visit the giants causeway so that’s definite. I’ve hired a car for that day (£21) so we can go at our own pace. We’re NT members but thanks for the tips on which bits are free!
On the other 2 days (we fly back late on day 3) definitely going to go to the markets and check out some cafes. Will also check out the options for tours.
Any brilliant breakfast places?
Are you staying in the city centre?
I had a short work trip to Belfast and did a taxi tour and these people were great - super interesting, and v good value for money. They will pretty much take you wherever you want - I had a great tour of the murals.
If you’re NT you could have a look at Carrick a Rede rope bridge too, but I think you need to pre book it?
Also, Ballintoy Harbour is pretty and has a nice wee cafe, but bit of a nightmare parking.
Avoca again for breakfast! They are good for gifts etc too, and do nice clothes. It’s Irish designer stuff.
Just a heads up that shopping hours on a Sunday are 1-6. Some give you browsing time before this.
Might be a good time to do market or Stormont?
Live not far from Belfast. I'd recommend hiring a car. In the city - titanic centre, belfast castle (not far from centre - 10/15 min drive), some lovely parks like lady Dixon and stormont. Ulster museum, tropical ravine and Botanic gardens are all in the same place and none of the three will cost you a penny! Yet to meet a child who doesn't love W5. Ulster folk and transport museum is a great day out and a short drive from Belfast. Lots of of places to eat and drink in town.
Ooohh - and on a Sunday morning when there's little else to do- St. George's market!
Live in Belfast-would recommend Harlem Cafe for city centre breakfast.Would say save St. George’s for Sunday morning,have breakfast,a dance and mooch around.As a pp says shops open at 1 on a Sunday so it’s something goood to do then.I like the Ulster folk museum,the Ulster American one is way too far away for a day trip.W5 really is fab,you can bring a packed lunch or buy lunch there.Botanic park is lovely to take a walk up to,and the free Ulster Museum is up there for you to go into.You can easily walk up there.Depending when you’re coming in October there’ll be lots of other one off things on to do.Enjoy!
My top three things to do in Belfast with children are:
1) Ulster Museum. It's free and set in the Botanic Gardens with the brilliantly refurbished and amazing Tropical Ravine.
2) The MAC. Free art gallery with various exhibitions and a room for children to create their own art.
3) Harbour boat tours exploring the docks and viewing seals.
We have harbour boat tours?? I’m booking that!
Yes, they're really good Eleanor! BYO too 😉
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