Choosing your next city? 10 ARGUMENTS for picking BELFAST over DUBLIN

Planning your latest Irish city break? Here are ten reasons why you should pick Belfast over Dublin.

Choosing your next city? 10 arguments for picking Belfast over Dublin.

Dublin is, without a doubt, the most popular Irish city to visit. The capital is visited by millions of people every year. It’s got the Guinness Storehouse, Kilmainham Gaol, Trinity College, and so much more to explore.

However, what about Dublin’s lesser-visited neighbour to the north, Belfast? We think there are plenty of arguments for picking Belfast over Dublin for your next trip.

10. One for the history buffs – rich in history

One of the top arguments for picking Belfast over Dublin for your next city break is that it is rich in history and culture.

Belfast is rife with attractions, murals, and monuments dedicated to the strife of the period of unrest known as the Troubles.

While Dublin has its fair share of historical sites to explore, you get a whole different story when you visit Belfast.

9. It’s smaller – easy to navigate

An aerial shot of Belfast's skyline showing that it is smaller than Dublin. This is one of the arguments for picking Belfast over Dublin.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Christoper Heaney North Harbour Productions

Belfast city centre is very small, which means it’s more accessible and easier to navigate. Almost everything is within walking distance, so if you want to cut out the faff of taxis and public transport, then choose Belfast for your next weekend away.

8. It’s less crowded – relax and enjoy

A couple strolling arm-in-arm through Belfast's Commercial Court.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Tony Pleavin

If you’re not one for crowds, then this is one of the main reasons you should pick Belfast over Dublin for your next city break.

As the capital city of Ireland, Dublin is crowded pretty much year-round, during the week and the weekends. If you prefer traversing a city with fewer crowds, Belfast is definitely the better choice over Dublin.

7. It’s cheaper – more bang for your buck

An anonymous hand holding euro banknotes (left) and some sterling banknotes and coins (right). The comparative cheapness is one of the arguments for picking Belfast over Dublin.
Credits: Pexels/ Pixabay; Suzy Hazelwood

The price of a weekend in Belfast is certainly on the rise, but it is still cheaper than a weekend in Dublin.

The price of a pint in Belfast ranges from anywhere between £4.50 and £6, and a meal for two people averages around £50, including a couple of drinks.

Plus, hotels and accommodation options are still marginally cheaper than those in Dublin in 2024. So, if you don’t want to spend as much, pick Belfast over Dublin.

6. The food scene – you won’t be sorry

A shot of Belfast's Established Coffee on a busy morning (left) and an anonymous hand holding a coffee from the cafe (right).
Credit: Facebook/ Established Coffee

Yes, Dublin has a brilliant food scene, but have you checked out Belfast’s? Belfast has an abundance of cafes, bakeries, and restaurants that offer a wonderful mix of authentic cuisine from all over the world, as well as familiar, comforting tastes from home.

If you choose to spend the weekend in Belfast, you have the opportunity for your tastebuds to be tantalised morning til night with the array of fantastic coffee shops, cafes, and restaurants dotted around the city.

5. Nature – not to be missed

Water rushing through a river in Tollymore Forest Park. Belfast's natural attractions are one of the arguments for picking Belfast over Dublin.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Tollymore Forest

One of the top arguments for picking Belfast over Dublin is the abundance of nature near the city. The nature of the north often gets overlooked for the likes of the Cliffs of Moher, Killarney National Park, the Hill of Tara, and more.

Belfast is close in proximity to some of Ireland’s most incredible places to explore nature, including Tollymore Forest Park, the Mourne Mountains, and Murlough Bay, to name a few.

4. The local delicacies – don’t knock it til you try it

A shot of Northern Irish sweet treat, fifteens atop a pink chopping board.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Wee Buns Cookery School

One of the most enticing things about Belfast is the city’s array of local delicacies, from the refined to the messy and delicious.

For example, fifteens. Fifteens are a classic Northern Irish traybake consisting of biscuits, cherries, marshmallows, condensed milk, and coconut. They’re delicious.

Let’s not forget the enticing Belfast bap fresh from a local bakery. Or perhaps an Ulster Fry is more to your taste? The possibilities are endless.

3. The friendly people – welcomed with a smile

Three people cheers with some pints outside Kelly's Cellars. The friendliness of locals is one of the arguments for picking Belfast over Dublin.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Tourism Northern Ireland

Due to its smaller size, Belfast is known for its warm welcomes and hospitality. If you choose to spend the weekend in Belfast, you can bet you’ll be met by the locals with open arms.

2. The bars – an easy one for a bar crawl

Four friends enjoy a laugh and some drinks in the Duke of York.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Tourism Northern Ireland; Brian Morrison

The buzz about Belfast might be quieter than that of Dublin, but that doesn’t mean the nightlife doesn’t pack a punch!

Because it’s a smaller city, you can explore the bar scene on foot with ease. The craic in Belfast really comes to life at the weekends, where you’ll see pints flowing, music playing all over the city, and a great atmosphere all around.

1. The gigs – home to some great venues

A packed Ulster Hall watch musicians performing on stage. The gigs are one of the arguments for picking Belfast over Dublin.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Tourism Ireland

If you are choosing between Dublin and Belfast, and you’re a fan of music, consider checking out a gig in Belfast over Dublin this time.

Belfast is home to some top-class music venues. They might be less renowned than Dublin’s, but from local DJs to world-famous acts, Belfast has had its fair share of incredible gigs both decades ago and in recent years.

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