Choosing your next city? 10 arguments for picking BELFAST over LONDON

Want help with choosing your next city break? Then this article is for you. Here are ten arguments for picking Belfast over London.

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

This is not an article bashing London or telling you not to visit the English capital. London is a phenomenal and expansive city, which will always leave you wanting to go back after you leave.

However, if you are stuck on choosing your next city break, this article is for you. Here, we want to give you some solid reasons why picking Belfast over London might be the right choice.

History, prices, activities, and the people all have their part to play. Here are our ten arguments for picking Belfast over London.

10. Belfast is easier to explore on foot – getting about the city

A shot of the Belfast skyline at twilight.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Christoper Heaney North Harbour Productions

London is a huge city, spanning a total area of 1,572 sq. km (607 sq. mi), while Belfast is merely 115 sq. km (44 sq mi). Quite a difference!

But for a city break, this is what gives Belfast the nod. All of the main city centre attractions are within easy and short walking distance. If you are blessed with a warm and sunny day, this walk will be blissful.

9. Belfast’s unique cultural festivals – engaging its Irish and community culture

Crowds enjoying Belfast Mela Festival on Writers' Square. Belfast's unique cultural events are one of the arguments for picking Belfast over London.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ ArtsEkta; Carrie Davenport

Next up on our list of arguments for choosing Belfast over London is Belfast’s unique set of cultural festivals.

For example, Féile an Phobail, a festival in west Belfast engaging history, the Irish language, concerts, and more, is held every summer. Others include TradFest, the Belfast Film Festival, and the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.

8. Game of Thrones – homages to the show in Belfast

Tourists pose for photos beside on of the Game of Thrones-themed stained-glass windows in the Titanic Quarter.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Chris Hill Photographic

Filmed in Northern Ireland, Game of Thrones is one of the most popular TV series of recent times, and Belfast’s incredibly popular Game of Thrones-themed Glass of Thrones Trial is one of our best arguments for choosing Belfast over London.

The Glass of Thrones Trail follows the city’s Maritime Mile. There is also a studio tour in Banbridge, just 30 minutes outside of Belfast.

7. Ask the history buffs – exploring Belfast’s fascinating history

Next on our list of arguments for picking Belfast over London is its history. No doubt, London has a long history dating back to the Romans.

However, the Troubles conflict in Ireland between 1969 and 1998 affected Belfast deeply, while visitors are also enamoured with the Titanic Quarter and its expression of Belfast’s maritime history.

6. Lots of accessible green spaces – beautiful walks in the heart of the city

A view of Belfast from the top of Cave Hill at sunrise. Belfast's green spaces are one of the arguments for picking Belfast over London.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Tourism Northern Ireland

Another strength of Belfast is the green spaces it has. Ormeau Park and Botanic Gardens are fantastic for a peaceful walk at the weekend.

If you enjoy hiking, make your way up Cave Hill, where you will be greeted by panoramic views of Belfast!

5. Easy access to exploring nearby marvels – more than just the city

A shot of the water and the hexagonal basalt columns at the Giant's Causeway. Easy access to nearby marvels is one of the arguments for picking Belfast over London.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Tourism Ireland

With Ireland being such a small country, Belfast can act as a great base for exploring other parts of the island. Particularly close places include Hillsborough Castle and the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.

A bit further, no more than an hour or two away, will take you to Slieve Donard and the Mourne Mountains, the Giant’s Causeway, Lough Neagh, and the Dark Hedges.

4. Belfast locals are very friendly – a welcoming people

A group of friends toast with pints outside Kelly's Cellars.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Tourism Northern Ireland

The people of Belfast are notoriously friendly and welcoming! And this is one of our most potent arguments for picking Belfast over London.

Many a visitor will testify of the good memories they have of people from Belfast. They have stories to tell, are self-deprecating, and enjoy the craic.

3. Belfast’s café scene – one of the best arguments for choosing Belfast over London

Customers in the café (left) and a coffee (right) at Established Coffee. Belfast's café scene is one of the arguments for picking Belfast over London.
Credit: Facebook/ Established Coffee

Gentrification has proliferated in recent years. While there are many negative aspects of gentrification, one positive is the increase in trendy cafes.

There is no doubt that London boasts incredible cafes, but Belfast’s café scene is on another level. In the city centre, try Napoleon, Established, or Neighbourhood.

Head to District on the Lisburn Road, taste what’s on offer on the Ormeau Road, and head east towards Ballyhackamore and General Merchants on the Upper Newtownards Road.

2. Belfast’s bars and pubs – a cut above the rest

Customers enjoying a drink and conversation in the Sunflower's beer garden.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Tourism Northern Ireland

The Belfast pub and bar scene is incredible, with many people from Ireland and the UK choosing it for a night out these days. It is more localised, too, which makes this one of the best arguments for choosing Belfast over London.

The Cathedral Quarter has a litany of top-class bars. Other favourite spots include the Sunflower Bar, The Points, Filthy McNastys, Limelight, and more. It will make for a memorable night out.

1. Belfast is cheaper – always a key factor when picking a city break

A collection of sterling notes and coins. The relative cost of a trip to Belfast is one of the arguments for picking Belfast over London.
Credit: Pexels/ Alaur Rahman

Taking top spot on our list of arguments for choosing Belfast over London is that Belfast is cheaper!

Budgeting is often one of the key factors in choosing your next destination. It is said you will need between £60-95 a day to travel comfortably in London, compared with £40-£80 for Belfast.

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