Belfast’s BEST boozers: 10 must-visit Belfast PUBS for 2024

Look no further than our list of the best Belfast pubs you need to visit on your next trip.

Belfast’s best boozers: 10 must-visit Belfast pubs for 2024.

In recent years, Belfast has continued to play catch-up with rival nightlife scenes in other Irish cities and other cities in the UK.

However, the pub culture in the city certainly offers something for everyone.

Which pubs you visit when you come to Belfast will depend on personal preference, but these are the top ten Belfast pubs we recommend visiting in 2024.

Ireland Before You Die’s top tips for visiting Belfast’s pubs:

  • Belfast is a small city, so the best pubs can easily be explored across a day or two. As such, consider a bar crawl!
  • When visiting Belfast, try some local beers and whiskies that come out of Northern Ireland. For example, a pint of Harp lager or a dram of Bushmills!
  • If you are seeking a traditional live Irish music session in Belfast, consider visiting Maddens, The Points, Henry’s, or Kelly’s Cellars.
  • Tipping in pubs in Belfast is never expected, but it’s always appreciated!

10. Maddens – for amazing live trad music

A traditional Irish music session in Maddens.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Belfast TradFest

If you are searching for a cosy Irish pub where you can hear traditional Irish music throughout the week with pints at decent prices, then look no further than Maddens.

This is one of the must-visit Belfast pubs for 2024, where you’re guaranteed to see a live trad band jamming in the corner. Be warned, it gets very busy on the weekends, so you might have to stand!

Address: 74 Berry St, Belfast BT1 1FJ

9. Bullitt – DJs and cocktails

Two blurred people walk past the entrance to Bullitt, one of the best Belfast pubs.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Tourism Northern Ireland

Bullitt is a hotel in Belfast city centre that also features a popular, lively bar with an excellent beer garden.

This is the perfect spot to grab a cocktail and some food while a local DJ plays the soundtrack of your night.

Address: 40a Church Ln, Belfast BT1 4QN

8. The Ulster Sports Club – dance until the early hours

The empty interior of Ulster Sports Club.
Credit: Facebook/ Ulster Sports Club

If you’re looking for a great spot to dance to the tune of great DJs, local and further afield, the Ulster Sports Club is the spot for you.

Ulster Sports Club features a number of different bars, including the cosy front bar, the lively back bar, the upstairs nightclub, and the Out of Office microbrewery on the top floor.

Address: 96-98 High St, Belfast BT1 2BG

7. The Spaniard – one of the best Belfast pubs

A dog takes a drink of water at the Spaniard while others take photos. The Spaniard is one of the best Belfast pubs.
Credit: Instagram/ @spaniardbelfast

The Spaniard is a Belfast classic that has been around for years. On the weekends, this spot is very busy, and it’s more than likely that you won’t get a seat, so be prepared to stand for most of the night.

This pub is a popular spot amongst locals, so you get a real taste of Belfast pub life when visiting. 

Address: 3 Skipper St, Belfast BT1 2DZ

RELATED: Top 10 best DOG-FRIENDLY PUBS in Belfast.

6. The Duke of York – a picture-perfect pint

Credit: Instagram/ @social_stephen

Chances are you’ve seen the Belfast umbrellas whether you’ve been to the city or not, and The Duke of York is where you’ll find them!

The great thing about the Duke of York is that it’s a popular Belfast boozer among locals and visitors alike, so it’s always full of an eclectic mix of punters!

Out on the cobbled street, under the lights of the umbrellas, you’ll often find someone playing live music and people dancing the night away. The Duke of York is also super famous for the quirky interior décor.

Address: 7-11 Commercial Ct, Belfast BT1 2NB

EXPLORE THE AREA: Cathedral Quarter Belfast: best PUBS & RESTAURANTS (for 2023).

5. Kelly’s Cellars – a typical Irish pub

The exterior of Kelly's Cellars at twilight, with revellers drinking outside. Kelly's Cellars is one of the best Belfast pubs.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Tourism Northern Ireland

Built in 1720, Kelly’s Cellars is one of the oldest bars in Belfast, and it’s one pub where you’ll always have a great night.

Kelly’s is the epitome of a typical Irish pub, and when you step foot inside, you’ll know just what we mean. The bar is small and cosy on the inside and now has a brilliant sheltered beer garden out the front. 

This is one spot that is absolutely hiving on the weekends with lots of people, live music performances, and great craic.

Address: 30-32 Bank St, Belfast BT1 1HL

4. Bittles Bar – for the best pint of Guinness

20 pints of Guinness settling on the bar in Bittles.
Credit: Instagram/ @bittlesbar

Bittles Bar is a notorious Belfast haunt known for its unusual ‘flat-iron’ shape and less-than-typical management style (if you know, you know).

However, it’s also known for serving up some of the best pints of Guinness in the city and, indeed, the country. Be warned, though, if you don’t like or drink Guinness, this might not be the spot for you!

Address: 70 Upper Church Ln, Belfast BT1 4QL

3. Union Street – one of the best gay bars in Belfast

The disco ball reflecting light in Union Street, one of the best Belfast pubs.
Credit: Instagram/ @mradam238

Belfast has a limited number of gay bars, but most of them are worth visiting. The best of the bunch, for us, is Union Street.

From live drag karaoke nights to cabaret, pub quizzes, and more, you are ALWAYS guaranteed a great night with friendly faces at Union Street.

Address: 8-14 Union St, Belfast BT1 2JF

MORE ON THIS: The 5 best gay bars in Belfast for 2024.

2. Bootleggers – for great food and cocktails

A burger and a cocktail at Bootleggers.
Credit: Instagram/ @bootleggersbelfast

Serving up delicious grub with a great vegan and vegetarian menu and some of the best cocktails in the city, Bootleggers is a popular spot to grab a bite to eat and some cocktails earlier in your night out in Belfast.

Address: 46 Church Ln, Belfast BT1 4QN

1. The Sunflower Bar – a local favourite

People drinking and eating pizza at the Sunflower, one of the best Belfast pubs.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Tourism Northern Ireland

Our favourite pub to recommend visiting in Belfast is the Sunflower Bar. It’s small, but it’s got a lot of heart and is a favourite among locals and visitors alike.

Don’t be alarmed – the Sunflower does not serve Guinness, or any typical draught beers for that matter, like Harp or Hophouse. Rather, the pub exclusively serves a range of more local beers on tap.

From the sunny beer garden to the chances of hearing a music session or two, definitely take a visit to the Sunflower Bar on your trip to Belfast this year.

Address: 65 Union St, Belfast BT1 2JG

Notable mentions

A bartender pouring a pint at the John Hewitt.
Credit: Instagram/ @thejohnhewitt

The John Hewitt: A great Belfast local where you can expect great beer and live music, the John Hewitt deserves a notable mention when it comes to the best Belfast bars.

The Harp Bar: Located in the bustling Belfast Cathedral Quarter, the Harp Bar is adorned with antique furniture and Irish memorabilia.

The Dirty Onion: A dog-friendly pub in the city, the Dirty Onion is another popular spot where you can expect regular live music.

The National: The National is always busy on the weekends in Belfast and is particularly suited for a younger crowd. You can expect live music and pints flowing throughout the week.

Your questions answered about Belfast pubs

Have you still got questions? Read on! In this section, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions by our readers and in online searches. 

The exterior of the Dirty Onion, one of the best Belfast pubs.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Tourism Northern Ireland; Brian Morrison

What is the oldest pub in Belfast?

The oldest pub in Belfast is Whites Tavern, first opened in 1630.

What is the most well-known pub in Belfast?

The most well-known pub in Belfast is probably the Crown Bar, or the Crown Liquor Saloon, as it is formally known.

What drink is Belfast famous for?

Belfast is home to many alcohol brands like Boundary Brewing, McConnell’s Irish Whisky, and the craft beers and ales of Bullhouse East.

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