Recently recognised as ‘the best place to visit in 2018’ by Lonely Planet and esteemed by many other travel companies, Belfast has been quietly evolving into one of Europe’s most exciting cities to explore.
History fills the streets of the city centre, through well-preserved architecture, street art and as a result, has become a hub for restaurants, gorgeous hotels and also a hub for film and TV production, including the world-famous TV Show, Game of Thrones.
Belfast is also an excellent place for party-goers as it has some fantastic Beer Gardens attached to some of the city’s best bars. The city centre alone has at least 15 magnificent beer gardens. Because of the number of beer gardens and quality, we recognise Belfast as the Beer Garden Capital of Ireland!
To celebrate Belfast’s amazing Beer Gardens, we’ve written a list of the 12 best beer gardens, ordered in the order of a suggested bar crawl route, to make it easier for you to see most of them in one day. Just be sure to drink responsibly!
Start your tour of Belfast’s best beer gardens here at Laverys on Bradbury Place. We recommend you get some food here if you are going to check out a number of bars in one day. The burgers in Lavs’ are fantastic. After some grub along with a pint of water or two (rehydrate before you dehydrate!), go outside and then up the back stairs to the new beer garden. The area upstairs is excellent. It has a modern feel, cool artwork and an overall great atmosphere.
Address: 12-18 Bradbury Pl, Belfast BT7 1RS
2. Filthy McNastys
Moving onto the Dublin Road, you will find the popular venue Filthy McNastys. This place has been a favourite destination for under 25s for some years now. Usually packed at nighttime, during the daytime it is excellent for a chilled pint. The colourful ‘Secret Garden’ is always open for business in the sunshine!
Address: 45 Dublin Rd, Belfast BT2 7HD
3. The Perch
Opened just a few years ago, The Perch has become one of Belfast’s fanciest places for a cocktail. Located on the top floor of a building close to the Europa Hotel, you need to get in an old-fashioned lift to get to the top. The lift is old and can take some time but trust us; the wait is well worth it. The beer garden here is very colourful, and there is always a great atmosphere.
Address: 42 Franklin St, Belfast BT2 7GE
4. Café Parisien
Although this is a restaurant and also not a typical beer garden, the views from the outdoor balcony of Café Parisien are so good during a summer’s day that, this place had to be included. Please don’t let the restaurant label put you off going for a drink here, everyone is welcome to come here for a drink on the balcony area!
Address: Cleaver House, 56 Donegall Pl, Belfast BT1 5GA
5. Kelly’s Cellars
Moving on towards the central part of the city, you’ll come across Kelly’s Cellars. Kelly’s is one of the oldest and best bars in Belfast which has indeed stood the test of time. It is a favourite bar for both young and old. In recent years, the bar has created a beautiful beer garden in the open space outside the pub which has extended the capacity of the bar and made it a great place to go for a pint in the sun. There are loads of tables and seats, so you should have no problem sitting down in the sun most days.
Address: 30-32 Bank St, Belfast BT1 1HL
6. The Sunflower Pub
Not too far from Kelly’s is a local favourite, The Sunflower Pub. This historic boozer has changed over the years from a local pub to a modern, colourful, hip venue with amazing stonebaked pizzas served out the back which make it amazing. None of the beers are mainstream brands, so have a taste at some imports and grab a pizza to keep you going! Get a glass of water too at this point to keep you safe and hydrated.
Address: 65 Union St, Belfast BT1 2JG
7. The Duke of York
Move on from the Sunflower and head towards the Cathedral Quarter. At the heart of the Cathedral Quarter is The Duke of York, an old classic and probably Belfast’s most iconic pub. The outside area isn’t a typical beer garden as such, but it is a great place to have a pint with your friends and enjoy the excellent vibe.
Address: 7-11 Commercial Ct, Belfast BT1 2NB
8. The Dirty Onion
Just around the corner from The Duke of York is The Dirty Onion. The owners of this venue have refurbished one of Belfast’s oldest buildings and turned it into an authentic Irish pub with an excellent outdoor beer garden. Entertainment here is provided seven nights a week including some of the best traditional Irish music in town. Grab a pint and enjoy the buzz!
Address: 3 Hill St, Belfast BT1 2LA
9. The Thirsty Goat
Just next door from The Dirty Onion is The Thirsty Goat. Although this venue has only opened in the past year, it has already established itself as a favourite amount pint-drinkers. The outside beer garden of The Thirsty Goat has regular live music which is an excellent addition to the sunshine and the excellent beer on tap.
Address: 1 Hill St, Belfast BT1 2LA
10. The National Grande Cafe
The next location for our beer garden bar tour is The National which is just around the corner. This venue has established itself as one of the trendiest places to drink in Belfast in recent years. The beer garden here, located at the rear of the complex, is well-designed with wooden tables, beer kegs, artwork and excellent views of iconic buildings in the backdrop.
Address: 62 High St, Belfast BT1 2BE
11. Bullitt Hotel’s Downstairs Beer Garden
Not too far from The National is the newly opened Bullitt hotel. Just like the hotel, Bullitt’s beer garden couldn’t feel further removed from a typical hotel vibe. This excellent beer garden has become very popular with visitors and locals alike. The design and location of the beer garden are perfect as the windows of the hotel reflect the ideal amount of light into the beer garden.
Address: 40a Church Ln, Belfast BT1 4QN
Finally, make your way around the corner and upstairs to Babel, which is part of the Bullitt venue. We wouldn’t usually include two beer gardens owned by one company, but the two are so different and unique, it would be a shame to miss either. This is the 12th and final beer garden of our list and your potential tour of Belfast’s best beer gardens, and what a view! You can see the dome of Victoria Square to one side and the equally iconic Albert Clock to the other. Enjoy the views, the live music, the craic and your delicious drink!
Address: 70-74 Ann St, Belfast BT1 4QG
Other Notable Beer Gardens:
Not too far away from Kelly’s, on Gresham Street is Peaky Blinders Bar. Previously known as The Hudson, Peaky Blinders is a trendy bar located close to Castle Court Shopping Centre. The bar has a 1920s theme based on the Hit TV Show with the same name. The Beer Garden is a decent size and can be found from the main bar and also the entry on Royal Avenue.
Address: 14 Gresham St, Belfast BT1 1JN
Located next to Queens University, this quirky, 1930s-styled bar has been a favourite among students for many years. Recently, The Parlour has converted its smoking area into a lovely colourful beer garden which is the perfect place to enjoy a pint in the sunshine.
Address: 2-4 Elmwood Ave, Belfast BT9 6AY
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