A Local's Guide to Belfast

For a small city, Belfast has a lot to offer. Who better to ask what are the best things to do in Belfast than a local?


Jordan is a DJ, music producer and co-founder of The Night Institute in Belfast. The Night Institute is a weekly party at The Art Department, catering for the thirst for forward thinking electronic music in the city every Saturday.


Read on for Jordan's local guide to Belfast.

A Local's Guide to Belfast

"When someone comes to visit me in Belfast the first place I take them is the pub - obviously.


Sunflower Bar and The Bear & The Doll are current locals for the creative types and some of the more interesting bars you’ll find in the city.

Image: Facebook

Eating out in Belfast

Image: Facebook

I love the Mac Theatre in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter for coffee. It’s a creative hub and theatre and they do great coffee. Established Coffee is another popular shout for the more discerning coffee drinker.


If you're looking for somewhere to grab some breakfast I would recommend Pot Kettle Black in East Belfast.


It is a pop-up restaurant channeling London vibes. It’s located in a few shipping containers on the Newtownards Road and does the best brunch I’ve had in the city. 

Yugo is my personal favourite restaurant in Belfast - a true sign of the city moving in the right direction with a delicious Asian Fusion menu. Try the Son in Law Egg and the Crispy Dumplings. Beautiful ambience too.

Image: Facebook

Belfast culture

Check out Maverick Bar in the Queer Quarter on a Sunday evening for hilarious drag queens, friendly staff and great drink selections. If you can hack the place, their adjoining nightclub BOOMBOX keeps the fire burning through to 3am!


For music fans, Summer is great with the likes of AVA Festival and their Boiler Room stage, alongside more pop/rock offerings from Tennents Vital and Belsonic around the same months.

AVA Festival and Conference is coming up soon. Marking it’s fourth year in a brand new rave-ready warehouse location between 1st and 2nd of June, AVA 2018 is set to be an absolute BELTER!


This year they have Larry Heard aka Mr Fingers making his debut in Northern Ireland as well as Floorplan, Bicep, DVS1, Helena Hauff, Denis Sulta and Midland. Tickets here.

Before you visit Belfast

One piece of advice I'd give is to get out and into the city early – unfortunately our licensing laws dictate you can’t get a drink after 1am, a shame for those travelling for business or on group party holidays. 


For a good night out, try catching a show at the breath-taking Grand Opera House. Afterwards, call down the cobbled streets of the Cathedral Quarter to The Spaniard which is a haven for rum lovers.


End your night with us at The Art Department on a Saturday for all your clubbing needs.


Or if you're looking to save a few quid – Wetherspoons Monday club. Not even joking… 

Shopping in Belfast

The Victoria Square complex contains your staple diet of Topshop, Urban Outfitters, H&M etc. under one roof with brand names like All Saints, Calvin Klein & Remus Uomo also representing the higher price-tag market."


A huge thanks to Jordan for giving us his local guide to Belfast. You can check him out on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.


There's a lot to do in Northern Ireland's capital, so what are you waiting for? Get started on the best things to do in Belfast.


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- Seán Walsh