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Belfast has rid goodbye to its turbulent history and redefined itself as a hip place to take a city break. Artistic expression is still at the heart of city with huge street murals covering the walls and in no way is it trying to hide its past. Instead, it’s celebrating its resilience with its stellar museum offering and the plethora of new delectable restaurants, pubs serving craft beers and brunch spots offering Instagrammable latte art.
Belfast youth hostels are unique, colourful and offer an awesome social vibe that’s perfect for getting to know other solo travellers. They usually offer free Wi-Fi and breakfast, but look out for those that also put on fun nightly events in their communal areas. The range of properties may surprise you; there’s a restored 19th century building that’s kitted out with modern amenities like a games room, then there are luxury glamping pods with a cosy common area, plus just about everything in between.
Most youth hostels in Belfast are located quite close together in the leafy Queen’s Quarter, where you’ll find the Botanical Gardens and the regal Queen’s University. Not to mention some of Belfast’s most vibrant bars and pubs that’ll have you feeling the luck of the Irish. The city centre is packed with exciting attractions, such as the Belfast City Hall and the beautifully poignant Titanic Memorial Garden. Head to the west of the city to explore the Gaeltacht Quarter and learn about the Irish language, music and culture.
Belfast is pretty compact and most of it can be done on foot, but if you do need public transport, buses run regularly throughout the city and to and from the airport. If you are heading out to explore the neighbouring villages and coast, hire a car for unrivalled freedom. Or, if you don’t fancy tackling the cliff-hugging roads, book a guided bus tour from the Visit Belfast Visitor Centre.