Northern Ireland’s capital of Belfast comes to life at night with live music, an electric pub culture, fabulous shows and even spooky ghost walks.
Sometimes a city only truly comes to life at night, and that’s certainly true of Belfast. As the street lamps start to glow, live music wafts from every pub doorway and the historic buildings light up. A wander around the twinkling streets is a magical experience in itself, but there are lots of other wonderful ways to spend an evening in Belfast. Whether you want to experience the local nightlife and pub culture, sip fancy cocktails in a glamorous setting, enjoy a night at the theatre or do something a bit unusual, we’ve got you covered with this list of the best things to do at night in Northern Ireland’s capital.
The Irish famously love their drink, especially whiskey. Do as the locals do and spend an evening touring the city’s best whiskey joints, enjoying a tipple or two… or three. Award-winning Taste & Tour offer a Belfast Whiskey Walk, which boasts “more whiskey than walking”. See the buzzing Cathedral Quarter as an Irish whiskey ambassador teaches you the art of drinking. It takes three hours, starting at 7pm at the Jaffe Memorial Fountain. The £60 ticket includes seven tipples and some nibbles. Private tours are available for groups.
To get merry at your own pace, Belfast’s trendy nightlife offers a wide range of venues. Head to the Cathedral Quarter’s the Duke of York, a local favourite for Guinness drinking. For something more historic and swanky, we recommend Crown Liquor Saloon on Great Victoria Street, its stained glass windows and ornate bar dates back to 1880. Once the lights go down, you won’t have to look far to find live music, modern or traditional. We like the Dirty Onion for Irish folk any night of the week.
When the moon comes out, so do Belfast’s ghosts! Enjoy a night of the paranormal with a ghost walk in this historic city. Voted the number one spooky tour, join the Northern Ireland Paranormal Research Association to search for spirits using electro-magnetic field detectors, in the 44ft-deep (13m) Titanic Dock and Pump House. It’s a famously haunted site so prepare for 90 minutes of terror.
For the best view of the city at night, head to the Dome in Victoria Square. The 360-degree panorama shows off the twinkling lights of Belfast and you can pick out the landmarks you visited that day. Entry is free and the dome closes later, 9pm rather than 6pm, on Thursday and Friday. Time it right and you can watch the sun set over the city, marvelling as the streets light up.
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