Last weekend saw another bank holiday weekend which meant just one thing, I trip away. Working a normal Monday- Friday job I’ve learned how to maximize weekends and bank holidays for trips so me and my boyfriend decided to choose Belfast for this trip. We chose this particular city as we knew we wanted to do the Game of Thrones tour, but more on that later.
We had a pretty early flight on Saturday from Luton to Belfast International Airport, arriving around 830am. After a 20-minute taxi ride to the city centre we dropped our bags off at our hotel for the weekend and headed into the city to explore. Thankfully we had chosen a hotel which was right in the city centre, only about 5-minutes from the main shopping centre which was great. We opted to do the hop-on, hop-off bus on Saturday morning picking up the first bus at 10 am, this meant things weren’t too busy and we had the chance to get a good overview of Belfast without needing to walk too much as we had been up for hours at this point. The 90-minute round trip was really good and our live commentator was really informative and really funny which meant the trip went in a flash.
After we had done the whole trip we stopped for a quick lunch and then headed up the top floor of the Victoria Shopping Centre which has a glass dome viewing area to see out over the city. There’s barely any skyscrapers or tall buildings in Belfast, in fact, that largest building is 29 floors high and this rises above most things. The views were really nice over the city and thankfully we had lovely weather for it. We were starting to flag a little bit by the early afternoon so we pottered around a few shops before heading back to our hotel, the Malmaison to check in properly.
I have to say this is probably one of the best hotels I’ve stayed in, we chose the deluxe king room which is far nicer than anything I’d usually stay in, but a bit of luxury is always nice. I won’t talk too much about the hotel as I am going to do a separate post, but safe to say I’ll definitely be looking into their Edinburgh and Aberdeen hotels for my next trip away. We enjoyed a nice lazy afternoon including napping and TV watching because if you can’t relax on a bank holiday weekend you aren’t doing it right. For Saturday evening we had booked to go to a small restaurant called Acton and Sons and I am so glad we did as it’s up there in the top meals I’ve ever had, and probably the nicest meal me and my other half have had together. We had the full blown three courses including the most tender and perfectly cooked fillet steak and an amazing passion fruit daiquiri. If you’re heading to Belfast and want a nice meal then do head here as you won’t be disappointed.
Sunday started off early as we had an 8.45am pick up to head out on the Game of Thrones tour. One of the great things about going with the official tour providers is that all the guides are or have been extras on the show so they can give a bit more insight into what goes on and explain things you wouldn’t find on another tour or something self-guided. Expect a full blog post on this as there’s a lot to talk about but it was great to see some of the real sets and we even met two of the real direwolves from the show. I totally wanted to take one home with me.
As we’d done a lot of walking and exploring during the day and didn’t get back to the Belfast City Centre until 630pm we decided to just get a room service dinner that evening. It was lovely having a fancy silver tray service coming up to the room with yummy burgers. A great end to a great day.
Our final day was bank holiday Monday where we had a bit a lazy day including some shopping in the city centre and of course a visit to the Titanic Experience. I haven’t properly seen the movie (and have no desire to) but finding out more about the construction, the maiden voyage and it’s demise was fascinating especially the images of the wreckage. It’s such an errie thought knowing this happened only just over 100 years’ ago but also that the wreckage still exists at the bottom of the ocean. As late afternoon rolled in we requested an Uber and took our ride back to the airport for our short flight home.
The weekend was the perfect mixture of exploration and seeing a new city, but also relaxing and enjoying the bank holiday.