Last week I headed to Belfast for a couple of days. Eoghan had booked a few days off work which I was able to align my days off with. We wanted to go somewhere and with Christmas coming, we thought why not head to Belfast for the markets?
We stayed in the Ibis on University street. This was my third time to stay with Ibis when visiting Belfast. Normally the one in the city centre, but this one was still such a good location. It was walking distance of the city centre (although after 6 journeys in and out, you might want to catch a taxi!). It was so affordable, which is why I always choose it. We’re the kind of people that would rather stay somewhere comfortable and affordable so we can spend more money elsewhere. Like on food for me! I was also so please to see that Ibis are doing their bit to reduce their plastic waste. In the room there was a tea tray, but the spoon was wooden. Little changes like this can go a long way!
We arrived on a Wednesday night and my first thought was “Dinner”. My favourite cuisine is Mexican and somehow, I’ve never been to a boojum before. Almost like an act of fate, there was a boojum just around the corner from the hotel! Didn’t I say it was a great location?! Sure I had to go! And I was thoroughly impressed. Mmmmm chicken burrito. I was so happy with it that I ended having another over our stay.
After filling ourselves, a walk into the city was needed. The markets looked beautiful and the city hall was lit up. We decided to leave the markets until the next day and just walked around the streets looking at the lights and taking some pictures.
Victoria’s square decorations are next level. There must have been 50 christmas trees in that place!! After a bit of a look around, we headed back to the room.
Being back at work has me on a semi normal sleep schedule again. Normally Eoghan would be dragging me out of bed at 11am. However I was out of bed and ready to go by 9.30! We had so much time to explore! We went to Conors Café for breakfast, which looked soooo quaint and beautiful outside. It reminded me of Stuart Little’s house. The way it was sandwiched between two buildings. And the food was delicious.
Afterwards we took a stroll through the Botanical gardens. I got way too excited over the squirrels scurrying around the trees and we went through the amazing greenhouse.
Then it was into the city for some Christmas shopping and photo taking. As usual I picked up a few things for friends and family that I knew they’d love. Also picked up one or two things myself but sure you’ll have that! Eoghan didn’t pick up anything ha. We also found the most christmassy lane in belfast.
It was absolutely baltic so after a few hours walking around and a hot chocolate/coffee later we decided to go back to the room for some chill time before the markets. A hot shower and nap later we were revived and good to go.
The atmosphere was great. First thing we wanted was to get food. We had a walk around to see what was on offer. Luckily for me, Eoghan doesn’t care about food.. whereas food is my life. I could see a cabin in the distance with mac n cheese over It so I bee-lined! It was absolutely delicious!! You could get two toppings and it ranged from the usual breadcrumbs and rasher, to crushed nachos. My tummy was so happy. We had a desert of churros and then a stein to wash it all down. The beer tent was absolutely wedged but I spotted a free space at a table for us. The first thing I did was open my jeans because the bloating was real. Getting up to leave, there was an awkward moment where the woman next to me watched me try and wrench my zip up again.
I never normally buy anything at Christmas markets except food. This time last year me and my friend Maria were at the Belfast markets. We spotted a cabin called OutsideIn. Always on adventures we love bobble hats to keep us warm. Always looking for any excuse to ad to the collection. Inside this cabin they had so many beautifully coloured bobble hats. They were so thick and had a fleece lining. Talking to the staff we learned that with every hat purchased, one also goes to someone homeless. It is such a lovely idea so we both bought a hat, and it is my favourite hat I’ve ever owned. This year when I heard they were at the markets again, I knew I’d be picking one up. Only half an hour of buying mine we saw on their Instagram that some lowlife had robbed them. Eoghan decided to go back and buy another and gave them €20 extra, what a cutie.
A long the walk home we stopped at Pug Uglies for some pints. There was a guy playing and he was brilliant. We had a nice time there and then headed back.
Friday was our last day. We ate and had a quick last look around.
Unsure what to do, we headed out to Belfast castle. We are not really city people and don’t know what to do with ourselves once we’ve walked around a bit so it was nice to get out of the business. I just could not hack the cold though. The winds were so bitter and it started hail stoning. We had a little walk in the gardens and then took refuge in the car again. There was time for one last Boojum and then we headed home our separate ways again.
I absolutely love Belfast. I like how things are quite close together and within walking distance. The buildings are beautiful and there’s lots to see. I love our trips together and that was our first in a while. I had loads of blog post ideas for this trip and had loads of shots I wanted to get. It turns out I was enjoying myself way too much to remember to get them. I don’t think that’s a bad complaint though!
To see my other photo diaries from trips click here.