Explore the Best Bars in Belfast: 8 Bars to Visit in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Best Bars in Belfast

Updated On: April 16, 2024 by   Ciaran ConnollyCiaran Connolly

One thing about Belfast is that visiting here is never short of unique bars. The bars are unique to the city’s culture, full of history, have a great atmosphere, and serve incredible drinks. You’ll find a mix of old traditional bars and more modern, stylish ones to suit whatever mood you are in. Belfast also has some great beer gardens that are a great spot when the Irish sunshine comes out.

Best Bars in Belfast – Northern Ireland – Belfast Cocktails

Here Are The Best Bars to Visit in Belfast

Best Bars in Belfast

Bootleggers: First Choice of the Best Bars in Belfast

Our first stop—and recommendation—is the Bootleggers, located in the heart of Belfast City Centre and Cathedral Quarter. This place is considered a nod to the 1920s days of prohibition in the USA when alcohol was outlawed there. The barman at the Bootleggers showed us two different cocktails: the America F*** Yea and Pear with Me. Bootleggers offer a fantastic cocktail list, with whiskey cocktails being their speciality. Come down to give them a try.

The Spaniard: Don’t Miss Out on Their Great Cocktails

The next stop to explore the best bars in Belfast was at The Spaniard, located in the Cathedral Quarter in Skipper Street. It is said to have been given this name because Spanish sailors used to come to this place – but who knows? It’s a small bar full of heart and has a great selection of rum. Throughout the year, you will find some great live acts performed here and other events, such as cinema-themed evenings that are always a hit.

While we were here, we tried a drink called the Dark and Stormy cocktail, which we got to prepare ourselves. We must say that it was easy to make and tasted very good. We recommend asking for this cocktail when you visit the Spaniard.

Kelly Cellars: Traditional Irish Pub

Third on the list of the best bars in Belfast is Kelly’s Cellars, a traditional Irish pub famous for serving Guinness. It’s one of the oldest bars in Belfast, full of traditional values and culture. The bar is always popular with locals and tourists, and you don’t want to get a pint of Guinness anywhere else in Belfast. It also offers a great outside seating area, usually packed on any night.

Muriel’s: Where You’ll Find The Best Selection of Gin

The next on the best bars in Belfast list is Muriel’s Cafe Bar, a fantastic place for speciality gins. Inside this bar, we got the chance to see the barman prepare two of its famous cocktails. Known as Brockman & Elderflower Martini and the Espresso Martini, we were amazed by how quickly and efficiently they were prepared and how great they tasted. Muriel’s is a cool hipster bar that is uniquely decorated throughout. We highly recommend visiting this bar because of its friendly and welcoming staff and the mix of traditional and modern styles.

Duke Of York: Largest Selection of Whiskies 

Duke of York, Best Bars in Belfast

Our trip to explore the best bars in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is not over because we have yet to visit others, such as The Duke of York, also found in the Cathedral Quarter. The Duke of York is mainly known for its whiskies, which have the largest selection in all of Ireland.

This place has a whiskey shop around the corner, and we tried the whiskey known as “A Friend of Hand.” We tried it neat, but there are other ways that people might prefer to drink it. You will find a secret behind those whiskeys, but you’ll have to visit.

The Harp Bar: Great Pint of Guinness

The Harp Bar was another place we went to and where we got to see how they pour the perfect Guinness. The barman said there are four different steps. One is choosing the right glass and pouring the Guinness while the glass is at 45 degrees. Second, wait until the Guinness is all in the same colour. Thirdly, top it until the Guinness is one mm above the glass. Finally, one will have to wait until it is all black before drinking it; that’s what they call the perfect Guinness.

One of the best bars in Belfast, Harp Bar is also a great place to check out some live music on its two floors. It has hosted famous faces such as Van Morrison. This pub is full of Belfast spirit, and you’ll feel welcomed when you enter the door.

The Dirty Onion:  Located in Belfast’s Oldest Building 

Dirty Onion Pub: One of Belfast’s Old Timber Frame Buildings

The Dirty Union is the next bar on this long list of the best bars in Belfast, located in Belfast’s oldest building. This bar is fantastic and different because it has a big outdoor garden, a bar, and a restaurant, so all your needs are in one place. The beer garden is also famous during summer, and some live music helps create a fun atmosphere. This bar also offers a splendid drink selection, including great whiskeys and beers that you can enjoy.

The Perch: The Perfect Rooftop Bar:

The last stop on this trip to visit the best bars in Belfast was The Perch rooftop bar, one of the few bars in Belfast. The Perch is famous for its speciality cocktails; we have tried their Espresso Martini, which you must also try—we promise it is worth it! It’s a 1920s-style bar that’s cool and inviting. The Perch Rooftop bar is the best place to spend a hot summer day, where you can see amazing views over the city.

We have to say that we are spoiled here in Belfast regarding bars! So many great bars, from traditional Irish pubs to modern bars, beer gardens, and so much more. What is your favourite bar in Belfast? Or, if you haven’t been to Belfast yet, is there a bar we visited that you would like to drink in? We would love to know 🙂

If you’ve enjoyed reading about the Best Bars in Belfast, there are similar blogs you may want to check out: Best Cafe’s In BelfastBest restaurants In Belfast, Cocktail Class in Belfast, The Ultimate guide to Things to do in Belfast.

If you are more interested in visiting tourist attractions other than the best bars in Belfast, such as historical places in Belfast check out some of our previous blogs – Best Tours in Belfast, Peace Walls Belfast, Botanic Gardens, St. Anne’s Cathedral, Game of Thrones Tapestry, SS Nomadic, Titanic Museum

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