Updated On: March 10, 2022


Donegall Place and Royal Avenue in Belfast City Centre would be the main shopping area in the city. It is a historic pedestrian area that leads to the city hall and the main shopping centres of the city.

With Christmas getting closer and closer each day, it’s about time that we all get our last-minute shopping done and what better place to do so in than Donegall Place and Royal Avenue in Belfast.

The city of Belfast transforms into a winter wonderland during the holidays. So, it’s a great opportunity for exploration and a great deal of shopping!

One of Belfast’s most well-known locations is Royal Avenue in the Cathedral Quarter in the heart of Belfast, which has been the city’s main shopping thoroughfare since its establishment in the late 19th century.

It is home to the shopping complex Westfield CastleCourt. It begins from the Donegall Place junction with Castle Place and Castle Street, which is the hub of Belfast city centre, and runs north to the North Street crossing and angles northeast to the Donegall Street intersection continuing in a northeasterly direction as York Street.

Royal Avenue has many Victorian and Edwardian buildings, including the Belfast Central Library and the Haymarket Building, alongside the modern shopping complexes.

You could also head over to Donegall Place for a little fun and take a trip down the Giant Snow Slide or enjoy a wide range of food from the festive food trailers along the street. The pedestrian shopping streets converge on Donegall Square, where you can find the Titanic Memorial, which was erected in memory of the victims of its ill-fated maiden voyage.

The square is named after the Donegall family, and so was several of Belfast’s most famous streets, including Donegall Quay, Donegall Place, Donegall Road, Donegall Pass and Donegall Street.

History of Donegall Place

Royal Avenue was established in 1881. Since then, it has become Belfast’s principal shopping thoroughfare, and today it is lined with major department stores and big brand shops.

The city’s most prestigious and elegant hotel, the Grand Central Hotel, was on the street before it was demolished in the late 1980s to make room for the £40 million shopping complex, Westfield CastleCourt.

The hotel, which first opened in 1893, became the “social hub of Belfast” and provided a temporary home for many illustrious guests, including King Leopold III of Belgium, Sir Winston Churchill, Gene Autry, Bob Hope, The Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. In 1971, it was converted into a fortified military barracks serving as battalion headquarters for regiments in the British Army that were based in Belfast city centre.

The area was hit by bombs during the Belfast Blitz when the German Luftwaffe bombarded the city in 1941.


Royal Avenue Now

Royal Avenue houses many shops and major department stores that attract numerous shoppers on a daily basis. This includes branches of big brands, such as Primark, Tesco, H&M, and Schuh. The Westfield CastleCourt also hosts 69 stores, including Gap, Debenhams, Burton and Argos.

The street can also be seen in movies as it has been used to film many scenes in the 2011 comedy film Killing Bono to recreate Dublin as it appeared in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

So, if you’re ever in Belfast then make sure to pay a visit to Donegall Place and Royal Avenue, spend some time browsing through the shops and sampling the tasty local cuisine for an unforgettable experience.

Nearby Attractions

Cathedral Quarter

Taking its name from St. Anne’s Cathedral, the Cathedral Quarter is home to a bustling culture and arts scene, cosy pubs, underground music venues and a host of contemporary restaurants.

The Cathedral Quarter in Belfast is a developing area of the city. It also contains the former “Little Italy” area. The Cathedral Quarter extends out to the old merchant quarter of the city.

St Anne’s Cathedral lies right in the centre of the Cathedral Quarter. St. Anne’s or Belfast Cathedral is a Church of Ireland cathedral.

The Cathedral Quarter was the centre of Belfast’s trade and warehousing district, where the linen and shipbuilding industries were based. The quarter features some of Belfast’s oldest buildings and thoroughfares.

Ormeau Park

Ormeau Park is perhaps the oldest public park in the city of Belfast, Northern Ireland. It is also one of the largest and busiest parks in the city and is considered to be a popular sports venue, providing numerous facilities located in the Ormeau Park Playing Fields including soccer pitches, bowling greens and pavilions, a BMX track, in addition to basketball and tennis courts. The park also has a children’s playground.

The park has since been used for more events including the Belfast City Marathon and Belsonic, which is one of two main Belfast music festivals.

It is also popular among walkers and joggers alike and has a range of eco trails and orienteering routes.

Have you ever visited Belfast City Centre for shopping? The shopping hub of Belfast. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Other great places to visit for shopping: Grafton Street Dublin, Ireland | Shopping in Ireland | M&M World London | Camden Town Market | St. Georges Market Belfast

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