Are you trying to choose where is best to visit first between Ireland’s capitals cities; Dublin or Belfast? ConnollyCove is here to help break down what each city has to offer, so you can make the best decision for you.

Both Dublin and Belfast are very unique places in their own right, and will, of course, attract different people. ConnollyCove has spent time in both Irish cities, so we will give you an honest look at what each city has to offer from attractions, which is the cheapest, best architecture and best city to enjoy food because that is very important.


Dublin or Belfast: Which is the Cheapest City?

One of the biggest factors in deciding which city you should visit is how much it will cost you there. Belfast is by far a much cheaper city to visit than Dublin, one uses sterling and the other uses euros. Prices in Dublin when it comes to accommodation, eating out and visiting attractions are definitely way more expensive, whereas, in Belfast, its cheaper and you get more for your money which is really what you want.

You can’t come to Ireland without enjoying a pint of Guinness, which is also a lot cheaper in the Belfast city centre pubs than Dublin; where you’ll sometimes be paying above the odds. Picking between Dublin or Belfast when it comes to money; you have to go with Belfast.

Dublin or Belfast: Where has the Best Attractions

Two incredible cities when it comes to tourist attractions, you’ll not be short of finding something to do in each. Both Dublin and Belfast are built on heritage, culture and history: where every corner you turn there will be a fascinating story to dive deeper into.

Dublin’s biggest tourist attraction is The Guinness Storehouse, which has played a huge part in Irish History. Guinness has become one of the most iconic symbols of Ireland and nothing is more authentic than visiting the home of where the world renown Guinness beer was created.

The Guinness Storehouse is an exceptional tourist attraction in Dublin, where you’ll be taken on a journey to learn about the famous black stuff through a variety of multimedia exhibitions that is completed with a refreshing drink in its 360′ gravity bar.

It’s no surprise that the biggest tourist attraction in Belfast is the Titanic Visitor Museum, dedicated to telling the remarkable story of the RMS Titanic Ship which was designed, built and launched off the shores in Belfast.

The Titanic Museum has won many awards and has been hailed as the “biggest Titanic visitor experience in the world”. Not only is it a tribute to the Titanic but the amazing maritime history in Belfast.

Similar to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, the Titanic Museum takes you on a journey through an interactive gallery, bringing to life the unforgettable Titanic story that has captivated many hearts around the world with its tragic ending.

If we had to choose between Dublin or Belfast, when it comes to attractions, we think Dublin wins this round. The Guinness Storehouse is one of the best tours provided in Ireland, and as Dublin is much bigger than Belfast, there is so much more to see and do. You could spend a week in Dublin and still find plenty to enjoy.

Dublin seems to have more renown tourist attractions that include the Book of Kells located in Trinity College, the Famous Kilmainham Goal and Phoenix Park; which is also home to a great zoo.

Dublin or Belfast: Wheres Best to Eat?

The amazing Irish food scene in both cities is growing and each place offers you a different experience for you to enjoy. The food scene in Belfast is renown for using the best of local produce, with a lot of new restaurants and hotels emerging in Belfast has seen the food scene really taken off. One of the best things about Belfast, when it comes to food is St. Georges Market, offering a variety of amazing food to enjoy. A trip to the market on a Sunday for some breakfast can’t be missed.

Another great thing to love about Belfast is that most of its great restaurants are all located in the one area, the historic Cathedral Quarter. Home to the awarding winning restaurants that offer a contemporary twist on Irish cuisines as well as your typical pub grub.

Now Dublin is a whole other ball game with it comes to the food scenes, a place with a wealth of restaurants that combine traditional treats with cutting edge cuisines. Street food has really taken off in Dublin, the Temple Bar Food Market, held every Saturday in the city is not to be passed by. It is a foodies paradise offering a wide range of delicious food for you to try.

You’ll find every type of food and style in Dublin city which can be very overwhelming at times. When it comes to the food scene in both places, Belfast is the place to be, a small city that is packed with great restaurants and cafes on every corner.

Dublin or Belfast: Which city has the Best Architecture?

Belfast and Dublin are home to some remarkable historic and cultural buildings with incredible architecture that will make you stop in your tracks. First, let’s start with Dublin, if you want to visit just for the architecture alone, Dublin will not disappoint. One of its rich architectural sites is Trinity College, offering a variety of design styles such as its neoclassical old library. The library is one of the most impressive libraries you’ll ever see as if it came straight out of a movie set.

Dublin Castle is also a stunning site that will surely capture your attention with its 13th-century design. Another fine example of neo-classical architecture is the historic customs house in Dublin. There is a lot of Georgian styles houses and buildings in Dublin that take you back in time, giving you a glimpse into the life of Georgian Dublin.

Belfast also isn’t short of brilliant architectural designs, located in the heart of the City you’ll find the beautiful City Hall Belfast. Filled with a fascinating history but its design both inside and out will truly blow you away. Then there is the unique design of the Titanic Museum which stands out dramatically in the Titanic Quater. Many tourist love to get photos in front of the building, it has quickly become an iconic part of the Belfast landscape.

The architecture found in both cities will leave you amazed but we feel Dublin takes the lead on this one, the city has brought to life some unique designs that you won’t quickly forget.


Dublin or Belfast: The Final Decision

Dublin and Belfast are two popular destinations, with more to offer you than you could ever imagine. Each Irish city offers its own unique story to uncover. You’ll be captivated by the culture and history found in both, making it hard to decide where to visit first, but we think Belfast in the last couple of years, has really proved itself as a great tourist destination.

Home to the award-winning Titanic Museum and the filming locations of Game of Thrones series have helped take the city by storm. More than ever, people are choosing to visit Belfast over Dublin and we certainly agree. However, that doesn’t mean you should forget about Dublin completely, as its still a wonderful Irish city that will capture your heart on any visit.

Where would you rather visit Dublin or Belfast? Share what you love about each city in the comments below.


More blogs you might enjoy:

Famous Bars in Ireland – The Best Traditional Irish Pubs| Arthur Guinness: The Man Behind the World’s Most Famous Beer| Reasons to visit Ireland; From Medieval Castle’s to Enchanting Landscapes


  1. Nice article!

    Just one question. When you take exchange rates into account, wouldn’t Dublin be cheaper overall? As of right now (November 2019), from the US, 1 Pound Sterling is worth $1.29 while 1 Euro is worth just $1.12. That makes a big difference. A 900 GBP hotel stay would be $1164 while a 1000 Euro hotel stay would be $1117. The Dublin stay (Euro), even at 100 Euro more, is actually less when the exchange rate is factored in.

    • Hi John,

      Thank you for your comment and we’re glad you enjoyed our article!

      In regards to the exchange rate, the market is rather unstable for the pound due to current political events in Europe. The exchange rate will thus fluctuate accordingly. Another thing to note is that, whilst there might be some great deals in accommodation, activities and shopping will be more expensive than in Belfast. You will even notice a considerable difference when you’re out for dinner in regards to price. We hope this helps!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here