With world class attractions, food and drink, Belfast is perfect for a weekend getaway. And as one of the primary filming locations for the HBO hit series Game of Thrones, it’s an ideal destination for Thrones-lovers to get their fix of TV trivia.
Take a sightseeing tour to explore the rolling hills and medieval castles across Northern Ireland that became the stage for the Seven Kingdoms; or wander through Titanic Quarter, home to the studios where some of the most iconic scenes were filmed. Between your adventures stop for an ale in a traditional pub and feast in one of city’s many restaurants.
Belfast is easy to get to. It’s two hours from Dublin by car, bus or train and you can fly from over 20 airports in Great Britain, with flights from London taking just one hour and 20 minutes.
7 pm – Dinner
From there, wander to one of Belfast city centre’s many restaurants. Deanes Meat Locker has a meat-driven menu featuring prime steaks; while Mourne Seafood Bar serves fresh local fish and shellfish
Or go to Buba for Eastern Mediterranean or EDŌ for fusion cuisine; both have tapas style dishes for feast-style sharing. Muddlers Club boasts delicious tasting menus in a cool atmosphere, with an open kitchen that adds a sense of theatre.
9pm – Cathedral Quarter Bars
After dinner delve into the Cathedral Quarter, a labyrinth of cobblestoned alleyways full of lively pubs and bars.
Visit The Dark Horse café and bar (open late on weekends), where you’ll find one of the famous Game of Thrones doors. Crafted from fallen trees from the Dark Hedges (King’s Road), the ten doors dotted around Northern Ireland represent different aspects of the series. The door at The Dark Horse celebrates the filming that took place in Belfast.
Then, go to the Dirty Onion housed in Belfast’s oldest building, or the Duke of York for traditional Belfast craic.
8am - Game of Thrones Sightseeing Tours
Book on to the Belfast Iron Islands and Giant’s Causeway Adventure with Game of Thrones Tours. After meeting your guide at Jury’s Inn, you’ll follow the rugged coastline to key filming locations including Cushendun Caves (Melisandra’s Cave), Ballintoy (the Iron Islands) and the Dark Hedges (King’s Road). The tour also stops at Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Giant’s Causeway.
Lunch is served in Fullerton Arms which boasts another of the Game of Thrones doors. And most importantly, you’ll be kitted out with Iron Island costumes and replica swords for the whole journey.
7.30pm – Dinner
Find hearty comfort food in the one of Belfast’s Italian restaurants. Villa Italia has an interior replicating an Italian neighbourhood; while Coppi has a modern feel and eclectic menu. Go to Little Wing Pizzeria for delicious Naples style pizza.
9.30pm – Beer Gardens
Finish the day with a craft beer in one of the Belfast’s beer gardens. The Bone Yard on Bedford St is a unique outdoor bar with food trucks and plenty of seating. Or visit Parlour Bar for DJs and a lively atmosphere.
9am – Breakfast
Start your day right with breakfast in the Great Room at the Merchant Hotel. The breakfast menu boasts locally sourced produce and continental or cooked.
11am – Winterfell Tours
Travel to Castle Ward for a day of sightseeing and Game of Thrones activities with Winterfell Tours. Located just 40 minutes from Belfast, the property was used as the setting of Winterfell in the hit TV series and boasts loads of things to do.
See where Bran fell from Winterfell Castle and venture into the Whispering Wood. Or take a lesson on the Winterfell archery range, where you can dress up in Stark costumes, learn to shoot an arrow and hear insider filming facts from the instructors. You can also take a cycling tour of the filming locations and even meet the dogs that played the Starks’ Direwolves.
2pm – Lunch and Inch Abbey
Drive to nearby Strangford for lunch in The Cuan, a family-run restaurant with a Game of Thrones banqueting menu (book ahead) and another of the famous Game of Thrones doors. On the way back to Belfast stop at Inch Abbey, the ruins of a monastic site used to film the Riverlands scenes where Robb Stark’s army waited at the Trident to cross.
6pm – Titanic Quarter
Finish your weekend in the city’s notorious Titanic Quarter. The studios where much of Game of Thrones was filmed over a 10-year period are next to Titanic Slipways, where Titanic stood before taking its maiden journey. Walk the maritime mile, frequented by the stars of the show during filming seasons, and indulge in a delicious meal in Titanic Hotel’s Wolf Grille or bar.
*This blog is independently operated by Visit Belfast. It is not sponsored, endorsed, or affiliated with HBO or anyone associated with ‘Game of Thrones’.