It is impossible to feel the cultural traditions of Belfast without immersing yourself in the atmosphere of an authentic Irish pub. The local custom of making friends and solving business issues over a glass of ale has a historical background. A massive exploratory adventure awaits you, so make it with pleasure!
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In Ireland, the brewing culture began long before our era, thanks to the Celts, who used barley as a raw. Production of hop beer started in the 18th century. Soon, local stout and lager gained wide fame. Despite the geopolitical ups and downs, Northern Ireland’s beer tastes stay unchanged, retaining their unique charm. Read on to find the best traditional pubs and see for yourself!
The Errigle Inn
Situated near the centre of Belfast, this hotel offers five bars with a wide range of spirits and delicious traditional food. The menu offers seasonal variety, and craft beer includes over 20 sorts. The unique Lancer beer dispensing system allows for the perfect serving of drinks. It also helps to maintain optimal taste and temperature. The foamy drink can be enjoyed from the outdoor rooftop terrace or in an authentic interior.
What is the entertainment like in a genuine Irish pub? You guessed it – live traditional music and sports! The Errigle Inn is famous for its excellent music performances from talented Irish artists. Don’t knock over your pint when you start dancing! Also, be prepared for live broadcasts of football matches or horse racing on sports days (and strong emotions from visitors).
Hold your breath: this establishment is likely the oldest family pub in the country! The family name is an essential characteristic of traditional Irish pubs in Belfast, which is rare today. Lavery’s Belfast has been delighting guests with quality beer for over a century, and the family tradition is still passed down. The pub creates an atmosphere of one of the most authentic Belfast pub experiences.
With seven premium beers on tap and a selection of craft ciders to complement a hearty dinner, it’s the perfect start to a great evening. Find a location to suit your tastes among:
- a swimming pool,
- roof terrace and
- beer gardens with magical lighting.
You can find the site in the Queen’s Quarter of Belfast. The huge Lavery’s Belfast building also houses two traditional restaurants. Entertainment options include live music and billiards.
Belfast’s oldest establishment was founded in the early 18th century and served for a long time as a warehouse for spirits. A traditional pub located in the city centre and witnessing pivotal historical events! According to legend, Kelly’s Cellars was a negotiating point for rebels from the United Irishmen movement.
The past hovers around the pub, spinning through photographic frames and whistling from the crevices of oak barrels in dark corners. After sipping on a locally-served Guinness, the setting will resemble the ambience of a rabbit hole from Alice in Wonderland. Fun fact: until the 60s of the last century, unaccompanied women were prohibited from entering.
The pub is known for its lively musical evenings. In summer, musicians entertain guests in the beautiful garden on site. Live streaming of sporting events is also available. Please note that the pub does not provide food. As an exception, sometimes you can find Irish stew as an appetiser. You can find Kelly’s Cellars in the city centre on Bank Street.
The Dirty Onion
The Dirty Onion in the Cathedral Quarter is on Belfast’s best pubs list, although it opened just in 2013. The establishment is located in one of the oldest buildings in Belfast and skillfully follows the canon of Irish hospitality. The style has changed since the late 17th century. However, the building remained ominously hanging ceilings and brick walls. At the beginning of the last century, the building was a warehouse. In memory of this time, only the letter N on the facade has been preserved… But it is only the material aspect; old connections also remain in partnership with Jameson Irish Whiskey.
This pub has enchanting instrumental music from some of Northern Ireland’s finest performers. Experience the culture of authentic Irish bars in Belfast thanks to:
- free master classes on Bodhrán,
- historical references in the setting,
- the taste of traditional craft beer or a glass of the best whiskey in the city (and aromatic grilled chicken for a snack),
- relaxed atmosphere and Irish fun (craic – this is how locals experienced in entertainment mean it),
- access an authentic pub every evening (7 days a week).
Pub visits are essential to immersing yourself in Belfast culture. The oldest buildings in the city, with the careful help of family traditions, create the Irish pub charm in Northern Ireland. In addition to craft beers and other Irish-inspired spirits, you’ll enjoy music concerts featuring the unique sounds of traditional instruments.
Make your trip easier by finding great deals on car rentals in the United Kingdom. Feel free to include the pubs from the list above in your bar crawl plan and fall in love with Belfast in all its forms!