Belfast Telegraph

The Ultimate Weekend with Belfast International Arts Festival

To fully immerse yourself in this year’s festival happening 16th October – 3 November, we’ve put together an itinerary for the ultimate weekend in Belfast.

Lonely Planet’s Number One Destination to Visit 2018, how much of your own city have you explored? With so much happening it’s time to experience all that Belfast has to offer...

With over 120 events happening in over 28 venues there is a lot to choose from so you won’t have a problem filling the weekend!


After breakfast and a coffee at Established meet a blue badge guide for a cultural walking tour. Choose between a tour of the Linen Quarter, Cathedral Quarter or City and let the guides tell you some things you didn’t know about our vibrant city.

Starving?  Lunch it is.

Opposite the steps of St Anne’s Cathedral you’ll find the Curated Kitchen, serving brunch, lunch & coffee for the social & curious their weekly menus are curated from cookbooks they love so your taste buds will never be disappointed.


Time to mosey round some of the many free exhibitions which will take you to some of Belfast’s most beautiful and iconic buildings. Choose from Faces of Belfast at Visit Belfast Welcome Centre, RUA at the Ulster Museum, Yummertime in Queen’s University’s Naughton Gallery, Poetry Jukebox at Crescent Arts Centre, Open House Festival in various venues across the capital or Neil Shawcross’s fantastic new exhibition Writers of Belfast in Titanic Belfast.

Pre-Theatre Feed

Time for some wine (and dinner) to set you up pre show.  With plays happening in The Lyric, The MAC and the Grand Opera House there are lots of great restaurants offering affordable and delicious pre-theatre menus including Deanes Deli, House of Zen and Robinsons bistro. At St Anne’s square, home to the MAC you will be spoilt for choice with Coppi, Bubba and Salt Bistro.

Show Time

Lyric Theatre: Choose between Marie Jone’s brand new play Dear Arabella or Double Cross set in World War Two’s propaganda battle.

The MAC: Critically acclaimed Nina – A Story About Me and Nina Simone is a soaring and soulful look at the life of Nina Simone, you can also catch Freak Show a humorous and dark theatre production with an Victorian circus theme, historical drama Gibraltar Strait or Lament for Art O’Leary featuring Paul Muldoon, Lisa Dwan and the Horslips.

Grand Opera House: Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo will bring tutus and testosterone to the stage. Established in New York, the all-male ballet troupe are now loved world-wide for their sassy spoofs and hilarious homages to classical ballet.

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One for the road

Not time for bed just yet, make sure you soak up the atmosphere of the Cathedral Quarter in the many bars until the wee hours.

A night of affordable luxury with Hastings Hotels

So you can really make the most of the weekend Hastings Hotels are offering an exclusive festival accommodation rate. Choose to stay in the world famous Europa or brand new Grand Central, both in the heart of Belfast city centre from just £95 B&B.  Simply quote promotion code ‘BIAF’ when booking.


Take it easy with a delicious Irish breakfast in the morning before heading to C.S. Lewis Square in East Belfast for a free heart-warming show all the way from Catalonia, Handle With Care. Pot Kettle Black in their quirky shipping container will sort you out with a great coffee after.

For a full list of what is happening during the festival and to book visit



From Belfast Telegraph

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