Here’s our pick of Belfast’s top 9 city centre bars to be caught loitering in…

1. The Hudson Bar

Bar Hudson

The Hudson Bar

Opened in 2011, The Hudson Bar in Smithfield prides itself as a purveyors of whiskey, ale and disco. They’re right to be proud.

2. The Dirty Onion

Bar Dirty Onion

The Dirty Onion

One of Belfast’s oldest buildings in the Cathedral Quarter has been given a makeover as a traditional public house with a modern twist. But not so much of a makeover that you can’t bask in the glory of the city’s past. The stripped back facade makes it a must visit for outdoor drinkers.

3. Filthy McNastys

Bar Filthy McNastys

Filthy McNastys

The mix match furniture of Filthy McNastys, the quirky décor consisting of mannequins doubling as tall lamps and vintage vinyls adorning the walls create a unique charm which makes all walks of life feel welcome. But don’t worry about all of that, get outside and get yourself a pint in the awesome beer garden at this drinkers’ paradise on the Dublin Road.

4. 21 Social

Bar 21 Social

21 Social

Situated at the Potthouse building on the corner of Cathedral Quarter’s Hill Street and Waring Street, 21 Social offers three floors of exquisite libations, delectable eats and carefully curated sounds. You don’t have to be 21 or social to get in, but it helps.

5. The Spaniard

Bar Spaniard

The Spaniard

Space is at a premium, which adds to the exclusivity of this specialist rum bar in Skipper Street. Expect great tunes and don’t leave without having a go at Belfast’s most legendary dartboard.

6. Rita’s

Bar Ritas


One of the city’s newest and trendiest beer and cocktails bars, it’s located in the Linen Quarter, or for those who prefer more precise directions – Franklin Street, off Blackstaff Square.

7. Cloth Ear

Bar Cloth Ear

The Cloth Ear

The Cloth Ear is The Merchant Hotel’s comfortable public bar – combining modern and traditional design features with a healthy dose of eccentric touches – those in search of a moose should look no further.

8. The National

Bar The National

The National

Set in the former grounds of the former National Bank building on High Street, The National Grand Cafe Bar offers a taste of the continent in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. And it’s got a massive beer garden. Yeoooooooooo!!!

9. Aether & Echo

Bar Aether & Echo

Aether & Echo

Located at Lower Garfield Street, and combining the divinity of belle époque and the squalor of Irish charm, Aether and Echo boasts the remedy to all life’s ails. But don’t worry, they sell beer as well.



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