When I was doing a bit of Spring Cleaning in the house a number of weeks ago I came across 20 pounds sterling which was left over from my last trip to London. I decided to take my 20 pounds and go on a day trip to Belfast on a budget
The Challenge I set for myself was to not spend anything other than the 20 pounds I had. I did a bit of research before hand as to what activities I could do for free in Belfast City in order to get the most out of my 20 pounds. This 20 pounds does not include parking nor the cost of petrol/ bus fare to get to Belfast. There are regular train and bus services from Dublin. It takes approximately 90 minutes drive from Dublin to Belfast.
Lunch in Belfast on a Budget
I arrived in Belfast at around 12.30pm and went for a bit of food. For lunch came across this lovely pub called the Morning Star where for 6 pounds you could fill your plate with as much food as you could fit on it. I did get a weird combination of food (sausages, chicken drumsticks, lasagne, potatoes, vegetables, gravy, Yorkshire pudding etc) however it was quite tasty and for my limited budget it was going to keep me going for the day. They also had a full menu that you can order from the kitchen. I must say the food, in particular the steak looked amazing.
The Tourist Office
The one thing I love about travelling around Ireland is the tourist offices. If you are travelling to any part of the world more than likely you will be able to find out information on the internet. However I love the multiple official tourist offices in Ireland that will give you all the information on what the locality has to offer. Before I started on my excursions I went to the tourist office which was across the road from City Hall. They are really helpful and will provide free maps and information on the different activities available in the area.
My main goal was to go to the City Hall tour. This is a free tour however there are only a few slots throughout the day which you need to register for before hand. This was an excellent tour which gave information on how the government in Belfast was established and the strong connection between the City Hall and the Titanic. The tour in total took approximately 40 minutes.
Shopping in Belfast
After my trip around the City Hall I went into the shopping district which had lots of lovely shops with many high street brands. (Unfortunately due to my budget I was only able to window shop. However in the Victoria Square Shopping centre there was a stall selling mini cupcakes. I couldn’t resist and bought some tasty treats for later. The total of this came to 8.50. I even got a cute rose cupcake in a jar.
Linen Hall Library
I came across a lovely library which I was able to browse around. They often have free exhibitions which you can find out about on their website. Across from this there is also a bookshop selling lots of different books to fit any budget which helps raise money for the local library.
St Georges Market
Following on from this I went to St Georges Market which was full of stalls selling local crafts. It was lovely to browse around and look at the skilled craftwork.
Before finishing my days excursion I finished off by having a cup of tea and cake in Patisserie Valerie near City Hall. The cake was delicious and just what I needed after a few hours exploring. This came to 4.50
Did I stay within my budget?
My total spend for the day came to 19 pounds which was in my budget. My favourite place to visit in Belfast is the Titanic Museum. Even though it was out of my budget this time, I urge anyone who is in Belfast to go and visit it and splurge on the admission fee.
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