With some friends coming to see a rugby game in Nothern Ireland, we’ve decided to spend the weekend in Belfast. Because we’ve already been there, we’ve neglected the tourist attractions to spend some time along the coastal road.
With still some habits from our student/broke days, we tried to not go crazy on our gold while still enjoying the fact we do have a salary, now.
Our activities have then been divided in two parts: backpacker and not backpacker.
- Transportation: from Dublin Bus Eirann is the cheapest and fastest way to go to Nothern Ireland, with 25€ for 2h30. A bit less backpacker: the “luxury” bus with a good wifi and some rather comfy seats (30/35€ return)
- Accommodation: a double room (not backpacker) in a hostel between the coach station and Belfast University. It’s not the Ritz, but for one night, it works just fine (50€ pn).
- Giant’s Causeway with now money: park your car on the main road that lead to the visitor’s parking and continue by foot.
With this “trick” you won’t pay the 9£ pp for the parking + audioguide. (and for the landmark preservation and to pay the people that work there, ok fine)
If you are a bit lazy, you can take a shuttle that’ll drive you in front of the Causeway (2£ return).
- Torr Head: a promotory with a spectacular view on the coast and the hills that surround it. You have to climb, but, at least, it’s free.
- Student eating: Boojum, a Mexican fast-food. 6£ for a burrito and between the rice, the meat, and all the other ingredients, no need to eat for 48h.
- Cool-but-broke eating: St George’s market offer food stalls from churros to bacon-cheddar baguettes or you can also for some oysters, opened by the fishermann’s expert hands.
- Rent a car + hit the “Causeway coastal route”: full of tiny villages, old red phone cabines and never ending landscapes. You can easily do it in one day, and you’ll have spend enough time in the nature for the week
(We took Entreprise, for 80£)
- Eating on the “coastal route” : McBribes in Cushendun has its own chemney to warm up your feet, a local pub atmosphere, Guinnesses and a really good restaurant where you can have an Irish breakfast or a beer pie.
To end your lunch, take a Bushmills: the distillery is only a few kilometers away.
- Hipster drinking: Town Square on University Rd, is home to all-wood furnitures, gin cocktails and even two swings.
- Mainstream drinking: The Filthy Quarter is 4 bars in 1 (even better than a shampoo). The first looks like the rock bars of our student’s golden years (black walls and messy hairs), the others are: a cocktail bar a bit fancy with its tube dresses and tucked-in shirts, a room that’s rococo+disco in the same time and a terrace-bar above the others.
- Rooftop drinking: The Perch is more expensive than the rest but has amazing city views.
PS: No I, still, haven’t went to the Titanic museum. Rose is tired of my behaviour.