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Tips & Guides

Destination Belfast

5 Dec 20213m read

Why Belfast?

In 2018, Belfast and the Causeway Coast were crowned Lonely Planet’s Best Region to visit. The influential publication praised its “timeless beauty and high-grade attractions – golf, whiskey and some of the world’s most famous rocks’’.
Meanwhile, National Geographic Traveller readers crowned Belfast the ‘Rising Star’ of tourism at their Reader Awards in London. These annual awards recognise the best places, experiences, hotels, operators and attractions short-listed by a panel of judges, but ultimately voted for by the public.

To add to the list of accolades, Belfast was crowned ‘Best Events Destination’ and ICC Belfast selected as the ‘Best Events Venue’ for 2018-19 at the prestigious C&IT Awards. These awards cemented what had long been touted; that Belfast is an exciting new events destination on the rise.

Investments in world-class venues, experiences and accommodation have brought record numbers of business and leisure visitors to Belfast. The renewed optimism and ambition in Belfast is palpable. Evident in the investment in the award -winning ICC Belfast, the largest hotel expansion in the city’s history and the cranes that dot the skyline, Belfast is one of the fastest growing destinations in Europe.

Belfast has the luxury of 2 closely located airports to the city centre which is ideal for delegates and organisers arriving in. Belfast City airport is just 10 minutes from the city centre and Belfast International airport is a mere 30 minutes away; Express bus services as well as taxis operate frequently from both. Carriers such as Easyjet, Aer Lingus, British Airways, KLM, Jet2, Ryanair, Wizz and Loganair service daily flights to and from Belfast to a variety of regional, European and International airports. Dublin airport is located just 90 minutes from Belfast and further expands the city’s International access.

Value for Money
Belfast offers excellent value for money for organisers and delegates alike. The city consistently ranks in the lowest cost of living surveys and this means that your budget goes further, whether you are hosting a socially distant drinks reception for 100 or buying a pint of Guinness in one of the pubs!

Walkable City
Belfast is a fully walkable city with all of the 6 key areas, from the famous Titanic Quarter to the leafy Queens Quarter, easily accessible on foot from the city centre within a matter of minutes. If walking isn’t your thing, you can choose from the sustainable Belfast Bikes, the eco Glider buses, or Belfast’s fleet of low emission taxis.

As a destination, safety has always been a key consideration, so whether you are an organiser or a delegate, your best interests are at heart. Space comes as standard when you choose Belfast and Northern Ireland as your conference destination. The industry is slowly opening its doors and Belfast is gearing up to offer the warm welcome and incredible experiences it is known for in a responsible, safe and sensitive way. Northern Ireland’s tourism industry has signed up to a ‘We are good to go’ UK wide charter that ensures our partner organisations are COVID prepared in every aspect of the delegate journey.

Belfast is taking committed actions to become a sustainable destination. Together with Belfast City Council and partners, Visit Belfast has joined The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) which is the leading sustainability benchmarking and improvement programme for destinations around the world. We also recently gained our Green Tourism accreditation and appointed a Sustainability & Impact Manager to help deliver more sustainable events.

Here are our pick of 5 great Belfast venues for meetings and events.

1. Titanic

Offering a portfolio of world class conference, banqueting and event facilities in an array of architecturally distinct indoor and outdoor spaces. From intimate event spaces on board the world’s last remaining White Star liner to world class business, conference and gala dinner facilities in Belfast’s most iconic venue, an authentic 1900’s public house setting inspired by one of the city’s first shipbuilders or a unique outdoor space for large scale events at a signature heritage location, our portfolio of world class venues offers something for every event organiser!

Delegate Capacity: 630
Max. Exhibition Area (m2): 35000
Syndicate Rooms: 5
Parking Spaces: 800

2. Crumlin Road Gaol

The Grade A listed building was built in the nineteenth Century and today its impressive design is complemented by advanced audio-visual technology coupled with outstanding hospitality facilities.
From intimate meetings to exclusive use of the entire building, Crumlin Road Gaol is the ideal setting for conferences, seminars, product launches, drinks receptions, gala dinners, private parties, exhibitions, concerts, movie screenings and more. They pride themselves on providing unique and bespoke events for each of their clients, and on being as flexible as possible, ensuring that every clients need is tailored to provide the highest quality experience for your guests.
Located minutes from Belfast City Centre with easy access to travel routes, motorways, airports and seaports, Crumlin Road Gaol offers a versatile and memorable events facility.

Delegate Capacity: 300
Syndicate Rooms: 7
Parking Spaces: 250

3. Culloden Estate and Spa

Standing high on the slopes of the Holywood Hills, overlooking Belfast Lough and the County Antrim Coastline, is the magnificent Culloden Estate and Spa, the most prestigious luxury five -star hotel in Northern Ireland.
Originally built as an official palace for the Bishops of Down, the Culloden stands in 12 acres of beautiful secluded gardens and woodland. Palatial surroundings, exquisite decor, fine antiques and exceptional service combine to give the Culloden Estate and Spa a unique air of elegance.With all its tranquil opulence you could be forgiven for thinking the Culloden is a rural retreat, however, this beautiful property has the added advantage of being just 10 minutes from Belfast City centre and is conveniently located to many of Northern Ireland’s major visitor attractions.Guests at the hotel can also enjoy an extensive range of dining and socialising options. A sumptuous Afternoon tea in the Drawing Room, Fine Dining in the Mitre Restaurant or relax by the fire in the cosy Cultra Inn.

Delegate Capacity: 1000
Max. Exhibition Area (m2): 500
Syndicate Rooms: 7
Parking Spaces: 500
Bedrooms: 100

4. Europa Hotel

The world famous Europa Hotel in Belfast is located in the heart of Belfast City Centre. The Hotel offers a choice of 272 hotel rooms in Belfast City Centre – including 92 Executive Bedrooms and Suites. The elegant decor, contemporary bistro, bustling bar and relaxing piano bar lounge make the four-star Europa Hotel the hotel of choice for business and leisure guests visiting Belfast.
Due to its prime location, the Europa Hotel is a short distance from many of Belfast’s top visitor attractions including the Ulster Museum, Grand Opera House, City Hall, Titanic Belfast, Waterfront Hall and SSE Arena.The Europa Hotel has an international reputation for hosting prestigious events and looking after many of the celebrities and VIPs who visit Belfast. At the Europa Hotel every guest is a VIP and will experience the finest in Irish hospitality and the highest level of customer service.

Delegate Capacity: 600
Max. Exhibition Area (m2): 611
Syndicate Rooms: 16
Bedrooms: 272

5. ICC Belfast

ICC Belfast is Northern Ireland’s only purpose-built international convention centre with over 20 years’ experience in delivering premier events for local, national and international clients.ICC Belfast boasts stunning views of the River Lagan and easy access to transport links, hotels, restaurants and attractions. A 10-minute drive from George Best Belfast City Airport and a 25-minute drive from Belfast International Airport ensure delegates arrive at ICC Belfast stress-free and can make the most of their time in the city.
The newly extended 7,000m² facility features 44 stylish spaces that can accommodate up to 5,000 delegates at any one time with over 2,500m² of flexible event space in Halls 1 & 2

2,200-seat Main Auditorium
660m² Riverside Foyer
380-seat studio
20 meeting rooms for 10 to 100 delegates

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