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How to Enjoy a Night Out in Belfast

If you really like music, dancing, or spending time with your friends in vibrant spaces, Belfast offers many options to enjoy your night in any environment.

Commercial Court Belfast
The instagrammable Commercial Court

Despite the academic demands of university, we can always afford to have spaces for recreation and entertainment that distract us a little from how heavy and overwhelming purely academic and study spaces can sometimes become. 

Plan your night well

Before you head out to party in Belfast, it's important to plan your night out to ensure you have a safe and fun experience. This includes deciding where you want to go, how you'll get there, and how to get back to your accommodation. It's also helpful to do some research on the places you plan to visit to learn about their vibe, opening hours, and any special requirements, such as reservations or dress code.

3 students on a night out in Belfast

Enjoying a life music event with my friends from Germany

Remember that nightlife venues in Belfast usually close at 1-2am, so if you're planning to extend your night and go to an after-party until the end of the night, you should agree with your friends on where to meet after the club. Additionally, it's essential to consider personal safety and responsible drinking, so ensure you're accompanied if possible and have a plan in case things don't go as expected. With proper planning, you can enjoy Belfast's nightlife to the fullest while staying safe and calm.

The preview

Pre-partying in Belfast can be a great way to start the night in good spirits and in the company of friends. To make a successful preview, it is important to select a place that is comfortable, safe and that fits our student pockets. Normally, my friends and I do the preview at the SU Bar, due to its reasonable prices and relaxed and fun atmosphere for students.

Glasses on bottles sitting on a window sill

Enjoying the preview in my friend’s flat

We also do the preview in a house where we can meet and prepare some drinks and appetisers to share. It's also a good idea to select a good playlist of music that will help create the right atmosphere to cheer you up before going out. Always remember to let your accommodation know when you are going to have guests in your apartment.

The night

Nightlife in Belfast offers a wide variety of sectors to suit all tastes. The Cathedral Quarter is known for its lively atmosphere and offering traditional bars and pubs, many of which feature live music. The Queen's University area is popular with students and offers a mix of trendy bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. The Titanic Quarter area, with its modern architecture and river views, is also home to a selection of bars and entertainment venues.

Female student standing outside City Hall

Night out in the city centre

Each sector has its own charm and style, making nightlife in Belfast diverse and exciting for everyone who visits. On a personal level, and for convenience reasons, my favorite place to spend the night is the city centre, because you find more options to dance for all tastes (including Latino), and the transportation options are more accessible to return home.

Special Events & Live Music

Belfast's music scene is diverse and exciting. From rock to traditional Irish music, there are live performances to suit all tastes. Venues like The Limelight and The Empire are known for their live concerts, where you can enjoy local and international music in a lively atmosphere.

It's important to keep an eye out for guest artists at certain establishments, these are an exciting part of Belfast's nightlife as they add a special touch to experiences at clubs and live music venues. These artists are usually musicians, DJs, or entertainment acts who perform at special events or theme nights. Check the social media accounts of your favourite clubs to keep an eye out for guests they may have sporadically.

Two females posing in front of mirror in Revolucion de Cuba

My friend and I at a Tuesday salsa night in Revolucion de Cuba

Belfast's nightlife is an experience not to be missed. With its unique blend of history, live music, and local culture, the city offers a night full of fun and excitement. From cosy pubs to trendy bars, Belfast has something for everyone looking to enjoy the night out in a city full of charm.

Find out more

Information for students from Colombia

Nightlife in Belfast

Student Guide to Bars in Belfast: Monday to Friday

Drinking Culture not your Scene? There's plenty more to do in Belfast!

Isabella Barros De La Rosa

Violence, Terrorism and Security | Postgraduate Student | Colombia

Hello, my name is Isabella Barros, I am 24 years old and I am from a beautiful city on the Caribbean coast of Colombia called Barranquilla. I am currently pursuing my master's in Violence, Terrorism and Security at Queen’s.

I am very into running and outdoor activities. That's why Belfast is so amazing to live in, because of the landscapes, and the spaces for this kind of hobby.

Besides running and studying, you can find me in any bookstore, wandering around the city, or enjoying a pleasant coffee in a cute cafe!

Isabella Barros De La Rosa