Spoilt for choice
Belfast has high street stores, family owned businesses, designer boutiques, markets and the incredible Victoria Square and CastleCourt shopping centres - all within minutes of each other so there is no shortage of choice if you fancy giving the online shopping a break and want to try the real thing!
Shops in Belfast City Centre are generally open Monday - Wednesday 9am - 6pm, Thursday 9am - 9pm, Friday and Saturday 9am - 6pm and Sunday 1pm - 6pm. Some shop opening hours may vary, including during holiday periods.
Image: St. George's Market, Belfast
Belfast has the full complement of high street chain stores that can be found in any other UK and Irish city. It does however have a variety of more interesting places to browse and shop, and a visit to Belfast would not be complete without experiencing them.
St. George's Market
Located on May Street, and situated near Belfast Central Station. It is Northern Ireland's largest indoor market and one of Belfast's major attractions for visitors and locals alike. It sells a fascinating range of foods, clothing and crafts and will appeal to all of your senses. You can pick up some real bargains here, and the market itself provides a charming glimpse into Belfast life both past and present - many of the stall holders will be more than happy to tell you some fantastic local lore. Details correct as of Sept 2015: Friday Variety Market 6am-2pm, Saturday City Food, Craft and Garden Market 9am-3pm, Sunday Food, Craft & Market 10am-4pm.
This large shopping complex opened in 2008 and will appeal to fans of mainstream shopping. There are plenty of places to eat and drink, as well as an 8-screen Odeon cinema. Additionally, the now-iconic glass dome at the top of Victoria Square offers unparalleled views of the city and beyond, not to be missed by visitors as this is a free attraction.
Winetavern Street, behind the Castle Court shopping centre. A treasure trove of independent retail outlets.
83 Botanic Avenue, +44 28 9020 1261. One of the finest independent bookstores anywhere in Northern Ireland or the Republic, this is a must for fans of British, Irish and American crime fiction, with a wide selection of books imported from the USA. No Alibis reassures book-lovers that there is more to life than Borders or Waterstones.
You will also find a number of interesting shops on and around College Street, and on Dublin Road, including quirky vintage shops.