Belfast Pubs To Visit This Festive Season

News Image

Whether you're planning a quiet catch up with family and friends, hoping to dance the night away or heading out on a 12 pubs of Christmas night out, it's always good to have a selection of decent bars and pubs up your sleeve for the festive season.
When the excitement of December 25 is over and we've eaten as much turkey and sprouts as we can manage, many of us often find ourselves left at a loose end in that Christmas limbo week before New Year. If you live in or around Belfast, however, there's plenty of quaint and charming spots where you can spend the afternoon keeping warm.
We've put together a list of the best spots for you to visit this Christmas and New Year, so you'll never be stuck for somewhere to enjoy a pint or mulled wine.
Over the holiday period, the times during which alcohol can be sold on licensed premis varies slightly to the rest of the year, so we've been sure to include the most recent NI Christmas Licensing Hours for your convenience.

The Points
If you're looking for a city centre spot steeped in Irish culture and history, The Points should be top of your list. This Dublin Road pub prides itself on having one of the best Irish music scenes in the area with artists playing every night of the week.
Being a whiskey and alehouse, the shelves are filled with over 80 different bottles as well a good selection of stouts, beers and ales to satisfy everyone's needs.
This cozy pub is arranged so that you can take a seat by the fire with a Guinness and stew. And if the Irish weather takes a turn for the worse, get a table with a group of friends in the snug or chat to locals at the bar.
You'll find The Points on 44 Dublin Road.

The Duke of York
Situated along a cobbled alleyway in the popular Cathedral Quarter, The Duke of York offers a traditional Belfast welcome, craic and music.
Crammed with original mirrors and memorabilia, this pub can offer you ice cold beer, great Guinness and the largest selection of Irish whiskeys in Ireland.
The Duke is tucked away in one of Belfast's most beautiful side streets. Search 7-11 Commercial Court to find your way there.

The Spaniard
Established in 2006, The Spaniard has grown to be a much-loved pub in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter. Its cosy interior is often packed to capacity with regulars and visitors alike who come for the rum and stay for the atmosphere.
This quaint pub gets rave reviews for its excellent live music and intimate atmosphere and offers an extensive gin range, the perfect cure for your Christmas hangover.
To visit the Spaniard, make your way to 3 Skipper Street, Belfast

Muriel's Café Bar
This quirky café bar is the perfect place to grab a cocktail and watch the world go by from outdoor seating, located just off the city centre's main shopping area. Muriel's offers extensive food and drinks menus, with a wide selection of gin and a friendly atmosphere- an excellent place to pass a festive Winter afternoon.
Find Muriel's on 12-14 Church Lane, Belfast

Kelly's Cellar
One of Belfast oldest pubs, Kelly's Cellar is famous for a pint of Guinness and homemade Irish beef stew.
Often described as a "hidden gem that oozes traditional values", this bar is what you would have imagined finding a few hundred years ago. Low arches and an original open fire make it feel like a home from home, and people singing a song or two is a familiar part of a vibrant pub.
Although Kelly's is in the city centre, it boasts a local clientele from all over Belfast, and you're always guaranteed some banter and a true Irish welcome.
Kelly's has a rich musical heritage, and Irish musicians from all over often call in for a few tunes in a relaxed atmosphere.
You'll also find a spot of history on your visit, as the place when the United Irish Men held a meeting to plot the 1798 rebellion against the English rule.
You can find Kelly's Cellars on 30-32 Bank Street.

The John Hewitt
Names after the late poet, socialist and Freeman of Belfast, you're guaranteed a warm welcome at The John Hewitt. Uniquely owned by The Belfast Unemployed Resource Centre, this venue has a close relationship with the arts, hence its popularity for live music.
Here you can enjoy a great choice of local and world beers and food served from 12pm-3pm daily. A Christmas Lunch menu is also on offer throughout the festive period, with booking essential for parties.
The John Hewitt is located on 51 Donegall Street.

Granny Annie's
Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and a wide selection of drinks, Granny Annie's is a popular spot at any time of the day. Its distinct interior is full of nostalgia and will take you right back to your granny's, with antique-style clocks and furniture. Try 'Granny's Boozy Tea'; a cocktail served in a teapot and enjoy a lively atmosphere with regular live music.
Make your way to 81-85 Chichester Street to visit your granny this Christmas.

NI Christmas Licensing Hours 2019

Licensed premises include businesses such as bars, restaurants, hotels and theatres who hold a licence to sell alcohol or 'liquor licence'. Some licensed premises have a 'late licence' that normally allows them to sell alcohol as late as 01:00, instead of the usual limit of 23:00.
The permitted hours that licensed premises can sell alcohol during the Christmas period are:
• Christmas Eve, 24 December 2019 - Licensed premises may sell alcohol 11:30 - 23:00, those with a 'late licence' may sell alcohol until midnight. Off-licences may sell alcohol 08:00-23:00.
• Christmas day, 25 December 2019 - Licensed premises may sell alcohol 12:30 – 22:00, even if they hold a late licence. Off-licences are not allowed to sell alcohol at all.
• Boxing Day, 26 December 2019 – business as usual. Licensed premises may sell alcohol 11:30 - 23:00, and those with a late licence may sell alcohol until 01:00. Off-licences may sell alcohol 08:00-23:00.
• New Year's Eve, 31 December 2019 - business as usual. Licensed premises may sell alcohol 11:30 - 23:00, and those with a late licence may sell alcohol until 01:00. Off-licences may sell alcohol 08:00 - 23:00.

Latest Northern Ireland Features

30 January 2020
Explore NI's Stunning Walking Trails
It's a new decade and a new chance to get in shape, enjoy the fresh air and explore your local area. While this may sound mediocre compared to the holidays we're all currently dreaming of booking, Northern Ireland is dotted with stunning coastlines and mountain plains that quite frankly don't get the credit they deserve.
06 January 2020
January Money Saving Tips
Whether you're starting back to work, participating in 'Dry January' or hitting the gym with a new fitness regime, January is the month when many of us decide to turn over a new leaf.
18 December 2019
Belfast Pubs To Visit This Festive Season
Whether you're planning a quiet catch up with family and friends, hoping to dance the night away or heading out on a 12 pubs of Christmas night out, it's always good to have a selection of decent bars and pubs up your sleeve for the festive season.
13 November 2019
Your Guide To Northern Ireland's Christmas Markets
It's that time of year again, and the Christmas countdown will soon be on. As the streets begin to sparkle with festive lights, the annual tradition of wrapping up warm and browsing the local Christmas market becomes top of the to-do-list again.
31 October 2019
Get Organised This Christmas
Halloween is all but gone and whether we like it or not, the Christmas countdown will soon be upon us.
14 October 2019
How Best To Spend Your Halloween
With a definite chill in the air and a layer of crunchy leaves lining the streets, the signs of Autumn couldn't be clearer. The new season can only mean one thing though, and Halloween is definitely upon us.
03 September 2019
Tour The Finest Local Cuisine With 'Taste the Island'
An extensive range of local foodie events will give people the opportunity to 'Taste the Island' over the next 12 weeks in a celebration of the region's finest food and drink, tasty experiences and scrumptious adventures.
31 July 2019
Open House Festival Returns To Bangor
A celebration of culture, creativity, people and passion- Bangor's Open House Festival is back for the seventh year with a bigger and better programme of concerts and events.
08 July 2019
Activity Ideas To Fill Your Summer
'School's out for summer' are words every child and teacher longs to hear, but the holiday period isn't always as joyful for parents. The unpredictable weather, inevitable boredom and complete lack of routine can have many mums and dads wishing their little ones were back at school come the second week of July.
20 May 2019
What's On Spring-Summer 2019
As the evenings stretch out and temperatures begin to soar this spring, calendars are filling up with holidays, concert dates and day trips across Northern Ireland. Whether you're hoping to plan an exciting Bank Holiday weekend, a fun day out for the family or a culture-filled tour, there's plenty on offer right through the summer.