When looking to shop in Belfast, make sure you drop by Victoria Square.
Victoria Square is home to over 50 stores, cafes and restaurants including House of Fraser, Topshop, Cruise, Reiss and H&M. It forms one of the most luxurious shopping destinations in the UK.
Also, when you are finished shopping make sure you ride the elevator to the observation deck for a great view of the city!
This is located at the main Visitor Centre, full of tourist literature, books, leaflets, etc.
Keep in mind that though this place is adequately staffed, it is VERy popular & so gets really busy & crowded.
You will find many items of various sizes to suit all tastes and purposes here.
Postcards, photos, aerial shots of the Causeway & McCool's several 'objects', flags, T-shirts, mugs, bookmarks, etc.
What to buy: I was looking for something Irish - with a sort of symbol & explanation. Apparently the shamrock is identified as an Irish symbol (other than Celtic crosses), and you often hear of 'Irish Luck'!!
So, after a lot of nosing around I picked the brass magnet shown in my photo. It's really cute with a lovely message: "May you have all the happiness and luck that life can hold and at the end of the rainbow may you find your pot of gold." Brilliant, isn't it?
What to pay: I paid just 2.50 EUR for my first brass magnet!
This is actually a long road in Belfast filled with mostly luxury shops. If you have cash to spare or simply want to have a browse on designer labels, nice home goods or even a good cup of coffee and a browse, it's worth a look! I don't have the budget to shop here in general, however I do enjoy spending the odd afternoon taking a wander down and nipping in for a coffee at Clements Coffee Shop.
Some well known retailers on this road are: Benetton, Hugo Thomas, Carter, Max Mara, Hobbs, Gerry Webber. You get the idea!
However, what I like this road for most of all are the few one-of-a-kind shops. The Chocolate Room is a lovely shop, with freshly made chocolates and hot drinks. It's a small little place, recently moved to new premises (just across the road from the old one!) and very fun to browse! There are chocolates of all sizes, shapes and colours. Pop in, enjoy!
Take a look into Angel At My Table for lovely homewares and some other goods. They've also recently opened a tea room. It's a beautiful shop to look at, even if you don't make a purchase.
You won't be stuck for fashion on this road, with everyday wear right through to formal wear. There's also Arizona Coffee shop, I'd recommend their chocolate milkshake if you're into that sort of thing. There are many places to eat and I'd recommend Greens Pizza (they do a great afternoon lunch deal), Ruby Tuesdays (tasty but affordable) and on the Upper lisburn road there's the Kings Head- great for drinks or a nice lunch.
My favourite shop on the lisburn road is Tradewinds. They sell everything from nice arty bags, gifts and cards right through to nice cushions for your house, jewellery and toys for kids. Such an adorable shop!
What to buy: Evening wear
Coffees & Teas
Groceries & Hardware
Makeup & Beauty
What to pay: To be honest, you generally need a lot of cash to afford things in most of the shops on the lisburn road. However there are always sales and each shop is pleasant to browse.
When I travel, I like to check out local art shops and see what kind of things artists use in different countries. It's hard to find this information out so I decided I'd start the ball rolling and name the main art shops in Belfast that you may wish to check out :) Art & Hobby is a chain of art stores which are based in the South of Ireland, however recently Belfast has become home to the first Art & Hobby in the North.
What to buy: It sells toys, art & craft supplies. From the outside, it probably looks like a toy store, however at the back of the shop you'll find a selection of papers, paints, canvases, easels etc. There's also a brilliant art selection for children, they'll love browsing it and maybe even picking up something to get creative with throughout their holiday.
What to pay: In general the prices are competitive, make sure you pay in sterling though as the Euro conversion in Belfast shop isn't great. However, you can pay in Euro within Art & Hobby if you're stuck (it has to be in notes though and your change will be given back in sterling) If you're planning on buying a lot of art stuff when you're in Ireland, there's a loyalty card scheme, you get a stamp for every £20 you spend and when you fill up the card you get a £20 voucher to spend.
This is the new shopping 'village' in Belfast. It's filled with designer brands and key retailers. It's the newest thing to hit the highstreet and only opened in March 2008- the locals are very excited by it and you can sense the great atmosphere while you shop here!
It has been described as a renaissance for Belfast and on the top floor you can look out of the viewing tower and see a panoramic view of the new multi-cultural Belfast in it's full glory.
What to buy: Northern Ireland is fast becoming one of the best shopping areas in the UK. Within Victoria Centre you can find:
All Saints, Billabong, Build a bear factory, Cafe BB's, Carphone warehouse, Chilli's, Claire's Accessories, Clockwork Orange, Coast, Costa Coffee, Cruise, Faith, Firetrap, Fossil, Free Spirit, French Connection, Geox, Goldsmiths, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, H & M, Hobbs, House of Frasier, Hugo Boss, Holland and Barret, Hardy Amies, JD Sports, Kitchen Bar, La Senza, Levis, LK Bennet, Lunns, The Laptop shop, Maggianos, Mc Donalds, Monsoon, Nandos, O2, the largest 'O briens sandwich bar in the world!, Odeon cinemas, Pepe Jeans, Pizza Hut, Prezzo, Prima, Pumpkin Patch, Q Park, Regis, Reiss, Remus Uomo, River Island, Spur Steak & Grill, Starbucks, Ted Baker, The Pier, Tom Tailor, Tommy Hillfiger, Topshop/Topman, Urban Outfitters, Vodafone, Zavvi, 3G. It's all under one roof, yet it's technically outside... go see it, go shop, spoil yourself- it's not to be missed! There's a Hamley's childrens store too which is pretty cool!
What to pay: Generally it's expensive compared to the rest of Belfast but even if you don't have the money, it's a fun place to browse and soak up the atmosphere.
Well it's a 'mall' as any Americans out there might say. It's a good place to buy affordable clothes and even has a whole department store within it called debenhams.. A list of the other shops (that spring to mind are) below:)
GAP, a lingerie shop, Claire's accessories, Ms Selfridge, Phone shops, EArly Learning Center (quality toy store), Card shops, Jewellery shop, TK Maxx, Superdrug, Boots (pharmacy), shoe shops, Thorntons Chocolates, Exhibit (clothes), Quicksilver, a food court with all the fast food you could want!, starbucks....
The list goes on! Plus it's located right in the center so you're handy to everything!
In general, Castlecourt is a normal place to shop, with normal highstreet prices and highstreet stores- nothing exciting but it's practical
What to pay: It's pretty average prices really. nothing insanely expensive for N.Ire.
The Bow Street Mall has over 60 stores, two levels and is also expanding even more in the future! It also has 6 food outlets and is located in the heart of Lisburn. Overall, its a new and clean Mall with everything you need.
What to pay: You can spend anything from 1 pound to 300 pounds I'm sure...
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