June 12, 2011

Shopping Guide: Belfast

A lot of people have a lot of, err, opinions, let's say, about Northern Ireland. I have one opinion and, that is, in terms of shopping, the North is a wonderland of cut-price goods, excellent service and UK-only brands.

Every year after Christmas (except this year- I went to London), my birthday (except this year- the money is for a holiday) and once during the summer (except this year- I have no job), I go to Belfast shopping for the day with my family and/or my boyfriend.

Talking on Twitter last night to Lorraine, about her upcoming sojourn up North, I was trying to school her on the best shopping spots in the city- in 140 characters. This is as hard as it sounds so, I said I would put together a wee shopping guide for her, and all you other lovelies, so that you can shop to your hearts content at a fraction of the price.

Victoria Square Shopping Center

The biggest and best of shopping centers in Belfast in my opinion. Vic Square has everything a girl (or guy!) could want. 

Shopping at Victoria Square

There is a mahoosive Topshop which, if you have one, accepts ROI Student ID so you still get your discount, a lovely Urban Outfitters (though I have some issues going here after seeing this post), a ginormous House of Fraser (with a HUGE beauty floor), an Apple Store and an All Saints to name but, a few stores we love to hate the prices of down here. 

My own Build a Bear- Ollie!

Further to these, there is a BT2-esque shop called Clockwork Orange, a Brown Thomas-esque shopping  (carrying Christian Louboutin) called Cruise, a Hollister and, for the child in you, a Build a Bear Workshop!

That's only a very tiny proportion of what this SC has to offer. There is an abundance of restaurants including TGI Fridays and Nandos, a massive Odeon cinema (where you can bring your TGIs in!) and, you can also take a trip up to the top of the center to get a bird's eye view of Belfast City!

View the city

Vic Square has also just launched its VIP Student service which offers discounts to tonnes of stores that wouldn't usually have them. If you're a student, you'd be mad not to use it!

Westfield Castle Court Shopping Center

One of the best things about Belfast City is that everything is so confined and walking is the easiest and best option. Just a short walk away from Vic Square is the Westfield Castle Court Shopping Center where you will find MAC (in Debenhams), a Boots, a Superdrug (think Sleek!) and, for all you nail fanatics, there is a salon services type shop up the stairs and on the left that I can't remember the name of that sells OPI (it also sells Pureology and Redken hair stuff if that helps at all!)

Westfield Castle Court Shopping Center

On your way from Victoria Square to Castle Court, you may want to hang a left and pop into Lush which is bundles cheaper than down here.

High-End Shopping

If you have money to burn or are just looking to treat yourself to something special, there are a few shops dotted around the city that will cater to your high-end tastes! 

Aside from the aforementioned House of Fraser and Cruise in Victoria Square, there is Harper at the super swanky Merchant Hotel on Skipper Street which sells Christian Louboutin, Mulberry, Valentino and Celine to name but a few. Envoy on Wellington Street carries Lanvin, Dries Van Noten and many more while, Honey on Lisburn Road specialises in designer undies, swimwear, shoes and jewelry (an odd combination, I know!).

I just plotted some of the main places in Belfast on the map that any shopper would like to go. A is the Belfast Central Train Station (quickest and best value), B is Victoria Square Shopping Center, C is Lush (just out the main entrance of Vic Sq) and D is Castle Court SC.

View Larger Map

Dee and I were thinking of doing these shopping guides for big cities that we know really well like London and Paris and, maybe even for Dublin for those of you who may be visiting!

I hope this was helpful for all your shopping needs!


S x


  1. Oooh, this looks amazing! Thanks so much missus, you went above and beyond. I feel like I should bake for you or something now :L X

  2. Can I please add a word about Royal Avenue and Donegall Place which you will pass when your walk from Victoria Sq to Castle Court. Shops include Zara, New Look, Next M&S, Karen Millen, Primark, etc. Also opposite the City Hall (and next door to the Linen Hall library) is Space NK and Molten Brown.

  3. Thank you! This is just what I've been looking for. Planning to make a trip during the summer, I've never been (which is shocking since I lived in Monaghan for 8 years). Can't wait to get my hands on some UK beauty goodies

  4. @Lorraine: No need to bake, am happy to help!

    @Catherine: That's brilliant, I knew I was forgetting a bundle!

    @Ronaamal: You definitely need to visit! You'll love it!

  5. Fantastic review. I love Belfast for shopping, have been going for years (with work). If you weren't aware of it, there is a Cosmetic Company store in Junction one outside belfast city (far side of Belfast if your coming from Dublin) it sells discounted products from MAC and other department store cosmetics brands. There's loads of these stores in the US. I've never been to the store in the North, have you? I'd love to hear from someone who has to see if it is really worth a special trip?


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