Belfast is a centre for industry as well as business, law and the arts. It is also an economic engine of Northern Ireland, despite some setbacks during the period of conflict known as "the Troubles".
Before travelling to Belfast, it's important to take note of the best times of year for a visit. Belfast is blessed with mild and wet weather for most of the year, yet the best time to visit remains anywhere between April and September.
Some holidays and festivals to take note of include Féile an Earraigh, which is a spring festival with traditional Irish and Celtic music. Another is Féile an Phobail, an August festival with world and indie music. Another great time to visit is in October during the Belfast Festival, when world class music, dance, jazz, comedy and other exhibitions are on display.
While in Belfast be sure to look out for tourist information bureaus at Donegall Square and in West Belfast: 216 Falls Road. This is a great place to start for all the information you may need during your visit. Belfast is relatively cheap compared to London and many other large cities throughout the United Kingdom. Basic meals can be had for under around a fiver, with local beers running about 3 pounds for a pint.
When you land at the airport, take a train from Sydenham railway station to Belfast central. There is a free shuttle from the airport terminal to the station, but you have to request it. You can also take the bus: Translink Metro no. 600. The cheapest accommodation in Belfast is hostels, which usually run at about 10 pounds for a bed in a shared room. Mid-priced hotels are about 60 pounds for a double room. There are a bunch of ways to get around Belfast. If you plan on being there for at least a week be sure to grab a one week travel card for around 16 pounds. Otherwise, it is about 1.5 pounds per single trip.