“Santa Claus is coming to town” the shops are singing. Actually, Santa has been in town since the witches, ghouls and monsters made their exit on 1st November! Maybe even before it! Now Christmas is well and truly upon the city of Belfast, and boy do we do Christmas well. If you’re visiting over the next few weeks before Christmas, you are in for a festive treat!

No beautifully decorated and glittering Christmas tree is complete without some perfect presents standing proudly below it.  If you’re doing some Christmas shopping in Belfast, you’re sure to find a gift to suit everyone, even fussy Great Aunt Edna! There’s Victoria Square and Castle Court shopping centre, as well as shops in Donegall Place. Buy clothes from well-known High Street clothing brands such as Topshop, River Island and Mango, or visit the world department store House of Fraser for some luxury designer brands such as Mulberry, Michael Kors and Kate Spade. Maybe you’re after gifts with a local, handmade touch? Try Studio Souk in Ann Street for local artwork, ceramics or handmade candles.

After all that shopping, you’d be forgiven for needing a pit stop to rest your feet. And your bank balance! There’s a vast number of coffee shops ready to welcome you with a brew and a sweet treat. Avoca is a firm favourite: you’ll find it tough choosing from their mouth-watering lunch menu or delicious deserts. For the coffee connoisseur, Established is a must visit for a staggering range of expertly picked coffees. The Belfast Coffee Map also offers a host of recommendations for where to find the best coffee in Belfast.

Nestled at the front of the iconic City Hall building is the annual Christmas Continental Market. Reminiscent of the Christmas markets of Germany and Prague, the Christmas Market is bound to make even the most Scrooge-like souls feel all festive and fuzzy after a visit. A wander around the market is a feast for the senses: from the twinkling lights and decorations festooning each stall, to the array of food that’s bound to get you salivating. From Dutch Pancakes to Bratwursts; Ostrich burgers to crepes; woollen hats to fair ground rides.. You can even wash it all down with a pint of flavoured beer at the beer tent! There’s something for everyone here!

The arrival of December often marks the countdown to the biggest night in the work calendar: the office Christmas party! Belfast offers some of the best bars to help your night go off with a bang! The exotic amongst you might enjoy a night out at Revolution de Cuba, a Cuban themed bar complete with delicious cocktails, great music and even Carnival dancers for the perfect party atmosphere. There’s the ever-entertaining Cabaret Supper Club at AMPM or outdoor movie nights at the Tree House. You’re always guaranteed a good night on the famous cobbled streets of Cathedral Quarter, which is just around the corner from our Fitzrovia Apartments. Hear some live traditional Irish music beside the peat fire in the Dirty Onion or at the character-filled Duke of York, or if you’re after something a bit more modern, you’ll catch some of the best bands in the city playing in the Harp Bar, Thirsty Goat or 39 Gordon Street. Drinks, live music and dancing: what more could you need for the best night out in Belfast?!

From Pantomimes, Winter Wonderlands and Christmas grottos, there’s lots to see for all the family in Belfast over Christmas. (Oh no there isn’t!) Oh yes there is! For a fun-filled night out, why not take one of the many Pantomimes Belfast has to offer. Go giant hunting with Jack and the Beanstalk at the Grand Opera House, fall down the rabbit hole chasing Alice in Wonderland at the Lyric Theatre or be out guest at Beauty and the Beast at the Waterfront Hall. There’s even Bah Humbug at the Lyric, a modern twist on the classic A Christmas Carol which is sure to have you in stitches! Santa and his elves have also set up their grottos at several locations around the city and will also be meeting children to check if they’ll be on the naughty or nice list. Find Santa at Titanic Belfast, W5 or Victoria Square, to name just a few locations!

Lastly, after all that festive fun in the city, you’ll need the perfect pad where you can relax and recharge ready for another busy day in Belfast. Central Belfast Apartments have a range of apartments across the city. Our apartments in Belfast are perfect for couples, families or groups of friends and can be found in the best locations in the city. Offering you a home from home during your stay, all our modern and memorable apartments are equipped with everything you might need during your stay, from WiFi to Netflix; comfy beds to cosy sofas; irons to hair dryers; we’ve got it covered! Visit www.centralbelfastapartments.com to choose the perfect apartment for you, and contact us to book directly for the best rates around.

Maybe you’re stuck for Christmas gift ideas… One of our apartments won’t fit in a stocking over the fireplace, but they’d make the perfect present! What could be better than a weekend in Belfast to beat the post-Christmas blues?!

To borrow the words of the famous festive poem, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!”