Belfast - Facts for the traveller, when to go, events
Facts for the traveller for Belfast
When to Go to Belfast
Belfast's open to visitors any time of year, but April-June and September are best: the weather's hopefully on form, the crowds are down, the days are longer and attractions are open.
Belfast's average temperature year-round is a relatively mild 10°C (50°F). Winter rarely sees ice and snow, but the January and February skies are interminably grey, and temperatures are a motley 4-8°C (40-45°F). July and August average 15°C (60°F), but at least the summer days are long, with true darkness not falling until 11pm. Perhaps the most defining aspect of Belfast's climate, other than its changeability, is its rainfall: February-June averages 60mm (2.3in), and things get wetter still from October to January with 95mm (4in). Don't even think about visiting without a raincoat, umbrella and warm clothes.
Belfast has a well-rounded calendar of cultural events. The Belfast Music Festival gets the ball rolling in March - it's been a platform for talented Belfast youths since 1911. St Patrick's Day is celebrated with a four-day carnival leading up to 17 March. The Belfast City Summer Fest takes place in May, with classical and traditional music, community events and the Lord Mayor's Show. The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival is also held in May, showcasing fringe-type comedy, music, theatre and street performances. Selected weekends in summer host the Belfast Folk Festival, and Ireland's largest community festival, Féile an Phobail, is held in West Belfast in August. The city's biggest cultural event is the three-week Belfast Festival at Queen's, the second-largest arts festival in the UK after Edinburgh's.