The best clubs in Belfast

For a city steeped in as much rich history as Belfast is, you can bet they’re just as rich in quality venues to choose from. Here’s a look at some of our picks for the very best clubs in Belfast.

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 28th Mar 2024

In recent years Belfast has become quite the hotspot for belting venues. Whether that be foot-stomping nightclubs or hubs for quality live music, there’s plenty to pick and choose from in the Northern Irish capital. 

That's hardly surprising for a city that welcomed the first performance of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and the place where the Titanic was constructed, is it? When you’re a city as culturally and historically rich as Belfast, you can be sure of a cracking nightlife. So make sure you’re jotting these down for your next trip over the Irish Sea, as we take a look at the best clubs in Belfast




Photo: Limelight Belfast /

Capacity: 750

Location: 17 Ormeau Ave, Belfast BT2 8HD

Having first popped up amidst the House frenzy of the 80s, Limelight has embedded itself in Belfast musical folklore thanks to its history of championing new and rising bands. Its clientele over the years have ranged from Oasis, Manic Street Preachers and Jeff Buckley in the 90s to Arctic Monkeys, Paolo Nutini and The Streets from the 2000s and beyond. 

Following a 2012 rebrand, the complex features the two-parter Limelight 1 & Limelight 2 (the latter being the original bar under a new lick of paint) as well as Katy’s Bar and the roof terrace The Rock Garden. With its impressive history of performers and expansive facilities, the venue has appropriately taken its spot as the premium live music venue in the city. We’ll see you at Limelight 2…


Find more events at Limelight





Photo: Ollie's Belfast /

Capacity: 500

Location: 35-39 Waring St, Belfast BT1 2DY

The perfect place to kick off your weekend, Ollie’s is an intoxicating mix of top class DJs, a kinetic atmosphere and flecks of RnB, hip hop, house and disco. Proudly proclaimed as the epicentre of nightlife in Belfast’s trendy Cathedral Quarter, there’s plenty to enjoy whether you choose Friday or Saturday as your night of adventure. 

Heading Ollie’s at the turn of the weekend will see you basking in the best of hip hop, house and disco at their Mumbo Jumbo night, whilst a visit on Saturday night sees Nite Tales hosting some deep, dark disco. If that sounds like your kind of night, you’ll be right at home. The venue is even placed beneath a luxury hotel, so those seeking a bit of luxury will find plenty to enjoy. 


Find more events at Ollie's



Ulster Sports Club


Photo: Ulster Sports Club /

Capacity: 224

Location: 96-98 High St, Belfast BT1 2BG

One of Belfast’s newest and best boozers, Ulster Sports Club is the place to be for anyone in the mood for some state-of-the-art gigs and premium deck spinners. The trendy highlight on High Street is only in its infancy but has already made its mark with its head-spinning selection of intimate shows and roof-raising club nights. 

Once a legendary working men’s club, Ulster Sports Club closed their doors in 2018, before rising from the ashes as an underground music venue. As far as new venues go, Ulster Sports Club couldn’t have hit the ground running faster. They even sell merch, which we definitely weren’t thinking about this whole time. 


Find more events at Ulster Sports Club



The Empire


Photo: The Belfast Empire /

Capacity: 450

Location: 42 Botanic Ave, Belfast BT7 1JQ

With must-see events coming up, The Empire still remains one of the best nightclubs in Belfast for having a cracking time. Everything you could ask for in Antrim is supplied by the three floor venue on Botanic Avenue, including bars, live music, comedy and more. 

Like a lot of trendy music venues these days, the Belfast Empire began life as a church, before its conversion to the heartbeat of the city’s live music and comedy circuits. Every night of the week has something special going on within the music hall walls, so go and see what all the fuss is about!


Find more events at The Empire



The Botanic Inn


Photo: The Botanic Inn /

Capacity: Various

Location: 23-27 Malone Rd, Belfast BT9 6RU

Affectionately known amongst the people of Belfast as the Bot, this vibrant bar and nightclub is held in high regard across Antrim. The Botanic Inn offers a smattering of great options for nightcrawlers, spanning Belfast’s biggest sports bar, a nightclub, pool room and several club and bar spaces. 

If bombastic nightclubs aren’t really your style, don’t get put off by the Bot, as its 550 capacity club space is joined by The Hub, a laid back club space with 300-500 capacity; and The Villa, a small but intimate space. The Botanic Inn is a treasured venue for a reason. 


Find more events at The Botanic Inn



Thompson's Garage


Capacity: 700

Location: 3 Pattersons Pl, Belfast BT1 4HW

Proudly proclaiming itself as the longest running nightclub in the city centre, Thompson’s Garage is a recognisable institution in the city’s landscape. It’s not the kind of garage you’d expect to get your car fixed from, but it is one to find some of the finest DJs from around the world, all while being in operation seven days a week. 

It doesn’t matter which way your music taste may bend, just pick a day and Thompson’s Garage will have you covered. Like to get on the dancefloor with some classic R&B and hip hop? Just pop down on a Wednesday for Funkarama, the longest-running midweek event of its kind in the city. More of a beats and bassline person? Stereo Sessions on a Saturday will be right up your street then. No wonder the place is close to reaching 30 years of operations! 


Find more events at Thompson's Garage





Photo: ALIBI /

Capacity: 800

Location: 23-31 Bradbury Pl, Belfast BT7 1RR

A quintessential Queen’s Quarter hotspot, Alibi is a three floor venue that specialises in lovely liquor and even better music. The Bradbury Place boozer is a state-of-the-art bar and club rolled into one, offering the finest cocktails and craft beers all while having a place to dance. 

Its booming club space offers RnB nights and familiar faces from Marbella and Ibiza behind the decks, in addition to a litany of local talent as well. With the space boasting some of the best events in Belfast on a Friday and Saturday, Alibi is a sure-fire place to let loose. And for all those aspiring mixologists, why not check out a cocktail masterclass while you’re at it? 


Find more events at Alibi





Photo: Kremlin /

Capacity: Unknown

Location: 96 Donegall St, Belfast BT1 2GW

A highlight of Belfast’s thriving LGBTQ+ nightlife, Kremlin has etched its name into local clubbing circles. Since it first opened its doors in 1999, Northern Ireland’s biggest gay bar has been an ever so reliable community staple, thanks to its unmissable club nights, events and parties. 

Now freshly 25, the Union Street drinking den is still one of the most iconic clubs in the city, owing to its unique Soviet aesthetic and its place as a cultural cornerstone of Belfast’s communities. Here’s hoping for another 25 years and then some. 


Find more events at Kremlin



Union Street Bar


Photo: Union Street Bar & Restaurant /

Capacity: 350

Location: 8-14 Union St, Belfast BT1 2JF

From mouth-watering cocktails to pride parties and cabaret, Union Street Bar has all the right craic. The LGBTQ+ friendly bar is the place to be on a weekend night, and along with next door neighbour and sister bar Kremlin. 

Situated in a former 19th century shoe factory and spanning four different areas, the city centre bar and club has no shortage of things to do. There’s the Main Bar, the Green Room Cocktail Lounge to quench your thirst, an open outdoor roof space and the fittingly named Shoe Factory, the bar’s dancefloor. Union Street is of course most famed for its Cabargay nights, Belfast’s biggest Sunday night drag bingo show. What more would you want?


Find more events at Union Street Bar



Filthy McNasty's


Photo: Filthy McNasty's /

Capacity: Unknown 

Location: 45 Dublin Rd, Belfast BT2 7HD

This Belfast club is more than meets the eye. Filthy McNasty’s is one of Belfast’s brightest social hotspots, featuring live music seven days a week, resident DJs, a lovely beer garden and quiz nights galore. The pub and club is home to mouth-watering beer that boasts to be some of the best in the city, while its three room nightclub hosts some of Northern Ireland’s finest DJs soundtracked by alternative dance and indie anthems. There’s no better place to boogie in Belfast than here. 


Find more events at Filthy McNasty's 



Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.








Header image: Limelight Belfast /