A definitive guide to every club in Belfast

Why Limelight and your ex are more similar than you thought


Based on Culture Trip's guide to the best nightclubs in Belfast, largely intended for classy adults – which we are not – we've decided to spill the real tea on Belfast's club scene.

If you're reading this I'll assume you've had some experience with the brill nightlife to offer in the big smoke, maybe not if you're about to be a fresher in September. If that's the case then definitely use this as your extensive guide.

Buckle up. We've got three categories: Music, smoking areas, people.

Limelight

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"Overrated but reliable, like an ex. You don't want to go back but it hurts to leave. Also you wake up feeling regret." – Matthew

Your parents probably call it "The Limelight" – yes it's been around for that long. So we've got two clubs, let's face it you're only in Lime Two if the bouncers didn't let you into Lime One, or if they're having an ABBA night.

Music: 5/10 – if you love cheese

If I hear Cardi B one more time I might cry. Also please stop playing remixes of "Shape of You" and "Africa". If you've successfully managed to navigate the bouncers then you don't want to have to listen to that. Do keep playing Dizzee Rascal though, it makes me feel like I'm back in 2009 with no responsibilities (because I was 10). Their playlist is the same EVERY WEEK. It's just that one awful Soulja Boy remix and then "Losing It" on repeat for like two hours, but you don't even notice because you're queued at the bar for most of it.

Smoking Area: 3/10- bro please take card at the bar

If the bar took card I'd probably never see my friends again. Some people purely come to Lime for the smokers and I don't get it. Nobody up there even has a cig, they're just trying to wrangle a free one off someone.

People: 5/10 – it's a lotto

If you head to Scratch Mondays it's filled with students, cheap drinks and decent music. UFO is for people who pretend to like techno but can't commit to its way of life. HEXX… I don't know, does anyone? Friday and Saturday are for the "I haven't got work tomorrow" crowd and if you head to Limelight any other night of the week you need to just, well, not.

TOTAL: 13/30

ALIBI

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"I love how close it is to Frango." – Charlie

Music: 6/10 – Destiny's Child fans will combust

ALIBI lives off Beyonce, Rihanna and any woman of pop that was famous before 2010. More recently they've introduced "Sicko Mode" which is… annoying but we'll roll with it.

Smoking Area: 3/10 – big NOPE, capacity: 15 people (maybe)

So busy you'll be lucky to find the person you've been trying to graft all night.

People: 6/10

ALIBI is home to everyone's after formal. Seriously. You could be having a night out with your mates and suddenly end up in the middle of someone else's after formal. The bar is always packed and it's expensive.

TOTAL: 15/30

Filthy McNasty's

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"My love. My life. Scatter my ashes here." – Me

Music: 8/10

The music is so underrated here but that's because most people are too drunk to remember screaming the lyrics to 80's pop like "Don't You Want Me" or "September", but trust me, you were. Music can get a bit techno but we're okay with that because there's a DJ in the smoking area too.

Smoking Area: 7/10 – it has a big tree and fairy lights

The main pro of Filthy's smoking area is the fact it's massive. The bar is a bit more expensive but at least you've escaped the sweatbox of a dance floor. Even if you don't smoke this is the place to be, in fact there's certain areas of the smoking area that people don't smoke in, so you're grand.

People: 9/10 – like a Planet Earth documentary

You get all walks of life in Filthy's and that's probably the best part. Bouncers are pretty chill and usually you'll bump into at least five people you know because the culchies travel over an hour just to go out here.

TOTAL: 24/30

Ollie's

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"If you love Campbell College boys, girls getting pics on the swing and your friend's dads then this is the place for you." – Louis

Music: 3/10

Mum, can you pick me up, I'm scared. They're playing Drake again. It's been the same playlist since freshers and it will make you feel so old that you want to ask the DJ to turn it down a notch.

Smokers: 2/10

All they give you is this big mediocre umbrella to stand under and someone is always trying to bum a cig off you.

People: 4/10.

You only ever go to Ollie's if you win a competition for free entry and a table otherwise you're just waiting at the bar in hope a sugar daddy will buy you a drink because your student loan is not covering the debt this place will put you into.

TOTAL: 9/30 – I still love you

Thompson's Garage

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"You might get vomited on but you'll probably have a good time" – Enda.

Music: 7/10 – that fella that always shouts DJ COLIN FRANCIS

The music in Thompson's is decent, it's a lot of old/new and it changes loads, in all fairness. Smokers has its own DJ if you're sick of waiting at the club bar and would rather spend extra outside for the sheer fact you aren't sweating as much.

Smoking area: 7/10 – upstairs got renovated

Someone threw their wig over the balcony the last time I was there. Also someone jumped down the stairs. I have nothing more to say.

People: 7/10 – every single person ever

Literally everyone goes here. The people in Thompson's range from those who didn't get into Ollie's to people who are wearing Adidas tracksuits.

TOTAL: 21/30

Overall, Belfast has one of the most lively and fun club scene of anywhere in the world and everyone should try out every club they possibly can.