It's a good idea to line your stomach before embarking on this epic quest and the student area around Botanic Avenue has plenty of cheap, filling feeds. Try Maggie Mays for healthy portions of hearty Irish fare or the ever popular Boojum for a giant Mexican burrito.
If you want to start the night with a sit down and a chat before it all goes pear shaped start at V Bar on Shaftsbury Square. They serve potent cocktails for £2 all day Monday to Thursday and until 9pm over the weekend. The great thing is, nobody else seems to know it exists, so you have the bar to yourself and your choice of comfy leather sofas.
From there it's time to turn up the craic and cross the road to one of the most popular bars in Belfast. Lavery's has the feel of a traditional Irish pub and draws a crowd of just about everyone. There is a beer garden, pool tables - check the back bar for alternative live music or an open mic night.
Moving on down to the Dublin road, stop in at new kid on the block Filthy McNasty's, one of the chicest bars in Belfast. Head straight through to the back bar, aptly named Filthy Chic, for a decadent cocktail from an extensive menu in equally decadent chandelier-clad surroundings. If it's not raining check out the Secret Garden on the roof - not as cold as it sounds due to fire-lit nooks and crannies and gazebos.
Jump into a taxi to the Cathedral Quarter, Belfast's newest happening area. You could take a stroll down the cobblestone laneways and soak up the atmosphere of Belfast having finally caught up with the rest of Europe on the chic and boutique front and choose from a variety of cosy little pubs. I love the Spaniard, a tiny, tiny little bar heavily adorned with vinyl album covers and mismatched vintage furniture, always blasting Jimi Hendrix or Led Zeppelin. They stock an impressively extensive bar for such a tiny venue.
If by this stage you are keen to go clubbing you are in the right place with two of the newer and less trashy Belfast clubs a stone's throw away. 21 Social has free entry and 3 floors of commercial dance music most nights until late and draws less of a teenage crowd than most Belfast clubs. The same applies to Ollie's, located just across the road in one of the most decadent hotels in Belfast - the Merchant. Situated underground in converted bank vaults of old, Ollie's feels very exclusive and opulent. But fear not, you are still in Belfast and the drinks are still surprisingly cheap, especially on Mondays and Thursdays when it's between £3 and £5 entry and £2.50 drinks all night. Saturday nights cost a little more with £10 entry and full price drinks once you're in there. Dress well if you go on Saturdays (glam-chic is the official dress code, whatever that means!) and expect some live performances and skilled DJs.