Why visit Belfast
In 2018, Belfast and the Causeway Coast was rated the best region in the world to visit by Lonely Planet. According to Lonely Planet, "Belfast's transformation over the past two decades has been remarkable. A city once patrolled by heavily armed troops and dogged by sectarian violence is now full of hip neighborhoods that burst with bars, restaurants and venues to suit all tastes. The rusting old docklands are now the vibrant Titanic Quarter, home to fancy apartments and a sensational museum."
Visit one of the best interactive museums in the world - Titanic Belfast. Have fun at adrenaline-pulsing attractions like We Are Vertigo. Challenge your scientific knowledge at family-friendly attractions like W5. Enjoy thought-provoking museums like the Ulster Museum. Stroll through the stunning and refreshing Botanic Gardens. And then at night, head to the hip Cathedral Quarter where the best pubs and music in Belfast are located.
Belfast's most popular things to See and Do
Titanic - visit and explore the place where the Titanic was built and initially sailed from.
- Titanic Belfast is definitely one of Ireland's top attractions. It extends over nine interactive galleries, with multiple dimensions to the exhibition, drawing together special effects, dark rides, full-scale reconstructions and innovative interactive features. Explore the shipyard, travel to the depths of the ocean and uncover the true legend of Titanic, in the city where it all began.
- Take time and explore the SS Nomadic - tender to the Titanic and the last remaining White Star Line ship in the world! Restored to her original glory and back home in Belfast's historic Hamilton Dock.
- Visit the Titanic’s Dock and Pump House. Built specifically to accommodate Titanic and her sister ships, this immense dry-dock was a marvel of Edwardian engineering. Explore the bottom of the dock to appreciate Titanic’s sheer scale.
Next, step back in time and walk around the restored Slipways where Titanic was built and launched. The slipways also contain a memorial listing the names of those who perished when Titanic sank in 1912.
Attractions like We Are Vertigo (an indoor playground including Indoor Skydiving, Ninja Master course, Inflata Park, Indoor Ski Center and Adventure course in two locations) and W5 (six themed exhibition areas with over 250 interactive exhibits for the whole family to enjoy plus a daily program of live science demonstrations and shows throughout the day).
HMS Caroline is one of eight C-class light-cruisers, built in 1914 that served in WWI and WWII. HMS Caroline offers an interactive self-guided tour, touch screen displays and panoramic views of the harbor.
Troubles tours, peace wall & murals - take one of many tours and learn about the Northern Ireland conflict (known as The Troubles from the 1960s to the late 90s) between the Protestant unionists (loyalists), who desired the province to remain part of the United Kingdom, and the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic nationalists (republicans), who wanted Northern Ireland to become part of the Republic of Ireland. The tours visit the peace wall that separates Belfast and the many murals dedicated to this conflict.
Mural of Bobby Sands on Falls Road
Garden of Remembrance on Falls Road
Crumlin Road Gaol - explore 150 years of the Crumlin Road Gaol where 17 men have been executed and explore its darkest secrets. Daily guided tours. Paranormal tour. Historical evening tour. Ghost walk tour. Victorian tour.
The Ulster Museum tells the unique human story of this part of Ireland and our collections will take you to all corners of the globe. Come face to face with dinosaurs, get up close with an Egyptian mummy, dive into our discovery zones, or just enjoy a bite in our café or a wander around the gift shop. Plenty to enjoy and loads to love at the Ulster Museum. The museum is FREE. Next door to the museum is a beautiful place to walk - the Botanic Gardens which was established in 1828.
The Crown Liquor Saloon, dating back to the 1880s is a gem of the Victorian era. Formerly known as The Liquor Saloon in Great Victoria Street, Belfast, this ageless and priceless pub was one of the mightiest Victorian Gin Palaces in the city, and still boasts many of its original features, including gas lighting. I love the small enclosed booths providing privacy to those sitting inside them.
Crown Liquor Saloon
Snugs are private enclosures within the saloon
Áras Uí Chonghaile The James Connolly Visitor Centre is a modern inspirational visitor centre in the heart of Belfast’s Gaeltacht Quarter, with an insightful exhibition about James Connolly, a man of formidable ideas and remarkable vision.
Glass of Thrones are a series of six giant, stained glass windows depicting some of the most iconic scenes from Game of Thrones. Created by Tourism Ireland, the doors celebrate 10 years of filming in Northern Ireland. Each door represents a different house or legacy; including the Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons, Targaryens, White Walkers and the Iron Throne. The designs include the most talked-about scenes from seasons one to seven based on fans’ online searches. Search throughout Belfast for the six doors.
Glass of Thrones - Targaryen
Glass of Thrones -
Belfast Castle was built in the 1860s, has landscaped gardens a mature mixed woodland, has superb views of the city and is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Hillsborough Castle & Gardens is from the 18th century, has ornamental gardens, a peaceful woodland, meandering waterways and picturesque glens at Northern Ireland’s royal residence.
Head to the Cathedral Quarter in the evening. It’s one of the most popular quarters in the city for locals and tourists with its buzzing nightlife and atmospheric pubs including: The Duke of York, The Harp Bar, The Dirty Onion & Yardbird, The Thirsty Goat, Babel and The Spaniard Bar.
Duke of York in the Cathedral Quarter
Commercial Court in the Cathedral Quarter
Within easy reach of Belfast
Ulster Folk & Transport Museum
Ulster Folk Museum - Discover town and countryside and experience what life was like over 100 years ago. Wander through the beautiful parkland where you will encounter costumed locals demonstrating traditional crafts in cottages, farm dwellings, schools, and shops.
Ulster Transport Museum - “Be transported back in time and explore one of the most comprehensive transport collections in Europe. You’ll find majestic locomotives, horse-drawn carriages, vintage motorbikes, and cars at the Ulster Transport Museum, along with exhibits of historical materials including photographs of the Titanic."
Carrickfergus Castle is a Norman castle situated in the town of Carrickfergus, on the northern shore of Belfast Lough. Besieged in turn by the Scots, Irish, English and French, the castle played an important military role until 1928 and remains one of the best preserved medieval structures in Ireland.
St Patrick gravesite
St Patrick’s grave is located on the site of Down Cathedral. His mortal remains were buried here after his death in 461 AD. The exact site of his burial remains a mystery; however, a carved memorial stone - made from local Mourne Mountain granite - traditionally marks his grave.
Castle Ward (aka Winterfell) - since the 16th century, the Ward family has called Castle Ward home. But in the Seven Kingdoms, this sprawling demesne has another name – Winterfell, the ancestral home of House Stark. Here, you can practice archery in the same spot as Jon Snow, model some authentic Westeros attire and feast on a lavish medieval banquet inspired by the show.
Castle Ward (aka Winterfell)
Castle Ward (aka Winterfell)
Hiking and Mountain Biking - About an hour south of Belfast are the Mourne Mountains - one of the best and most popular hiking (aka hillwalking) locations in all of Ireland. The selection of trails range from easy to very challenging. Located nearby is Tollymore Forest and Castlewellan Forest. There are a number of walking trails and mountain biking trails in this area. These areas can be reached within an hour from the center of Belfast.