Belfast city has one of the most intriguing histories in the British Isles. From war to peace, Belfast has endured a lot, but has come through it all as a strong city. Belfast has so much to offer its visitors from the story of the Titanic to Game of Thrones filming locations. So take a trip to the Northern Irish capital and see why the locals are so proud to call this their home. Here are the best things to do in the area!
1. Titanic Belfast
Located right next to the site of the infamous ship’s construction, Titanic Belfast has become the most popular tourist destination in Northern Ireland. The Titanic experience takes you on a journey following the inception of the ship right up to that fateful day when it sank. The museum is modern and tells the story in a respectful and though-provoking way, taking into account the lives lost not only after the collision with the iceberg, but during the construction of the ‘world’s fastest ship’. A trip to Belfast isn’t complete until you’ve visited Titanic Belfast.
Read our article on the Titanic Belfast.
Address: 1 Olympic Way Queen’s Road, Belfast, County Antrim, BT3 9EP
Price: Adult: 18 GBP (23.35 USD) Child: 8 GBP (10.40 USD) Student: 14.50 GBP (18.80 USD)
Website: Titanic Belfast
2. Belfast Castle Estate and Cave Hill
Belfast Castle Estate is an imposing structure on the edge of the city. The building is on Cave Hill named because of the five caves on the side of the cliff face. Walking around the castle and its surrounding parklands give you a unique vantage point over the city of Belfast. You can enjoy walking tours, orienteering routes or a pint in the castle grounds - truly something for everyone. Supposedly the inspiration for ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ this scenic spot is iconic for all travellers visiting the city.
Belfast Castle Estate and Cave Hill
Address: Antrim Road, Belfast BT15 5GR
Website: Belfast Castle Estate
Stormont is the home of Northern Irish politics. Over the years it has endured some tense moments, but in these years of peace the building has had something of a political makeover. Now it is open to the public and is a popular place for locals and tourists alike. You are welcome to explore the parliamentary buildings by yourself or as part of a guided tour during the week. Alternatively you can explore the Stormont Estate parks and woodlands where you will discover statues, memorials and artefacts collected since 1921.
Stormont Parliamentary Buildings
Address: Upper Newtownards Road Belfast County Antrim BT4 3XX
Website: Stormont Parliamentary Buildings
Address: Stormont Estate Upper Newtownards Road Belfast County Antrim BT4 3SH
Website: Stormont Estate
4. Game of Thrones Filming Locations
Whether you are a die-hard fan or you haven’t seen a single episode, it is impossible to deny that Game of Thrones is an iconic show- it has certainly swept the world. Across Northern Ireland you will find many filming locations for the popular TV series all within a short distance of Belfast. Hire a car or join a tour starting from the city centre to discover The King’s Road (The Dark Hedge, Antrim), Riverrun (Quoile River) or Winterfell (Castle Ward, Strangford).
Game of Thrones Tour
Address: Head Office: Suite 180 21 Botanic Avenue Belfast BT7 1JJ Northern Ireland
Website: Game of Thrones Tour
5. Befast City Hall
Once referred to as ‘the stone Titanic’, this magnificent structure is a symbol of pride in Belfast City. Following a two-year refurbishment, City Hall was recently reopened to the public by Hilary Clinton. Now visitors can take part in free guided tours during the week to learn about City Hall’s connection to the Titanic and its collection of monuments and memorials.
Belfast City Hall
Address: Donegall Square Belfast County Antrim BT1 5GS
Website: Belfast City Hall
6. Crumlin Road Gaol
For 150 years this was the home to Belfast’s convicted, but in 1996 it closed it’s doors to criminals and a few years later welcomed tourists from all over the world. During a 70 minutes tour visitors to the gaol can see where murderers republicans, loyalists and even suffragettes spent their time locked up. You can sit in the Governor’s chair, walk down the underground tunnel towards the courthouse and see where 17 men were hanged. On special occasions such as ‘Live at the Crum’ you can also attend live music concerts within its terrifying walls.
Crumlin Road Gaol
Address: 53 - 55 Crumlin Road Belfast County Antrim BT14 6ST
Price: Adult: 9 GBP (11.70 USD) Child: 6.50 GBP (8.45 USD)
Website: Crumlin Road Gaol
7. St George's Market
There has been a Friday market held on this site ever since 1604- it has become something of a tradition . With space for around 250 market stalls, this is the place to go for your fresh vegetables, fish or meat every week. You can also find book stalls, clothes stalls, craft stalls, and live music. The St George’s Market has become more than just a place to source your weekly shopping, it has become an event for locals and tourists to enjoy every week.
St George's Market
Address: 12 - 20 East Bridge Street, Belfast, BT1 3NQ
Website: St George’s Market
8. Giant's Causeway
Legend has it that two giants one scheduled a fight on the coast of Northern Ireland. The unique hexagonal rock forms left on the coast of Antrim are all that is left of the battle. Now the Giant’s Causeway is part of the National Trust and is open to visitors who dare walk in the footsteps of giants.
Address: 44 Causeway Road, Bushmills, County Antrim, BT57 8SU
Website: Giant’s Causeway
9. Botanic Gardens and Palm House
The Botanic Gardens are almost 200 years old but are still a very popular place to visit by both locals and tourists. The Victorian style Palm House is the centre of attention here, as it houses many tropical plants within its beautiful glass frame. The gardens host special cultural events throughout the year such as concerts and opera performances which prove popular with everyone- so keep an eye on their calendar and make sure to attend!
Address: College Park Botanic Avenue Belfast County Antrim BT7 1LP
Website: Botanic Gardens
10. Ulster Museum
Ulster Museum is a treasure trove of items ranging from dinosaurs and Egyptian mummies to a collection of selfies and a Game of Thrones tapestry. The museum is great day out for young and old alike as it offers a little something for everyone. History, science, culture and fun all come together under one roof.
Read our article on the Ulster Museum.
Address: Botanic Gardens Belfast County Antrim BT9 5AB
Website: Ulster Museum
Belfast is the perfect example of a revitalised city. It has become one of the top tourist destinations in the British Isles and with all it has to offer it’s easy to see why. The beauty and history of the city combined with the promise and hope of a brighter future makes this city a wonderful place to be.
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