Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital, is a beautiful port city. It is packed with history, culture, exciting events, great food and experiencing a huge resurgence in interest as a tourist destination recently. Take a look at our Top 10 Things To Do In Belfast.
City Hall – Since 1906, Belfast City Hall is a stunning masterpiece of Portland stone, set in an attractive public lawn in Donegall Square. Free tours by experienced guides are available as well, they last around one hour and uncover the history of Belfast City Hall, while exploring some of its finest features.
Waterfront Hall – Opened in January 1997 Belfast Waterfront quickly took its place in Belfast’s cultural and commercial landscape and indeed as an international standard venue for arts/entertainment and conferences. There are two bars and a restaurant that overlooks the River Lagan and offers superb views of Belfast
Parliament Buildings – Located in Stormont Estate, the Parliament Buildings were opened in 1932 and are home to the Northern Ireland assembly. It is one of the most striking pieces of architecture in Northern Ireland. The architect Sir Arnold Thornely designed the building in the neo-classical style with perfect symmetry and symbolism. The building being 365 ft wide representing one foot for every day of the year; having six floors and six pillars at the entrance, one for each county in Northern Ireland. Take one of the free daily tours, Monday to Friday at 10am and 3pm. You will see the Debating Chamber where they make laws, visit the historic Library, and learn more about the history and architecture of the building.
Botanic Gardens – The Belfast Botanic Gardens has been a public park since Victorian times and has retained it’s charm over the years. It is home to the Palm House and the Tropical Ravine. The Palm House contains a range of tropical plants, hanging baskets, seasonal displays and birds of paradise, and is one of the earliest examples of a glasshouse made from curved iron and glass.
Titanic Quarter – Belfast’s Titanic Quarter is one of the world’s largest urban-waterfront regeneration projects. Master-planned over 185 acres on the site where RMS Titanic was designed and built, Titanic Quarter is redefining what it means to work, live, play and stay in central Belfast. Reflecting the achievements of history with the latest design approaches, Titanic Quarter’s futuristic mix of residential, commercial, tourism, education and retail space has provided Belfast with a new urban quarter. You can visit the actual docks where the ship was built alongside its sister liner ‘Olympic’. When the construction took place, this was the largest dry dock in the world Source: titanic-quarter
Titanic Belfast – Titanic Belfast is the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience. Located in the heart of Belfast on the very slipways where Titanic was built. It extends over nine galleries, with multiple dimensions to the exhibition, drawing together special effects, dark rides, full-scale reconstructions and innovative interactive features to explore the Titanic story in a fresh and insightful way.
St George’s Market – St George’s Market is the last surviving Victorian covered market in Belfast. It was built between 1890 and 1896 and it is one of the best markets in the UK and Ireland. Belfast’s award winning market offers a variety of products including food, clothes, books and antiques. It is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Black Cab Tours – These offbeat 90-minute tours in traditional black cabs are so detailed and fun and they give you a fantastic introduction to the city. It’s probably the best way to see the Catholic Falls Road and Protestant Shankill Road, the wall murals, the so-called Peace Walls keeping Protestants and Catholics apart, the docks and the university area, whilst whizzing round the City Hall and Titanic Quarter too.
Belfast Pub Crawls – Belfast traditional irish pub crawls lets tourists and locals alike visit some of belfast’s best bars on a friday and saturday night – with a guided tour. It is a great way to experience the city night life with some beautiful atmosphere filled bars and with a guide to answer all your questions on the night and go the extra mile to make your night extra special.
Crumlin Road Gaol – The former prison which was taken out of service in 1996 is now a museum, this was one of the most advanced prisons of its day when it opened in 1845. This is a great place to get to grips with Northern Ireland’s history. On a 70 min guided tour you will be taken through the years and experience what life was like for those imprisoned. The Gaol has housed murderers, suffragettes and loyalist and republican prisoners and has been the home to executions, escapes, hunger-strikes and riots. Reviewers described their visit as ’emotional and haunting’.
Just So You Know…
- One third of the population of Northern Ireland lives in Belfast.
- Belfast Zoo is home to the only group of purple-faced langurs in Europe – all the more reason to visit.
- Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ was first played live in the Ulster Hall IN Belgrad.
- Get Some Culture:
- Ulster Museum – Home to a rich collection of fine art, history, archaeology, ethnography, and, botany, zoology and geology. It is free to all visitors.