Sprawling along the River Lagan, Belfast has reinvented itself in recent years to become Northern Ireland’s hippest destination. It flourished as a ship-building hub, having constructed the famous Titanic ocean liner, with beautifully restored Victorian architecture and an art-filled waterfront.
Things to do in Belfast
The Titanic Quarter docklands are a highlight of any visit, including the distinctive aluminium hull of the Titanic Belfast Museum. Explore its interactive exhibits that detail Belfast’s shipbuilding history and witness letters, brochures and menus from the ill-fated ocean liner which was built in this exact spot.
Aside from its Titanic attractions, Belfast is also home to the Ulster Museum that presents fascinating exhibits about the country’s recent troubled past. Marvel at the ancient artefacts, Egyptian mummies and natural science displays, then take a stroll through the historic Botanic Gardens.
Admire the neo-Romanesque architecture of St. Anne’s Cathedral and the highly ornate, 19th century Grand Opera House, then delve into the underground tunnels and cells of Crumlin Road Gaol. This infamous prison closed its doors to inmates in 1996, with guided tours providing a fascinating insight into the segregation of republicans and loyalists who were once held here.
For a unique perspective on Belfast, opt for a Black Taxi tour, run by drivers who worked throughout the “Troubles” and offer a wealth of insider knowledge about what life was like in the city.
Getting around Belfast
Belfast International Airport is the main entry point for visitors to the city, although the smaller Belfast City Airport serves limited destinations across the UK. The city centre is compact enough to explore on foot, while an open-top sightseeing bus is a good alternative for exploring further afield.