Planning A Trip To Belfast
There are many facets to planning a Belfast trip and deciding what sights to see is just one part of it. Visitors also need to consider how to get there, where to stay and what to pack. We share top tips specific to Belfast travels at the end of the article.
Visiting other nearby destinations? Our travel guides will help you make the most of your trip! Get our top tips on Dublin sightseeing. Learn how to spend One Day in Glasgow. Use our guide to the Best Things To Do in Edinburgh. Find out how to Plan a 3-Day Trip to London.
Additionally, visitors coming from overseas can use our detailed guide to Planning a European Vacation.
In order to stay organized throughout the planning process, we recommend using a Travel Planner. Our printable planner comes with 26 pages of travel organization!
Save, Pin or Bookmark this Belfast travel blog post so that you can use it while planning your trip to Northern Ireland!
Climb Aboard Hms Caroline
A newer addition to the already excellent collection of attractions in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, HMS Caroline is one of the last surviving vessels to have seen service in both world wars. Recently refurbished, the ship was commissioned in 1914 and patrolled the North Sea, as well as participating in the pivotal Battle of Jutland.
Opened in her present location to the public in 2016, a tour of this floating museum and its visitor center provides a great deal of fascinating information about WW1 and the ship’s history. Highlights include audio-visual displays, tours of the fully-restored sections of the ship, plus educational opportunities that give kids the chance to have some hands-on fun. In addition to a café and gift shop, there’s a playground and picnic area on-shore.
Address: Alexandra Dock, Queens Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Spend A Night At The Grand Opera House
West of the City Hall on Great Victoria Street, the highly ornate Grand Opera House is well worth visiting to take in a show or concert. Dating from 1895, it has seen its share of troubles over the years. In 1972, at the height of the conflict in Northern Ireland, the building was sold to property developers and nearly demolished. Thankfully, due to a campaign, this didn’t happen.
Between 1976 and 1980, the structure was extensively restored, including the restoration of the ceiling panels in the main auditorium. A large extension was added in 2006, and these days it hosts musicals, operas, and live performances and is one of the city’s true landmarks. Guided tours are available.
Address:2-4 Great Victoria Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland
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Queens University A Beautiful University Campus
Queens University is a beautiful building and one of the great architectural landmarks and a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Northern Ireland.
The university is a highly-respected, world-renowned academic institution ranked in the top 173 universities in the World .
The main building, the Lanyon Building, was designed by the English architect Sir Charles Lanyon and is a thing of beauty.
The Queens Welcome Centre is the official tourist information centre for south Belfast. It hosts a regular programme of exhibitions and serves as an information point for visitors and tourists, as well as offering a varied selection of souvenirs and gifts.
Guided campus tours are available throughout the year on request. Contact the centre to discuss your tour requirements.
Address: University Rd, Belfast BT7 1NN
The River Lagan At Night To See The City Lit Up In Its Glory
The River Lagan is a major river in Northern Ireland, and it runs right through the heart of the city. You will find some of Belfasts most iconic landmarks along its banks.
Possibly the best way to see these landmarks is to walk along the river at night to see them lit up in their glory!
Wed recommend starting at Titanic Belfast, where you can see sights of the Belfast Titanic Quarter that tell a tale of the citys maritime history and make your way towards the Waterfront Hall.
It is entirely free to do this beautiful walk, so if you wonder what to see in Belfast on a budget, this walk is a safe bet!
Address: 1 Olympic Way, Queens Road, Belfast BT3 9EP
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Finest Issues To Do In Belfast Northern Eire
When considering of Belfast in Northern Eire, folks typically envision The Troubles of the twentieth century the place religions fuelled violence and divided town . The lengthy partitions separating the areas of Shankhill Street and Falls Street are nonetheless standing immediately. Nonetheless, Belfast is a lot greater than a metropolis battling non secular variations. There are various issues to do in Belfast that set it aside from its troubling previous and make for an incredible metropolis to go to.
Throughout our first go to to Belfast, we have been responsible of focusing solely on the troubles and doing day journeys to the Causeway Coast, however when visiting once more, we spent extra time downtown to actually uncover the hidden gems and sights that arent to be missed. It seems, theres a lot to do! So, top off in your British kilos and discover ways to convert from kilometers to miles, were taking you on a journey of all one of the best locations to go to in Belfast, Northern Eire.
Fun Things To Do In Belfast
Posted on Last updated: August 15, 2022
Belfast is famous for its tumultuous past, but Northern Irelands capital city has so much more to offer. We loved our first taste of Belfast, and you will too. There are so many fun things to do in Belfast!
Visiting Belfast surprised us.
We were immediately struck by the British influence in the citys architecture and style, not to mention the currency. The more we explored, the more we discovered that Belfast has its own unique character, much of it formed during and after The Troubles.
We knew about The Troubles before our visit, but we didnt fully understand the ramifications of the late 20th conflict between the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland until we were in Belfast and saw the remaining walls and related street art in person. As it turns out, Belfast is more than The Troubles.
Its a vibrant city that is not yet fully discovered by the hordes of tourists that descend on nearby Dublin. Its also a relatively affordable city where you can eat and drink well without breaking the bank.
In other words, its our kind of city.
Fans of pop culture already know about Belfasts connection to Titanic and Game of Thrones. Visitors will find it easy to both visit the citys outstanding Titanic museum and venture beyond the city on Game of Throne tours to see many of the shows most iconic sites.
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Wander Around Belfast City Hall
Belfast city hall is actually the backdrop of the Christmas market held there every winter, but itâs also very beautiful to visit on a general day.
You can wander inside or you can opt for an organised tour of the city hall and here some interesting history about Belfast and the role of the city hall during the troubles.
Best Things To Do & Days Out In Belfast County Antrim
The capital of Northern Ireland and the birthplace of the RMS Titanic in 1912, there are lots of interesting things to do in Belfast.
Start the day at Titanic Belfast, which takes you through the Titanic story using special effects, dark rides and full reconstructions. Brace yourself as the iceberg hits and relive the sinking as the beast that was Titanic splits from underneath you.
Leaving the legacy of the great ship behind during your Belfast family day out, try your hand at all things science at W5. There are over 250 fun and interactive exhibits over four exhibition areas to discover, as well as a special area for the under 5s.
The Belfast Castle Visitors Centre may not actually have a castle, but it does offer an award-winning adventure playground for those aged 3-14. Children can go looking for Napoleons Nose and climb, jump, swing and slide their way through any excess energy!
There are plenty of rainy day activities too, including Odyssey Bowl and five miles outside of the city is Indiana Land, which is an awesome jungle themed indoor play area inspired by everyones favourite adventure loving archeologist!
If you’re looking for fun things to do and family days out in Belfast – browse and book your attraction tickets here.
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Immerse Yourself In Belfasts Historic Murals
It is a stark juxtaposition that the color-infused murals slapped across Belfasts walls often depict the darkest periods of its past. The near-2000 murals evoke scenes and stories from Troubles-era Belfast, while more modern works focus on peace, prosperity and cultural icons.
There are murals celebrating Belfasts Gaelic roots, murals depicting political prisoners and Republican hunger strikers, murals drawing parallels between the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the British occupation of Ireland, murals commemorating paramilitary groups and the pro-union Orange Order, and murals symbolizing an end to armed struggle. Its a lot to take in, and like as not for newcomers, difficult to grasp.
The Peace Walls, dividing Catholic and Protestant communities across Belfast, have the greatest congregation of political artworks, all of which you can view for free. Paid guided tours, however, are recommended as the safest and most educational method of viewing Belfasts complicated street art.
Learn About The Troubles At The Peace Wall
The 30-year period from the late 1960s through the 1990s was a turbulent time for Belfast and Northern Ireland. Now dubbed The Troubles, the conflict divided Northern Ireland along political and religious lines. Riots and violence in Belfast led to separating the two communities by barriers called Peace Walls.
The Peace Wall that separates the Falls Road community from the Shankill Road community on the west side of the city has become one of the more unusual Belfast sights.
Tourists interested in learning about the conflict can tour the neighborhoods to see poignant memorials, evocative street art murals and the stark differences between the two neighboring communities.
The best way to learn about the conflict is with a local tour guide. The famous Black Taxi Tours offer a personal introduction with a balanced viewpoint. Find out more about the Black Cab tour here.
Pro Tip: Not up for a tour? Visitors who want to explore on their own can use this map just be aware that without a local guide, it can be difficult to fully understand the events and sentiments of The Troubles.
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Chart The History Of Westeros Via The Glass Of Thrones
Game of Thrones has an intrinsic connection to Northern Ireland, the home of rural filming locations and manmade sets used in the HBO show. Travelers to Belfast can get a flavor of Westeros without dipping into their trip budget through the Glass of Thrones trail.
Head for the 1.5-mile route along the waterfront, which connects six impressionist stained-glass artworks reimagining famous scenes and characters from Westerosi lore. The Battle of the Bastards, Lady Melisandre, Daenerys riding fire-breathing Drogon, the Night King, the Iron Throne, and the Lannister reign are all included. Guided tours, led by extras from the TV series, are available from £8 per person, but you can scrimp by taking on the journey yourself.
Punctuate the short tour with a visit to The Dark Horse, a cafe in the charming Cathedral Quarter. Part of the exclusive Journey of Doors project, youll find an artistic rendering of Baelors Sept engraved into one of its interior doors, made from varnished beech wood sourced at the Dark Hedges.
Relax At Hillsborough Castle And Gardens
As the home of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the official royal residence for Her Majesty the Queen in the country, Hillsborough Castle is a beautiful landmark with an intriguing history. The interior is grand and opulent and has served as the backdrop to a number of high-profile moments in recent Irish history.
Set amidst tranquil gardens where you, can wander at your leisure and enjoy the peace and relaxation of the grounds.
- Entrance: £9.90
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Unique Things To Do In Belfast Off The Beaten Path In 2022
So, youre planning a trip to Belfast. Good for you! Belfast is a charismatic and vibrant city with more than just whiskies and potatoes.
As the birthplace of the The RMS Titanic, the infamous sinking ship , this historical capital is full of hidden gems to immerse yourself in and explore.
But what are the most unique things to do in Belfast I hear you cry?
Well, fortunately for you, we have put together a huge list of our favourite attractions in Belfast and surrounding areas, covering everything from jaw-dropping landscapes, eye-opening historical tours, and even landing your part in the next Game Of Throne fan seriesjust kidding.
If youre not sure what to see and do, dont worry, we got you covered.
Where To Eat In Belfast
Dining in Northern Ireland has come a long way baby and we thoroughly enjoyed our dining experiences in Belfast. These venues were modern with sophistaced foods and wine pairings.
- Deanes Meat Locker Meat lovers will enjoy this restaurant but there are vegetarian choices as well.
- James Street & Co fantastic cocktails, fine wine and grilled dishes with a modern feel
- Drawing Office Located in the Titanic Belfast Hotel this is a great stop for lunch or an elegant dinner.
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Drink A Local Whiskey In A Traditional Irish Pub
Not all of the must-see attractions involve travelling far and wide around the city, there are actually many things to do in Belfast city centre. Such as engaging with the local culture and experiencing the genuine atmosphere of an old, traditional Irish pub. This is an ideal place to spend an afternoon, or evening, or even morning, tasting some of Belfasts best local craft beers.
With plenty of local beers and whiskeys on offer and the sound of traditional music playing in the background, you will be sure to have fantastic memories that leave you with a lasting impression of the real soul of the city. This is hands down one of our top things to do in Belfast at night.
Book The Best Belfast Hotel
Now that you know some of the fun things to do in Belfast, youre probably wondering where to stay during your visit. Wonder no more. You should stay at the most bombed hotel in Europe the Europa Hotel.
The Europa Hotel may be notorious for being the most bombed hotel in Europe, but this elegant hotel has way more to offer than being the answer to a trivia question.
The hotel is in a perfect location for touring, just a short walk from many attractions and directly across the street from one of the citys best pubs, the Crown Liquor Saloon. Like us, though, you may have to drag yourself out of the room with its big, comfy bed, free wi-fi and tea setup.
Breakfast is another bonus at the Europa Hotel. The hotels chef has elevated the typical hotel breakfast with the incorporation of locally sourced products like sweet butter and savory pork.
The bottle of Bushmills Whiskey at the oatmeal station takes the local sourcing over the top in a good way. Try not to smile after eating oatmeal laced with whiskey. We dare you.
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The 18 Best Things To Do In Belfast 2022
Belfast is the capital of Northern Irelandso while it is a part of the United Kingdom , it does have an open border with the Republic of Ireland to the south. And along with its natural and architectural charms, in the decades since the end of the Troubles, its become an ultra-artsy cultural mecca to boot! From exploring the amazing Giants Causeway to snacking through St. Georges Market, these are the 18 best things to do in Belfast 2022.
Whether youre visiting Ireland or planning a staycation, work with an Irish local to plan your trip. Our locals in Ireland will plan a safe trip away from the crowdsfull of up-to-date info you might not find online. Learn more.
Grand Opera House Belfast
If you want to catch a live performance in Belfast, consider booking tickets to a show at the Grand Opera House Belfast. From the ballet to opera to musical theatre, it has it all.
If you dont catch a show, consider taking a tour of the Grand Opera House Heritage Exhibition to explore this venue that has been a large part of the citys history. The Grand Opera House has a 125 year history where the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Luciano Pavarotti have walked its halls.
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Attend An Ulsterman Rugby Match At Kingspan Stadium
For sports fans, Northern Ireland undoubtedly brings to mind one game above all others rugby. If you would like to experience the incredible atmosphere of match day at the home stadium of one of the worlds leading rugby teams, pay a visit to the Kingspan Stadium.
As the home of Ulster Rugby, Kingspan regularly hosts some of the best teams from all over the world. So Rugby fans should definitely add this to their itinerary for an upcoming trip to Belfast.