Belfast Tours- Best Places to Visit in Belfast

Belfast

Updated On: March 14, 2024 by   Ciaran ConnollyCiaran Connolly

Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland, is a vibrant metropolis steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty. From its rich industrial heritage to its captivating landmarks, Belfast offers visitors diverse attractions. Whether you’re interested in delving into its troubled past, immersing yourself in its thriving arts scene, or simply soaking up its stunning scenery, there’s something for everyone in this dynamic city.

Things to do in Belfast

This comprehensive guide will take you through the best places to visit in the city, ensuring you make the most of your time in this captivating destination.

1. Titanic Belfast

Titanic Belfast
Titanic Belfast

No visit to the city is complete without a trip to Titanic Belfast, the world’s most considerable Titanic visitor experience. Located in the heart of the Titanic Quarter, this award-winning attraction tells the story of the ill-fated RMS Titanic, from its construction in Belfast’s shipyards to its tragic sinking in 1912. Visitors can explore interactive galleries, walk through a replica of the ship’s interiors, and even uncover the stories of the passengers and crew on board that fateful night. With its striking architecture and immersive exhibits, Titanic Belfast offers a poignant and unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

2. Belfast City Hall

Belfast City Hall is a stunning example of Baroque Revival architecture and a symbol of the city’s civic pride. Situated in Donegall Square, this iconic building serves as the headquarters of Belfast City Council and is open to the public for guided tours. Visitors can admire the grandeur of the building’s interior, including its majestic domed ceiling and marble staircase while learning about its history and significance to the city. Be sure to explore the surrounding gardens, which feature statues, memorials, and beautifully landscaped green spaces.

3. Crumlin Road Gaol

Step back in time with a visit to Crumlin Road Gaol, a former Victorian-era prison that now serves as a museum and visitor attraction. Located just north of the city centre, this imposing red-brick building offers guided tours that provide insight into its fascinating history, including its role during the Troubles and its infamous inmates. Visitors can explore the prison’s eerie underground tunnel, wander through the cramped cells, and learn about the lives of both prisoners and guards. It’s a sobering but enlightening experience that glimpses into Belfast’s troubled past.

4. St. George’s Market

St George’s Market

Head to St. George’s Market to taste Belfast’s vibrant culture and culinary delights. Dating back to the 19th century, this historic market is one of the city’s oldest attractions and is renowned for its lively atmosphere and diverse stalls. Visitors can browse everything from fresh produce and artisanal crafts to vintage clothing and antiques, all while enjoying live music and street performances. Be sure to sample local delicacies, including traditional Irish stew, seafood chowder, and freshly baked soda bread.

5. Botanic Gardens and Ulster Museum

Ulster Museum Belfast | Northern Ireland | Belfast Museums

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city with a visit to the Botanic Gardens, a tranquil oasis nestled in the heart of Belfast. Established in 1828, these picturesque gardens feature a stunning array of exotic plants, flowers, and trees and a series of beautiful glasshouses, including the iconic Palm House. Adjacent to the gardens is the Ulster Museum, which houses a diverse collection of artefacts, artworks, and exhibits that showcase Northern Ireland’s rich history, culture, and natural heritage. From ancient Celtic artefacts to modern art installations, there’s something to fascinate visitors of all ages.

6. Cave Hill

For breathtaking views of the city and its surrounding countryside, venture to Cave Hill, a basaltic hill overlooking the city. Located north of the city, this rugged landscape has caves, crags, and walking trails, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. One of the most iconic features of Cave Hill is Napoleon’s Nose, a distinctive rock formation that resembles the profile of the French emperor. From the summit, visitors can enjoy panoramic vistas of Belfast Lough, the Mourne Mountains, and even the coast of Scotland on a clear day.

7. Belfast Castle

Belfast Castle | Belfast | Northern Ireland | Cave Hill | Things to Do in Belfast | Visit Belfast

Perched atop Cave Hill is Belfast Castle, a magnificent Scottish Baronial-style mansion that dates back to the 19th century. Surrounded by landscaped gardens and woodlands, this historic landmark offers stunning views of the city below and is a popular destination for weddings, events, and afternoon tea. Visitors can explore the castle’s elegant interior, which features oak panelling, stained glass windows, ornate plasterwork, and various exhibits and displays that recount its fascinating history. Be sure to stroll around the grounds and soak up the beauty of this enchanting estate.

8. The Cathedral Quarter

Immerse yourself in Belfast’s thriving arts and entertainment scene with a visit to the Cathedral Quarter. Situated in the heart of the city centre, this lively district is known for its cobbled streets, historic architecture, and eclectic mix of galleries, theatres, and music venues. Visitors can explore the area’s vibrant street art, browse independent boutiques and craft shops, or sample the local cuisine at one of the many restaurants and cafes. Don’t miss the chance to catch a live performance at the MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre) or enjoy a pint of Guinness in one of the area’s traditional pubs.

9. Game of Thrones Filming Locations

For fans of the hit HBO series Game of Thrones, the city offers the opportunity to visit some of the show’s most iconic filming locations. From the haunting Dark Hedges to the imposing Castle Ward, Northern Ireland’s stunning landscapes provided the backdrop for many memorable scenes throughout the series. Several tour operators offer guided tours that take visitors to these sites, providing behind-the-scenes insights and anecdotes. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply appreciate breathtaking scenery, exploring Game of Thrones filming locations is a must-do experience in Belfast.

10. Black Cab Tours

A Black Cab Tour will give a deeper understanding of the city’s complex history and culture. These unique tours, led by knowledgeable local guides, offer insight into the city’s troubled past, including its divided communities, political murals, and paramilitary history. Visitors can choose from a range of themed tours, including the famous Belfast Murals Tour, which explores the striking political murals that adorn the city’s streets, or the Peace Walls Tour, which examines the barriers that still divide communities today. It’s a thought-provoking and educational experience that provides valuable context to the city’s ongoing journey towards reconciliation and peace.

Conclusion

From its iconic landmarks and historic sites to its vibrant cultural scene and stunning natural beauty, the city offers a wealth of experiences for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re fascinated by history, captivated by art, or simply seeking adventure in the great outdoors, there’s something to suit every taste and interest in this dynamic city. So, pack your bags, lace up your walking shoes, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the city’s best. With so much to see and do, you’ll soon discover why Belfast is a destination like no other.

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