A Walk Around The Amazing City of Belfast

Updated On: November 09, 2023

Belfast City

For all those who are coming to the city of Belfast soon and still did not make any plans for the places they have to visit then this is video below is for you because we have brought those hot spots of Belfast city, Northern Ireland, and the things to do and the places to visit to try and help a little bit.

Crown Bar

The Crown Bar can be found in Great Victoria Street in the city. It is one of the original bars in Belfast. It was refurbished in 1885 is one of Northern Ireland’s best-known pubs.

The pub was opened by Felix O’Hanlon and named The Railway Tavern. Later on, it was bought by Michael Flanagan, whose son, Patrick, renamed and renovated it in 1885.

Italian craftsmen are credited with designing and executing The Crowns elaborate tiling, stained glass and woodwork. This craftsmanship gave The Crown the reputation of being one of the finest Victorian Gin Palaces of its time.

The exterior of the pub is decorated with polychromatic tiles, including a mosaic of a Crown on the floor of the entrance. The interior is also decorated with mosaics tiles. The red granite-topped bar is of an altar style, with a heated footrest underneath and is lit by gas lamps on the highly decorative carved ceilings. The pub’s stained glass windows feature painted shells, fairies, pineapples, fleurs-de-lis and clowns.

In 1978, the National Trust purchased the property and three years later completed a £400,000 renovation to restore the bar to its original Victorian state. Further restoration by the National Trust was done in 2007 at a cost of £500,000. This work is the subject of a BBC Northern Ireland documentary, The Crown Jewel, screened in 2008.

A recognisable landmark of Belfast, the pub has featured as a location in numerous films and television productions, such as David Caffrey’s Divorcing Jack (1998) and Carol Reed’s classic 1947 film Odd Man Out.

Grand Opera House

If you’re looking for entertainment during the evening, then the Grand Opera House in Belfast is the place to be. Book ahead to see your favourite shows and enjoy your night.

Inaugurated in 1895, the Grand Opera House is a theatre that was designed by the most prolific theatre architect of the period, Frank Matcham.

The building hosts musical, dramatic and comedy performances as well as educational events for over 1,600 audience members.

Belfast City Hall

A Walk Around The Amazing City of Belfast
A Walk Around The Amazing City of Belfast 1

Until 1613, Belfast was considered to be a small settlement, then a Royal charter gave Belfast its town status, after which it continued to expand rapidly, becoming an important port and manufacturing centre. By the second half of the 19th century, Belfast had become a major industrial powerhouse, known for its numerous industries, including shipbuilding, rope-making, engineering, tobacco and textile. In 1888, Queen Victoria gave Belfast the title of city and hence a new city hall was needed to reflect this change in status.

The new hall was built by local firm H+J Martin, following a design from Alfred Brumwell Thomas, who won a public competition with his classical Renaissance design.

The Belfast City Hall was inaugurated on 1 August 1906. The building now stands as a testament to Belfast’s great economic success.

Floodlights have been added to City Hall to light up the building in different colours for special occasions. The lights were installed using the same technology employed at the Empire State Building in New York.

The exterior of the building is made up of Portland stone and is designed in the Baroque Revival style. The building features towers at each of the four corners, with a copper dome in the centre.

The statues of Queen Victoria by Sir Thomas Brock can be found within the City Hall grounds, as well as a granite column commemorating the American Expeditionary Force, who were based in Belfast prior to D-Day.

The grounds also contain a memorial that is dedicated to Sir Edward Harland, the former head of the Harland and Wolff shipyard, which was sculpted by Thomas Brock, in addition to Northern Ireland’s main war memorial, The Garden of Remembrance and Cenotaph. Other memorials located within the grounds include those dedicated to: James Magennis VC, the only Northern Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross during World War II; Belfast footballer George Best; and the Imjin River Memorial, which commemorates Irish troops who perished in the Battle of Chaegunghyon in during the Korean War.

The interior of the building has a number of notable features including The Porte-Cochère and Grand Entrance, and The Grand Staircase. The Great Hall was destroyed during the Belfast blitz and then rebuilt once again.

The building also features Carrara, Pavonazzo and Brescia marbles and stained glass windows with the Belfast Coat of Arms, portraits of Queen Victoria and William III and shields of the Provinces of Ireland.

Various memorials are located within the building honouring Frederick Robert Chichester, Earl of Belfast, Sir Crawford and Lady McCullagh and the 36th (Ulster) Division.

  • Titanic Memorial Garden

Many might find it surprising, but the Belf

ast City Hall does have a deep connection with the Titanic. It is said that Lord Pirrie, a leading Irish shipbuilder and businessman who oversaw the design of the Titanic, contributed many ideas to the design of the Belfast City Hall.

William Pirrie, Lord Mayor in 1896-1897, is said to have referred to the Hall as ‘the stone Titanic’. He was actually supposed to take the trip on board the ship but was prevented by an unexpected illness. Before the ill-fated voyage in 1912, Pirrie was questioned about the lifeboats aboard the ship and why their numbers were not enough to accommodate the travellers in case of emergency. He responded that the great ship was unsinkable and the rafts were to save others.

The Titanic Memorial, sculpted by Sir Thomas Brock, which pays tribute to 22 men who lost their lives on the ship can be found on the grounds of the Belfast City Hall. Another statue by Brock depicts Sir Edward Harland with the ship’s plan in hand, who was Lord Mayor in 1885 and 1886.

The Lord Mayor’s Suite is also named as ‘the Titanic Rooms’, as some of the craftsmen who worked on them went on to work on the famous ship. Portraits of Lord and Lady Pirrie also hang in the Reception Room.

The Titanic Memorial Garden can be found on the east side of Belfast City Hall. The garden was built around the Titanic monument. The garden is set on two levels with the upper level containing a nine-meter-long platform that supports 15 bronze plaques which list the names of the 1,512 people who tragically lost their lives on the RMS Titanic. This is the first time that the names of everyone who perished have been recorded on one single monument, which is now known as ‘The Belfast List’.

  • City of Belfast Tours

Free public tours of the Belfast City Hall are led by experienced guides. Visitors simply sign in at the Main Reception, shortly before the tour. The guided tour lasts 45 minutes where visitors can enjoy the building’s finest features and see various rooms including The Great Hall, Banqueting Hall, Reception Hall, Council Chamber, and Robing Room.

Royal Avenue and Victoria Square Shopping Centre

With Christmas getting closer and closer each day, it’s about time that we all get our last-minute shopping done and what better place to do so in than Royal Avenue in Belfast.

One of Belfast’s most well-known locations is Royal Avenue in the Cathedral Quarter in the heart of Belfast, which has been the city’s main shopping thoroughfare since its establishment in the late 19th century.

It is home to the shopping complex Westfield CastleCourt. It begins from the Donegall Place junction with Castle Place and Castle Street, which is the hub of the city centre, and runs north to the North Street crossing and angles northeast to the Donegall Street intersection continuing in a northeasterly direction as York Street.

Royal Avenue has many Victorian and Edwardian buildings, including the central Library and the Haymarket Building, alongside the modern shopping complexes.

Royal Avenue was established in 1881. Since then, it has become Belfast’s principal shopping thoroughfare, and today it is lined with major department stores and big brand shops.

Royal Avenue houses many shops and major department stores that attract numerous shoppers on a daily basis. This includes branches of big brands, such as Primark, Tesco, H&M, and Schuh.

Victoria Square is another shopping centre with over 70 international and local brands, restaurants and a cinema. There, you can find the ‘Dome’ which offers panoramic views of the city, the River Lagan and the Mourne Mountains.

CastleCourt in the City of Belfast

Castle Court is another indoor shopping centre that’s worth checking out. It is located on Royal Avenue and is the third biggest shopping centre in Northern Ireland.

It offers an amazing selection of high street shops from clothing stores, jewellery stores, toy shops and a range of food and drink outlets.

The Cathedral Quarter: A Cultural Hub

Taking its name from St. Anne’s Cathedral, the Cathedral Quarter is home to a bustling culture and arts scene, cosy pubs, underground music venues and a host of contemporary restaurants.

The area has recently re-emerged as a ‘cultural quarter’ of the city because of the recent growth in arts and culture-based organizations that are located there, including Northern Visions TV, The Safehouse Arts Gallery, Belfast City Print Workshop and Belfast’s small Zen Meditation community.

The area also boasts a rich literary heritage as The Northern Whig; a popular newspaper that was circulated from 1824 until 1963, was based there. Today, its building has been transformed into a popular pub and restaurant. The Irish News, another well-known newspaper, still has its head office on Donegall Street.

Another well-known pub in the area is named after City of Belfast poet John Hewitt. The pub showcases noteworthy artwork and photographs for sale.

St. Anne’s Cathedral

Built-in 1899 on the site of Belfast’s first Church of Ireland Episcopal parish, St. Anne’s is a neo-Romanesque building. The Cathedral was designed by Sir Thomas Drew and the foundation stone was laid on 6 September 1899 by the Countess of Shaftesbury. It was initially constructed around the old parish church of St Anne until 31 December 1903 when the old church was demolished.

In 1925, the west front of the cathedral was built as a memorial to commemorate the Ulstermen and women who served and died in WWI.

Albert Clock

Known as Belfast’s ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa’, the Albert Memorial Clock was erected in 1853 as a memorial to Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria. The 14-feet tower has made it into pop culture as well. It can be seen in the 1947 film ‘Odd Man Out’ starring James Mason. Although access to the interior

Titanic Quarter

Within walking distance of the Cathedral Quarter is the Titanic Quarter. The historic landmarks, includes film studios, education facilities, apartments, an entertainment district. The Titanic-themed attraction is a 185-acre site is where the famous RMS Titanic was constructed a century ago.

Named the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction 2016, the Titanic Quarter offers several tour options for the public that include a variety of attractions within the quarter.

You can see the Titanic Dock and Pump-House where the famous Titanic Liner was built. You also have the opportunity to see the Titanic at the docks via audio and visual presentations that include rare footage of the ship at the dock in 1912.

Get to see the slipways where the RMS Titanic and her sister ship Olympic first slid into the water. The area has now been converted into a plaza where crowds gather for major concerts.

Visitors also get to pay a visit to the SS Nomadic, the ship that transported first-class and second-class passengers to the Titanic and discover its interesting stories. You can also step onboard the HMS Caroline to explore the ship that survived WWI and even eat on board.

The Odyssey Pavilion in the Titanic Quarter is a great place to relax and have a great meal with your family and friends. It offers a variety of restaurants, bars, a cinema and a bowling alley. There, you can see the SSE Arena, where concerts or ice hockey games are held.

Finally, if you’re in for a little bit of an adventure, then you have to try the wakeboard park by the slipway. Take a shot at cable wakeboarding, which is similar to water-skiing but you’re pulled by an electric cable instead of by a boat. It’s an exhilarating experience that should not be missed!

Aside from the Pump House, you can pay a visit to the Titanic Museum to learn more about the ship’s history. It is also reported that when James Cameron, director of the popular Academy Award-winning 1997 Titanic film, visited the museum, he stated, “It’s really quite phenomenal. It’s a magnificent, dramatic building; the biggest Titanic exhibition in the world.”

Ulster Hall

The Ulster Hall is a concert hall in the city of Belfast, located on Bedford Street. It hosts concerts, classical recitals, craft fairs and political party conferences.

Opened in 1862, the hall was designed by William J. Barre, the designer of the Albert Clock. During WWII, it was used as a dance hall to entertain American troops stationed in Northern Ireland.

Over the course of its history, Ulster hall hosted numerous major events and performances, from readings by Charles Dickens to performances by AC/DC, Metallica, Muse, and Westlife’s lead vocalist Shane Filan, among others.

Tourist Information Centre (Visit Belfast)

If you’re visiting the city of Belfast for the first time and are unsure of where to start your trip, be sure to pay a visit to the Tourist Information Center (Visit Belfast) on 9 Donegall Square North. They can provide you with any information or guidance you need. Their services include tickets for tours and events, accommodation bookings, a gift shop, free Wi-Fi, as well as any information and advice you may need.

Peace Walls

The Belfast City Peace Walls were built in 1969 following the outbreak of the Northern Ireland riots and “the Troubles”. The Belfast City Peace Walls range in length from a few hundred yards to over three miles. They may be made of iron, brick, and/or steel and are up to 25 feet high. Some of the walls actually have gates allowing passage during daylight hours but they remain closed during the night.

According to the Huffington Post, the Peace Walls are listed as one of the city of Belfast’s top tourist attractions. Visitors enjoying bus or cab tours can stop by and are even encouraged to scrawl their own messages on it.

If you’re interested in exploring more locations to visit in the city of Belfast: Belfast CastleUlster MuseumRedburn Country ParkBelfast Spring Continental MarketStreamvale Open FarmWoodvale Park | Botanic Gardens

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