Ulster Museum Belfast – A great free attraction in Belfast

Ulster Museum Belfast

Updated On: March 04, 2024 by   Ciaran ConnollyCiaran Connolly

Ulster Museum Belfast

Are you looking for fun and interesting places to visit in Belfast, Northern Ireland? Then why not head to the Ulster Museum in Belfast? Located beside Botanic Gardens and Queens University, it’s an excellent way to spend a few hours with family, friends or alone. A free museum to visit – it covers Art, History and Nature over many floors.

The Museum is part of the National Museums Northern Ireland and also includes the popular attractions of the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum and Ulster American Folk Park.

The W5 interactive Centre and Armagh County Museum are also part of the National Museums Northern Ireland. We highly recommend checking out all these great attractions if you get the chance.

Ulster Museum Belfast
Ulster Museum Art

Why is the Ulster Museum Worth Visiting?

We promise you a trip to this museum in Belfast won’t be a letdown if you’re into history, cool science and exploring some amazing art and exhibitions. The Ulster Museum tells the fascinating story of the people of this area from way back in time to the present moment. You’ll be amazed by what’s on offer, such as the galleries and interactive discovery zones that bring the different collections to life.

Both young and old will love exploring this museum, and there are even zones dedicated to children that make learning more fun and interesting.

Another reason why you shouldn’t pass up on the opportunity to visit the Ulster Museum is that it’s completely free to visit. Yes, that’s right, you get to enjoy all great exhibitions, galleries and art for free. So you really shouldn’t miss the opportunity to check it out.

There are three amazingly different zones that you can check out when you’re at the Museum. One is the History part which includes Dinosaurs, An Egyptian Mummy and Stone Age artefacts. Then there is the Nature zone which includes things about the Ice Age, Plant Life and Rocks and Fossils. And finally, the art zone includes paintings, wildlife art, sculptures, and much more.

The History Zone at Ulster Museum

In this zone located at the museum, you get the opportunity to explore an amazing collection of human history. This mainly focuses on Ireland, its people and their impact around the world.

There are different themes that you could explore, from innovation and achievements to politics and conflicts and more. These tell you all about different people, what they did, and how they socialised in a variety of cultural traditions.

The Nature Zone at Ulster Museum

Next is the Nature Zone, which children will really enjoy this section if they are interested in dinosaurs. Check out the impressive Dinosaur skeleton that isn’t found anywhere else in Ireland.

It is an amazing six metres and about two metres high which comes from a dinosaur graveyard. This a rock layer containing thousands of bones from America. It is around 70 million years old, really interesting and you can find out more at the museum.

The Art Zone at the Ulster Museum

At the art zones, there is a brilliant collection of fine and decorative art that represents different national and international significance. Over 15,000 historical and contemporary artworks are found at all three Ulster Museums. Check out some unique sculptures of people, places and more.

One of the most interesting sculptures is by French sculptor Cesar Baldaccini, who created an incredible compressed piece of art that was made by compressed car bodies. There are lots of more amazing things to check out in the art section. So much hard work and dedication have gone into creating many pieces. Worth taking the time to appreciate the beauty and talent of the Art.

Things to See at the Ulster Museum Belfast

Explore Ancient Egypt

You need to check out the famous Egyptian mummy known as Takabuti, which takes you back to Egyptian life. You’ll find out more about how the Egyptians prepare for death and cultural traditions. Egyptians mummified bodies like Takabuti as a way of preserving the individual’s body.

To do this, they used Natron salt, spices, oils, resins and linen bandages to help best preserve the bodies. The body of Takabuti was donated to the museum from Egypt back in 1834. Really fascinating to learn about other cultures and traditions definitely recommend checking this out on your visit.

The Irish Wolfhound

Did you know that when an Irish wolfhound stands on its legs, it can reach an incredible seven feet tall? We didn’t either, but it is a pretty cool fact. Irish Wolfhounds are beautiful and have often been a symbol of strength and wealth.

Here at the Ulster Museum, you can Meet an Irish Wolfhound called Patrick. He was called Patrick after being born on St. Patrick’s Day in 1923, but he then died at the young age of eight in 1931.

At the museum, you can learn all about Patrick, who was a famous champion Wolfhound during his life. There is also a fascinating history surrounding the Irish Wolfhounds that is often mentioned in Irish legends and literature.

Ulster Museum Belfast
Ulster Museum Belfast

Dale Chihuly Glass Sculpture

This is another attraction at the museum that is more like an experience. Sculptor Dale Chihuly is one of the most famous glassmakers in the world. He wanted people to have a unique experience when it came to incorporating light and colour. That was exactly what he did with his sculpture. You’ll need to see it in real life to appreciate his amazingness best.

Bronze Age Gold Jewellery

Check out the unique Bronze Age gold jewellery at the museum, which, for over 3000 years, was lying in a Fermanagh field. It was then found in 2009 and is pretty impressive if we do say so. This is a very rare find at its the only coiled toric like this in Ireland.

Gold has always been known to be very expensive, so it must have belonged to a wealthy person. It’s crazy to think how long it just lay in a field. Stop by the museum to find out more, the story is really interesting.

These are just a few of the many attractions found at the Ulster Museum, you could definitely spend a few hours exploring the whole place and learning new things.

Events at the Museum

You are never short of something to see at the Ulster Museum in Belfast, throughout the year, they provide visitors with a variety of fun and interesting events. Some current events include Wildlife Talks, Storytelling at the museum and Dinosaur Disaster workshops. If you can think of it, they probably have an event or workshop for it. Best to check out their website to find out more about events.

Ulster Museum Belfast
Ulster Museum

Check out our latest video at the Ulster Museum below, which will be sure to entice you to visit this award-winning Northern Irish Museum;

Visitors Information

The Ulster Museum is open daily on Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm. Mondays are also open but only on Northern Ireland Bank Holidays.

The location of the Museum is at the Botanic Gardens, Belfast BT95AB, and the contact number is +44 (0) 28 9044 0000.

If you want to explore the whole museum we recommend dedicated around 2- 3 hours for your visit.

Have you ever been to the Ulster Museum in Belfast? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

And don’t forget to check out some other places while in Belfast, such as The Belfast Peace Walls, Botanic GardensSt. Anne’s Cathedral.

More Northern Ireland Places and Attractions: Ulster American Folk Park | Cultra Manor | Transport Museum | County Down Museum | Carrickfergus Museum

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