Things to see & do in Belfast
The Northern Irish capital is experiencing a huge interest as a tourist destination, and we would take a guess that it’s due to the ample things to see and do while you’re in the city (as well as Game of Thrones). After many years of relative peace, the city is on the up! Belfast has an infectious atmosphere with a fabulous sense of humour, amazing restaurant and bar scene that is sure to keep you entertained, all with a small-town feel. Here are some of the best things to see and do while you’re in the capital!
Visit Titanic Belfast
It’s hard to escape the influence that this ship had on Belfast. Back in 2012, it was the centenary year of the loss of this famous vessel to an iceberg in the North Atlantic and the new Titanic Belfast centre was opened to the public! The design of the venue is meant to remind you of two ships of being built side by side in the Harland & Wolff shipyards. The centre includes everything from the history of Titanic from inception, right up until they were exploring the seabeds to find the wreck.
St George’s Market
If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Belfast life, make your way to St Georges’s market, opened on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. There are more than 150 traders with stalls selling antiques to metalwork, but it is the place to be for some of the best food in Belfast! From seafood to fresh crusty bread, you can tuck into Belfast’s soda bread, an Ulster fry or satisfy your sweet tooth at the sweet treat stalls.
Murals of the Troubles
When in the capital, it’s hard to escape the fact that Belfast is (and always has been) a divided city. There are peace walls and security gates diving the Catholic and Protestant areas of the city, with political murals splashed across the most loyally defended parts of the city. You’re certain to only find something like this in Belfast, the best way to see it all is with a walking or bus tour, where you listen to the story of how the artworks came about.
Crumlin Road Gaol
This former prison was taken out of service in 1996 and has since then been transformed into a museum and conference centre close to the city centre. The museum gives you access to the prison wings, execution cells, tunnels to the courthouse and you learn about the history of the building, some of the famous figures in Northern Irish history that did time here, and the impact it had on life in the region. If you’re lucky to be here around Halloween and love all things paranormal, the Gaol offers you the chance to experience just that on a special tour!
Cave Hill Country Park
Named for the five caves along the main cliffs of Belfast, Cave Hill Country Park is a hive of outdoor activity, perfect if you’re looking for walking trails and orienteering routes. There’s even a playground and is only a mere five minutes from Belfast Zoo! Of course, it’s also home to some of the city’s most ancient history such as the 19th century Belfast Castle! The most impressive sight sits atop the basaltic outcrop of Napoleon’s Nose: McArt’s Fort, an old stone fort sitting 1,200 feet (368 metres) above sea level!
Game of Thrones, Belfast
Belfast have Game of Thrones to thank for the peak in tourism. The city recently set up a Glass of Thrones tour, which is stained glass windows dotted throughout the city depicting major scenes from the show, making for a great walking tour. As well as this, you can visit other iconic filming locations on Game of Thrones tours such as the Dark Hedges! If you’re a fan of the show, Belfast is definitely the place for you.
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