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Your guide to Belfast

Northern Ireland’s capital city, gateway to the rural Causeway Coast and birthplace of the Titanic, is an absolute treat. It’s home to a thriving arts and cultural scene, world-class museums and some top notch food and drink, not to mention great music and plenty of atmosphere.

Trendy bars and historic buildings sit side by side in the Cathedral Quarter, but be sure to stop by a traditional Irish pub and sample the local beers. Keep your eyes peeled for Belfast’s colourful murals, enjoy some great shopping then head north to the famous Giant’s Causeway and mile upon mile of gorgeous green countryside in the Glens of Antrim.

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Titanic Museum

Titanic Museum

Built to tell the story of one of the world’s most famous ships, Belfast’s newest museum takes visitors on an atmospheric journey into the life of the ill-fated SS Titanic. Experience dark rides, special effects, reconstructions and all kinds of interactive displays as you explore the ship’s life, from its construction in the city shipyards to its last moments afloat in the icy Atlantic Ocean. You’ll learn about the wreck and its discovery, and experience the museum’s live undersea exploration centre.

Ulster Museum Belfast

Ulster Museum Belfast

A vast array of wonders awaits at the Ulster Museum. Dinosaur skeletons, artistic masterpieces and the mummified remains of Egyptian kings are just a few of the exhibits in this treasure trove of the past. Whether you’re interested in art, natural sciences or the history of world cultures, the Ulster Museum has plenty to keep you interested.

Belfast City Hall

Belfast City Hall

Travel back to 1888 when Belfast was granted city status by Queen Victoria — the City Hall was built to commemorate this illustrious occasion, and it’s one of the most magnificent feats of architecture in the city. Relax in the grounds or take a tour of the building itself and learn all about the city’s history. The building has many links with the Titanic too: many of the master craftsmen who helped create it went on to work on the Titanic, so it has an added poignancy.

Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

Experience life in Northern Ireland as it was over a century ago. Traditional cottages, schools and shops are set in the museum’s green parkland, and you can wander at your leisure as guides in authentic costume tell you about the past and show you a thing or two about their trades. Over in the transport museum you’ll be dazzled by the array of vintage cars and steam locomotives, and you can even experience flight in the museum simulator.

The Cathedral Quarter

The Cathedral Quarter

Belfast’s oldest district, the Cathedral Quarter, is packed with beautiful old buildings, not least St. Anne’s Cathedral from which it takes its name. The quarter buzzes with life and creativity, from street performances to open-air theatre, music and dance in the quarter’s large public squares. Visit the art galleries, shops and cafes here and soak up the atmosphere of one of Belfast’s most vibrant regions. In spring, the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival sees the area explode into life as performers from around the world flock to the city.

Murals

Murals

One thing you’ll notice in Belfast is the large number of murals that adorn its buildings. They’re a spectacular open-air gallery of public art, and each has its own story to tell. Be sure to take a mural tour and discover the history of these artworks as you learn about the city’s past.

Belfast Botanic Gardens

Belfast Botanic Gardens

Step into a lush paradise of tropical plants, brilliant colours and Victorian elegance at the Belfast Botanic Gardens. It’s a great place to take a breather from the city’s bustle: walk through the grounds, or enjoy one of the garden’s regular events – classical recitals or opera performances take place here, and the setting is just right.

Belfast Zoo

Belfast Zoo

Lions, elephants, Andean bears and giraffes await – meet these and more magnificent creatures at Belfast Zoo. A little closer to home, you can explore the interactive red squirrel enclosure and make some furry new friends. The zoo is split up into a number of diverse climate areas, from rainforest to lakeside, so you can feel as though you’ve been transported right into each animal’s home climate.

McHugh’s Bar and Restaurant

McHugh’s Bar and Restaurant

McHugh’s is housed in Belfast’s oldest building — it was built in 1711 — and its open fires and local music give the place a warm and welcoming atmosphere. If you’re looking for a place to sample some traditional Irish food and drink, meet some new friends and enjoy a bit of Belfast’s nightlife, this is an excellent starting point.

Belfast guide

Get the best out of Belfast with our handy guides

Things to do in Belfast

Things to do in Belfast

Home to arts, culture, world-class museums, excellent food and drink, and fabulous live music and nightlife. Belfast has plenty of attractions to amaze and inspire.

Home to the Giants Causeway

Home to the Giant's Causeway

Steeped in myth and legend, the Giant’s Causeway is said to have been built by an Irish giant trying to reach his Scottish opponent across the sea. Today, this awe-inspiring rock formation is one of Northern Ireland’s best known natural attractions. Either side of the Causeway is home to beautiful beaches and great watersports.

Traditional Irish Food and Drink

Traditional Irish Food and Drink

Housed in Belfast’s oldest building dating back to 1711, McHugh’s with its open fire and local music gives this bar and restaurant a traditional, old-school look and feel.

Belfast Museums

Belfast Museums

Home to the Titantic museum, The Ulster Museum, The Belfast Zoo, and much, much more, Belfast is full of great attractions to keep you entertained throughout your stay. Enjoy a world of history and fascinating education.

The Glens of Antrim near Belfast

The Glens of Antrim

Ireland is known as ‘The Emerald Isle’ and it’s easy to see why when you cast your gaze over the lush green beauty of the Glens of Antrim. These nine valleys form a patchwork quilt of glorious natural beauty stretching 80 miles from Larne to the coast. It is said that a young St Patrick tended sheep at Slemish Mountain in the region. ‘Queen of the Glens’, Glenariff is perhaps the most beautiful with its waterfalls and plunging gorge.

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