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Often overlooked in favor of the Irish Republic’s lively capital Dublin, Belfast is a city rich with history, culture, and Northern Irish ""craic."" Having shed its war-torn reputation in the past few years, Belfast has undergone a radical transformation and now offers an abundance of museums, restaurants, and swanky accommodation. Top sights on any Belfast city tour are the Titanic Belfast in the Titanic Quarter, City Hall, and the cultural hub of Cathedral Quarter, where St. Anne’s Cathedral—also known as Belfast Cathedral—and a maze of cobbled streets lend themselves well to walking tours. History buffs can take a guided tour of the infamous Crumlin Road Gaol, formerly filled with dangerous convicts, and for maritime enthusiasts and families, the HMS Caroline is a great place to spend the afternoon. Belfast’s proximity to Giant’s Causeway makes the Northern Ireland capital an ideal launchpad for day trips to and along the Causeway Coastal Route, whose other highlights include Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, Dunluce Castle, and the Bushmills Distillery. And fans of the hit HBO show ""Games of Thrones"" will jump at the opportunity to take a sightseeing tour to Cushendun Caves, Carrickfergus Castle, the macabre Dark Hedges road, and other GoT filming locations.
The summer months of June, July, and August offer the most pleasant weather, but in a city where it rains more than 200 days a year, good weather can never be guaranteed. Travelers thinking about a July trip should keep in mind that many locals head out of the city on vacation over the July 12 holiday, leaving the rest of the month quieter than normal.
A native of Northern Ireland, Mark grew up close to the city and studied at Queen’s University Belfast. He loves the chance to come home and enjoy a pint of Guinness in one of Belfast’s many pubs.
is take a walk. Belfast is a compact city so explore the city centre on foot, walk along the River Lagan, and see the docks where the Titanic was built.
begins with brunch on Botanic Avenue, relaxation in the Botanic Gardens and Palm House, and a visit to the Ulster Museum. After dark, get a Guinness at the Crown Bar and dine in the Cathedral Quarter.
the Titanic Museum really is worth a visit. Learn about Belfast’s shipbuilding past and the tragic tale of the Titanic from inside one of the city’s most impressive buildings.
visit the atmospheric Victorian St. George’s Market on the weekend. Sample the amazing local food—I recommend the Belfast Bap for breakfast—and meet the stallholders and regulars.
climb the spiral staircase to the impressive dome inside Victoria Square Shopping Centre or treat yourself to a cocktail at one of the highest bars in Ireland at the Grand Central Hotel.
is only associating Belfast with the Troubles, when it’s actually a young, vibrant city with amazing restaurants and bars popping up everywhere, live music, and good “craic.”
There's lots to discover in Northern Ireland's capital city, including the Titanic Belfast experience, Belfast Castle, and Belfast City Hall. The W5 science center, Ulster Museum, and Belfast Zoo offer plenty to keep families happy. For newcomers, a black cab tour of the Peace Walls provides insight into city history....More
Explore Titanic Belfast early before the crowds descend. Head to St. George's Market to brunch (weekends only) or tuck into an Ulster Fry or fish and chips by the river. Next, take a black cab tour of the Peace Walls and visit a city museum. Finally, dip into the city's nightlife....More
Titanic Belfast is a main draw. A monument to Belfast's maritime heritage, the attraction tells the stories of the ill-fated Titanic through interactive exhibits. Belfast is also known for its Peace Walls, a series of barriers that once seperated unionist and loyalist neighborhoods, now emblazoned with murals depicting the Troubles....More
Yes. Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland was seperated from the rest of Ireland in the early 20th century. Since then, there has been a great deal of conflict regarding its status, with some wanting to rejoin Ireland and others wanting to remain in the UK....More
Yes. Belfast is well worth visiting, thanks to its rich history, modern infrastructure, and rugged natural surroundings. Whether you want to hike in the Belfast Hills, hear first-hand about the city's complex history, or shop in the city's upmarket malls, there are options for everyone....More
Yes. On the whole, Belfast is safe for tourists, particularly around the city center. Like in other capital cities, be thoughtful of your surroundings, especially at night. Nonetheless, be mindful of the city's recent history. Do not write on the Peace Walls murals or make light of the Troubles....More
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