Two days in Belfast give you enough time to get to the top attractions, including the much-celebrated Titanic Belfast, and to delve deeper into the city’s storied past with Troubles-themed tours and a visit to the creepy Crumlin Road Gaol. Here’s how to make the most out of 48 hours in the Northern Irish capital.
Day 1: Hit Belfast’s Highlights
Morning: Get a city overview with a guided sightseeing tour. If the weather is nice, take an open-top coach tour, listening to commentary as you pass by Stormont, St. George’s Market, and the Belfast Peace Walls. Alternatively, a hop-on hop-off tour bus allows you to disembark when you choose.
Afternoon: Dive into Belfast’s shipbuilding heritage in the Titanic Quarter. While the Titanic Belfast is the star of the show, the district has many other worthwhile attractions, including the HMS Caroline, a WWI ship that’s now a floating museum. For an alternative perspective on the Titanic Quarter, enjoy a cruise on the River Lagan.
Night: Embark on a guided nighttime walking tour for a deeper dive into modern-day Belfast. Witness Belfast come alive in the buzzy Cathedral Quarter, and hear about the events and forces that have shaped the city. Finish with a drink and grub at the atmospheric Victorian-era Crown Liquor Saloon.
Day 2: Discover Dark History or Northern Irish Poetry
Morning: The Troubles, a conflict that lasted from the late 1960s to the late 1990s, has left an indelible mark on Northern Ireland. Explore this darker chapter of Belfast’s history during a Troubles-themed tour. Choose between black cab tours or walking tours that focus on once-violent flashpoints in central and West Belfast.
Afternoon: Continue exploring Belfast’s past at Crumlin Road Gaol, a Victorian-era jail that housed petty criminals, infamous murderers, and political prisoners. If it’s too macabre for your taste, leave the city and head to Derry, where the Seamus Heaney HomePlace celebrates the life and work of the late Nobel Prize–winning poet.
Night: If you did the tour of Crumlin Road Gaol, stick around for a bit of light relief in the form of dinner, drinks, and a show. The jail hosts many after-hours events, including live music performances. If you visited the Seamus Heaney HomePlace, you’ll be back in Belfast in time for dinner, where city-center dining options range from swanky Michelin-starred experiences to casual Cathedral Quarter pubs.