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Things to do in Belfast

Things to do in  Belfast

Welcome to Belfast

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.

Top 10 attractions in Belfast

#1

Titanic Belfast

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Since opening its doors in 2012 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage, Titanic Belfast has rocketed to the top of Northern Ireland’s tourist attractions, drawing over a million visitors in its first year. It seems fitting that the city should host the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience; after all, this was the city where the world’s most luxurious ship was built and first launched. Today, the area of Belfast Harbor that once housed the RMS Titanic has been renamed the Titanic Quarter and is dominated by the towering silver façade of the Titanic Belfast, a remarkable building fashioned from four ship-hull-shaped wings. The futuristic building is home to the state-of-the-art Titanic Belfast exhibition, which spreads over 6 floors and includes interactive discovery zones, full-scale reconstructions, real-life accounts and mind-blowing special effects.More
#2

Belfast Falls Road

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Falls Road, derived from the Irish word for “district of the falls or hedges,” is a predominantly working-class area of western Belfast. The neighborhood is known for its role in “The Troubles,” having served as the central hub for many of the nationalist organizations of the time, and is divided from Shankill Road by one of the peace walls of Belfast. Many famous Republican murals can be found in the area, such as the mural of hunger striker Bobby Sands on the wall of the Sinn Féin shop and office. Sands died after a hunger strike in Maze Prison, which left nine other prisoners dead. There are a few murals where you might notice a few repetitive motifs and symbols, such as a phoenix rising from the ashes, which stands for Ireland emerging from the flames of the 1916 Easter Rising.More
#3

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

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Considered one of the world’s scariest bridges, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is not for the faint of heart. Spanning a chasm that is almost 100 feet deep and nearly 70 feet wide, this Northern Ireland bridge connects Carrick-a-Rede Island to the mainland and attracts a quarter of a million visitors every year. The original structure was built by fishermen more than 300 years ago, and as recently as the 1970s, the bridge had only one handrail and large gaps between the slats. The current bridge is less than 10 years old and is made of wire and Douglas fir. There is no record of anyone falling off the bridge, but it is not uncommon for visitors to get cold feet after crossing once, requiring a boat to bring them back to the mainland. Aside from the treacherous structure, the surrounding area is designated an Area of Special Scientific Interest due to its unique flora and fauna.More
#4

Belfast Peace Wall

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Dating back to 1969, the Belfast Peace Walls, or Peace Lines, are a series of barriers that were put up between Irish Nationalist and Unionist neighborhoods throughout Northern Ireland. Originally intended to be only temporary structures between Protestant and Catholic neighborhoods, many of the walls have proven effective, and have been lengthened, strengthened and made more permanent fixtures. Many of the exteriors have been adorned with murals, much like the former Berlin Wall, making the Belfast Peace Walls a popular attraction. There are currently 48 peace lines in Northern Ireland, stretching over 21 miles (34 km) in total, mostly in Belfast. The peace lines range in length from a few hundred yards to several miles long and may stand as high as 25 feet in some places. The walls are constructed of iron, brick and/or steel, while there are only a limited number of gates that allow access to cross through the walls between the neighborhoods.More
#5

SS Nomadic

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Now permanently berthed at Belfast’s Hamilton dry dock, the SS Nomadic is the last surviving vessel from the White Star Line, the once-prominent shipping line behind the ill-fated RMS Titanic. Built in the Harland and Wolff shipyards, the SS Nomadic was the tender to the Titanic, ferrying passengers to the luxury cruise liner.More
#6

Dark Hedges

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Fifty miles northwest of Belfast, off the Antrim Coastal Road, you will find one of the most unique and most photographed attractions in Northern Ireland: a row of trees known as the Dark Hedges. Planted by the Stuart family back in the 18th century, these beech trees are now overgrown and intertwined, creating a tunnel along the stretch of Bregagh Road that once led to Gracehill, the Stuart family manor. Legend has it that the trees are haunted by a mysterious gray lady who weaves in and out of the trees at dusk. In addition to being a popular subject to artists, the trees also serve as a frequent backdrop for wedding photographs and have been use for scenes in the show Game of Thrones, representing the Kings Road.More
#7

Dunluce Castle

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Surrounded by 100-foot cliffs on all sides, Dunluce Castle commands a dramatic location on the North Antrim Coast. One of the most picturesque castles in Northern Ireland, it may date as far back as the 14th century, although records only confirm its existence back to 1513, when it belonged to the MacQuillen clan. Later the headquarters of the MacDonnell clan, the castle was surrounded by a village until a fire wiped it out in 1641. Today, the mainland courtyard of the castle leads downhill to a narrow crossing where you’ll find buildings dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Dunluce Castle is thought to have been the inspiration for Cair Paravel in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia and has been the site of movies such as Jackie Chan’s The Medallion. On a clear day, you can see across the sea to Islay.More
#8

Shankill

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Shankill, derived from the Irish word for “Old Church,” is a predominantly loyalist working-class area of West Belfast. It’s known as “Original Belfast” and dates back to 455 A.D., while being known for its role as a central hub for many loyalist paramilitary organizations during the time of "The Troubles." Shankill Road, the main artery of the neighborhood, is one of the oldest settlements in Belfast and dates back to the Stone Age. The area came to prominence in the late 19th century as a center of Belfast’s linen industry. The Shankill Road Peace Walls are adorned with unionist symbols, such as Union Jacks and murals of the British Royal Family, which are key draws for tourists. The murals here are political, historical and community focused. Art on the gable walls depicts scenes as one of volunteers who died as a result of the area’s conflicts.More
#9

Old Bushmills Distillery

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Bushmills Distillery is the oldest working distillery in Ireland. Founded in 1608, it has been known as the Old Bushmills Distillery since 1784. A fire destroyed the distillery in 1880, but it was rebuilt, and the 1890s proved to be a heyday for the company as it won numerous prizes, including the only gold medal for whiskey at the 1889 Paris Expo. Visitors to the distillery can take a guided tour and then leave with a bottle of Distillery Reserve 12-year Single Malt Whiskey, only available from the gift shop. Tours start at the mash house, where the distilling process begins, and continue on to the still house, where whiskeys are distilled three times. The tour concludes in the bottling hall, where whiskey is bottled before being sent all around the world.More
#10

Belfast City Hall

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Belfast City Hall was built to commemorate the event of Belfast becoming a city, having been granted the status in 1888 by Queen Victoria in recognition of the contributions of Belfast in the industries of linen, rope, tobacco, engineering and shipbuilding. This imposing structure of Portland stone has a copper dome topping out at 173 feet high, as well as a statue of Queen Victoria celebrating her jubilee standing out front. Many other statues and monuments can be found on the surrounding grounds, including the Thane Memorial for the victims of the Titanic sinking, which was expanded in 2012 to become the Titanic Memorial Garden. The memorial garden contains a nine-meter-long plinth containing bronze plaques with the names of all of the victims and was the first memorial to include the names of all who died, both crew members and passengers.More

Trip ideas

Giant's Causeway Tours from Belfast

Giant's Causeway Tours from Belfast

Top activities in Belfast

Giants causeway, Game of thrones

Giants causeway, Game of thrones

From
US$709.29
per group

Recent reviews from experiences in Belfast

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Titanic
Terry_B, Oct. 2020
Titanic Belfast Entrance Ticket: Titanic Visitor Experience Including SS Nomadic
Who ever goes to Belfast must go to see the titanic experience, just amazing from start to finish.
star-5
Beautiful coastline and well worth it
Yngve_R, Oct. 2020
Guided Day Tour of Giant's Causeway from Belfast by Comfortable Coach
A lot to see and experience on this full day tour.
star-5
2nd Honeymoon
Amit_S, Sep. 2020
City Sightseeing Belfast Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Hope to visit again.
star-5
Titanic experience and SS Nomadic
Jennifer, Sep. 2020
Titanic Belfast Entrance Ticket: Titanic Visitor Experience Including SS Nomadic
Loved the tour around the Titanic's transfer/sister boat the SS Nomadic and to see its wonderful restoration works.
star-5
Belfast city walking tour
Sue, Feb. 2020
Eclectic Belfast Walking Tour Small Group
Had an amazing guide in Marti our tour was for 2 hours but 3 hours later we were still walking, Marti showed us all of Belfast and explained all the history, he told us the best restaurants to eat in and the best places to visit, showed us the best s
star-5
Belfast tour Vicky leverage
Go213977, Sep. 2019
Belfast Hop-on Hop-off Tours
Visiting Belfast with my sister to visit family we booked on your site for the tour the gentleman who took us threw the tour was outstanding.
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Highly recommended
neirbonhoj, Aug. 2019
City Sightseeing Belfast Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
It was very educational and a great way to see the important areas of the city.
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Northern Ireland Tour
mariehenn, Jul. 2019
Shore Excursion: Giant's Causeway Tour Including Belfast City Tour
Had a driving tour in Belfast and then time to walk along "the Wall" to see a bit of history.
star-5
Excellent Tour
Pat964, Jun. 2019
Giant’s Causeway Day Trip from Belfast
Initially he took time to explain the day's activities.
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A conversation with history
Dream138926, May 2019
Belfast Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
But Falls Road and Shankhill artwork told the modern story.
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Fabulous day in Northern Ireland
claireabbe, Sep. 2018
Shore Excursion Belfast-Giants Causeway Full Day Tour
We wanted to see some Game of Thrones shoot locations but didn’t want to miss Giants Causeway or the Belfast murals.
star-5
This is a great way to see a bit of...
Delwyn N, Jun. 2017
90 Minute Belfast Mural Tour
This is a great way to see a bit of Belfast and learn about its political history.
star-5
A great tour, very interesting. A...
jillpphillips, Apr. 2018
Self-Guided Tour of Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast
A must do place to see on your visit to Belfast.
star-5
Lovely driver, very helpful with...
Bernadette L, Sep. 2017
Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Belfast Airport
Lovely driver, very helpful with suggestions on what to do and see in Belfast.
star-5
Our guide Bart was very...
Debra P, Sep. 2017
Small Group Giant's Causeway Day Tour from Belfast
Our guide Bart was very knowledgeable, professional and sincere and really went out of his way to make sure we had time to see everything.
star-5
What a great day we had on our tour...
Lorna F, Jan. 2017
Giant's Causeway Premium Day Tour from Belfast (Includes Admissions)
I couldn't believe how many great things there were to see just outside Belfast and this trip packed them in.
star-4
Visit to Belfast
Laura L, Jun. 2019
City Sightseeing Belfast Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
This was a great way to see Belfast in a short time.
star-5
Excellent tour. Real value for money...
J P T, Sep. 2016
Game of Thrones and Giant's Causeway Full-Day Tour from Belfast
Very tempted to do the Winterfell GOT with the same company in the future.
star-5
The driver was great gave a lot of...
jane B, Aug. 2016
Giant’s Causeway Day Trip from Belfast
If you have a short time in Belfast a good opportunity to see this area.
star-5
Phil our driver was waiting for us...
PETRA M, Sep. 2014
Private Arrival Transfer: Belfast Airport to Hotel
Phil our driver was waiting for us when we landed, he was very friendly and helpful on things to see and do on our time in Belfast.

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