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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 15 attractions in Belfast

Giant's Causeway

The Giant's Causeway is a cluster of approximately 40,000 basalt columns rising out of the sea on the Antrim Coast of Northern Ireland. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the area draws thousands of tourists each year who come to marvel at and photograph this natural wonder.More

Titanic Belfast

Titanic Belfast sits where the ill-fated luxury liner was built. Opened in 2012 on the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s maiden voyage, Titanic Belfast is a top Northern Ireland attraction. Exhibits follow the rise of Belfast as an industrial superpower, recreate the early 1900s shipyard experience, and chart construction details.More

Dark Hedges

The picturesque Dark Hedges tree tunnel, formed by the overhanging and intertwined branches of beech trees that line either side, was planted in the 18th century in an effort to spruce up the nearby Gracehill House. Amateur and professional photographers have long been drawn to its eerie beauty, and Dark Hedges is now a popular pilgrimage site for fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones.More

Dunluce Castle

Nestled high along the Antrim coastline, Dunluce Castle offers dramatic views and insight into the life and legends of old Irish clans. Explore ancient ruins, discover township remains, or descend into a hidden cave to experience the site that inspired CS Lewis’ Cair Paravel and served as a filming location for HBO’sGame of Thrones.More

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Crossing the nerve-racking Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a feat for the sure-footed—the narrow 66-foot-long (20-meter) swinging span is suspended high above the choppy Atlantic waters, connecting the Northern Irish mainland to Carrick-a-Rede Island. Originally built more than 300 years ago by salmon fishermen—and since rebuilt with sturdier materials—the National Trust-managed footbridge is now traversed by wobbly-kneed travelers who want to soak up the rugged coastal scenery.More

Belfast Falls Road

West Belfast’s Falls Road was a violent flashpoint during the Northern Irish conflict. Falls Road is in a predominantly Catholic nationalist neighborhood that borders Shankill Road, a mostly Protestant unionist area. The two areas are now separated by a peace wall that is adorned with hundreds of colorful politically themed murals.More

Belfast Peace Wall

The first Belfast Peace Walls were built in 1969 in response to Northern Ireland’s sectarian conflict. Initially intended as temporary barriers, the continuation of the Troubles led to the extension and reinforcement of the walls. Today, they’re political and philosophical murals and attract visitors looking for insight into this part of Irish history.More


This working-class neighborhood of West Belfast came to prominence during the Northern Irish conflict, when it served as a stronghold for loyalist paramilitary organizations. The peace walls that separated Shankill from the neighboring Falls Road to curb sectarian violence are now covered with political murals.More

Titanic's Dock and Pump-House

Back in the early 20th century, the RMSTitanic sat in this vast 900-foot (274-meter) dock—then known as Thompson Dry Dock—while workers toiled to put the final touches on the luxurious liner. Next door, an Edwardian-era pump house, which was used to drain water from the dock, now houses original machinery andTitanic-inspired exhibits.More

Crumlin Road Gaol

Built in 1850 to accommodate prisoners tried at the courthouse across the street, Crumlin Road Gaol (Crumlin Road Jail) housed some of Northern Ireland’s most notorious criminals as well as leading political figures during its 150 years in operation. The jail was also the setting for executions, riots, and hunger strikes.More

Old Bushmills Distillery

The world’s oldest legal distillery, Bushmills was first granted its whiskey-producing license back in 1608, though historical records suggest production began even earlier. Distillers used malted Irish barley, grains, and water from St. Columb’s Rill to produce their oak-aged Bushmills Original and their Black Bush blend.More

Belfast City Hall

The neo-Baroque Belfast City Hall is home to a memorial garden and visitor exhibition that provide insight into the city’s history. Built to commemorate Belfast’s new city status in the late 1800s, the building survived the Belfast Blitz, and was at the center of the 2013 dispute regarding its continued use of the Union flag.More

Antrim Coast Road

Perhaps the most celebrated stretch of Antrim Coast Road is known as the Antrim Coastal Drive, which winds along a 25-mile (40-kilometer) route and provides scenic views from Belfast to Derry. Discover landmarks including the Mourne Mountains, Glens of Antrim, and Giant’s Causeway on one of the UK’s most picturesque routes, and explore the towns, harbors, and beaches along the way for insight into local life.More


Situated at the east end of the Causeway Coast and to the north of the Glens of Antrim, Ballycastle offers easy access to outdoor delights. The seaside town is filled with old-fashioned pubs and shops, while a family-friendly beach and promenade runs along the shore. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Scotland from here.More

Ballintoy Harbour

Located along the scenic Antrim coast, the harbor of the traditional fishing village of Ballintoy offers striking Atlantic views and insight into a rural way of a life. The village has remained virtually unchanged over the last few centuries, and as such was chosen as a filming location for Pyke’s harbor inGame of Thrones.More

Trip ideas

Giant's Causeway Tours from Belfast

Giant's Causeway Tours from Belfast

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Recent reviews from experiences in Belfast

Outstanding tour
Liam_C, Mar 2023
Official World Famous Belfast Taxi Tour ™
A must do tour to see real Belfast
Really informative!
Giles_W, Mar 2023
Official World Famous Belfast Taxi Tour ™
It was be good to see murals from both communities and some of the ones very much off the beaten track too.
Great trip!
Janet_R, Jan 2023
City Sightseeing Belfast Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Interesting to see all districts old and new and what Belfast has to offer!
Great experience!
Nathalie_C, Dec 2022
Titanic Belfast Entrance Ticket: Titanic Visitor Experience Including SS Nomadic
Came to Belfast for a short stay and didn’t know what to do.
Great day trip out of Belfast
Joanne_M, Nov 2022
Giant's Causeway Full Day Tour from Belfast
A convenient and very enjoyable way to see sights outside of Belfast with an entertaining guide.
The Beautiful Trip
Raul_R, Oct 2022
Guided Day Tour: Giant's Causeway from Belfast
I would recommend this trip to anyone who would like to see more than Belfast.
Got to hand it to this...
Vinny_M, Feb 2023
Official World Famous Belfast Taxi Tour ™
We came to Belfast to see the Giants play in the SSE Arena but the definite highlight of the weekend was Barry and the tour.
Giants causeway
ianbyatt, Mar 2023
Belfast - Giants Causeway , Dunluce Castle and Dark Hedges
Really enjoyed it and got to see some of the beautiful Irish coastline as well as the causeway.
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All about Belfast

When to visit

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 local’s pocket guide to Belfast

Mark Bolan

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.

The first thing you should do in Belfast is...

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.

A perfect Saturday in Belfast...

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.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

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.

To discover the "real" Belfast...

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.

For the best view of the city...

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.

One thing people get wrong...

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.”

People Also Ask

What can you do in Belfast?

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.

How do I spend a day in Belfast?

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.

What is the main attraction in Belfast?

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.

Is Belfast still part of UK?

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.

Is Belfast worth visiting?

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.

Is Belfast safe to visit?

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.


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