Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, is famous for its links to the Titanic, as well as being the largest city in Northern Ireland. Here’s a guide for your travels to Belfast.
Belfast has a history. Standing on the banks of the River Lagan, it is the 12th largest city in the United Kingdom. Belfast suffered at the hand of the troubles, earning a reputation in the 70s and 80s as one of the most dangerous cities in the world.
Now, Belfast is one of the most visited cities in the United Kingdom. Considerably safer than it once was, there is plenty to see and do from Belfast. A fun fact is that Belfast is twinned with Nashville, Tennessee.
What is there to do?
Naturally, one of the best places to visit is the Titanic Museum. Located on 1 Olympic Way, it is built on the site of where the Titanic was constructed. Outside the museum, you can walk where the Titanic would have been built, before the ship was sent on her voyage. It opened in 2012, and tells the story of the Titanic through interactive displays, including a ride through one of the floors. Hardland & Wolff, the company behind the Titanic, are credited here, and the museum is part of their old shipyard. Just down from the Titanic museum is the SS Nomadic, which is free to enter and look inside if you have bought a ticket for the Titanic museum.
Game of Thrones
Belfast has become famous for being featured in the successful HBO series, Game of Thrones. During the last season, Kings Landing was reconstructed just up the road from the Titanic Museum, and the set has been left there, outside the Titanic Film Studios. Locals have said they believe this will soon be opened as part of the regular Game of Thrones tours that operate throughout Belfast, taking you on guided tours along the filming locations. There are various tours to take, and research online will lead you to your chosen tour. Most start pretty early, and last for the whole day. It’s a great way to see wider Belfast, too.
The H&W cranes dominate the Belfast skyline, and sport the initials of Harland and Wolff. They stand in their old shipyard, and can be seen quite widely. Take a walk along the river, where views of these cranes are at their best.
Take a walk to Belfast shopping centre, and find the steps that lead to the view point at the top, offering wide views of Belfast. Free to attend, the roof top viewing deck can be accessed by steps or by elevator. After that, enjoy many restaurants and shops, and browse at your leisure.
Head towards Ulster Museum, and you will come across Belfast’s Botanic garden’s, located in the Queen’s quarter. Head inside the green house for free, where many plants are on display. It’s a nice garden to explore.
Ulster museum is located in the botanic gardens, and offers displays including the history of the troubles, art and Egyptian displays. It’s free to enter, and it is easily reachable by foot.
Crumlin Road Gaol
This former prison situated on Crumlin Road, also known as HMP Belfast, is a former prison that can now be visited by members of the public. Tours are operated throughout the day, including paranormal tours and history tours, and cost £9 online. This was one of my highlights whilst in Belfast, and I would definitely recommend!
Other highlights include Belfast Castle, Belfast City Hall, and a tour to Giants Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.
Belfast was a great place to visit, and should definitely be on your stop if you’re travelling across the UK. Learn local history, see famous attractions, and get your camera ready!