Travel to Belfast
Steeped in history, culture and charm, the capital of Northern Ireland is an up-and-coming destination with plenty to offer the visitor. From an often turbulent past, Belfast has emerged as a buzzing city packed with fabulous restaurants, shops and bars, not to mention some great attractions that give visitors a sense of the city’s many layers.
Less expensive and touristy than Dublin in the south, Belfast is an ideal destination for a weekend getaway or as a base for exploring the rest of Northern Ireland. Whether you’re visiting for fun or commuting for work or university (from Londonderry
, Dublin or further afield), book yourself a car share to help keep your trip budget-friendly!
Top Belfast attractions
For those interested in Belfast’s political history, a trip to see the fascinating murals along Falls Road and Shankill Road in West Belfast is recommended, as is a visit to the atmospheric Crumlin Road Gaol. For a more general overview of the city, take one of the popular Black Taxi Tours to get a local’s perspective on Belfast past and present, or head out on a harbour tour to see the capital from the water.
The ill-fated Titanic was built in Belfast, and the city’s newest attraction, Titanic Belfast
, explores the connection and the ship’s tragic history in nine galleries full of multimedia exhibitions. Other highlights for museum fans include the various branches of the National Museums of Northern Ireland, including the Ulster Museum
(full of art, natural history, archaeology and more) and the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum
(home to steam engines, farm animals and even a DeLorean!).
Culture and entertainment
Belfast has a thriving traditional music scene, and there are many fantastic pubs where you can enjoy a few drinks and some toe-tapping tunes in the company of the famously friendly locals. Alternatively, check out one of the lively productions at the Lyric Theatre, or catch a performance at the handsome Grand Opera House. Sports fans may wish to pay a visit to Casement Park, where you can watch Gaelic football and hurling – a unique experience for many visitors!
For great shopping, hit St. George's Market
, the largest indoor market in Northern Ireland and the city's only covered Victorian market still in existence. Browse for everything from speciality foods and fresh produce to local arts and crafts amongst the hundreds of stalls, all against a relaxing backdrop of live music. Those looking for traditional Irish souvenirs should also have a look at the Irish Linen and Gift Centre for lovely, high-quality linen napkins and tablecloths, or check out China Craft
for an excellent selection of locally-made crystal and china.