Elegiac and grand, the statue makes a fitting centrepiece to a garden which is also home to a 9 metre long plinth, inscribed with the names of the 1, people who died on RMS Titanic. Walk every square foot of this colossal and authentic landmark, absorbing years of history with every step. Descend 44 feet to the bottom of the dock where Titanic last sat on dry ground. Enter by the Pump-House and discover the power house that was the beating heart of the shipyard. Now restored to her former glory, SS Nomadic is open to the public as a fascinating visitor attraction with an onboard museum, exhibition and education areas.
Built by Harland and Wolff in , it served as the tender ship for Titanic on her maiden voyage, carrying first and second class passengers from the port of Cherbourg to the ship. Discover how local enterprise and skills were combined to produce vessels of exceptional quality and design. Find out about life onboard through fascinating objects and personal stories that explore Highlights The Titanic Quarter is the starting point for anyone hoping to trace their family tree.
The WW1 light cruiser which saw action in the Battle of Jutland in May opens to the public in June and visitors will find a treasure of exhibits and experiences on board. Immersed in the sounds and smells the onboard restaurant will cook up some of the dishes sailors would have enjoyed of , the ship will enthral visitors with the stories of people, the Irish sailors and war. The ship made Belfast its home after and continued to play a role as a training ship until Its restoration is the subject of TV programmes and international interest. It is the only remaining ship in the world with four Parsons turbines in situ, as well as the only floating survivor from Jutland.
It was built for high speed reconnaissance and you will marvel at its sleek lines and sheer size. COM 19 A canvas on every corner The creation of political murals in Northern Ireland can be traced back as far as Since then a tradition has been cemented, with murals becoming not only an emotional and reactionary outlet for frustration and change, but a unique part of Northern Irish culture.
These pieces of public art often appearing on gable walls of residential homes and provide an insight into the culture and traditions of Northern Ireland. The Peace Wall, which runs between the Falls and Shankill Roads, is now home to a mix of political murals, graffiti and commissioned public art. The International Wall on the Falls Road includes murals on political themes, environmental issues and features famous world figures and other global campaigns, from past and present. Many tourists stop off during their sightseeing tours to see the walls, the murals and street art.
Thousands upon thousands of messages are scrawled onto every inch of the Peace Wall from many overseas visitors. Some of the messages are just dates and names but all along the wall are short messages of peace and hope. Make sure to book a political sightseeing tour to get an insight into the history behind these pieces of community artwork. Start your experience at visit-belfast. The closure ended a year history of imprisonment, conflict and executions.
The County Gaol for Antrim, as it was originally known, was built in Belfast between and on a design by the renowned architect and engineer Charles Lanyon. The new building took over from the original county gaol on Antrim Street in Carrickfergus. Visitors can now take the tour and live life behind bars, in a history that begins when the Gaol opened in , where you can find out firsthand how a Victorian prison evolved through history.
Experience Belfast with the Telegraph
During its time in service 17 people were executed, numerous escapes were undertaken and many infamous inmates were detained in it. Learn about when women and children were held within its walls through to the political segregation of republican and loyalist prisoners and find out why the decision was taken to close the prison. An estimated 25, people were imprisoned there and both history buffs and architecture fans will find the tour particularly fascinating.
A qualified guide assists visitors in exploring the prison and covers all aspects, including the underground tunnel linking the Crumlin Road Courthouse to the gaol, the Governors corridor and office, centre circle, C-wing, the historic holding cells, condemned mans cell and pinioning room before visiting the execution cell, where the majority of the 17 men were hanged, and finally the graveyard. Fans can easily visit many of the locations where a favourite scene was filmed or walk in the footsteps of a much-loved character.
You can dress up in costume and enjoy a day of archery with Clearsky Adventure or take a self-guided cycle tour of some of the shows film locations - there really is something for everyone to enjoy. Some of the stunning filming locations not to be missed include: Castle Ward which may be more familiar as Winterfell, Tollymore Forest Park which will be recognisable as North of Winterfell, Downhill Beach familiar as the Dragonstone exterior and Murlough Bay in County Antrim aka Stormlands - but there are many more to discover. Choose from a 3-day self-drive itinerary tour to a choice of guided coach tours.
For more information see visit-belfast. Northern Ireland has found a new, super-star status in the world of golf during the past couple of years, aided by the trio of golf champions that our small country has produced. Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke have become not only ambassadors for the game of golf, but ambassadors for their homeland. COM increasingly being described as a superb destination for both the serious and casual golfer. This passion began when Royal Belfast laid down a golf course in , reputed to be the oldest in Ireland. The game quickly caught on and today Northern Ireland can boast over ninety courses in what is a very small and compact area.
You can enjoy the stunning 18 hole parkland courses of Royal Belfast, Shandon, Malone and Belvoir Park Golf Clubs just a few minutes drive from the city centre. Royal Portrush Image courtesy PressEye. So why not begin your very own voyage of discovery in the Titanic Quarter. The centre for Irish language and culture is in the west of the city and is characterised by a lively culture of music, debate, drama, great eateries and traditional pubs.
Be wowed by science in W5 and the Ocean Exploration Centre, or enjoy thrills and spills at T13 urban sports park. Explore the stunning Clonard Monastery with its intricate French Gothic style or enjoy the three mile Divis Summit Trail, a specifically designed loop walk on Divis Mountain with spectacular views over Belfast.
To see the location of each quarter please refer to our handy map on page Cathedral Quarter contrasts the old with the new, with St. Tucked away in one of the alleyways is a piece of art painted on the wall illustrating some well-known faces. This area of town is buzzing at night with its selection of cool bars, cosy pubs and amazing restaurants and also hosts year-round festivals, such as Festival of Fools, Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, Belfast Pride, Belsonic and Culture Night.
Refuel at one of the many gourmet coffee shops before a stroll around the elegant Victorian Palm House in the stunning Botanic Gardens. Top Tip The neighbouring leafy Lisburn Road offers the ultimate designer shopping experience dotted with a selection of cafes, artisan delis, salons and wine bars. COM 29 Victoria Square, Belfast Shopping Shopping in Belfast is a dream come true for savvy shoppers, fashionistas and foodies alike, with a huge variety of independent retailers, speciality emporiums, high street chains, exclusive boutiques and traditional markets.
Find literally everything you could ever need under one roof in Victoria Square, home to House of Fraser and many other stores from lingerie to the latest smart watches. Compact in size, perhaps, but uncompromising in choice, Belfast offers the most sophisticated of shoppers the ultimate luxury retail experience along the Lisburn Road. Dotted with cafes, salons, wine bars and its own leafy oasis of tranquillity in Drumglass Park, this lengthy boulevard houses Arcadia, an award winning deli, alongside designer Feeling Crafty?
Meanwhile, in the city centre, vintage stores and specialist retailers sit alongside independent record shops, second hand book treasure troves and a wealth of high street chains and department stores. Though newly christened, Smithfield and Union has existed for generations.
Always beating to a different rhythm than its neighbouring counterparts, Smithfield and Union celebrates the individual, the different, the separate, the idiosyncratic and the eclectic. With monthly festivals celebrating everything from the best of international music and theatre, literature, local maritime heritage and arts festivals geared specifically towards kids, there has never been a better time to visit Belfast and enjoy the rich cultural life that is a vibrant part of life in the city.
Ulster Museum An inspiring piece of modern architecture set in the beautiful Botanic Gardens, the Ulster Museum is the largest museum in Northern Ireland and is free to visit. Its unparalleled collection of Irish art is well worth seeing. The modern extension created the notable addition of the Baby Grand - which hosts smaller musical, dramatic and comedy performances.
Our city - small in size but huge in imagination. For Kids Arts and Culture are for kids too and Belfast makes sure to welcome its younger visitors with a fantastic arts programme for children. A particular highlight is The Permanent Present artwork by Mark Garry, a graceful spectrum of light made up of hundreds of lines of colour that travels through the atrium space, symbolising the hopes, aspirations and ambitions of young people in the city.
Galleries Belfast has an impressive array of gallery space, displaying everything from the most contemporary visual art in the Golden Thread Gallery to traditional printmaking techniques showcased in the Belfast Print Workshop and the edgiest and freshest modern art in The MAC. Late Night Art Want to pack in as many galleries and as many new exhibitions as you possibly can? COM 33 music city In Belfast the streets, pubs, entries, concert arenas and Victorian music halls are alive with the sound of music. COM Outdoor gigs, packed houses, intimate backroom acoustic sets and beautiful concert halls.
Belfast has been the birthplace, spiritual home, inspiration and venue extraordinaire for musicians past and present in every genre, all around the world. COM up of international acts and up and coming local talent playing at venues across the city on a nightly basis. The city has plenty of venues worth seeing in their own right, from the majestic Ulster Hall and the elegant Belfast Waterfront with its state-of-the-art auditorium, to The Empire, a glam rock music hall in a former church on Botanic Avenue.
Another unmissable stop off on your night out in Belfast is from the city centre up to the university area in Queens Quarter. Lined with nightclubs, restaurants, cafes and cinemas, including the Empire Music Hall for live gigs and stand up comedy, this area continues to attract people from miles around in search of a great night out. Meanwhile, the Odyssey Complex offers cutting edge music and night clubs, restaurants, family entertainment and the SSE Arena which attracts world class acts from around the world. Your round or mine? Staying Snug: Find a seat in a traditional snug and soak up the atmosphere.
Prefer life on two wheels rather than two feet? COM centre. Up for a challenge? Sign up to the annual Belfast City Marathon and take to the streets with over 20, participants from all around the world. Or see the city from up high, with a walk up Black Mountain or the iconic Cave Hill, stopping to enjoy not just the views but the ancient standing stones, cairns and mysterious earth rings that form part of the dramatic backdrop to the city.
14 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Belfast | PlanetWare
Tours, routes and further information available from the Belfast Hills Partnership. Adventure Sports Inject some adrenaline into your city break with some high octane adventure sports. Belfast Cathedral welcomes visitors from 9am There is a modest charge for entry. An audio tour and guidebook are also available. Guided tours for larger groups can be booked in advance. Discover more online www. COM times and trails to follow, as well as panoramic views across Belfast.
Venture out of the city to enjoy a wealth of National Trust properties with glorious gardens to explore and plenty of family events during the year. Visit the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, which has one of the best rail galleries in Europe and also allows visitors to experience what life would have been like years ago in its outdoor folk museum. But for the authentic rail experience take a steam train excursion.
All little train conductors will relish the chance to get onboard. See the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland website to find out more. Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics bellylaughsbelfast. COM 45 September — Bounce! Arts Festival adf. Lewis Festival eastsidearts. You can easily access both countryside and sea shore within a short drive of Belfast to enjoy a variety of exciting attractions, historic places of interest, informative tours, outdoor activities and amazing scenery.
The Museum tells the story of the Irish Linen industry with spinning and handloom weaving and a display of historic artefacts. Recently refurbished, the ship was commissioned in and patrolled the North Sea, as well as participating in the pivotal Battle of Jutland.
Opened in her present location to the public in , a tour of this floating museum and its visitor center provides a great deal of fascinating information about WW1 and the ship's history. Highlights include audio-visual displays, tours of the fully-restored sections of the ship, plus educational opportunities that give kids the chance to have some hands-on fun.
Anne's Cathedral. Designed by architect Sir Thomas Drew and begun in , St. Anne's Cathedral is the main church of the Anglican Church of Ireland. It was built in neo-Romanesque style of the basilican type and has three west doorways adorned with sculpture. The baptismal chapel features an exquisite mosaic ceiling. Further points of interest are the carved stonework, many fine stained-glass windows, marble tiles on the floor and walls, and delicate woodwork.
In the chapel, you'll find the tomb of Sir Edward Carson, leader of the Ulster Unionists, who died in Dating from , it has seen its share of troubles over the years.
In , at the height of the conflict in Northern Ireland, the building was sold to property developers and nearly demolished. Thankfully, due to a campaign, this didn't happen. Between and , the structure was extensively restored, including the restoration of the ceiling panels in the main auditorium.
Things to Do in Belfast, Northern Ireland - Belfast Attractions
A large extension was added in These days it hosts musicals, operas, and live performances and is one of the city's true landmarks. Guided tours are available. Crumlin Road Gaol. When it closed in , many believed the infamous Crumlin Road prison would never reopen. How wrong they were.
The once notorious jail has quickly become one of Belfast's premier visitor attractions since reopening just a short time ago in This is a great place to get to grips with Northern Ireland's history. Fascinating guided tours tell of the women and children who were incarcerated here, as well as the segregation of republican and loyalist prisoners. You can wander through the underground tunnel that used to connect the jail to the courthouse, sit in the Governor's chair and, rather gruesomely, pay a visit to the condemned men's cell.
Guided tours are available, including special themed affairs that even include a show and dinner Jailhouse Rock, anyone? Belfast Castle. There are plenty of events here year-round, and it's a popular wedding venue due to its picturesque location and beautiful historic building. A castle has existed on this site since the 12th century in many different incarnations.
The current structure dates from , although additions and embellishments have taken place since then. There's a restaurant on-site, along with Cave Hill Visitor Centre.
Cave Hill Country Park and the Adventure Playground are well worth exploring, and the grounds are particularly popular for picnics during summer months. Home to more than species of animals, this fun family destination was opened in and is one of the oldest tourist attractions in Northern Ireland. It was extensively upgraded in recent years, and nowadays in excess of , people visit the zoo annually. Highlights include ring-tailed lemurs, Asian elephants, monkeys, Malayan sun bears, Sumatran tigers, and Barbary lions. A must-see here is the rainforest exhibit, which brings together tropical plants with fascinating animals such as sloths and fruit bats.
Titanic Belfast Visitor Experience and Giant’s Causeway Day Trip from Dublin
Check the zoo's website for details of its daily animal talks and feeding schedule. Stormont Parliament Buildings.
No visit to Belfast, or indeed Northern Ireland, would be complete without at least seeing this grandiose and often controversial building. This is the home of the "Power Sharing Executive," or Northern Ireland Assembly, the place where former foes sit down together and carry out the day-to-day business and politics of running the state. Dating from , it was built to house the then newly formed government of the Province. It's impossible to miss the statue of Unionist Sir Edward Carson on the front lawn.
Despite its controversial legacy, the scenic grounds are popular with day-trippers, joggers, and those simply wishing to escape the city for a while. The building is open weekdays for tours. An olive vendor at St. No Belfast itinerary is complete without allocating time to do a little shopping, especially if it includes St. George's Market. The oldest covered market in the city, St. George's Market was completed in and now provides a place to do business for some vendors selling everything from food to art and crafts.
It has also become an important venue for activities other than shopping, including food festivals, art shows, dancing, and even pop and rock concerts. In addition to its regular market hours, there are a number of special events such as the frequent "Twilight Market," popular for its extended evening hours and entertainment. Belfast City Hall. Belfast City Hall is another government building that should be visited. Located in the city center, this handsome structure was built in and remains one of the most distinctive landmarks in Belfast's downtown core.
Tourists are welcome to explore the building as part of a guided tour, so popular that they've become one of the top free things to do in Belfast tours are available on a first-come, first served basis, so allow plenty of time in your schedule. Highlights of these one-hour tours include seeing a good-sized art display and historic stained-glass windows and an exhibit outlining the city's history.
Be sure to also visit the grounds of the City Hall, with its Titanic Memorial Gardens and vast lawns and pack a picnic! A fun thing to do at night in Belfast it to walk the grounds, as the building is colorfully illuminated. One of the top things to do in Belfast for families is spending time exploring the fun W5 Interactive Discovery Centre it's also another great excuse to visit the Titanic Quarter.
This state-of-the-art science center consists of over fun hands-on exhibits, encouraging kids to explore a variety of areas of learning spread across four large areas, including displays related to technology and biology, as well as educational programs, events, and workshops.
New star attractions here are "Climbit," a massive multi-story 3D climbing structure; "RoboThespian," a large robotic character that can be controlled by visitors; and "MED-Lab," a fascinating look inside the human body. Looking for a top-notch place to rest your head in central Belfast? We recommend these great hotels in the center of Belfast, close to the top attractions and points of interest.
Day Trips from Belfast : Belfast makes for a great jumping-off point for those wanting to explore some of the top attractions in Northern Ireland , as well as Ireland itself. Ireland Vacation Ideas : Given its location at the top end of the island, Belfast makes a great location from which to explore the top attractions in Ireland , most of which are within easy reach. Must-sees within an easy drive include the Irish capital of Dublin with its many museums and parks.
The much smaller community of Sligo is also a great drive, and boasts stunning coastal scenery. Also worth a visit, historic Galway is popular for its large public squares and medieval architecture. Northern Ireland Travel Guide. See also: Where to Stay in Belfast.