Belfast, Ireland, the birthplace of the Titanic and home to Game of Thrones, boasts a rich cultural history. Despite being one of Ireland’s most overlooked cities, Belfast offers stunning natural vistas, some of the UK’s best museums, and a nightlife that exceeds all your expectations, while tourists flock to Dublin for a pint of Guinness at tourist central.

From Titanic Belfast, the original home of the RMS Titanic, to the world-renowned museums, like the Ulster Museum and Crumlin Road Gaol, there’s so much to discover. That’s why we’ve compiled this must-read guide, delving into the best and boldest attractions Belfast has to offer.

Where is Belfast, Ireland?

What To See In Belfast, Ireland

It is the capital city of Northern Ireland, one of the four nations that comprise the UK. Unlike the other four, Belfast is located on the island of Ireland (try saying that after a pint or two from Bell’s Brewery). 

Occupied as early as the Bronze Age, the city has been a key strategic location for centuries. Its location on the banks of the River Lagan made it a major port in the Industrial Revolution — in fact, it hosted the world’s largest shipyard, where the legendary RMS Titanic was built.

While it struggled with violence during the Troubles, it’s now a popular tourist destination, experiencing millions of visitors a year.

What to see in Belfast, Ireland

There’s an abundance of things to do in Belfast, Ireland, making it impossible to cover everything in one article. But, if you’re only visiting the city once, these are the attractions you don’t want to miss!

1. Visit the Titanic Quarter

Built in 2012, Titanic Belfast is one of the world’s top attractions. Located in the Titanic Quarter, it delves into the history of the world’s most famous ship (as well as its sister ship, RMS Olympic). Journey through the tragic tale, from its construction to its catastrophic demise during its maiden voyage. 

Whether you’ve watched the movie or heard the story, there’s nothing like experiencing history up close and personal. Explore the best things to see in Belfast, Ireland. Best of all, the Titanic Hotel is next door — perfect for an afternoon drink and a bite to eat.

    2. Marvel at the views from Cave Hill

    Like the Giant’s Causeway, Cave Hill is formed from basalt. However, this rock formation towers over the city below. From atop its summit, you can enjoy panoramic views across the city — see if you can spot Belfast City Hall or even further.

    The walk begins at Belfast Castle — but be warned, it’s a pretty tough climb. Nonetheless, there’s no better way to soak the city in. You’ll also find Colin Glen Forest Park and Belfast Zoo nearby.

    3. Do a traditional Irish pub crawl

    Explore exciting things to do in Belfast, Ireland, and drink as the Irish do. Like all parts of the British Isles, Belfast has a legendary pub culture. Famous haunts include The Points, White’s Tavern, The Duke of York, The Dirty Onion, The Crown Liquor Saloon, and The Harp Bar.

    4. Barter at St George’s Market

    St George’s Market is one of the hubs of Belfast culture. Under its roof, you’ll find a thriving market of over 300 traders, crafters, musicians, and food vendors. Built between 1890 and 1896, it’s become a popular spot with locals and tourists alike. It is open from Friday to Sunday, and you can find lots of local delicacies and delights. 

    5. Stroll around the Botanic Gardens

    Built in the 19th century, Belfast’s Botanic Gardens, one of the captivating attractions in Belfast, Northern Ireland, was established following a public fascination with horticulture and botany. Inside the giant glass greenhouse and surrounding gardens, you’ll find an impressive collection of plants from all over the world — including the southern hemisphere.

    You can spot the most exotic plants and even Birds of Paradise at the Tropical Ravine. Plus, the Ulster Museum is only a stone’s throw away, where you can learn about the nation’s history (and even see a real Egyptian mummy). 

    6. Experience Crumlin Road Gaol

    Crumlin Road Gaol, also known locally as the Crum, is unquestionably one of the most fascinating things to see in Belfast, Ireland. Built between 1843 and 1845, it stands out as one of the most advanced prisons of its time. The fearsome reputation it earned even led to its moniker as Europe’s Alcatraz.

    During the Troubles, it housed many well-known members of the various terrorist factions before closing in 1996. 

    Discovering Belfast’s Charms

    Belfast, Ireland’s rich history and vibrant culture make it a must-visit destination. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, the city offers a captivating experience. For other travel tips and recommendations, stay connected with Active Planet Travels and embark on your next adventure!