Things to do in Belfast

"Whether it's your first visit to Belfast, or you're back for a second time, there are always some things to do in Belfast."

Belfast Travel Guide: Top Things to do in Belfast

There are many Things to do in Belfast, it is a fascinating city, rich in history, culture, and architectural wonders. Whether you are a first-time visitor eager to explore this amazing destination or a seasoned traveler returning for more, there is always something new and exciting to discover in Belfast. What better way to discover all the hidden gems and must-see attractions, than a hop-on-hop-off bus tour?

This immersive and engaging tour takes you on a guided bus ride through the vibrant streets of Belfast. It allows you to experience the very best this city has to offer. With a knowledgeable and friendly guide by your side, you will receive full guidance throughout the journey, ensuring that you don’t miss out on any of the stunning sights and fascinating history that Belfast has to offer.

As you travel through the bustling streets of this charming city, you’ll see some of the most iconic parts of Belfast. Moreover, you can visit all the main attractions that draw visitors from far and wide. From the stunning Victorian architecture to the vibrant street art and the famous political murals, there is so much to see and experience in Belfast.

One of the best things about this tour is that you can hop off at any point along the route to explore what catches your eye. No problem – simply hop off the bus and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and stories of these iconic locations. 

Or perhaps you’d like to try some local cuisine or do some shopping in one of Belfast’s bustling marketplaces? With the hop-on-hop-off bus tour, the choice is yours, and the possibilities are endless.

So whether you’re a solo traveller, a family with kids, or a group of friends on a city break, a hop-on-hop-off bus tour is an excellent way to introduce yourself to the beauty and diversity of Belfast.

Commercial Court

This is a terrific alleyway or entry to walk down and spend some time. It will take you out to Donegall Street where if you make a right you will come to the John Hewitt and St. Anne’s Cathedral.

Commercial-Court

About Belfast

Belfast is undoubtedly a city that cannot be overlooked! It is the political and cultural capital of Northern Ireland, where history and modernism intersect. One of the most famous events that occurred in Belfast was the launching of the RMS Titanic which sank in 1912, it has forever left a mark on the city. Belfast takes great pride in preserving this story, and the Titanic Quarter is a stunning example of this. 

This incredible neighbourhood is home to the impressive Titanic Belfast Museum, a towering aluminium structure designed to resemble the Titanic’s hull. Visitors will also marvel at the preserved Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices, where the Titanic was designed, and the Titanic Slipways, which have been transformed into an open-air concert venue. 

In addition to its rich heritage, Belfast boasts a cosmopolitan atmosphere, with a fantastic food and drink scene, an excellent shopping district and a welcoming and thriving arts and culture scene.

When is the Best time to visit Belfast

Summers are considered the best season to visit Belfast. The city never gets too hot even during peak summers, but remains pleasant enough to bring people out of their homes and for tourists to enjoy the city in all its aesthetic glory. 

From May to September, your chances of experiencing more sunny days than rainy ones are much higher – although you should pack a raincoat just in case! However, any time of the year is a good time to visit Belfast as most attractions are open year-round. 

Popular Accommodation in City Centre

Whether you’re staying in the heart of the city, or travelling further afield, Belfast and Northern Ireland have an endless selection of luxury, family-friendly, spa, boutique and budget hotels…you’ll be spoilt for choice!

The Merchant Hotel: Should you happen to be in search of a luxurious historical hotel that boasts 5-star accommodations, the esteemed and highly esteemed Merchant Hotel should undoubtedly be considered. Situated in a stunning 1860 building, at a central location in the Cathedral Quarter.

The hotel offers a plethora of indulgent amenities that are essential to an opulent stay: from an exquisite restaurant, bar, and lounge, to a relaxing spa, hot tub and a sun-drenched rooftop gymnasium. The Merchant Hotel provides a unique chance for those coveting an exceptional experience while visiting Belfast.

Grand Central Hotel Belfast: Hastings Grand Central is more than a hotel. It’s an ode to a city. Standing tall in Bedford Street, this impressive jewel fuses glamour and grandeur with a uniquely Belfast spirit. Perfectly placed in Belfast City. Just as Belfast is at the heart of the Grand Central, the Grand Central is at the heart of Belfast.

The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast:  Awarded Five Stars by the AA, The Fitzwilliam Hotel is a super-elegant masterpiece located in the heart of the city centre. 146 fabulous guestrooms and suites, incredible food, a much-loved bar and the best service you’ve ever experienced: A new definition of boutique hotel, it’s Belfast’s five-star superstar.

 

Titanic Belfast Best Things to do in Belfast

Things to do in Belfast

Titanic Museum is truly remarkable and one of the must see attractions while in Belfast. It has captured the hearts and minds of locals and tourists alike since its opening in 2012. Located on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard, where the legendary RMS Titanic was built, this attraction is a monument to Belfast’s maritime heritage. 

With its impressive size of over 12,000 square metres (130,000 sq ft) of floor space, this stunning building houses a variety of exhibitions, private function rooms and community facilities. The galleries within Titanic Belfast are a true testament to the captivating stories of the Titanic and her sister ships, RMS Olympic and HMHS Britannic. 

Visitors will be transported back in time and gain a true insight into life on board these magnificent vessels, including the tragic events that took place during the Titanic’s maiden voyage in 1912. Titanic Belfast is one of Northern Ireland’s most highly visited attractions and a must-see for anyone with an interest in history or maritime heritage.

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Currency Used in Belfast?

Belfast is part of the United Kingdom so the pound sterling (GBP) is the legal currency. This is the same currency used throughout the rest of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland).

How many Days should I Spend in Belfast?

For an authentic experience in Belfast, it is suggested that at least 3 full days and 2 nights be allocated to discover the city’s offerings. The duration of the visit is dependent on the visitor’s preferences and availability; however, we highly recommend the aforementioned timeline to ensure an in-depth exploration of the city. We highly recommend this 3-day itinerary from Belfast.

Crumlin Road Gaol

Crumlin-Road-Goal

The Crumlin Road Gaol is a significant landmark in Irish history, having been built in the year 1845. Spanning over 150 years, it served as a place of incarceration for individuals from various walks of life. 

The prison witnessed dark and tumultuous periods in Irish history, and among the inmates, were children from poverty-stricken families, political prisoners, and suffragettes, to name a few. Today, while the prison has been closed since 1996, it has been repurposed in an impressive fashion. 

Today, it serves as a thought-provoking and unforgettable visitor attraction which never fails to leave an enduring imprint on every visitor’s mind. Additionally, the prison has become a highly sought-after venue for conferences, concerts, and events. All in all, Crumlin Road Gaol is a landmark attraction you simply cannot afford to miss!

St Georges Market, one of the must Things to do in Belfast

St George's Market

St George’s Market is a must-visit attraction in Belfast, steeped in over four centuries of history. This bustling market has been a vibrant hub of activity since 1604, and the present award-winning market building, constructed between 1890 and 1896, is one of the city’s oldest attractions. The market is only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, but is definitely worth the wait.

Among its many offerings, St George’s Market is home to some of the finest fresh produce in the UK and Ireland, drawing customers from far and wide to sample the delectable goods on offer. From artisan breads and cheeses to exotic spices and handmade crafts, there is something for everyone at this market.

Following a £4.5m refurbishment in 1997, this charming Victorian building has become one of the most vibrant and colourful destinations in Belfast. With its charming atmosphere, welcoming community and rich history, a visit to St George’s Market is an experience you won’t soon forget.

Popular Tours From Belfast

Giant Causeway Tour

Belfast Shore Excursion

Visit Belfast Castle, Belfast Castle is located in the Cave Hill area of north Belfast. It was built in the 1860s and is one of the city's most famous landmarks to visit.

Belfast Castle

Cave Hill is an emblem of Belfast that has been standing tall for generations. Its striking silhouette is a prominent feature of the city’s landscape and it holds a plethora of natural, archaeological and historical attractions, including the famous Belfast Castle. 

In fact, the estate is named after its five caves, which are found on the cliffsides. One of the most popular features of Cave Hill that the locals affectionately refer to as “Napoleon’s Nose” is believed to have inspired Jonathan Swift’s famous novel, Gulliver’s Travels.

Visitors can spend an entire day at the park, exploring the Cave Hill Adventurous Playground (currently closed for refurbishment until Mid-October), the archaeological sites, the Visitor Information Centre (open to 5.30 pm, 7 days a week), the stunning gardens, ecotrails, as well as walking and orienteering routes. 

The estate is home to a remarkable range of wildlife, including long-eared owls and sparrowhawks, and the town hall clock, which is Belfast’s rarest plant.

Belfast Castle, located within Cave Hill Park, recently opened its doors to a fantastic new cafe where visitors can enjoy an array of hot and cold snacks and drinks. 

The Ability café run by USEL is open to visitors for five days each week (Thursday to Monday) from 9 am to 4 pm. The café has both indoor and outdoor seating, and visitors can savour the delicious hot food served until 3 pm every day. Please note that the Café is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Visit Belfast City Hall

Belfast City Hall

Located in the heart of Belfast at Belfast City Hall. Sitting in Donegall Square, the iconic green-domed building is one of the most iconic buildings in Belfast. It dates back to 1906 and is the city’s main civic building. Visitors can take free guided tours inside City Hall (you need to register at the visitor exhibition/guided tours reception), or you can explore the monuments, memorials, and gardens outside, including the Titanic Memorial Garden.

About the City Hall

Belfast City Hall was built to commemorate the event of Belfast becoming a city, having been granted the status in 1888 by Queen Victoria in recognition of the contributions of Belfast in the industries of linen, rope, tobacco, engineering, and shipbuilding. 

This imposing structure of Portland stone has a copper dome topping out at 173 feet high, as well as a statue of Queen Victoria celebrating her jubilee standing out front Many other statues and monuments can be found on the surrounding grounds, including the Thane Memorial for the victims of the Titanic sinking, which was expanded in 2012 to become the Titanic Memorial Garden.

Crown Liquor Saloon

Crown Liquor Saloon

Step into the historic Crown Bar and you’ll discover a truly exceptional and unforgettable traditional pub, steeped in history and character. You’ll experience a warm and inviting atmosphere and be delighted by an eclectic range of real ales, perfect to pair with the heartily classic pub food on offer. But that’s not all – the Crown Bar is renowned the world over for its famous Irish hospitality, ensuring every guest feels right at home.

Dating back to 1826, the Crown Bar was formerly known as The Liquor Saloon in Great Victoria Street and was one of the mightiest Victorian gin palaces. Today, as part of the National Trust, the Crown Bar has been sympathetically restored while retaining its unique charm and victoriana style. From the riot of polychromatic tiles on the exterior facade to the ornate wood carving, brocaded walls, and feather motifs in gold, every inch of the Crown Bar is a magnificent masterpiece in bar architecture.

Visitors to the Crown Bar are amazed by the abundance of rich colors, intricate designs and details in every corner. Everywhere you look there are surprises to take in – a burnished primrose yellow, red and gold ceiling, a floor of mosaic tiles, ubiquitous highly patterned tiles, ornate mirrors, wooden columns with Corinthian capitals, and painted and etched glass everywhere. It’s a feast for the senses that requires multiple visits to truly take it in.

Ulster Museum Other top Things to do in Belfast

Ulster Museum

You could spend hours browsing this state-of-the-art museum, but if you’re pressed for time don’t miss the Armada Room, with artifacts retrieved from the 1588 wreck of the Spanish galleon Girona; the Egyptian Room, with Takabuti, a 2500-year-old Egyptian mummy unwrapped in Belfast in 1835; and the Early Peoples Gallery, with the bronze Bann Disc, a superb example of Celtic design from the Iron Age.

Queen's University Belfast

Queen's University Belfast

Founded in 1849 as a non-denominational alternative to Dublin’s Trinity College, Queen’s University Belfast is known for for its magnificent medieval-style campus. 

Visitors are drawn to the university’s eclectic mix of architectural styles and peaceful green space. Harry Potter fans will want to visit the red brick Lanyon Building that looks like a real-life version of Hogwarts.

Top Things to See and Do in Belfast, Northern Ireland A Black Cab Tour

Bombay-Street

Explore the vibrant city of Belfast with a Black Taxi Tour. Black cab tours are guided tours that offer an immersive experience, showcasing the rich history, iconic landmarks, and hidden gems of this captivating city. Book your tour today and embark on an unforgettable journey through Belfast’s storied past and vibrant present.

During the tour, expert black cab tour guides will provide you with an insightful account of the origin of the murals and their symbolism. It is through their knowledgeable narration that you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the history presented by these captivating murals. The displayed murals encompass both sides of the 40-year conflict in Belfast.

Frequently Asked Questions

Travel between multiple peacelines and walls on an eye opening tour of discovery through the once no go areas and learn of Belfast’s troubled past and rich shared history. Visit both Catholic and Protestant areas to get a balanced understanding of the past. You will be fully guided by a real black taxi driver who worked Belfast’s streets during an era known as the troubles.

  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • Private Tour and Professional guide
  • Transport by air-conditioned luxury MPV
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off (from any location within Belfast Centre)
  • Free Port pickup and drop-off included (Within Belfast)
  • Airport pickup and drop-off included (Within Belfast)
  • Private Giants Causeway Tour From Belfast

We are Cab Tours Belfast, the only Black Taxi Cab Tour company in the city of Belfast. Jointly owned by both a Protestant and a Catholic.

Departure: Location changes with every customer depending on individual requirements please ensure that your pick-up location is included in your booking inquiry. This tour begins with a pick-up from any location within Belfast City Centre Free of charge.  Any location outside of Belfast will be at an additional cost.

We pick-up from

  • Belfast Cruise Ship Terminal
  • Hotel pick-up is offered for this tour
  • Address, or Intersection, Monument/Building
  • Airport

 Airports

  • Belfast International Airport, Belfast Northern Ireland
  • Belfast City Airport, Belfast Northern Ireland
  • Airport pickup and drop-off included (Within Belfast)
  • Also Available outside Belfast Anywhere in N. Ireland / Dublin at an Additional Cost.

Port
Belfast Northern Ireland Ports Belfast Cruise Terminal
Free Port pickup and drop-off included (Within Belfast) We adjust our times to suit the ship’s arrival and departure.

Return Details
Returns to the original departure point or anywhere within Belfast city center

  • There is a walking on what are sometimes uneven surfaces during this tour. Please come dressed appropriately for not only the season, but also for the activity
  • Warm clothing
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Lightweight raincoat just in case

Additional charges apply when you take a black cab from Heathrow, book by phone, and on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. All black cabs accept payment by credit or debit card without a surcharge.

How many passengers can travel on a black cab? All our black cabs have seating for up to 6 passengers.

Have more time in Belfast? Why Not Take a trip to Giant's Causeway

Giants Causeway Tour

The Giant’s Causeway is undoubtedly a sight to behold, and it has been recognized as such by UNESCO, who have designated it as a World Heritage site. Located on the stunning North East coast of County Antrim, this geological formation is not only magnificent but also mysterious. 

The area is characterized by polygonal columns that appear to have been placed with great precision, giving rise to countless theories regarding its formation – from the mythological to the scientific.

 As you explore this incredible site, you’ll have the chance to marvel at the interlocking basalt columns and incredible natural landscape. The Giant’s Causeway truly takes you on a journey through time as you explore the area and discover its fascinating history, making it a must-see destination for anyone interested in the natural world or Ireland’s rich and diverse heritage.

Best tips for your Northern Ireland Holiday. So you are planning a trip to Northern Ireland, maybe you want to explore the Giants Causeway? Here are some useful tips and advice on how to plan your trip, so that you can get the best out of it. The Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland has been voted one of the top travel destinations in the world by Conde Nast Traveler readers. 

You can visit this place by taking a private tour. The Causeway Coast area is home to many beautiful attractions, many of which are well known such as the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, where you can walk over the ocean on a rope bridge. Another attraction is Dunluce Castle, which has been abandoned since the 16th century and is said to be haunted. 

There is also Old Bushmills Distillery where you can witness whiskey being produced in a traditional way. And not to be missed The Dark Hedges one of the most visited attractions in Northern Ireland. How to get there: Getting around Northern Ireland is easy if you have a car or take a private tour.

This blog post will help you plan your next holiday in Northern Ireland, You will find out lots of information that will help you plan your next trip, activities during your holiday and when is the best time to visit.

Visit Game of Thrones Filming Locations

The-Dark-Hedges

Journey through the real-life Westeros on this fully-guided private Game of Thrones Tour from Belfast.  Follow in the footsteps of the Starks, the Lannisters, and all your favourite characters and embark on an epic journey through the Seven Kingdoms and Immerse yourself in the real-life Game of Thrones filming locations seen on-screen.

This is a must-see tour for any Game of Thrones Fan. This tour takes you to several of the Game of Thrones filming locations used in the series and also includes a visit to the Giants Causeway the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland, and walk the notorious Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. 

With this full-day experience, you will also get to visit the Glens of Antrim and the dramatic world-famous causeway coast and travel through the rolling farmland of County Antrim. The Antrim Coast Road is widely agreed to be one of the finest stretches of road anywhere in the world.

You have the option to stop at unexpected points if you wish for photo stops etc as and when requested. This tour can be tailored to customers’ requests.

Frequently Asked Questions | Things to do in Belfast

Travel between multiple peacelines and walls on an eye opening tour of discovery through the once no go areas and learn of Belfast’s troubled past and rich shared history. Visit both Catholic and Protestant areas to get a balanced understanding of the past. You will be fully guided by a real black taxi driver who worked Belfast’s streets during an era known as the troubles.

For an authentic Belfast experience give yourself three days to soak up the history, culture and sights. Belfast has a compact heart, and many of its best sites are within walking distance of one another.
 
 
According to Numbeo.com, the cost of living in Belfast is around 37% lower than that in London. The cost of living in Belfast for a single individual on a monthly basis in late 2022 not including rent, is around £660.50 for regular monthly expenses.
Belfast is the second friendliest city in the UK, according to Condé Nast Traveller magazine’s readers’ choice awards. Ten cities across the UK were featured on “The friendliest cities in the UK 2023” list. Northern Ireland’s capital was pipped to the post by the Welsh capital, Cardiff.
The town of Belfast was established by Sir Arthur Chichester, with the name ‘Belfast’ being an Anglicisation of the Irish Béal Feirste, which roughly translates as ‘the mouth of the sandbar. 
Most people need a valid passport to enter the Republic or Northern Ireland but there are some exceptions: If you’re a UK citizen, you can also use official photo identification.
How many passengers can travel on a black cab? All our black cabs have seating for up to 6 passengers.

Like most of the rest of the UK and Ireland, the summer months are usually regarded as the “best” time to visit Belfast. From May-September, your chances of hitting more sunny days than rainy ones are much higher – though you’ll still definitely want to pack a rain coat, just in case!

Cathedral Quarter: best neighborhood for nightlife and the arts. The Cathedral Quarter, on the fringes of Belfast city center, takes its name from St Anne’s Cathedral, an early 20th-century Romanesque Revival edifice characterized by its rounded arches and turrets.

Popular Bars to Visit in Belfast

  • The Crown Liquor Saloon

  • The Duke of York

  • The Dirty Onion

  • The Spaniard

  • Lavery’s

  • The Perch

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Discover Irish Isle offers a range of resources to help visitors plan a trip to Ireland. Our blog post highlights the best things to do in the area and provides insider tips to ensure visitors have an unforgettable experience. 

We encourage you to explore our social media channels as well, where you can find additional information and travel inspiration. Trust our team of experts to guide you through the planning process and provide you with the tools you need to fully immerse yourself in the culture and attractions of Ireland.

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