I hope that you are planning a trip to Belfast Northern Ireland and if you are you will be made very welcome. Belfast since the end of “The Troubles” has undergone a huge regeneration program and the city is now rather metropolitan in nature and there is a certain buzz about it.
Many people come to visit our capital city each year and I am sure they research quite a bit before their visit, but I thought I would include what I believe to be the top ten attractions to see. I have also ranked them by the priority that I would choose to visit them in. They are also close in proximity to each other and can be easily accessed by foot or by the local Metro bus. You can’t miss those as they are a striking pink and white colour and most of them start out their destination from Belfast City Hall, right in the centre of Belfast.
Here is the list I would personally recommend:
- The Ulster Museum
- Queen’s University
- Botanic Gardens
- Titanic Quarter
- Belfast Castle
- Crown Bar
- Belfast City Hall
- Linen Hall Library
- Odyssey Arena and W5
- Saint Anne’s Cathedral
Just to help you with your planned route, I would start with the Ulster Museum which I am sure you will be pleased to know is free to enter and enjoy. Then stroll through the Botanic Gardens and enjoy the beautiful gardens and the hothouse that has some very unusual plants and shrubs. Just a short walk away from that is the beautiful building that is one of the oldest universities in the United Kingdom, and most certainly worth a visit. Bring your camera as you can get some fantastic shots.
A 20 minute walk or a 5 minute bus journey will take you into Belfast city centre and then you should visit the City Hall which is a magnificent building to see and is also steeped in Irish history. Across the road from the main entrance to the City Hall is the very old Linen Hall library which has some of the most unusual and most interesting documents on Irish history.
A 5 minute walk from the Linen Hall library will take you to the best bar in Belfast, the Crown Bar. Enjoy a pint of the best Guinness you will ever taste as you take in the amazing interior, and if you are hungry, I strongly recommend the mussels. They are divine!
From there, it is well worth the 20 minute walk to see Saint Anne’s Cathedral. From outside there you can then hop on a bus and leave for North Belfast to see the Belfast Castle. From there you can see the old dungeons and get a perfect panoramic view of all of Belfast and Belfast Lough.
If you still have some energy left, then you need to get back into Belfast city centre and head to East Belfast and the shipyard where the Titanic was built. The Titanic walking tour is the one I would recommend most as you get a proper sense of the history of the Titanic. This is all within a fifteen minute walking distance from the City Hall.
Once you have finished that, then you are right beside the Odyssey complex, where you can watch Ice Hockey if in season, catch a film, have a meal or a drink and finally relax.
You can do all of the above in two days but I would suggest take three days and enjoy them. A camera is a must and I would also recommend a video recorder of some kind as you will want to relive the memories.
Just remember to enjoy Belfast.