Things to do in Belfast

Belfast, the vibrant capital of Northern Ireland, offers a wealth of attractions and activities for visitors to explore. From the iconic Titanic Belfast to the historic Belfast Castle, the city boasts a rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty. Whether you’re interested in history, art, sports, or outdoor adventures, Belfast has something to offer everyone. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to some of the top things to do in Belfast, helping you make the most of your visit to this fascinating city.
1. Belfast Castle: Perched on the slopes of Cavehill Country Park, Belfast Castle offers a glimpse into the city’s rich history. Built in the 19th century, the castle features stunning architecture and beautifully landscaped gardens. Visitors can explore the castle’s interior, enjoy a meal at the restaurant, or take a leisurely stroll through the surrounding park, which offers breathtaking views of the city and Belfast Lough.

2. Ulster Museum: The Ulster Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history, art, and natural sciences of Northern Ireland. With a vast collection spanning multiple disciplines, the museum offers engaging exhibits and interactive displays that bring the region’s rich heritage to life. From ancient artifacts to modern art installations, there’s something to captivate visitors of all ages and interests.

3. Titanic Belfast: Located on the site where the RMS Titanic was built, Titanic Belfast is a world-class visitor attraction that tells the story of the iconic ship, from its conception to its tragic end. The museum features interactive exhibits, replica cabins, and a ride that takes visitors through the ship’s construction. A visit to Titanic Belfast is an immersive experience that brings the legend of the Titanic to life.

4. National Trust – Divis and the Black Mountain: For those seeking outdoor adventures, the National Trust’s Divis and the Black Mountain property offers a stunning natural landscape to explore. With hiking trails suitable for all skill levels, visitors can trek through the rolling hills, taking in panoramic views of Belfast and the surrounding countryside. The area is also home to a diverse range of wildlife, making it a perfect spot for nature enthusiasts.

5. Crumlin Road Gaol Visitor Attraction and Conference Centre: Step back in time and experience life behind bars at the Crumlin Road Gaol Visitor Attraction and Conference Centre. This former prison, which dates back to the Victorian era, offers guided tours that take visitors through the cells, execution chamber, and underground tunnel that connected the gaol to the courthouse. The tours provide a fascinating insight into the history of the prison and the lives of those who were incarcerated there.

6. Crusaders FC: For sports fans, a visit to Seaview, the home ground of Crusaders FC, is a must. This professional football club, based in north Belfast, has a loyal following and a rich history. Attend a match and experience the passion and excitement of local football, cheering alongside the dedicated fans.

7. Belfast Zoo: Animal lovers won’t want to miss a visit to Belfast Zoo, located on the outskirts of the city. The 55-acre zoo is home to over 1,000 animals from 150 species, including elephants, giraffes, and lions. With a focus on conservation and education, Belfast Zoo offers a fun and informative day out for visitors of all ages.

8. Belfast Cathedral, the Cathedral Church of St Anne: The Belfast Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral Church of St Anne, is a stunning example of Romanesque architecture. Located in the heart of the city, the cathedral features beautiful stained glass windows, intricate mosaics, and a peaceful atmosphere. Visitors can attend a service, explore the cathedral’s interior, or simply admire the impressive architecture from the outside.

9. HMS Caroline: Step aboard the HMS Caroline, a decommissioned light cruiser ship that played a significant role in World War I. Now a floating museum, the ship offers visitors the chance to explore the decks, cabins, and engine rooms, learning about life on board and the ship’s role in the war. The HMS Caroline provides a unique and immersive experience for those interested in naval history.

10. Grand Opera House: For a night of entertainment, head to the Grand Opera House, a stunning theater located in the heart of Belfast. This historic venue hosts a variety of performances, including operas, musicals, plays, and concerts. With its ornate interior and excellent acoustics, the Grand Opera House provides an unforgettable cultural experience.

11. Belfast City Hall: No visit to Belfast is complete without a stop at the iconic Belfast City Hall. This impressive building, located in Donegall Square, is the civic heart of the city. Visitors can take a guided tour of the interior, learning about the history and architecture of the building, or simply admire the stunning exterior and surrounding gardens.

12. Botanic Gardens: The Botanic Gardens, located in the Queen’s Quarter of south Belfast, provide a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The gardens feature a stunning Victorian palm house, a tropical ravine, and a variety of plant species from around the world. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the gardens, have a picnic on the lawns, or visit the nearby Ulster Museum.

13. St George’s Market: For a taste of local culture and cuisine, head to St George’s Market, a historic market located in the city center. Open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the market features a variety of stalls selling fresh produce, handcrafted goods, and delicious food from around the world. The lively atmosphere and friendly vendors make St George’s Market a must-visit destination for foodies and shoppers alike.

14. The MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre): Art enthusiasts won’t want to miss a visit to The MAC, Belfast’s premier arts center located in the Cathedral Quarter. The MAC features a variety of exhibitions, performances, and workshops, showcasing the best of local and international talent. With its modern architecture and vibrant atmosphere, The MAC is a hub of creativity and innovation in the heart of the city.

15. Áras Uí Chonghaile James Connolly Visitor Centre: For those interested in Irish history and politics, the Áras Uí Chonghaile James Connolly Visitor Centre is a must-visit. Dedicated to the life and legacy of James Connolly, an Irish republican and socialist leader, the center offers exhibits and displays that provide insight into his life and the struggles for Irish independence and workers’ rights.

16. Queen’s University Belfast: Founded in 1845, Queen’s University Belfast is a historic and prestigious institution located in the heart of the city. Visitors can take a stroll through the beautiful campus, admiring the stunning architecture of the main building and the surrounding gardens. The university also hosts a variety of public events and lectures throughout the year, providing opportunities for learning and engagement.