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

Best Things to do in Belfast

Belfast 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. It’ll give you a unique and unforgettable perspective on this amazing city.

Commercial Court

Looking for a beautiful and relaxing stroll in the heart of the city? Look no further than this incredible alleyway that offers a peaceful and serene experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. 

As you make your way down this incredible pathway, you’ll find yourself surrounded by stunning scenery and awe-inspiring architecture that will take your breath away. With so much to discover in this incredible location, you won’t want to miss a single moment of your exploration! And when you’re ready to head out, 

be sure to make a right onto Donegall Street where you’ll find two of the city’s premier attractions – the John Hewitt and St. Anne’s Cathedral. So why wait? Come and discover the beauty of this incredible location for yourself today!

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 is the building of the infamous RMS Titanic in 1912, which 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

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

Titanic-Belfast-and-Belfast-City-Tour

Titanic Belfast is truly remarkable and one of the must Things to do in Belfast visitor attractions that have 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.

Titanic Belfast opening hours

We operate seasonal opening hours with last admission to the Titanic Experience 1 hour 40 minutes before closing time.

SS Nomadic opens reduced hours in line with Titanic Belfast’s seasonal schedule and last admission is 30 minutes before closing time.

 Titanic BelfastSS Nomadic
January – March 2024
Monday – Sunday10am – 5pm11am – 4pm
16th JanuaryClosedClosed
10th – 18th February10am – 6pm11am – 5pm
23rd – 31st March10am – 6pm11am – 5pm
 
April – May 2024
Monday – Sunday9am – 6pm10am – 5.30pm
 
June 2024
Monday – Sunday9am – 7pm10am – 6.30pm
 
July – August 2024
Monday – Sunday9am – 7.30pm10am – 7pm
4th & 20th July9am – 7pm10am – 6.30pm
 
September – October 2024
Monday – Sunday9am – 6pm10am – 5.30pm
 
November – December 2024
Monday – Sunday10am – 5pm11am – 4.30pm
1st – 3rd November9am – 6pm10am – 5.30pm
24th – 26th DecemberClosedClosed
27th – 31st December10am – 6pm11am – 5.30pm
 
January – March 2025
Monday – Sunday10am – 5pm11am – 4.30pm

 

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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!

CRUMLIN ROAD GAOL EXPERIENCE OPEN SEVEN DAYS PER WEEK

Duration 90 mins (Approx.)

Opening time10:00 am
Last admission April to AugustSun – Thurs 4:00 pm Fri & Sat 4:30 pm
Last admission September to MarchSun-Sat 4:00pm

ADMISSION FEES

 At The DoorOnline*
Adults£14.50£14.00
Children
5-15yrs
£8.00£7.50
Concession
Senior citizens 60+ & students
£13.00£12.50
Family
2 Adults & 2 Children
£40.00£38.00
GroupsSee details below
*Online BookingsDiscounts are only available when booking online a day or more before your planned visit.

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

St Georges Market

St George’s Market is a one-of-a-kind destination that has been captivating locals and visitors alike since it was built between 1890 and 1896. This historic landmark has garnered a reputation for offering the freshest and most diverse locally sourced produce in the region. 

Its lively atmosphere and vibrant energy make it a standout attraction, earning numerous accolades and awards. The market has been recognized by national and local organizations, such as the NABMA Great British Market Awards, which named it the Best Large Indoor Market in the UK in 2023. 

Throughout the weekends, visitors can enjoy the sounds of live music and soak up the electric atmosphere. With such a wide variety of goods and entertainment, St George’s Market should be at the top of anyone’s list of must-see destinations.

Location

St George’s Market is opposite the Waterfront Hall. You can get to the market from Oxford Street, May Street and East Bridge Street.

St George's Market opening hours

DayOpen
Friday8am to 2pm
Saturday9am to 3pm
Sunday10am to 3pm

things to do in belfast northern ireland

Giant Causeway Tour

Belfast Shore Excursion

Visit Belfast Castle

Belfast City Sightseeing Tour 1

Belfast Castle, located in the Cave Hill area of the north of Belfast, is a popular destination, celebrated for its natural, archaeological, and historical significance. 

The Castle was constructed in the 1860s, and it has become one of Belfast’s most well-known landmarks. Cave Hill, an imposing natural feature of the region, has been associated with Belfast for generations, with its silhouette visible across the city. 

The Castle boasts a variety of attractions, and visitors can traverse the Cave Hill Adventurous Playground (presently closed until mid-October for refurbishment), archaeological sites, the Belfast Castle Visitor Information Centre, beautiful gardens, eco-trails, walking, and orienteering routes. 

The estate consists of landscaped gardens and mature mixed woodland and offers spectacular views of the city from different vantage points. 

Visitors can expect to witness a diverse range of flora and fauna, including long-eared owls, sparrowhawks, and the scarce town hall clock plant, among others. The Castle has recently opened a fantastic café with a choice of hot and cold refreshments and snacks.

Introduction (Opening Times)
  • Opening times:.
  • Castle: 09:00 – 18:00 daily.
  • Ability Cafe: 9:00 – 16:00 (Hot food served until 15:00).
  • Cave Hill Visitor Centre: 9:00 -17.30.
  • Cave Hill Adventure Playground: 9:00-21:00 (summer hours).
 

Visit Belfast City Hall

Things to do in Belfast

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

The Crown Bar

Please step into The Crown, a traditional pub that boasts unique character and an eclectic range of real ales and classic pub food, served with famous Irish hospitality. 

The Crown, formerly known as The Liquor Saloon on Great Victoria Street, is one of the greatest bars in the world and a gem of Victoriana. As one of the mightiest Victorian gin palaces dating back to 1826, The Crown is owned by the National Trust and has been carefully restored over the years.

The Crown remains an architectural wonder and a masterpiece of bar design, known to millions worldwide. The exterior of the bar is adorned with polychromatic tiles, providing only a glimpse into the treasures found inside. 

The bar’s interior is rich in colour and design featuring primrose yellow, red and gold ceiling, mosaic tiled floors, and highly patterned tiles. The ornate mirrors, wood carvings and painted and etched glass displays are exquisite. Additionally, the ten wooden boxes provide a unique place for quiet drinking or hidden conversations.

Ulster Museum Other top Things to do in Belfast

Ulster Museum

The Ulster Museum is an exceptional museum that offers a plethora of exciting things to see and explore. With its state-of-the-art facilities, you could easily spend the whole day there, discovering the many treasures that the museum houses. 

However, if you’re short on time, there are three exhibits that you simply cannot miss: The Armada Room is a must-see, showcasing valuable and unique artifacts recovered from the wreckage of the Spanish Galleon, Girona, that sank in 1588. 

The Egyptian Room is another wonder that awaits you, featuring the Takabuti, a 2500-year-old mummy, unwrapped in Belfast in 1835, leaving everyone who sees it in awe. Lastly, the Early Peoples Gallery boasts of the incredible Bann Disc, a bronze artifact with superb Celtic designs dating back to the Iron Age. All in all, visiting the Ulster Museum promises to be an unforgettable experience.

Queen's University Belfast

Queen s University

Founded more than 170 years ago, Queen’s University Belfast was established as a non-denominational institution that would offer a viable alternative to Trinity College in Dublin.

Over the years, the university has established itself as a premier learning institution renowned for its magnificent medieval-style campus, which is a must-visit for anyone who appreciates stunning architectural wonders. 

Visitors to the campus are enchanted by the eclectic mix of architectural styles and the tranquil green spaces that provide a much-needed respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. 

For Harry Potter enthusiasts, a visit to the red brick Lanyon Building is a must – this imposing edifice resembles a real-life version of Hogwarts and will leave you spellbound! With its rich history, stunning architecture, and commitment to academic excellence, Queen’s University Belfast is a destination that should be on everyone’s must-visit list.

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? trip to Giant's Causeway is Best Things to do in Belfast

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. 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 trip. 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, when it was destroyed during the Irish Rebellion of 1641 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 popular natural phenomena 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

Combo Tours

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

Popular Private Tours in Belfast

The Giant’s Causeway is one of the most beautiful sites that Northern Ireland has to offer. This natural phenomenon was created by a volcanic eruption.

The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, suspended almost 100ft (30m) above sea level, was first erected by a salmon fisherman 350 years ago.

Bushmills Whiskey Distillery has been creating beautiful ‘ water of life ‘ since 1608 making this the oldest working distillery in Ireland.

Bushmills Whiskey Distillery has been creating beautiful ‘ water of life ‘ since 1608 making this the oldest working distillery in Ireland.

Bushmills Whiskey Distillery has been creating beautiful ‘ water of life ‘ since 1608 making this the oldest working distillery in Ireland.

Bushmills Whiskey Distillery has been creating beautiful ‘ water of life ‘ since 1608 making this the oldest working distillery in Ireland.

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