Things to do in

Belfast

Cultural attractions, concerts, and street art are just a taste of what awaits in Northern Ireland’s capital.

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The 10 best things to do in Belfast

Belfast's quarters brim with a bevy of cultural attractions, revealing bright and troubled years of history amid a spectrum of art and architecture. Its vibrant music scene will also keep your feet tapping into the wee hours, be it at a modern venue or pub.

  • 1. Ulster Museum

    This top museum's highlight is the Armada Room, which contains the wreck of Girona from 1588, along with treasures, including gold and personal items, from Spanish Armada ships.

  • Belfast City Hall

    2. Belfast City Hall

    This grand Baroque Revival structure is on the site of the city's former 19th-century Linen Exchange. On St Patrick's day and other dates the façade is illuminated with a variety of coloured floodlights.

  • Belfast Castle

    3. Belfast Castle

    Located on Cave Hill, the 3rd Marquess of Donegall commissioned the re-construction of Belfast Castle in the 19th century. Each of the first two castles in the city burned down.

  • St. Anne's Cathedral

    4. St. Anne's Cathedral

    Construction began in 1899 and finished in 1981. At 131 feet, the Spire of Hope was an addition in 2006. You'll find splendid mosaics and stained-glass windows inside.

  • Grand Opera House

    5. Grand Opera House

    The refurbished theater, which opened in 1895, hosts operas, concerts, and musicals. During the years of "the Troubles," bomb explosions damaged it in 1991 and 1993.

  • Botanic Gardens

    6. Botanic Gardens

    The gardens first opened as a private park in 1828 and then became public in 1895. The Palm House is its most striking feature, due to its cast iron and glass construction.

  • 7. Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park

    Lady Dixon dedicated the park to her late husband in 1959. There are 40,000 roses and the famed Rose Week celebration in summer. There's also a Diana, Princess of Wales garden.

  • Waterfront Hall

    8. Waterfront Hall

    The main auditorium can host opera and musical performances for up to 2,000 people. The copper, domed roof will ultimately turn green, matching that of City Hall's, among others.

  • The Odyssey

    9. The Odyssey

    Located in the Titanic Quarter and comprising the SSE Arena, Odyssey Pavilion and W5, it's Northern Ireland's top venue for sports, concerts, and comedy shows.

  • Carrickfergus Castle

    10. Carrickfergus Castle

    Thirty minutes from central Belfast, the Norman castle has stood on the shores of Belfast Lough for 800 years. A tour inside will take you back to medieval times.

Frequently asked questions about Belfast

What top attractions are a must-see in Belfast?

Planning Your Visit

  • How many days to spend in Belfast?

    A four-day tour of the city will allow you to see the sights at a leisurely pace and simply enjoy the rhythm of the city. Add a couple extra days if you plan to make day-trips to the surrounding area, such as Carrickfergus Castle or Giant's Causeway.

  • Getting around

    It's easy to get around the heart of the city and see its top attractions on foot. There is a bus system, called Metro, which runs from 6:00AM - 11:00PM. Donegall Square is the hub of public transport. Taxis are the other option, especially if you miss the last bus.
    It's 30 minutes by car to Carrickfergus. There is also rail service from Belfast Central Station, departing on the half hour, and the journey takes just as long.

  • Where to stay in Belfast

    Stay in the city center, for example in Cathedral Quarter, a center of nightlife, restaurants, pubs, and art. Queen's Quarter also has its share of shops, cafes, and bars.

Good to know

  • Language
    English, Irish Gaelic, and Ulster Scots
  • Currency
    British Pound (£)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+00:00)
  • Country Code
    +44
  • Best time to visit
    The high season is from May to September, when temperatures are warm and fairs, markets, and carnivals are in full swing. Try to visit in May or September if you want the summertime benefits with fewer crowds.

Other Sightseeing Options in Belfast

Want to discover all there is to do in Belfast? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Belfast

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 11,808 reviews

Dan and Robert - dream team. It was a pleasure to travel with them - Robert took us safe to destination and back, Dan made a long journey pleasant, funny and informative.

It was a very nice trip where we had the opportunity not only to see the great nature but also to learn a lot about the history and the culture of Ireland!

Our driver Joseph was brilliant! So informative, we learned a lot. Would highly recommend.

Oh this is well worth going to. The whole experience was just fantastic.

the bus tour was really amazing, the guide was excellent