Top attractions 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- LanguageEnglish, Irish Gaelic, and Ulster Scots
- CurrencyBritish Pound (£)
- Time ZoneUTC (+00:00)
- Country Code+44
- Best time to visitThe 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.
Things to Do in Belfast
Top Attractions in Belfast
Cities in United Kingdom
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
No stone left unturned. The personal stories of those who survived and those who didn’t was very touching. The attention to detail as regards the sheer scale and magnitude of the workmanship and materials used to build the Titanic was fascinating and illustrated quite intensely which showed a great depiction and insight into life in Belfast for many at that time. Arguably the best exhibition on the island of Ireland.
The tour provided a vital complement and contrast to the stately architecture and impressive pubs and shops of Belfast city centre. Both of our guides - Jack & Mark - made a point of being were very welcoming, open and honest. I feared I would feel a voyeur but Jack & Mark both conveyed the sense that they want people to know more about what happened in the Troubles, and how things are today, so that understanding can be improved on all sides. The people in the streets we walked through did not seem to mind the presence of incomers staring at their houses, shops, murals and memorials. That seemed quite an irony - these segregated, sectarian communities on both sides are welcoming groups of people who might be from anywhere, and of any political and religious persuasion. It felt difficult to comprehend the horrific things which have taken place as the physical damage from the Troubles has all been cleared and repaired, but the murals and the personal stories on show made it real.
Sharleen and Sean were a great team. They made the tour interesting and enjoyable and kept things running smoothly. We saw lots of different scenery, heard many interesting stories and whether you’re a GOT fan or not, this is a great tour. Will be more than happy to recommend this tour to my friends. Sharleen’s sense of humour and knowledge was great. She made things interesting but didn’t talk us to death all day. What great representatives they both are for tourism in Northern Ireland. Would definitely be happy to tour with them again.
Tour guide and bus driver were very friendly and funny. Had excellent knowledge of all the locations. Made the day so much better.
We enjoyed the trip very much. Gavin, our Tour guide and Captain John, the bus driver were really nice and attentive. We would also book a tour again.