Surrounded by miles of rolling countryside, Belfast is Northern Ireland’s cultural, political and artistic hub, and has a fascinating history. In recent years, the reminders of the city’s tumultuous past have been slowly receding, with the memories of the national conflicts of the 1960s and 1970s gradually fading. Belfast is fast emerging as a safe, popular and exciting tourist destination.
Although it’s the largest city in Northern Ireland, Belfast is home to under 300,000 residents and is remarkably easy to navigate. The city is a charming blend of the old and the new, with traditional cobbled streets, castles and architecture rubbing shoulders with modern-day facilities.
Head to the Belfast Welcome Centre at Donegall Square to pick up a map and information about the city. The centrally located Donegall Square is a bustling hub of shopping, restaurants and entertainment, and a busy transport interchange.
Visit the Titanic Quarter to learn all about the humble beginnings of the cruise ship and the fateful voyage that started in Belfast. Head to the Crumlin Road Gaol, have a meal in a typical Irish pub or explore the iconic St. George’s Market.
Go back in time at Belfast Castle and make a trip up nearby Cave Hill. Visit the Stormont Parliament Buildings and relax in the peaceful public park surrounding them.
Leave the city and explore the surrounding countryside of Lough Neagh to see the other side of County Antrim. Head north to the windswept Atlantic coast and the stunning natural formation the Giant’s Causeway. Explore the ruins of Dunluce Castle and take a tour around the Old Bushmills Distillery, the oldest whiskey producer in the world.
Central Belfast is easily explored on foot, and the public transport network makes travelling further afield cheap and easy. You can book a tour to the coast, or rent a car from the one of the agencies in the city centre or at one of Belfast’s two airports.
Although it can rain throughout the year, Belfast has warmer weather in the summer. Winters can be windy and cold, and sometimes there is heavy snowfall.