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What are the top things to do in Belfast?
Belfast is most famous as the birthplace of the RMS Titanic, today home to an excellent modern museum where visitors can explore the ship's legacy. See stunning Belfast Castle and gardens, explore hidden gems among the rolling Irish landscape or take a day trip to the unique Giant's Causeway. Whether you head to the city for a romantic escape or a family staycation, there's something for everyone in Belfast.
Getting to Belfast
Wondering how to get to Belfast from your corner of the UK? If you're traveling from England, Scotland or Wales, the easiest option is by plane. Belfast International Airport connects with over 70 UK destinations, including London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow. It's around 30 minutes drive from the city, so you can touch down and arrive at your hotel in no time. You could also take the ferry from Liverpool or Cairnryan, bringing your car with you for unlimited luggage and easy adventures in Northern Ireland. Choose a Belfast hotel with parking to make things even more straightforward.
Discover the legacy of the RMS Titanic
You've heard of the Titanic, you've probably seen the film, but did you know you can visit the birthplace of the world's most famous passenger liner? Step back in time during your Belfast break, exploring the historic slipways where the ship was designed, built and launched. You can climb aboard the SS Nomadic, the Titanic's 'sister' ship – the tender that carried passengers to the doomed liner from the Southampton coast. If the museum isn't for you, enjoy spending time in the city's glittering Titanic Quarter, a waterfront hub for shopping, dining and family days out. There's no place better than Belfast for discovering the legacy of this famous sunken ship.
The Titanic Belfast is a major tourist attraction for Northern Ireland, a museum dedicated to telling the story of the Titanic through interactive and immersive exhibits and experiences. Learn about the planning and building of the tragic ocean liner, its passengers, and the legacy left behind. Visitors can also walk through the decks of the SS Nomadic, recognised as the Titanic's 'sister' ship. This smaller boat served the Titanic as a tender, carrying passengers and luggage to the larger boat in deeper waters off the coast. It's the last remaining White Star Liner vessel worldwide! The SS Nomadic is famous for its role in the Titanic story. It's been restored to its original condition, so you can experience 100-year-old maritime and social standards when you climb aboard.
Belfast's Titanic Quarter is the city's expansive urban waterfront regeneration project, attracting over 3.5 million visitors every year. It's home to many of the city's best shops and leisure attractions, restaurants, hotels and the Titanic Belfast museum! The vast SSE Arena is in the Titanic Quarter, too. So if you're seeing a concert, show or sporting event in Belfast, you'll likely spend an evening in the area.
Day trips to Giant's Causeway
You'll never forget a trip to the Giant's Causeway! This unique geological formation is found on Northern Ireland's northern coast. It comprises a six-kilometre expanse of polygonal basalt columns, shaped around 60 million years ago by lava cracking on contact with the sea. There's nowhere like it in the world, making it a must-visit no matter how long you spend in Belfast. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site on a day trip from Belfast – it's just over an hour's drive away. If you're visiting the capital with your own car, why not drive yourself? Visitors are welcome to look at the formation with or without a guide. Set aside at least three hours to climb down, enjoy the views and get back to your car. Pedestrian access is free, but you won't be able to use any of the visitor facilities or the car park without paying. Alternatively, you could book a guided day trip from Belfast, including transport, a tour and some free time for exploring the landscape. To make a day of your adventure, choose an action-packed expedition with a couple of stops. Some packages visit the clifftop ruins of Dunluce Castle or a Game of Thrones locations tour for an even more memorable experience.
Northern Ireland is studded with many impressive historic castles, including plenty accessible by car, surrounded by rolling countryside. If you don't want to travel far, no problem! Belfast Castle is a stunning 17th-century landmark on the slopes of Cave Hill Country Park, overlooking the modern city below. Whether you're attending an event or dining in one of two restaurants, there are few more perfect backdrops than Belfast Castle and gardens. Try to pick a dry day for your trip to Cave Hill Country Park – this beautiful landscape is a lovely day out in Belfast. Explore smooth walking paths, breathtaking views and an adventure playground for the little ones.
Where to eat and drink in Belfast
Belfast is home to many exciting restaurants, casual eateries and street food vendors, which means there's something to suit every taste and budget. If you're visiting Belfast to celebrate a special occasion, head to Eipic for a meal to remember. This standout restaurant was given a Michelin star just over a year after opening, and it's easy to see why. Enjoy familiar, rustic flavours planned and prepared in exciting new ways. Choose a tasting menu to sample the best of the season, then settle in with a beautiful bottle of wine to wash it all down. Ox is another excellent choice for special occasions, a bright, modern spot focusing on fresh, seasonal vegetables, fish, venison and beef. More options include James St. South and The Muddlers Club. Prefer something a little more laid back? There are plenty of casual restaurants and cheap eats in Belfast. Try Graze, Howard St., John Long's Fish & Chips, Hadskis or Balloo House. Mourne Seafood Bar is also great for casual dining, whether you visit for lunch or an easy and delicious dinner.