14 Top Things to Do in Belfast

By Aashima

Belfast, a fantastic and largest city in Northern Ireland, has much to offer you.

The city is a unique blend of historic and modern architecture. 

Known for its vibrant atmosphere and fantastic tourist attractions, this city will take your breath away.

Belfast will overwhelm you with its sheer beauty, magnificent museums, gorgeous landscapes, stunning art tours, buoyant nightlife, Michelin Star restaurants, and stunning architecture. 

This article will tell you everything you need to know about what to do in Belfast.

What to see in Belfast Ireland

These are just a few of the many cool things to do in Belfast.

The city is full of history, culture, and exciting experiences waiting to be discovered. Enjoy your time exploring this dynamic and welcoming city!

Here are some of the top things to do in Belfast:

1. Ulster Museum

With around 8000 square meters of public space, the Ulster Museum houses the past and present.

You can see an Egyptian mummy, dinosaur remains, and a wide collection of jewelry, costumes, and artifacts.

The building that houses such invaluable artifacts is an art form in itself.

Also, this ride into the past is completely free. 

The museum is right next to the Botanical Gardens. 

So, you can stop by the beautiful garden to see what it offers you.

2. Titanic Belfast

Titanic was the child of Belfast, and therefore, there is a dedicated museum that shares the story of Titanic from its conception to its journey to its watery grave.

Flooded with information about the famous Titanic, the museum exhibits the shipbuilding processes of the 1900s through its interactive rides.

You will also see the old Harald and Woolf shipyards, where the Titanic and its sister ship were originally built.

The Titanic Belfast Museum is one of the leading tourist attractions and the highlight of Belfast City.

Note: You can read our detailed article on the Titanic Belfast Museum to get all the information on this topic.

3. Grand Opera House 

This legendary theater opened in December 1895. 

The aesthetics of the auditorium of the Grand Opera House will captivate you with their sheer immensity and glitz.

The grand theater hosts national and international concerts, dramas, dance performances, musicals, and opera productions.

Legends of the art community had performed here, including Laurel and Hardy, Luciano Pavvoratti, and May McFettridge, to name a few.

This living legend has survived two world wars and still provides a grand stage for future shows.

4. Botanic Gardens

Established in 1828, the Botanic Gardens house exotic tree species and an exclusive range of Southern Hemisphere plants.

The Palm House and Tropical Ravine are the highlights of this incredible garden.

The palm house gets you closer to nature as it is home to hanging baskets, tropical plants, and birds of paradise.

It is one of the world’s first glasshouses with curved glass and iron. 

The 11-meter-high spear lily is one of the highlights of the Palm House. The Tropical Ravine has some of the oldest seed plants worth knowing about.

Botanic Gardens really bring out the nature lover in you.

5. City Hall

This epic building shares the rich history of Belfast with visitors through its exquisite stained-glass windows. 

The beautiful stained-glass window illuminates the grand staircase, rooms, and chambers, creating jaw-dropping scenes.

The outside of this monumental building is also the definition of pure art and class.  

A guided tour of City Hall offers incredible sightings of beautifully designed rooms, stained windows, and extraordinary portraits. 

It also offers an exhibition to visitors that covers 16 rooms and lets you explore the history of Belfast.

If you are hungry while on tour and want to taste delicacies, Bobbin Coffee Shop in the east wing of the building is ready to serve you. 

6. St. Anne’s Cathedral

Also known as the Belfast Cathedral, this iconic church is filled with whimsical charm and is one of the top things to do in Belfast with families.

St. Anne’s Cathedral gives off old neo-Romanesque architectural vibes through complicated stone carving. 

Celtic cross sculpture on the outside, stained glass, and ceiling mosaics reveal the church’s fascinating history.

7. Queens Arcade

It is not quite a museum but a shopping corridor where you can find luxury brands under one roof.

A two-story arcade built in 1880 as a business avenue, this splendid shopping center is located in the city’s heart. 

The most important feature of this arcade is its architecture, which reflects a posh ambiance. 

Home to opulent boutiques and premier brands, offering a phenomenal shopping experience with excellent customer service. 

“Customer is King” lives true to its words in this arcade.

The Queens Arcade is open for visitors from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday.

With its royal treatment of visitors, this place makes its way onto the list of the best things to do in Belfast.

8. W5

If you are visiting with kids, this destination could take the number one spot for “What to Do in Belfast With Kids.”

W5 is an interactive science and discovery center where children learn through advanced technology-enabled science exhibitions.

Children can play, build, and learn in creative learning environments in science.

It offers an immersive experience in its Climbit section, providing an exceptional climbing experience. 

In addition to that, W5 has a dinosaur-themed maze, a skull cave, and slides.

9. St. George’s Market

We wholeheartedly recommend you visit St. George’s Market, not only because you will get some fine delicacies but also because of its significance in the history of Belfast.

This authentic market impresses visitors with its wide variety of food offerings.

Built between 1890 and 1896, the market carries its legacy through its Friday Market.

There are almost 248 stalls that offer a wide array of fish, fruits, and other delicious appetizers.

St. George’s Market also conducts a Saturday market that offers mouth-watering special delicacies.

How can we forget the Sunday market? It blends Friday Market’s traditional food and Saturday Market’s city food.

Visiting this market is a great way to taste the food culture and relax as it entertains you with great music, making it a memorable experience.

10. Vibrant nightlife 

Vibrant nightlife
Image: Justhooit.com

When you are in Belfast, enjoying the nightlife is something to consider, as the city has everything for everyone.

From live music to cocktail parties and beer gardens to lively bars and contemporary pubs to old-fashioned cafes, you can have a fantastic nightlife experience.

You can count on this as one of the best things to do in Belfast at night.

11. City Parks 

Belfast has maintained its fair share of greenery in its posh and cozy urban locale. Undoubtedly, this is one of the best free things to do in Belfast, Ireland.

Lush green city parks can restore your serenity with their eco-trails, wildlife, picturesque settings, and serene environment.

We have mentioned some of the best city parks that we highly recommend.

  • Stormont Park
  • Ormeau Park
  • Victoria Park
  • Belvoir Park Forest
  • Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park
  • Cave Hill Country Park

12. Art galleries 

Belfast is packed with excellent art galleries that represent the colorful thoughts of artists from around the world.

These art galleries can make you fall in love with art and leave you speechless.

To save you time, we have listed some of the finest art galleries in Belfast.

  • Metropolitan Art Centre (MAC)
  • Culturlann McAdam Ó Fiaich
  • Golden Thread Gallery
  • Belfast Exposed Photography

13. Black Cab tour

Belfast once found itself in an era of trouble when political turmoil peaked, protestors marched down the streets, and the city was war-torn. 

The intriguing history of Belfast is something to know when you are there.

To help the history buff in you, Belfast offers you a tour of the city where you visit the places that tell the tale of those dark times.

The Black Cab Tour offers you an insight into the past of the city, and this is one of the best things to do in Belfast.

So, don’t wait and start exploring! 

Things to do outside Belfast

The city of Belfast has many hidden treasures, stunning coastlines, historical sites, and exotic film locations.

These places include the UNESCO World Heritage Site Giant’s Causeway, Antrim Coast Road, the Old Bushmills Distillery,  the 9 Glens of Antrim, Divis Mountain, and Cave Hills. 

For the die-hard fans of the legendary show GoT, there are sightseeing tours to Dunluce Castle, Dark Hedges, Cushendun, Ballintoy Harbour, and Carrick-a-Rede.

These fun-filled places are near Belfast City and can be easily accessible by car and bus.

You can take guided tours to soak up these cool places’ historical and fascinating facts.

The amazing city of Belfast awaits you!

Pack your bags and embark on an adventurous exploration to quench the thirst of your inner wanderer.

FAQ

Is it worth seeing Belfast?

Absolutely yes. Belfast has a diverse range of tourist attractions that are easily accessible, which makes the trip worthwhile.

The city is an excellent base for exploring natural wonders such as the Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, and beautiful coastal drives.

It combines history, culture, natural beauty, and a friendly atmosphere, making it a city worth exploring.

Is Belfast a walkable city?

Yes, there are tourist attractions that are very close to each other, and it also has a good transportation system to help you out.

The city center is compact and easily navigable on foot, allowing visitors to conveniently explore its streets, parks, and landmarks.

Belfast also offers pedestrian-friendly areas and walkways, such as the Lagan Towpath and the waterfront area along the River Lagan.

What is the best season to visit Belfast?

Belfast experiences good weather year-round, but March to June is the peak season.

The weather is generally mild to warm, and long daylight hours allow for extended exploration.

Festivals, outdoor concerts, and cultural events take place during this time.

However, it can be crowded, so booking accommodations and attractions in advance is recommended.

What is Belfast Ireland known for?

Belfast is famously known as the birthplace of the RMS Titanic, the iconic luxury liner.

The city’s shipyards played a significant role in constructing the Titanic, and the Titanic Belfast Museum is a testament to this rich maritime heritage.

Overall, Belfast is known for its maritime history, cultural vibrancy, resilient spirit, and warm hospitality, making it an intriguing destination for visitors worldwide.

Which country is Belfast in?

Belfast is located in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.

It is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland.

Is Belfast Irish or Scottish?

Belfast is located in Northern Ireland, part of the island of Ireland.

While it is geographically situated in Ireland, Belfast is politically and administratively part of the United Kingdom along with England, Scotland, and Wales.

Therefore, Belfast is considered part of the United Kingdom, not Scotland or the Republic of Ireland.

Featured Image: Visitbelfast.com

Aashima (1)
About the author

Aashima is an avid traveler who seeks out thrills and lives a simple, peaceful life. Bright clear skies are her calling.