Things To Do In Belfast
Northern Ireland is an incredible place to explore, with its rugged coastal scenery, riveting contemporary history and flourishing maritime heritage. At the heart of it all is Belfast, the colourful capital straddling County Down and County Antrim at the mouth of the River Lagan.
Below you'll find a selection of popular things to do in 2018 including day trips to the Giant's Causeway and Black Cab Political Mural Tours.
1) City Sightseeing Belfast:
Spend any amount of time in the city centre and you'll likely encounter the City Sightseeing Belfast bus tour. This hop-on hop-off service lets you zip between all of Belfast's top attractions. You'll see the political murals of both Falls and Shankill Road, get dropped off right in front of the Titanic Museum, and be placed within easy walking distance of Crumlin Road Gaol. Buses run most days of the year every 15-30 minutes from 10:00 to 16:30.
2) Crumlin Road Gaol:
The famous jail on Crumlin Road offers an insightful window into Northern Ireland's turbulent political history. Guided walking tours of the complex are available nearly every day of the year. During the 75-minute tour you will hear stories about some of the prison's famous inmates and about the political segregation between Republican and Loyalist prisoners.
3) Titanic Belfast Experience:
Explore the world's leading visitor attraction dedicated to the construction, maiden voyage and tragic legacy of RMS Titanic. Standard entry tickets include access to all the permanent exhibitions, the SS Nomadic museum ship and the Ocean Exploration Centre. Tickets can also be paired with the City Sightseeing Belfast tour, saving you £7.50 on the usual combined price.
4) Belfast Black Cab Tour:
Each day at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00 it's possible to book a Black Cab political tour. These profoundly interesting city excursions are led by guides with personal experience of the Troubles and a passionate desire to deliver an unbiased account of the dark period. Black Cab tours depart from the taxi bays outside the Jurys Inn on Great Victoria Street.
5) Titanic Harbour Boat Tour:
The Lagan Boat Company is proud to present the story of Belfast's maritime heritage with a guided boat tour of the Titanic Quarter. Founders Derek Booker and Joyce Anderson ventured beyond the river Lagan in 1998 and since then have been treating tourists to a local take on the Titanic story.
The tour also heads out to Musgrave channel so visitors can view Belfast's summer seal colony. Opportunities for photos abound as you witness an industrial legacy from the waters where legends were born. The tours last around 60-70 minutes and three are operated daily (12:30, 14:00 or 15:30).
6) Giant's Causeway Day Tour:
Discover county Antrim's lush and rugged eastern coast on Irish Tour Tickets' flagship daily excursion. Departing by coach from the ticket office on Great Victoria Street, you'll be taken on a journey featuring medieval castles, beautiful unspoiled wilderness, and drinks with the friendly folks at Bushmills Whiskey Distillery.
Experience the ancient volcanic columns of Giant's Causeway and hear about the site's fascinating scientific and mythological history. This exciting trip winds down with a photo opportunity at Dunluce Castle before returning to Belfast at around 18:30.
The tour pickup point is 10 Great Victoria Street, Belfast City Centre, at 09:15 (check-in at 09:00).
7) Game of Thrones Film Locations Tour:
Our Games of Thrones day tour visits iconic Northern Irish locations that have featured in HBO's hit fantasy TV series. Visit Carnlough Village, whose harbour stood in for the waterways of Braavos; walk among the limestone cliffs of Larrybane, where Renly Baratheon's military camp was located, and stop for photos at Dunluce Castle, whose ghostly ruins bare more than a passing resemblance to castle Pyke.
8) Visit Belfast's Museums:
Beyond the Gaol and Titanic Experience, Belfast has a trove of incredible stories to tell. Check out this blog piece for an expanded list of permanent museum exhibitions covering 20th century rural life, the Northern Irish music scene, military history and much more.
9) Make Your Weekend Memorable:
Are you planning a trip to Northern Ireland in 2018? Back in July 2017 we put together a list of fun things to do during a weekend trip to Belfast (View Here).
And it's not all Game of Thrones - though that is our top excursion! Hop aboard a Wee Toast Tours drink float, visit popular eateries and St George’s Market with Belfast Food Tours, and ride the wee tram around Titanic's Dock & Pump House.
10) Belfast Botanic Gardens:
If we had to choose one attraction that best summarised the city's Victorian prosperity, it'd be the Botanic Gardens. Established in 1828 near Queen's University, this park was one of the first of its kind to feature a purpose-built glass and metal Palm house. It was completed in 1840 and had an additional dome added in 1852. These groundbreaking features would be joined in 1889 by the Tropical Ravine, an artifcial gorge filled with exotic plant species and decorative masonry. It's surrounded by a shelted walkway, so visitors can admire the collection in warmth and comfort.
It should be noted that the Tropical Ravine has undergone extensive restoration works that were only completed in Summer 2017. In 2018 visitors should have unfettered access to this rejuvenated attraction.