Things to do in Belfast
The amount of visitor attractions available in Belfast has been growing rapidly every year as the city focuses on its booming tourism industry and regenerates itself. Visitors to the city enjoy exploring the traditional Irish pubs for a lunch out in the beer gardens and an exciting night out with mates for a special occasion. There’s no doubt you’ll come across a stag or hen party while out after dark!
The Duke of York on Commercial Street, where Northern Irish/Scottish band Snow Patrol played their first-ever gig, is arguably the best pub in the city. The nearby Crumlin Road Jailhouse provides tours around the facility that was operational from 1845 to 1996. After restoration work, the jail is now a very popular tourist attraction and conference centre. The prison is open 7 days a week offering thrilling ghost walks and hosts small music concerts within its restored hall. For spectacular views of the city, check out Cavehill just north of the central district.
Much of Belfast’s main attractions are a lesson in the city’s history. Museums showcase past achievements of the area such as the Titanic exhibition and the insightful Ulster Museum. The Ulster Museum is located within the Botanic Gardens and shines a light on Belfast’s history featuring displays of fine art and archaeological treasures as well as items and artifacts from the Spanish Armada. The museum is the largest in Northern Ireland and, as one of the National Museums of Northern Ireland, features a regularly rotating collection.
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The Odyssey Arena is a large 15,000-seat entertainment and indoor sports facility located in the Titanic Quarter. Keep an eye out for ice hockey season, which starts just after September, along with stellar acts that often perform midweek.
Belfast Zoo sits atop Cavehill and offers views of Belfast’s surrounding areas as well as its stunning eastern coastline. Over 1,000 animals live within the 22-hectare zoo grounds that welcomes 300,000 visitors through its doors yearly. The most popular animals include the western lowland gorillas, Asian elephants, cheetahs, giraffe, Barbary lions and bears.
Built in the late 1800s, Belfast Castle is of great historic importance to the city and welcomes visitors to venture around its many rooms and extensive grounds. The attraction also provides a catering service for those who wish to tuck into a Sunday lunch, or relax with an afternoon tea.
The Botanical Gardens is a beautiful floral haven set within the city of Belfast. Explore the century-old glasshouses that provides shelter for some of the rarest and oldest plants in the world, or enjoy a picnic among beautiful natural surroundings.
Opened during the late 1800s, the Grand Opera House is famous throughout the city having survived 2 World Wars and an extensive period of troubles in the area. The venue is as popular as ever and hosts international acts from a variety of genres all year around.