Belfast is a city once known only for its turbulent past. Today, this city is characterized by openness, the kindness of people, and a wide range of food and attractions – so it is no wonder that more and more tourists choose this capital of Northern Ireland as their destination. And what is it that you should see in 2023? Here are the top 6 Belfast tours to visit this year.
1. The Turbulent History Of Belfast
This city is located in the UK and is the capital of Northern Ireland. It is situated at the mouth of the river Lagan – thanks to which it experienced a commercial blossom. Due to the large share of the Protestant population that prevented the secession from the United Kingdom and the unification with the Republic of Ireland – during the 20th century, bloody clashes broke out between these parties. However, the capital of Northern Ireland has been reborn in the last few decades. Once a place of unrest, today it’s a charming Victorian city that offers many places and activities that everyone can enjoy. From museums and places of historical importance, a variety of outdoor activities – to the best Irish pubs that will meet all your expectations.
2. Black Cabs With Drivers From The Past
In turbulent times, black cabs were so popular. Namely, the locals believed that it was safer to take a cab than public city transport – which was often the target of attacks. However, today it is much different – so public transport is completely safe. But taxi drivers have decided to take advantage of their reputation – so today tourists can learn something more in these black ‘time machines’ from the event participants themselves. Drivers know the history of the city and the country well – and while driving you can hear from them all the details about the war period known as Troubles. This is, of course, just one of the more popular options. According to belfastsightseeing.com, you can also choose the standard tourist sightseeing of the city. We have prepared a small guide for you to make the most of your time in Belfast. Here are the top 5 Belfast tours & excursions to visit.
3. Belfast City Hall
One of the most famous architectural locations in Belfast is the City Hall in the very center of Belfast. This fascinating neo-baroque building is home to a memorial garden, but also an exhibition for visitors that provides an insight into the history of Belfast. While exploring the city center, make sure you visit the Waterfront Hall, a symbol of the new times of Belfast, the Cathedral of St. Anne, the main Anglican church in Belfast – or spend time in the beautiful Belfast botanical gardens.
4. Belfast Castle
Although you can visit most of the city on foot, especially if you like walks – for some locations you will still need public transport. If you are located outside the city, you can install the mLink app on your mobile phone. This app is used for transport in Belfast – and you can buy weekly tickets. When entering the transport, you need to show the driver your ticket and check on the device for your transport to be registered. The bus controls are frequent and penalties are high, so don’t take any chances. Belfast Castle is one of the attractions located outside the city center. During the year this is a popular place for weddings and various events, and the beautiful surroundings of the castle are suitable for picnics during the summer months.
5. Titanic Belfast
It was in Belfast that the Titanic was built and launched. Titanic Belfast, is located in the so-called Titanic Quarter, probably the most famous district in Belfast. Inside the museum itself, which is the central attraction of this complex, on 6 interactive floors – you can follow the story of the Titanic from construction through launching to a tragic accident and sinking. Tickets for the Titanic Experience include an entrance to the museum, a tour of the remains of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard, and the SS Nomadic and HMS Caroline ships.
6. Belfast Peace Lines
All street art lovers should definitely visit the Belfast Peace Lines. During the 1960s, during the Northern Ireland conflict, popularly known as The Troubles- the city was divided by a wall dividing the two warring sides. Today, parts of that wall, painted with murals on both sides, still stand as a reminder of turbulent times – and some parts still close at night as they once did.
7. Ulster Museum
For all those who want to learn more about Belfast’s turbulent past, there is also the interactive Ulster Museum. The excursion to the museum is completely free – and in addition to stories and art exhibits from Northern Ireland, you can also find historical remains from around the world here. The museum houses dinosaur skeletons, a 2,500-year-old Egyptian mummy, ancient inventions, and various modern masterpieces. In this museum, you can also see the costumes from the famous Game of Thrones.
8. Giant’s Causeway Coastal Route, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
If you find yourself in Northern Ireland, you shouldn’t miss a trip along the beautiful Giant’s Causeway Coastal route. This world-famous route stretches from Belfast to Derry, along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean – and takes you through breathtaking nature, small fishing towns, past old castles all the way to amazing natural creations, 60 million years old. On this route, you will experience green Ireland as portrayed in the movies. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is located near Ballintoy and is not a place for those with a weaker heart and fear of heights. The bridge is 20 m long, located at a height of 30 m above the reefs, and connects the coast with the small island of Carrick A Rede. The bridge was built by fishermen who fished for salmon here and cast nets from the islet, and today is owned by the National Trust and is a popular tourist attraction, open all year round.
The Bottom Line
We hope our suggestions sounded interesting enough for you to visit this beautiful city. If you have enough time, Dublin is only a 2-hour drive from Belfast, and several bus lines run daily in both directions. We hope you enjoy it.