When you think of Ireland, you might think of the bigger cities like Dublin or Cork- but Belfast is one of those lesser-known spots that you’ll leave feeling like you discovered a treasure. Located in a picturesque area between mountains and coastline, Belfast has a fascinating history, buzzing cultural life and compact size perfect for exploring by foot. So book a plane ticket (Belfast international airport arrivals can be found here), and get started on these top 5 things to do in this great Irish city:
Check out the Titanic Exhibition
You probably didn’t know that the Titanic was built in Belfast! The city has an impressive exhibition that’s fun, modern and interactive- even bringing some visitors to tears. Unlike some regular dry and boring museums, this exhibition actually lets you ascend the Titanic using 3D technology, float among the wreckage and take a cable car ride through the shipbuilding process. An important fact that’s emphasized here is that the wreck was due to human error, not poor shipbuilding! As they say in this town, “She was alright when she left Belfast!”
High Tea at the Merchant Hotel
Taking high tea is one way to really immerse yourself in the culture here in Belfast. The plush and cozy Merchant Hotel is the perfect luxurious spot to enjoy a high tea in the midst of a day of sightseeing. You’ll enjoy tea with delicate pastries in a gorgeous gilded atrium complete with chandeliers and live piano music. For the ultimate experience, check in for a night or two to enjoy the full luxury treatment at the hotel.
Get a Birds-Eye View from the Dome
One of the best ways to check out any city is from one of its highest points! Head to Victoria Square where you’ll find the Dome, offering one of the best vantage points of Belfast. The best part is you don’t have to spend a dime. You can take an elevator up to the top for free, whatever the weather.
Grab a Pint at the Duke of York Pub
A visit to Belfast isn’t complete without a frosty pint of Guiness, is it? The Duke of York Pub is tucked away down one of the most charming courtyards in the Cathedral Quarter of the city. You’ll feel completely at home at this cozy pub with a real Irish feel. Enjoy the beautiful and historical surroundings on your walk to the pub, and get to know the local crowd over a pint or two.
Take a Walking Tour
Belfast is great for those who love to explore their surroundings by foot. Its compact size makes it easy to see all the main sights in a day. Seeing the city by foot lets you take your time to explore all the nooks and crannies, boutiques tucked into side streets, small pubs and cafes brimming with local culture and small art galleries and historical sights. You can follow some walking tours in guidebooks or sign up for a walking tour at any of the guesthouses.