Things To Do In Belfast
Belfast is an excellent city in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom that has progressed from its exceptionally modest origin. It began as a little village blessed with bountiful land along the opening of the Lagan. Not long enough, pirates and colonizers discovered the lakes were profound and the shores were sheltered from the north Atlantic weather disturbances. It served as the ideal sanctuary for repairing ocean desolated boats. From these early stages, the innovative local people created and made a name for Belfast as a reputable ship building depot. It is acknowledged as the official birthplace of the ill-fated ship; the RMS Titanic.
Belfast is brimming with history, rich culture, thrilling festivities, delectable food, first-rate shopping centers and a chance to see a huge boat or two being built or docked on its port of call. You'll additionally discover a portion of the friendliest populace that you'll ever meet. Observe around and take in more about the city that Northern Ireland is very proud of.
When To Go:
The right time to see Belfast is in the middle of April and August, when the city is not wet and cloudy. October is a decent month to visit for festivities as this is the point at which the Belfast Festival - the second greatest art and culture celebration in the UK (behind Edinburgh) - is held. Consistent every 12th of July are the Protestant processions and parades that go around the city to celebrate their founding anniversary.
Overall, it has a calm atmosphere with a slender scope of genuinely mellow temperatures and a lot of precipitation during the last quarter of the year. In summer (June and August), normal temperatures go between 59°f and 68°f. Despite the fact that rain is conceivable any time of the year, the summer months are somewhat less blustery. June is the humid month and July is by and large the hottest. In winter, in the middle of December and February, normal temperatures extend between 39°f and 49°f. November, December and January are the cold and rainy months. The city only experiences ten days of snow yearly.
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Listed below are the top attractions and enticing things to do in the city of Belfast:
The Titanic Belfast was built in the original shipyards of the city in fact upon arrival you will immediately notice the yellow cranes of Harland & Wolff. Being slightly in the suburbs, you need to do a little walk from the center (about half an hour); otherwise it is well served by public transport. The museum is very impressive and it traces the history of the Titanic from the birth of the company Harland & Wolff up to its sinking. It holds 5 floors of exhibits, videos projected, reconstruction of the interior in "3D", and a small cinema with the video of the remains of the Titanic on the ocean floor. In short, if you are in town the Titanic Belfast definitely falls into one of the top attractions that must not be missed. It takes about two hours to visit the Titanic Belfast, an hour and a half if there are too many people.
It is really impressive relive the history of the Titanic from its construction to its shipwreck. Inside, enjoy the experience of three-dimensional projections thanks to giant screens and even a rocket on rails that will take you for a walk. You can also visit the room with the projections of the Titanic underwater. For true lovers of the Titanic story it is definitely something spectacular.
There are places with information, and lots of images and the audio guide that greatly helps in the path. It's an experience that you can do where you will also enjoy the design and set up of the external structure. If you’re a photo hobbyist, the place is majestic and full of great ideas for a photo composition.
The center of the museum is very recent and the beautiful building is designed as a contemporary shape that is reminiscent of a ship. The tour also discusses the history of Belfast and the industrial site which developed the Titanic, with a wealth of information even interactively on the method of the step by step construction of the ship. Only the last part is dedicated to the sinking of the RMS Titanic, also with interesting news and other anecdotes although it has already been told in countless films.
The SS Nomadic is a new attraction in Belfast that is located right in front of the famous Titanic Belfast. It’s a ship built in 1911 and is considered as the little sister of the Titanic. It was built with the same design and luxury amenities, but it is a quarter the size of the Titanic. After 100 years, it is back in Belfast and has been restored and opened to public visits since June 2013. The entry price is £ 8.50 and you will receive a friendly guide who will take you around the boat recounting its history, there are some games, animations, costumes and of course souvenirs. You should not miss it while you’re in Belfast.
Crumlin Road Gaol
Before the tour of the Crumlin Road Gaol, you can have fun in the shop and take a picture in the style of a "convict". Described in detail is the process of admission to prison and all the preparatory stages. From the courtroom across the road through an underpass under sentence that will deliver you directly to jail. The tour of the prison is not to be missed if you are in Belfast for a few days. The guided tour is very comprehensive and provides insight into the life of a prisoner. Everything is very well preserved. The guides are awesome and the prison has very few amenities and was still functional in the 90s.
You can also see the changing rooms of prisoners over the years, the dilapidated kitchen, hanging room, where the prisoners were buried and operation of the clocks that will leave you perplexed. Each prison operation detail is carefully counted by monitors. This is an interesting prison turned into a museum and amusement park. The visit is cool and it becomes even more curious especially if accompanied by young students. The Gaol or jail is definitely worth knowing and a must see attraction in Belfast City.
St. Malachy's Church
The St. Malachy's Church is one of those places where besides praying and hearing the Holy Mass, you can admire the beauty of its construction. Although the church is not in a very prime location, the church is well attended by its devotees and very striking, do not forget to look up, the ceiling is beautiful! You will be fascinated by its construction that is very old and dating back to the mid-800, but it is nothing short of fabulous. The interior is unique, the room is oval, and there is a second ring where people can follow the mass. The details are all well finished and a visit is highly recommended.
Belfast City Hall
At different times there are guided tours for free to see the entire Belfast City Hall. In the Hall you can sign and return after an hour to start the tour. The interior is very nice, with Italian marble and stained glass, majestic chandeliers and certainly a luxury that must not be missed! The guides here are very good and helpful. The tour lasts about 30 minutes and it is advisable to experience everything, after all a bit of culture is not bad and even better if it’s free. It is also great to see it from the outside, but once inside you will be immersed in its rare memorabilia from the birth of the city of Belfast up to the present modern times. Following the hallway, you will arrive in the dining room where there are panels that tell the whole story of the city including that of the Titanic. The City Hall is one of the pillars of the city, if you are in Belfast you cannot fail to visit for it plays a great role to know and understand the history of Belfast.
It is a gorgeous looking building that stands in the heart of the city surrounded by a green meadow where the structure of the central node is placed on four streets and visibly moving through the city. Do not miss the evening lighting, it is really impressive. The visitor center is right in front as the bus stop. It is a landmark meeting place for tourists and locals alike. Also interesting are its gardens that are filled with many statues. Moreover, in the gardens, there is also a monument with all the names of the people who perished in the Titanic's maiden voyage which set out from Belfast in 1912. The town hall of Belfast is absolutely beautiful, elegant, and refined. Be sure to include it in your travel itinerary.
The Cathedral Quarter is a quiet neighborhood full of small alleys where you will discover beautiful murals and ancient pubs. It is worth a quiet walk and a few shots with the camera. It is full of history and the external structure fascinates a lot. It is located in the city center and well worth a visit. It is also considered as the artistic or bohemian quarter of Belfast. The main attractions here stand close to one another (except for the museums in the Titanic Quarter). There are many galleries, cafes, bars and restaurants, and it is close to several streets with great shops. It has a very beautiful cathedral with a small gift shop and amazing interiors. It is worth taking the time to discover this area while in Belfast City.
Every mid-September the streets turn festive and lively. It is in this area where overnight culture with a variety of free events and a concert in St. Peter takes place. There are lots of Irish dancing and live music in the square, art workshops for children and much more. The visit to the Cathedral costs 2 pounds, however the ladies at the entrance charges 4 pounds to support its charitable missions and its foundation. The Mac is the heart of this area that is also filled with very good performances and exhibitions.
The Ulster Museum has sections that are very interesting and well described. On the ground floor there is a section documented with many photos that will make you think that it is dedicated to the Troubles, then there is a section devoted to prehistoric times with interesting findings among which the disk Bann, another section is dedicated to the Vikings and the Normans, but the most interesting is the room of the Armada who lead the effort in documenting shipwrecks along the coasts of Ireland, the Spanish ships of the Invincible Armada in particular that of Girona with the exposure of the many artifacts that came from this vessel among them being a gold salamanders that is studded with rubies.
The museum and its overall layout carry various paths - history, art, science, a bit overloaded but very usable. Each section of the museum has an area dedicated to the children but even parents or adults can "touch" and experiment with objects related to science, art, and history. It also recounts the events that involved the ulster from birth until the recent peace agreements with a very intense and detailed presentation. The free museum is very interesting and you can visit even if you do not have much time by following an itinerary that includes or abbreviated the most interesting pieces of the collection. Do not miss the dinosaur and if you visit with kids it is advisable to attend the workshop dedicated to them with no entrance fee and where they can experience, disguise with period costumes and play with other kids while learning.
Stormont Estate and Parliament Buildings
To access the Stormont Estate and Parliament Buildings, you must ride a bus from the city center that tread past the eastern side of the Protestant neighborhood where after 25 minutes you will arrive at this beautiful complex. The parliament located on top of a tree on a hill also constitutes a perfect park in its vicinity.
You can freely enter and enjoy the gardens and admire the structure, which is simple enough and has lots of solemn corners where you can contemplate and relax form the hustle and bustle of the city. Unfortunately it is not possible to visit or make a tour inside the building for security reasons (it is the seat of the Parliament of Northern Ireland), but the view from the outside is very beautiful and well worth to explore the huge park that is open to the public.
Cave Hill Country Park
The Cave Hill Country Park is a very nice place that is just 20 minute drive from the center of Belfast. The park is located near the castle of Belfast. There are three hiking trails at different times and distance. The longest route is through the cave and an ancient fort. For those who have the time, it is strongly advised to climb to the fort to see the top scenic views of the bay and Belfast City. All routes are shown in a different color and there are pointers so you will not get lost along the way to this site.
Within 15-20 minutes by bus from the Belfast city center you can walk along the hiking trails in the mountains and climb to the cave. Entrance to the park is free. Wear comfortable shoes, as the park includes lots of hiking trails to get to the actual site of the park. Generally there are several caves, but you can only go to one of the nearest. Walking trails start from the castle and there are several pieces of different lengths and different complexity that you can navigate around the map. Bring a good camera for it is hard to pass up the scene and not capture the beautiful views of the bay and neighborhoods of Belfast which opens from the mountain. Avoid a visit or trek during the month of September because it is the time when the trails get too foggy and climbing can become a bit dangerous.
The Queen's University is fascinating because it is just like how you always imagine an English university seems to be and like what you see in the movies; filled with brick floors, a large central body and broad wings with turrets. You can see all this joggers around the garden from the inside and one outside, full of flowers and with a perfect lawn to illuminate the context. It is dotted with nice things to do, see and photograph. The interior looks plain but the exterior and the surrounding garden is very impressive. The architecture reflects the importance of the prestigious university to Belfast City. If you visit in August (school vacation) you will find it deserted and lacks the vitality of the presence of students.
More than 15 years ago, Belfast was the classic "hot spot" because of the unstable political and territorial disputes but now it is the most rapidly developing regions of the UK and the pride of Northern Ireland. Discover lots of mystical points of interests starting from castles, old structures, themed museums, ideal neighborhoods, and architectural wonders, and you will realize how glorious and interesting this city is in terms of aesthetic and historical value.
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