From small beginnings, industrious locals developed a boat building trade and the rest is history. Belfast is a Victorian city rich in architectural heritage, reflecting Belfast’s prosperity, status and pride during its era as a world-class industrial powerhouse. Today Belfast is rich in ancient sites, beautiful scenery, amazing architecture and some of the best craic in Northern Ireland. For your next self-drive vacation with Celtic Tours, let this list of attractions guide you through the best of the city.
Come face to face with dinosaurs, meet an Egyptian Mummy and see modern masterpieces with a visit to the Ulster Museum. As Northern Ireland’s treasure house of the past and present, the museum is home to a rich collection of art, history and natural sciences and free to all visitors. From Ireland to the South Pacific, ancient relics to hands on activities, the museum offers something for everyone from the simply curious to the enthusiast. And best of all, it is free!
Titanic Dock & Pump House
Today the Pump-House comprises of a Visitor Centre & Café, Interpretative Centre, meeting rooms & event space. Titanic Dock & Pump House is the only publicly accessible intact piece of the Titanic's great legacy which is open in the city of her birthplace – Belfast.
Located 400 foot above sea level, and offering stunning views over Belfast, the castle also makes a great base for a fun day out, offering plenty of things to do, whether you're taking the kids to Cave Hill Adventurous Playground, visiting Cave Hill Visitor Centre or thinking about climbing Cave Hill itself!
Belfast Botanic Gardens
First established in 1828, the gardens have been enjoyed as a public park by the people of Belfast since 1895. There is an extensive rose garden and long herbaceous borders and the tree enthusiast can seek out the rare oaks planted in the 1880s, including the hornbeam-leafed oak.
Victoria Square Shopping Centre
Belfast’s number one shopping destination, anchored by House of Fraser department store. Fantastic shops are split over four levels (including 2 levels of food operators) with covered, pedestrianised streets and topped by an iconic dome, with panoramic views across the city, the river Lagan and even to the Mournes beyond.
Crown Liquor Saloon
Like stepping into a different time the Crown Liquor Saloon in Belfast is a unique visual gem, a veritable masterpiece known to millions all over the world. No trip to Belfast would be complete without stopping in for a pint or two.
The big earthwork circle, roughly 200m across, is a beautiful example of a 'henge' monument, built in about 2700BC during the Neolithic period. Similar monuments are found elsewhere in Britain and Ireland, but this is one of the finest. In the middle is a tomb made up of five upright stones and a large capstone, the bare frame of what was originally a chambered grave, covered with a cairn of stones and earth. Located a mere 3 miles south of city center Belfast, this is one attraction you shouldn’t miss.
St. Anne’s Cathedral
St Anne’s Cathedral, sometimes called Belfast Cathedral, was erected at the turn of the century upon the site of the original of St Anne’s Parish Church. Inside, there are captivating mosaics, created in the 1920′s. One mosaic is made up of more than 150,000 pieces. It covers the ceiling of the baptistery in grand style. Irish marble and Canadian maple decorate the nave and aisles.
The Lyric Theatre is Northern Ireland’s only producing building-based theatre. Originally created with the ambition of creating ‘a style suitable for dramatic poetry’, particularly the work of WB Yeats, it has built strong associations with many of the major actors and writers to emerge over more than five decades.
St. George’s Market
St George’s Market is one of Belfast’s oldest attractions. It was built between 1890 and 1896 and is one of the best markets in the UK and Ireland. It has been voted for numerous local and national titles and awards for its fresh, local produce and great atmosphere. Originally, St George’s Market was an open market with stalls similar in style to May’s Market and certainly included a meat market and slaughter house. Although St George’s Market is primarily used as a market, it is also used for a whole range of events including food festivals, art initiatives, exhibitions, charity launches, fashion shoots and live music gigs.
Visit Belfast with Celtic Tours on your next self-drive vacation to Ireland.