Experience the very best of the city that launched a thousand dreams

Small city, big heart

Whether you think you already know Belfast or you’ve never been before, prepare to be impressed. From hilltop castles to street market floors, see the city from a different perspective. Visit this fall and explore its unique and colorful history, all in one cultural hub.


Surrounded by mountains and sea, Belfast is full of surprises

“…it was great, the food, the incredible atmosphere.”

Get to know the city

Say hello to the stallholders in St George’s Market, which first opened its doors in 1604. Follow the guides at The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (Never seen a paper car? You will here.) Give a nod to Samson & Goliath – the monikers for the yellow cranes hovering above the Harland and Wolff shipyard, where Titanic was built. And to get in the spirit, perhaps hum a Van Morrison tune while you get acquainted…

“She was fine when she left here,” is the mantra of the locals. And so the shimmering Titanic Belfast is where you’ll discover everything about the world’s largest Titanic attraction. It’s not a museum, it’s an experience: Expect interactive galleries, an underwater cinema and gantry rides. This is the whole story, from dream to tragedy. Join a tour of the old drawing offices or board the White Star Line’s only remaining ship, the recently restored SS Nomadic at Hamilton Dock.

You must try

  • Tea at Titanic Belfast – enjoy afternoon tea in the opulent surroundings of the Titanic suite featuring the stunning replica staircase and a jazz accompaniment.
  • The Merchant Hotel’s Great Room – exudes charm, history and sophistication, and serves classically inspired dishes. You’re in for a gastronomic (and atmospheric) treat.
  • Molly’s Bar – with a focus on fresh and seasonal dishes, the intimate surroundings of Molly’s are designed for romantic meals accompanied by vintage wine.

You have to see

  • City Hall – a centerpiece on Belfast’s skyline, the City Hall, its surrounding gardens, and various statues are hugely popular amongst visitors and locals alike.
  • Crumlin Road Goal – this 19th century prison closed down in 1996 and now hosts tours and a still eerie atmosphere. Discover what prison life was like and even visit the gravesites of condemned prisoners.
  • Cathedral Quarter – this is Belfast’s cultural hub; a dynamic mix of culture and arts along with plenty of fascinating architecture (the Gothic St Anne’s cathedral is a real treat), narrow laneways and cobbled streets to explore.

Festival Happenings

For over 50 years, the annual Belfast Festival at Queen’s (16 October – 1 November) combines a huge line-up of all things arts: music, theater, literature, comedy and some very special one-off events. Food lovers should follow the flavors of the culinary events during Belfast Restaurant Week in October. And for those who love music with a large order of culture in its back story, Belfast Music Week (November) plays out on the streets, concert halls, pubs and in the 80-odd clubs that dot the city.


Exploring Belfast’s artistic culture

Creative Central

Belfast has a rich creative legacy, and is birthplace to many renowned artists. When evening arrives, it’s the perfect time to experience some of this history for yourself at intimate venues such as the Queen’s Film Theatre in Queen’s University. The legendary, Irish poet and playwright, Seamus Heaney once bestowed his creative wisdom as a lecturer here, and the university now has a dedicated Seamus Heaney Poetry Centre, with courses taught by some of Ireland’s most distinguished writers.

“If you can’t have a good time in Belfast, you can’t have a good time”

The MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre) is in the heart of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. It is a mix up of music, theater, dance, exhibitions and experimental art. The majestic Grand Opera House has been around since 1895 and is a world-class theatrical experience of drama, opera and musicals. The Lyric Players Theater (The Lyric) brings local issues and characters to the world stage and has hosted the writing and acting talents of Liam Neeson, Brian Friel among others.


  • Black Box – for a perfect night of theater, the Black Box features everything from visual art to cabaret.
  • The Fountain bar – this traditional Tudor bar survived the Second World War, and is now a cozy location for premium drinks and meals.
  • Ulster Hall – something for everyone: sit back and enjoy the sweeping concertos of the Ulster Orchestra or enrich your mind with an art exhibition.

Culinary Delights

  • OX – this sublimely superb restaurant on Oxford Street offers dining with seasonal creativity.
  • Mourne Seafood – serves fresh local seafood and a mouthwatering European cuisine; everything from buttered lobster to prime sirloin to blow your taste buds.
  • The 4th Wall – overlooking the MAC, this is the perfect place to go for a pre-theatre bite or a lavish evening meal.

If you thought there was plenty to do in Belfast you’ll be amazed at how much more there is just around the corner. Breathtaking views, landscapes, and adventures await you.