Belfast City For Free

Belfast is buzzing right now. This is a Titanic city with a musical edge and enjoying it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here’s our top 10 free things to do in Belfast

Belfast Castle, Belfast
Belfast Castle, Belfast

1. Belfast Botanical Gardens

Belfast’s verdant Victorian Botanic Gardens are legendary. Think of them as an urban oasis of tropical trees and indigenous plants where Belfast’s locals lunch lazily all week long on majestically manicured lawns.

2. Visit the Ulster Museum in Belfast

Minor masterpieces from the overlooked George William Russell; the graceful curve of an ancient gold necklace and a mummy: The Ulster Museum is a marvel of multi-tasking. Check out its cubist exterior, too. Picasso would be proud.

3. The Linen Hall Library

Once upon a time, Belfast was famed worldwide for its linen. At the centre of that world was the iconic linen warehouse, now Belfast’s oldest library. View a 316 year-old book, examine a 1725 city map or just enjoy the atmosphere in a Belfast landmark.

4. Escape to the epic: The Causeway Coast

Celebrated across the world for its uniqueness, the Giant’s Causeway was formed over 60 million years ago by volcanic activity. Or was it a giant? Stalk its perfectly octagonal stones on this wild Atlantic strip and decide for yourself.

5. St George’s Market

Within the walls of this red-bricked Victorian wonder are the characters, tastes and smells that make Belfast special. Almost 150 traders are based here selling everything from cured meats, local cheeses and pastries. Pack a picnic and save.

6. Belfast Music Tour app

Cementing its reputation as a city of pioneering inventions (Did you know the parachute was invented here?), the Belfast Music Tour App is described as a ‘world first’. Download, tune in and walk the streets that nurtured Belfast-born superstar Van Morrison.

7. Catch a live traditional Irish music session in John Hewitts’ Bar

An endless list of local beer, generous portions of hearty grub, and traditional music: it's little wonder that John Hewitt's is a musical favourite. The vibrant, buzzy bar is a typical of Belfast’s welcoming music scene.

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8. Titanic Walking Tour

Ok, it’s not free but at £9, it’s a bargain. Lead by a local Titanic expert Colin Cobb, the tour strolls through Titanic’s dry dock, Pump House and White Star Line drawing offices.

9. Visit Belfast Castle

Be the King or Queen for a day at the historic Belfast Castle. A towering summit offers the best views over the city, and lush grounds are a photographer's dream. Stroll past Napoleon’s Nose – the inspiration behind Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.

10. Take in the view from atop Cave Hill

Alternatively known as ‘Ben Madigan’, there's no better place to take in the fresh air, and the heart-stopping views of Belfast city, harbour and lough below. Pack your hiking boots, prepare a picnic and make a day of it.

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