Home to Ulster Rugby, Kingspan Stadium, Belfast.
Once you’ve covered the big tickets, rove out a bit and you’ll discover there’s an enormous assortment of surprises to be found in and around Belfast.
Sightsee on a boat trip
Get a river’s eye view of the capital, the docks, the River Lagan and all things Titanic on a sea safari or boat tour. From a 12-seater RIB to a covered motor boat, you can sail up-close to both old and new places associated with the world's leading tourist attraction Titanic Belfast, HMS Caroline , the famous yellow Samson and Goliath cranes and more.
Groove on a music tour
Sit back and enjoy tunes and tales about the city’s legendary music makers on a Belfast Music Tour. Featuring Them and Van Morrison, The Undertones, Gary Moore, James Galway, Snow Patrol and many others, you will finish up at the Cathedral Quarter’s Oh Yeah Music Centre, where you can take in the excellent Belfast Music Exhibition.
Experience the country in the city
For a brilliant ‘country in the city’ experience, visit Streamvale’s family-run working dairy farm situated on the edge of Belfast. Watch the cows getting milked, hold baby rabbits, chicks and puppies or go on a lovely nature trail where you can get up close to red deer and goats.
Retreat to the Lagan
The River Lagan towpath meanders out from the city centre for miles and is a relaxing walking, cycling and canoeing retreat. Rent a Belfast Bike – there are 35 docking stations across the city – and take a leisurely ride upstream to the picturesque Lock Keeper's Cottage. Or have a go at canoeing at Shaw’s Bridge with Mobile Team Adventure.
Shop in the south
For trendy shopping haunts, you must hit the walkable Ormeau Road and Lisburn Road in south Belfast. This is where cool coffee shops, delis, wine bars and art galleries mix with upmarket fashion boutiques, health and beauty stops, jewellers, antiques and quirky gift shops. This excellent assortment of exclusive shopping will ensure the success of any retail therapy session.
Appreciate the creative east
Van Morrison, C.S. Lewis and George Best are known the world over as iconic legends of their respective music, literary and footballing professions – and they all hail from east Belfast. Follow the self-guided trails dedicated to each to discover their childhood influences and how the east Belfast streets shaped their phenomenal talent.
Stand up for the Ulstermen
You don’t have to be a fully-fledged rugby fan to enjoy the electric atmosphere at Kingspan Stadium when the crowd is in full flow with ‘Stand up for the Ulstermen’. The revered Ravenhill home of Ulster Rugby always provides a lively and highly entertaining night out for sporting and non-sporting fans alike.
Soak up a session
Some are regular and many are spontaneous, but you can’t leave Belfast without taking in a traditional Irish music session. It’s not hard to find a pub in full flow. Try The Sunflower, where there’s hearty Irish stew too, Fibber Magee’s with its open fires, or Kelly’s Cellars, where there’s often visiting traditional musicians.
Remember the Blitz
Tucked away in the Cathedral Quarter, the Northern Ireland War Memorial tells the story of Northern Ireland’s role in the two world wars. Learn all about the Belfast Blitz, the Ulster Home Guard, the role played by women in the wars and the presence of US forces from 1942 to 1944. Try on uniforms and step into the shoes of an air raid warden.
Taste Long’s fish ‘n’ chips
For a famous Belfast culinary treat, don’t miss John Long’s fish ‘n’ chip shop, which has been part of the city’s fabric for over 100 years. Complete with atmospheric 1970s formica furniture and proper old-style booths, its the best kept secret in Belfast. They even do gluten-free fish suppers.
Relax in Linen Hall Library
Relax and unwind with a book and a cuppa in this lovely oasis of enlightenment, in the centre of town at the Linen Hall Library. The atmospheric victorian building is a cultural powerhouse packed with rare collections and archives and gift and coffee shops. Exhibitions, music, theatre, lectures, readings groups and even walking tours are among its always busy calendar of events.
Make for The Mac
Any kind of culture vulture will be at home in The Mac, a leading contemporary European arts centre in the Cathedral Quarter. There’s two theatres, three art galleries, a bar and restaurant, with a rolling programme of visual art exhibitions, performances, dance, workshops, experimental works, there are lots more to tap into.