Categories: Belfastthings to do

Here’s a quick rundown of our top picks of things to do and see in Belfast!

Northern Ireland’s capital has been attracting all the right attention in the last few years. With Michelin-starred restaurants, award winning visitor attractions and a grand parade of stars of music, stage and screen attached to it, it’s no wonder people are coming in their droves to see what all the fuss is about. Before you hop on board that plane or boat or train and come to say hello, here’s a quick pick from our top picks of things to do and see in Belfast. 

Bag the big one: Titanic Belfast 

You can’t visit Belfast without seeing the world's leading tourist attraction Titanic Belfast. Walk the decks and uncover the true legend of Titanic in the city that built her. After a visit to the unmissable Titanic Belfast follow it up by taking a dander around the Titanic Quarter where you can find out more about the area, Harland and Wolff and its impact on Belfast as a whole. 

Tour the Queen’s Quarter 

Botanic Gardens

Belfast’s leafy Queen’s Quarter is a treasure trove of shops, cafés and bars. It’s also home to the Ulster Museum and the beautiful Botanic Gardens. Don’t forget to pop into Queen’s University and there’s a hidden gem for film lovers at the Queen's Film Theatre

Get a taste for St George’s Market and around 

St George's Market

First on the list for foodies is a tasty trip to the award-winning St. George's Market. You’ll also love the cobbled streets of the cool and funky Cathedral Quarter with its quirky bars and top-class restaurants. Arties (there’s a new word for you) will love the galleries at The MAC and they might check out what’s on at the wee Black Box venue. Keep an eye out for the famous Big Fish sculpture, known locally as the Salmon of Knowledge, where every scale is a tile, and every tile tells a Belfast tale. 

Be captivated by Cave Hill 

Belfast Castle

For stunning views of the city, Belfast Lough, County Down and, on a clear day, Scotland, head a short distance out of town up to Cave Hill. You can conquer this mountain from various roads, but just be sure you leave via Belfast Castle so you can celebrate your conquest with a whiskey, tea or a meal at its tavern or restaurant. 

Hear our rugby roar 

Once you’ve tackled Cave Hill you might be on for seeing others do some tackling down at the home of Ulster Rugby, the Kingspan Stadium. There’s nothing quite like an evening at this place when Ulster are in full flow and the crowd are at their loudest. 

Take a cycle tour off the beaten track 

If you’re eager to get on your bike and see the city then check out Belfast City Bike Tours. These guys will take you to the aforementioned Queen’s Quarter but from there they’ll take you off the beaten track towards the Lagan Towpath, Shaw’s Bridge, Minnowburn Beeches and Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park before stopping at the Hilden Brewery near the city of Lisburn. Here you’ll get a short tour of Ireland’s oldest independent brewery along with a light meal and tasting tour. 

Follow in the footsteps of our favourite sons  

Pele called George Best the greatest footballer ever and you can’t argue with a three time winner of the World Cup. The Manchester United star’s home at 16 Burren Way is now available as a holiday rental but even if you’re not staying you can still visit the neighbourhood he grew up in. East Belfast is home to another famous son, Van Morrison, and if you’re any sort of a fan the Van Morrison Trail is one of the top tours in the city. 

Experience our music in full flow 

Speaking of music please don’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 or Kelly’s Cellars, where there’s often visiting traditional musicians. 

Make a break for our gaol 

Crumlin Road Gaol

Courtesy of Crumlin Road Gaol

It might come as something of a surprise but one of the most popular visitor attractions in Belfast is Crumlin Road Gaol. Though it stopped operating in 1996 there is a lingering fascination about this place and it is an experience not to be missed. The guided tours around the jail are full of fascinating characters and it really offers a jaw-dropping insight into local history.  

Hang out at the City Hall 

Belfast City Hall

Having come through the grittiness of that particular visit you might like to relax on the lawns of Belfast City Hall before visiting the Titanic Memorial Garden or taking a guided tour of this beautiful and ornate building. 

Visit a Victorian gem 

Not far from here you’ll find The Grand Opera House. This is a Belfast cultural and architectural gem just around the corner from another gem the Crown Liquor Saloon, a Victorian gin palace with more hideaways than a C.S. Lewis fantasy. 

Treat yourself to a bit of Belfast luxury 

The Great Room at The Merchant

The sense of style and grandeur continues in The Great Room Restaurant in The Merchant Hotel (5*). A very special lunch or dinner venue which offers a sumptuous space to appreciate and enjoy the gastronomic delights on offer. 
How many days did you say you were staying? You might need a few more. 

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure information is correct, we strongly advise checking in advance before you travel to your intended destination to ensure its open and book tickets if applicable. 

Titanic Belfast
Visitor Centres & Museums
Titanic Belfast

Titanic Belfast features nine interactive galleries that explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Titanic, as well as the City and people which made her - an unmissable experience which brings history to life in an unforgettable way!

Ulster Museum
Visitor Centres & Museums
Ulster Museum

Come face to face with dinosaurs, meet an Ancient Egyptian Mummy and see modern masterpieces. As Northern Ireland’s treasure house of the past and present, the Ulster Museum is home to a rich collection of art, history and natural sciences.

Belfast Botanic Gardens and Palm House
Public Park
Belfast Botanic Gardens and Palm House

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.

Queen's University Belfast
Visitor Centres & Museums
Queen's University Belfast

The fine façade of the Main Building, designed by Charles Lanyon, conceals a quiet, restful quadrangle. This was the original Queen's College: the University has expanded throughout the immediate area, including all the houses on University Square.

Queen’s Film Theatre (QFT)
Theatre / Cinema
Queen’s Film Theatre (QFT)

QFT shows the very best in new and classic world cinema and hosts local & international film festivals & seasons throughout the year with regular theatrical premieres. Monthly special events include Q&As with filmmakers and cast. Fully licensed bar.

St George's Market
Covered Market/Market Hall
St George's Market

St George’s Market one of Belfast’s oldest attractions and is one of the best markets in the UK and Ireland. It has been voted for numerous local and national awards for its fresh, local produce and great atmosphere.

The MAC
Arts Centre
The MAC

The MAC is one of Europe’s leading art centres, situated in the heart of Belfast. Recently nominated a finalist for the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2015, the award-winning venue has welcomed some 800,000 visitors since it opened.

The Black Box
Arts Centre
The Black Box

A home for live music, theatre, literature, comedy, film, visual art, live art, circus, cabaret and all points in between.

Cave Hill Country Park
Public Park
Cave Hill Country Park

The park is home to Cave Hill Adventurous Playground, archaeological sites, Cave Hill Visitor Centre, ecotrails, walking and orienteering routes. Refreshments are also available in the Cellar Restaurant inside Belfast Castle.

Belfast Castle Estate
Nature and Wildlife
Belfast Castle Estate

Belfast Castle estate is situated on the lower slopes of Cave Hill Country Park in North Belfast. It contains both parkland and mature mixed woodland and offers superb views of the city from a variety of vantage points.

Kingspan Stadium and The Nevin Spence Centre
Visitor Centres & Museums
Kingspan Stadium and The Nevin Spence Centre

The Nevin Spence Centre and Kingspan Stadium Tour Journey through the history of rugby in Ulster with a self-guided tour of The Nevin Spence Centre. Using archive objects, footage and interactives, visitors can discover the roots of Ulster Rugby.

Belfast City Bike Tours and Bike Hire
Sightseeing
Belfast City Bike Tours are great fun for groups of friends and family

Embark on an exciting three-hour bicycle tour of the city of Belfast, suitable for all group sizes.

Minnowburn
Nature and Wildlife
Minnowburn

Minnowburn is 128 acres of woodland and countryside, owned by the National Trust and situated between the Giant's Ring and Lagan. A network of paths allow visitors to enjoy all of the property, including a stunning viewpoint over the Lagan Valley.

Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park
Public Park
Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park

An attractive rolling parkland some 130 acres to the south of Belfast. The display of over 25,000 rose bushes in bloom all summer long is set out in a series of circular gardens, each on a different themes.

Hilden Brewery
Brewery
Image is of a beer being pulled on tap at Hilden Brewery

Hilden Brewery is Ireland's Oldest Independent Brewery. We have been running for over 40 years and in the last seven have added a second brew house, a bottling line and a canning line.

George Best House
Self-Catering
1960s style living room

George Best House, retro- refurbished to a 1960s style, is available to book for overnight stays where you can experience life in the house for George before he left east Belfast, aged 15, to join Manchester United in 1961. Visitors can enjoy; flicking through old school reports and letters a young George sent to his parents; looking at personal family photos on the walls as well as iconic images from George’s illustrious career and exploring an illustrated timeline of George’s football career and achievements.

The Mystic of the East - Van Morrison Trail
Self-guided tour
The Mystic of the East - Van Morrison Trail

The Van Morrison Trail will take you on a journey through the east Belfast of Van's youth. The Trail is a wonderful opportunity for you to visit some of the places that Morrison knew as a child growing up.

Sunflower Public House
Pub / Nightclub
Sunflower Public House

Sunflower is a simple corner pub, it is free of gimmicks or themes, and it is one of the few remaining. It is instantly recognisable by the security cage on its front door, a relic from 1980s Belfast. Music is very much part of the pub's life.

Kelly's Cellars
Pub / Nightclub
Kelly's Cellars

In the heart of Belfast's city centre, this pub has maintained the friendly atmosphere of over 250 years ago. With a long tradition of quality beer and fine food, Kelly's Cellars offers all customers a chance to enjoy the perfect pint of Guinness.

Crumlin Road Gaol
Visitor Centres & Museums
Crumlin Road Gaol

On the 31st March 1996 Crumlin Road Gaol slammed shut its doors for what many thought would be the final time, but, on the 19th November 2012 the chains fell off and HMP Belfast was reborn as one of Belfast's most popular visitor attractions.

Belfast City Hall
Visitor Centres & Museums
Belfast City Hall

Completed in 1906, Belfast City Hall is a magnificent Baroque Revival 'wedding cake' built to reflect Belfast's city status, granted by Queen Victoria in 1888. The grounds are also used for many events from continental markets to open air concerts.

Grand Opera House
Theatre / Cinema
Grand Opera House

Since opening its doors on 23 December 1895, the Grand Opera House has delivered an unrivalled programme of entertainment, playing host to some of the greatest names in theatre and music.

Crown Liquor Saloon
Pub / Nightclub
Crown Liquor Saloon

You will find The Crown Liquor Saloon in Belfast within a short stroll of Europa Hotel, Grosvenor Road and Glengall Street - however, you won't find another like it.

The Great Room Restaurant at The Merchant Hotel
Restaurant
The Great Room Restaurant at The Merchant Hotel

The Great Room Restaurant offers a sumptuous space evoking timeless grandeur. A fitting setting for gastronomic delights inspired by the classics. One can taste the subtle flavours of each component, each element complementing one another perfectly.

The Merchant Hotel
Hotel
The Merchant Hotel

Belfast's only AA five Red Star hotel, is situated in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter.