Categories: Belfastthings to do

A Titanic weekend in Belfast 

Belfast is buzzing. Whether you want to grab a bite to eat in the cafes and restaurants of the Cathedral Quarter or visit the birthplace of the world's most famous ship, there is something for everyone in Northern Ireland’s dynamic capital city. 

Start big at Titanic Belfast 

The first port of call for most visitors is the stunning 5-star Titanic Belfast visitor experience. Voted the World's Leading Visitor Attraction in 2017, this shimmering landmark has become as distinctive and familiar to Belfast’s skyline as its iconic shipyard neighbours, Samson & Goliath. Inside, you’ll discover the story of the most famous ship in the world, the people who built her, and its ill-fated journey across the Atlantic Ocean.  

Explore the Titanic Quarter 

The adventure continues as you follow the Maritime Mile and explore Belfast’s seafaring and industrial history. Discover all the attractions, public sculptures and viewing points on both sides of the river; including the Belfast Buoys, the Lagan weir and The Big Fish, as well as the incredible Mew Island Light House Optic. Weighing in at 10 tonnes and measuring over 7 metres tall, this great light produced one of the brightest beams ever to shine. 

Steer the ship 

If you’re more of a self-explorer, Titanic Belfast’s new self-guided themed walking trail is just for you. The trail will lead you on a journey through the Titanic Experience and on-board SS Nomadic. Discover this world-famous story for yourself, in the place where it all began. 

Finally, round up your Titanic Quarter experience with a well-earned meal at Tedfords Restaurant. Overlooking the River Lagan, Tedfords is steeped in the city’s rich maritime history. It’s the perfect place to enjoy some seafood and a night out in the Titanic Quarter.  

A treasure chest full of fun 

For little explorers, and adults who never grew up, The Maritime Mile Treasure Trail is your kind of fun. The unique experience combines maritime-twisting clues and fascinating facts for anyone with a sense of adventure. Fuel your imagination on this real-life adventure and explore the most interesting parts of Belfast’s iconic waterfront. You’ll discover everything from Belfast’s seafaring history, vibrant quaysides and historic docks. Make your way to each of the 18 stops and uncover exciting questions and facts about the Maritime Mile. Pure gold. 

Titanic’s Hidden Depths 

If you still haven’t got your Titanic fix, there’s more at the Titanic Exhibition at the Ulster Transport Museum just 15 minutes’ drive from the city centre. This unique exhibition will give you a hands-on experience with more than 500 original artefacts recovered from the icy floor of the Atlantic, as well as the mighty ship’s original plans. 

Dinosaurs, and Mummies, and Masterpieces, Oh My! 

If you’re a history buff, or a lover of art, the Ulster Museum is sure to spark your curiosity. Get up close and personal with dinosaurs, meet an Egyptian mummy and see modern masterpieces in the flesh at this fascinating museum. For the horticulturalists among us, or really anyone who appreciates beauty, take a leisurely stroll through Botanic Gardens and visit the glorious Victorian Palm House and Tropical Ravine. Stunning stuff. 

Roam wild 

If wildlife is more your thing, the Belfast Zoological Gardens is your natural habitat. With over 55 acres to roam around and over 130 species to see, you’ll be needing to remind yourself that you’re still in Belfast, and not the Amazon rainforest. 

Tension, Imprisonment & Executions 

On 31 March 1996, the heavy gates of The Crumlin Road Gaol slammed shut for the final time, ending a 150-year history of tension, imprisonment and executions. Now having undergone a significant restoration, its doors have re-opened once again, but this time, to the public. Explore first-hand the building's colourful past and gain a unique and memorable insight to the daily lives and routines of both prisoners and prison officers throughout the Gaol's existence.   

Culture at every corner? 

Spend just a few minutes in Belfast and you’ll notice the walls. There is street art everywhere. In the past this would have reflected the divisions in the city, but in recent years, it has been positive and transformative. Street artists from across the globe have joined a new generation of Belfast based street artists to leave their mark and to help form a new narrative for the city. The Belfast Street Art Walking Tour will help you understand that history and show you how the narrative of the city is changing. You’ll see first-hand that the vibrancy of Belfast no longer speaks of past divisions, but of the place that Belfast is becoming. 

Foodie heaven 

Belfast has become a food mecca and it’s impossible to walk the city without being lured in by world-class food. Walk the Cathedral Quarter for a night of craic and fine food at one of the many excellent restaurants. Hungry visitors will like Hadskis’ comfy and eclectic dining room and its ever-changing menu of daily specials. The nearby AMPM Bohemian Restaurant has become something of a Belfast institution. The stylish eatery with chic, playful, baroque decor, serves everything from global comfort food to pub classics. 

Find your Local 

Those in search of the more traditional pint can relax in the cosy McHugh’s Bar and Restaurant while cool cats can chill in Bert’s Jazz Bar in the elegant Merchant Hotel.  Of course, there is lots going on outside the Cathedral Quarter too. The Crown Liquor Saloon on Great Victoria Street is almost as famous as the Titanic in this city. Now owned by the National Trust, the pub, which dates back to 1826, has been restored to its full Victorian splendour. It features original gas lamps, a beautifully carved wooden bar, a scrolled plasterwork ceiling and best of all, lots of cosy snugs.Though wherever you go, you are guaranteed a warm welcome, good craic, and friendly banter with the bar staff. 

Your berth for the night? 

After a busy day of sights, sounds and the finest food, you’ll need a place to lay your head. And in Belfast, there is accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets.  

La Mon Hotel (4*) is a family owned hotel and country club with lots of activities for your family too. It’s the perfect base for those looking for somewhere outside the city, but not too far. It’s located just 15 minutes from Belfast city centre, but still feels like it is nestled in the countryside. 

The Grand Central Hotel (4*) has an exclusive cosmopolitan vibe. Conveniently located in the Linen Quarter, it is ideal for exploring all that the centre of Belfast has to offer. It also has a 23rd floor cocktail lounge, The Observatory, making it the tallest cocktail bar in Ireland. Perfect for those Insta holiday snaps.

Maryville House is a boutique B&B and guesthouse located conveniently on the Lisburn Road. The former residence of a Victorian gentleman, it combines traditional luxury with every modern convenience, not to mention doing a fantastic afternoon tea. It’s a wonderful base for a Belfast city break. 

Malone Lodge Hotel is a chic, Victorian four star town-house hotel located centrally in the leafy Queen’s Quarter of South Belfast. 

Park View is a luxury, four star property located just five minutes from the trendy Ormeau Road. With every modern convenience, it is within walking distance of Botanic Gardens, the Ulster Museum, and Queen’s University. 

What’s next? 

Belfast is a city that keeps on giving. So, if you come away feeling like you should’ve booked a longer trip, plan a comeback and see what your next itinerary has in store.