10 Best Things To Do In Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast is the largest city in Northern Ireland. And with that… comes lots of things to do! With museums, galleries, Michelin Star restaurants there is plenty of the best things to do in Belfast! Belfast, it’s the kind of city which is great for a short or long stay! 

It’s known to be one of the best places to visit, Belfast! Are you ready for the 10 best things to do in Belfast? 

1. Visit the pub!

No… It’s not because we’re from Belfast and it’s an easy suggestion to say “go to the pub”. It’s because Belfast is home to some of the most culture filled watering holes that you will find! 

Cathedral Quarter and Hill Street in particular are some of Belfast’s best drinking areas for all age groups. The Harp Bar, pictured below. Is home to live music played by traditional brands, which is fit for the travelling tourist going solo or in groups. The Dirty Onion is another hotspot that holds live music events played by traditional brands.

Belfast is a vibrant city that offers visitors a unique blend of history, culture, and entertainment. One of the most popular pastimes for both locals and tourists is visiting one of the many pubs scattered throughout the city. Here are some reasons why a tourist might enjoy visiting the Harp Bar, Dirty Onion, and Observatory Bar in particular:

  1. Traditional Irish atmosphere: All three of these pubs offer a traditional Irish atmosphere that is perfect for tourists looking to immerse themselves in the local culture. From the live music to the cozy decor, visitors can enjoy an authentic Irish pub experience.

  2. Live music: The Harp Bar and Dirty Onion are well-known for their live music, which can range from traditional Irish folk to more modern rock and pop. This makes them popular destinations for music lovers and those looking for a fun night out.

  3. Craft beer and cocktails: The Observatory Bar is a great spot for tourists who are looking for a more sophisticated drinking experience. They offer a wide range of craft beers and cocktails that are sure to please even the most discerning palate.

  4. History: The Harp Bar and Dirty Onion are both housed in historic buildings that have been carefully restored to preserve their original character. This makes them not only great places to grab a drink, but also interesting destinations for history buffs.

  5. Location: All three of these pubs are located in the Cathedral Quarter, which is known for its lively atmosphere and abundance of bars and restaurants. This makes it easy for tourists to explore the area and find other things to see and do nearby.

Overall, these pubs offer a unique and authentic experience for tourists visiting Belfast, and are definitely worth a visit for anyone looking to experience the city’s vibrant nightlife and culture.

The Observatory Bar is one of the best things to do in Belfast because it offers a unique and memorable experience for visitors. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Stunning views: The Observatory Bar is located on the 23rd floor of the Grand Central Hotel, which is the tallest building in Northern Ireland. This means that visitors can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Belfast and the surrounding countryside while sipping on a drink.

  2. Sophisticated atmosphere: The Observatory Bar offers a sophisticated and upscale atmosphere that is perfect for a special occasion or a night out with friends. The decor is modern and stylish, and the drinks menu features a wide range of craft beers, cocktails, and wines.

  3. Great location: The Grand Central Hotel is located in the heart of Belfast, which means that visitors can easily explore the city’s other attractions and landmarks before or after their visit to the Observatory Bar.

  4. Unique experience: The Observatory Bar offers a unique experience that is unlike anything else in Belfast. Visitors can enjoy a drink while taking in the stunning views, and the atmosphere is perfect for both romantic dates and group outings.

  5. Award-winning bar: The Observatory Bar has won multiple awards for its drinks menu, including being named the “Best Hotel Bar in Northern Ireland” in the 2019 Irish Hotel Awards. This means that visitors can expect high-quality drinks and a memorable experience.

Overall, the Observatory Bar is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience Belfast’s vibrant nightlife and stunning views. Whether you’re looking for a romantic date spot or a night out with friends, the Observatory Bar offers a sophisticated and memorable experience that is sure to impress.

2. Giants Causeway Tour from Belfast

The Giants Causeway Tour from Belfast by Taxi Tours NI is one of the best things to do in Belfast for several reasons:

  1. Expertise: The tour is led by experienced and knowledgeable guides who can provide visitors with detailed information about the history and geology of the Giants Causeway and the surrounding area.

  2. Flexibility: The tour can be customized to meet the needs and preferences of individual visitors. This means that tourists can choose the duration, itinerary, and additional stops to suit their interests and time constraints.

  3. Comfort and convenience: The tour includes comfortable transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle, which means that visitors can sit back and relax while enjoying the scenic drive to the Giants Causeway.

  4. Small group size: The tour is limited to small groups (1-7 passengers per vehicle), which means that visitors can enjoy a more personalized and intimate experience.

  5. Scenic stops: In addition to the Giants Causeway, the tour also includes stops at other scenic locations such as Dunluce Castle and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, which means that visitors can see more of the area’s natural beauty and historic landmarks.

  6. Positive reviews: Taxi Tours NI has consistently received positive reviews from satisfied customers, who praise the company’s professionalism, expertise, and friendly service. This demonstrates the company’s commitment to providing high-quality tours that exceed visitors’ expectations.

Overall, the Giants Causeway Tour from Belfast by Taxi Tours NI is an excellent choice for visitors who want to experience the natural beauty and history of Northern Ireland in a comfortable, informative, and personalized way. We definitely recommend this being one of the best things to do in Belfast.

Taxi Tours NI - Dunluce Castle

3. Visit Titanic Belfast

If you’re planning a trip to Belfast, a visit to the Titanic Belfast is a must-see attraction that you won’t want to miss. Here are some reasons why a tourist should visit Titanic Belfast:

  1. Learn about the Titanic’s history: Titanic Belfast is dedicated to telling the story of the ill-fated Titanic, from its construction and launch to its tragic sinking. Visitors can learn about the lives of the people on board the ship, the social and economic context of the time, and the aftermath of the disaster.

  2. Interactive exhibits: The museum features interactive exhibits and displays that bring the Titanic’s story to life. Visitors can explore a replica of the ship’s deck, experience the ship’s launch through a virtual reality exhibit, and learn about the technical aspects of the ship’s construction.

  3. Stunning architecture: The building itself is an architectural masterpiece, designed to resemble the prow of a ship. The building’s location is also significant, as it is situated on the site where the Titanic was constructed.

  4. Range of activities: Titanic Belfast offers a range of activities for visitors, including guided tours, audio tours, and special events. There are also several cafes and restaurants on-site, as well as a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs.

  5. Positive reviews: Titanic Belfast has consistently received positive reviews from visitors, who praise the museum’s informative and engaging exhibits, stunning architecture, and friendly staff. This demonstrates the museum’s commitment to providing a high-quality visitor experience.

In conclusion, a visit to Titanic Belfast is a must-do activity for any tourist visiting Belfast. The museum offers a fascinating and engaging insight into the Titanic’s history and provides visitors with a range of interactive exhibits and activities to enjoy. With its stunning architecture and positive reviews, Titanic Belfast is a true gem of Northern Ireland’s tourism industry.

4. Get a gourmet burger from Bunsen!

Bunsen Burger in Belfast is a popular and highly regarded dining option that is considered one of the best things to do in the city for several reasons:

  1. Quality of the food: Bunsen Burger is known for serving high-quality burgers made from locally sourced, fresh ingredients. The restaurant’s commitment to quality is evident in the taste of their burgers, which are often described as juicy, flavorful, and cooked to perfection.

  2. Range of options: While Bunsen Burger’s menu is focused on burgers, they offer a range of options to suit different dietary needs and preferences. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available, and customers can choose from a range of toppings to customize their burgers.

  3. Casual and relaxed atmosphere: Bunsen Burger’s atmosphere is casual and relaxed, making it a popular spot for families, friends, and couples. The restaurant’s minimalist decor and open kitchen concept also add to the laid-back vibe.

  4. Excellent customer service: Bunsen Burger’s staff are known for providing excellent customer service, with many visitors commenting on their friendly and helpful attitudes.

  5. Positive reviews: Bunsen Burger has consistently received positive reviews from satisfied customers, who praise the restaurant’s food, atmosphere, and service. This demonstrates the restaurant’s commitment to providing high-quality dining experiences that exceed customers’ expectations.

Overall, Bunsen Burger in Belfast is considered one of the best things to do in the city due to its high-quality food, range of options, casual atmosphere, excellent customer service, and positive reviews. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, a visit to Bunsen Burger is sure to be a memorable and enjoyable experience.

5. Walk Botanic Gardens, Belfast

The Botanic Gardens walk is considered one of the best things to do in Belfast for several reasons:

  1. Beautiful scenery: The Botanic Gardens are home to a wide variety of plants and flowers, making it a beautiful place to take a walk. The park also features a number of statues and other art installations that add to the beauty of the surroundings.

  2. Historical significance: The Botanic Gardens have been a part of Belfast since the 1820s, and they have played an important role in the city’s history. Many of the buildings in the park, such as the Palm House and the Tropical Ravine, are listed as historic buildings.

  3. Free to visit: The Botanic Gardens are open to the public and free to visit, making it an affordable and accessible option for visitors to Belfast.

  4. Family-friendly: The Botanic Gardens offer something for everyone, including playgrounds for children, picnic areas, and events throughout the year. It’s a great place to bring the whole family and enjoy a day out in nature.

  5. Location: The Botanic Gardens are located in the heart of Belfast, making it easy to access from other popular tourist destinations in the city. It’s a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some peaceful green space.

Overall, the Botanic Gardens walk is considered one of the best things to do in Belfast because of its beautiful scenery, historical significance, affordability, family-friendliness, and convenient location. Whether you’re a nature lover or just looking for a relaxing way to spend an afternoon, a visit to the Botanic Gardens is sure to be a memorable and enjoyable experience.

6. Grab a pizza at Pizza Punks, Belfast

Pizza Punks Belfast is one of the best things to do in the city for several reasons:

  1. Unique dining experience: Pizza Punks Belfast offers a unique dining experience that is not available elsewhere in the city. Customers can choose from a variety of creative and delicious toppings to customize their own pizzas, giving them the opportunity to create their own unique masterpiece.

  2. High-quality food: Pizza Punks Belfast uses high-quality, locally sourced ingredients to make their pizzas, ensuring that customers get the best possible taste and quality.

  3. Casual and fun atmosphere: The restaurant’s casual and fun atmosphere makes it a popular spot for families, friends, and couples. The staff are friendly and welcoming, adding to the enjoyable atmosphere.

  4. Affordable prices: Despite the high-quality ingredients and unique dining experience, Pizza Punks Belfast offers affordable prices that are accessible to all.

  5. Positive reviews: Pizza Punks Belfast consistently receives positive reviews from satisfied customers, who praise the restaurant’s food, atmosphere, and service. This demonstrates the restaurant’s commitment to providing high-quality dining experiences that exceed customers’ expectations.

Overall, Pizza Punks Belfast is considered one of the best things to do in the city because of its unique dining experience, high-quality food, casual and fun atmosphere, affordable prices, and positive reviews. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, a visit to Pizza Punks Belfast is sure to be a memorable and enjoyable experience.

7. Tour Crumlin Road Gaol

The Crumlin Road Gaol tour is one of the best things to do in Belfast for several reasons:

  1. Historical significance: The Crumlin Road Gaol is a historic building that has played an important role in the history of Belfast. The prison has held some of the city’s most notorious criminals, and the tour offers visitors a glimpse into the past and an opportunity to learn about the prison’s history.

  2. Unique experience: The tour of the Crumlin Road Gaol offers a unique experience that is not available elsewhere in the city. Visitors can explore the prison’s cells, visit the execution chamber, and learn about the daily lives of the prisoners who were held there.

  3. Expert guides: The tour is led by expert guides who are knowledgeable about the prison’s history and can answer any questions visitors may have. The guides provide a fascinating insight into the prison’s past and its place in the history of Belfast.

  4. Interactive exhibits: The Crumlin Road Gaol tour features interactive exhibits that help visitors to better understand the prison’s history and the experiences of the prisoners who were held there. The exhibits are engaging and informative, making the tour both educational and entertaining.

  5. Positive reviews: The Crumlin Road Gaol tour consistently receives positive reviews from visitors who praise the tour’s historical significance, unique experience, expert guides, and interactive exhibits. This demonstrates the tour’s commitment to providing an exceptional visitor experience.

Overall, the Crumlin Road Gaol tour is one of the best things to do in Belfast because of its historical significance, unique experience, expert guides, interactive exhibits, and positive reviews. Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for a fascinating and educational experience, a visit to the Crumlin Road Gaol is sure to be a memorable and enjoyable experience.

8. Visit the Eileen Hickey Museum Belfast

The Eileen Hickey Irish Republican History Museum is a small museum located in the Falls Road area of Belfast that showcases the history and legacy of Irish Republicanism. The museum offers a unique insight into the political and social history of the island of Ireland and the role of Irish Republicans in shaping that history.

The museum features a variety of exhibits, including photographs, documents, and artifacts that tell the story of Irish Republicanism from the late 19th century to the present day. Visitors can learn about key events and figures in Irish Republican history, such as the Easter Rising of 1916, the Troubles, and the peace process.

One of the most interesting aspects of the museum is its emphasis on the grassroots movement of Irish Republicans, which is often overlooked in more mainstream historical narratives. The exhibits highlight the role of ordinary people in the Republican movement, including community activists, volunteers, and prisoners.

Overall, the Irish Republican History Museum is a fascinating and thought-provoking museum that offers visitors a unique perspective on Irish history and the role of Irish Republicans in shaping that history. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is a must-visit destination for those interested in Irish history, politics, and culture.

9. Visit Belfast Castle

Visiting Belfast Castle is one of the best things to do in Belfast for several reasons:

  1. Historical significance: The Belfast Castle has a rich history that dates back to the 12th century when a Norman fort was built on the site. The castle has since been rebuilt several times, and its current incarnation is a 19th-century Scottish Baronial-style building. The castle’s history and architecture make it an interesting and unique attraction.

  2. Stunning views: The castle is located on a hilltop overlooking the city of Belfast and offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding countryside. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views from the castle’s terrace and gardens, which are particularly beautiful at sunset.

  3. Cultural events and activities: The castle hosts a variety of cultural events and activities throughout the year, including art exhibitions, live music performances, and guided tours. Visitors can check the castle’s schedule to see what events and activities are taking place during their visit.

  4. Family-friendly: The castle is a family-friendly attraction, with a playground and a miniature golf course located on the castle grounds. There are also plenty of picnic areas and walking trails, making it a great destination for a day out with the family.

  5. Free admission: Admission to the castle is free, making it an affordable and accessible attraction for everyone.

Overall, visiting Belfast Castle is one of the best things to do in Belfast because of its historical significance, stunning views, cultural events and activities, family-friendly atmosphere, and free admission. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply enjoying beautiful views, a visit to Belfast Castle is a must-do when visiting Belfast

10. Explore St. Georges Market

Visiting St. George’s Market is one of the best things to do in Belfast for several reasons:

  1. Historic significance: St. George’s Market is one of Belfast’s oldest attractions, dating back to the 1800s. The market has a rich history and has played an important role in Belfast’s economy and culture for over 200 years.

  2. Vibrant atmosphere: The market is a bustling hub of activity, with over 300 vendors selling a wide variety of goods, including fresh produce, artisanal crafts, and vintage clothing. The lively atmosphere and friendly vendors make it a great place to explore and discover something new.

  3. Local food and drink: The market is famous for its wide selection of local food and drink, including freshly baked bread, gourmet cheese, craft beer, and specialty coffee. Visitors can sample the best of Northern Irish cuisine and enjoy a unique culinary experience.

  4. Live music and entertainment: The market regularly hosts live music performances and other entertainment, adding to its vibrant atmosphere and creating a fun and festive environment.

  5. Architectural beauty: St. George’s Market is housed in a beautiful Victorian building with a stunning glass roof and ornate ironwork. The building is a work of art in itself and adds to the overall charm and character of the market.

Overall, visiting St. George’s Market is one of the best things to do in Belfast because of its historic significance, vibrant atmosphere, local food and drink, live entertainment, and architectural beauty. Whether you’re a foodie, a culture vulture, or simply looking for a unique shopping experience, a visit to St. George’s Market is a must-do when in Belfast.

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