Going to North Irelands capital city Belfast? On this page I’ve listed the top 10 sights and activities in Belfast. All these spots are great places to see and experience and most of them are very Instagrammable too!
These are your must-see spots and must-do things for your next stay in Belfast.
1 Black Cab Tour
It’s probably the first thing that everybody recommends when you’re saying you’re going to Belfast: a black cab tour. And I agree with them, there’s no better way to get the know the city’s complicated political situation. We booked ours at BlackTaxiTours.com but there are several other websites where you can book a tour. The taxi driver will take you to murals on both the Catholic and Protestant sites as well as the wall that divides the city. Tours take about 1.5 hours or 1 hour and 45 minutes and you can get picked up and dropped off where you want.
2 City Hall
Belfasts City Hall is an impressive building in the city center of Belfast. It’s located in the Southern part of the pedestrian area. It’s in use as a City Hall but also open for tourists. It houses a museum about the history of the City Hall, Belfast and Northern Ireland in general that is accessible for free.
3 Visit a pub
You can’t leave Dublin without visiting a pub. Pubs (short for Public Houses) are part of the culture of Northern Ireland. Besides the more traditional pubs there are also more modern ones, beer gardens, cocktail bars or the Spanish bar Spaniard pictured above.
4 Titanic Museum
Did you know that the Titanic was built in Belfast? The famous ship that hit an iceberg in 1912 was built at the shipyard Harland & Wolff in Belfast. The company still exists and you can see their yellow cranes from almost everywhere in Belfast. In honor of the largest ship of that time, there’s a Titanic Museum in Belfast. The building is inspired by the Titanic and inside is an interactive exhibition that’s nice for both kids as adults.
5 Live music
We enjoyed live Irish music in pubs every night of our stay. It adds so much to the atmosphere when there’s live music playing. Our favorite was Fibber Magee which you can find in the back of Robinsons Bar at Great Victoria street. Slightly more touristic and popular with a younger crowd is The Thirsty Goat that has a nice outside area.
6 St George’s Market
A perfect activity for when it’s cold or rainy in Belfast is to visit St George’s Market. It’s a Victorian covered market dating back to 1890. St George’s Market is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from early morning until the afternoon. There are all kinds of stalls, from food to flowers and from clothing to crafts. The market is free to visit.
7 Saint Anne’s Cathedral
As it’s carrying the same name as me, I can’t miss this cathedral. Saint Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast is Protestant church build in 1899. It’s unusual as it has two bishops. Saint Anne’s Cathedral is the reason why the neighborhood is called ‘Cathedral Quarter’ and it’s in the center of this nice neighborhood with many bars and restaurants.
A bit East of Cathedral Quarter you’ll find this ‘Salmon of Knowledge’ which has images and text about Belfast’s history. Here you can cross the water over a pedestrian bridge to reach the waterfront on the other side of River Lagan. Here you can find a cinema and the Titanic Museum.
During the Black Cab Tour you’ll already many murals that are all political. But in the touristic center of Belfast you’ll also see many great murals. Like this hyperrealistic one of a cook with a lobster. It’s made by Australian born, Glasgow based Smug One.
10 Smallest Bar
Bittles Bar must be the smallest bar in Belfast! It’s almost like a smaller version of the Flatiron building in New York. You can find it next to shopping mall Victoria Square (where you can take the elevator to watch the city from up high). It was build in 1868 and inside you can find portraits of famous sportsmen and writers from Ireland.