Belfast City is a great place to visit in the summer months and throughout the year. It is a city packed full of history, culture, great events, food, shopping and much more. Whether it’s a city break or a longer stay that you crave, Belfast offers so much for all to enjoy and makes it a trip to remember.
Titanic Belfast is an iconic six-floor building featuring nine interpretive and interactive galleries that explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Titanic. It is the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience and is located beside the Titanic Slipways, the Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices and Hamilton Graving Dock – the very place where Titanic was designed, built and launched in 1912.
Titanic Belfast tells the story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her famous maiden voyage and subsequent place in history. It is a must-see for anyone with an interest in the fascinating Titanic story and a development that Belfast as a city can be proud of. Using innovative design, interpretation and technology, each gallery will focus on a unique part of the Titanic story and the context of the period in which it was built.
Berthed next to Titanic Belfast is the SS Nomadic, the largest Titanic artefact in the world and the last remaining White Star Line vessel. SS Nomadic was used as the tender ship for first and second class passengers at Cherbouurg. Designed by Thomas Andrews and built using the same design, it’s similarities to RMS Titanic are plain to see. Restored to her original 1911 glory and back home in Belfast, a visit to SS Nomadic & Hamilton Dock combines the authentic heritage and atmosphere of this historic ship with the intriguing stories of her passengers and the ups and downs of her dramatic career.
Race to the End of the Earth
This Summer’s Must-See exhibition is ‘Race to The End of the Earth’ from the American Museum of Natural History, is on display at Titanic Belfast for the first time in the UK and Ireland, until 28th August.
The word-class exhibition, which includes a series of interactive, multimedia experiences, hands on activities and life-size recreations, is a must-see for kids, parents and explorer enthusiasts alike to learn about the most stirring account of Antarctic exploration of all time – Britain’s Scott versus Norwegian Amundsen.
Visitors for the first time will be brought back in time to follow in the footsteps of these explorers as they embark on a 1,800-mile journey to be the first to reach the South Pole, showing what life was like for the explorers on the ice 100 years ago! The Antarctica is no longer the last place on earth – it’s right on your doorstep this summer.
An award winning science and discovery centre, W5 is located at the Odyssey. Visitors of all ages can have fun using their imaginations with over 250 interactive exhibhits. W5 also offers a changing programme of events, shows and exhibitions and has proven to provide a great day out for all the family. Admission permits an all day stay which means great value entertainment.
There are also picnic areas for family to enjoy and a cafe which offers a delicious selection of refreshments.
As one of the oldest and popular visitor attractions in Northern Ireland, Belfast Zoo has been in operation since 1934. The award winning Zoo attracts more than 300,000 visitors a year.
The 55 acre site is home to more the 1000 animals and 150 species, the majority of which are facing increasing danger in their natural habitats. The Zoo carries out vital conversation work to ensure the survival of many under threat.
Popular attractions include the Asian elephants, Rothschild's giraffes, California sea lions, penguins, apes, Malayan tapirs, giant anteater, Malayan sun bears, Visayan warty pigs, Goodfellow's tree kangaroo, red-backed bearded sakis, crowned sifaka and Sumatran tigers.
Other onsite facilities include the Treetop Tearoom, Percy's Picnic Pitstop, 'Zoovenir Shop', children's playground, and designated picnic areas. The zoo also runs a regular programme of special events through the year.
Belfast City Hall
One of Belfast's most iconic buildings, Belfast City Hall first opened its doors in August 1906 and is Belfast's civic building. It's located in Donegall Square, in the heart of Belfast city centre. Free public tours are available Monday to Sunday and are led by experienced guides.
Located on the east side of City Hall is the Titanic Memorial Garden which was built around the existing Titanic monument designed by Thomas Brock. The grounds feature a number of memorials and monuments.
Established in 1828, the Botanic Gardens is an important part of Belfast’s Victorian Heritage and is hugely popular with the city’s own residents and tourists.
The most notable feature of the garden’s is the Palm House Glass House Conservatory.
It contains a range of tropical plants, hanging baskets, seasonal displays and birds of paradise, and is one of the earliest examples of a glasshouse made from curved iron and glass. The garden also contain another glasshouse, the Tropical Ravine and is also an important venue for concerts, festivals and other events.
Belfast’s number one shopping destination, Victoria Square has fantastic shops split over four levels. The centre is topped by an iconic dome, with panoramic views across the city, the river Lagan and even to the Mournes beyond. Free tours of the dome take place hourly.
Once you are finished your shopping you can relax and enjoy great food and drink as the centre has a wonderful selection of places to suit all tastes. It also have a cinema on site for movie lovers.
Belfast Castle Estate & Cave Hill Visitor Centre
Belfast Castle Estate is adjacent to one of the highest spots in Belfast, Cave Hill and offers great views over Belfast Lough and City. The landmark, named for the five caves located on the side of the cliffs, contains a wealth of natural, archaeological and historical features.
Its most famous feature, known locally as Napoleon's Nose, is believed to have been the inspiration for Jonathan Swift's novel, Gulliver's Travels. Cave Hill Visitor Centre is located in the basement of Belfast Castle.
Crumlin Road Gaol
Crumlin Road Gaol first opened its gates to prisoners in 1846 and for 150 years was a fully operational prison. On March 31, 1996, the Governor of Belfast's Crumlin Road Gaol walked out of the fortified prison and the heavy air-lock gates slammed shut for the final time.
The Gaol has housed murderers, suffragettes and loyalist and republican prisoners. It has witnessed births, deaths and marriages and has been the home to executions, escapes, hunger-strikes and riots.
As well as daily guided tours, the newly opened conference centre also provides a wide range of opportunities for conferences, banquets, special events and weddings.
Above are just some of the wonderful locations that Belfast has to offer and a trip by rail on the newly refurbished Enterprise is the perfect way to get there.
For the month of August, you can take the family to Belfast for just €50 day return. This special discount covers 2 adults and up to 4 kids and also offers a further discount on entry to great attractions in the Titanic Quarter when you present your ticket. See more information on this great offer here and further information on family fares is available on irishrail.ie/trips