Things to do in Belfast

About Belfast

Must-see attractions in Belfast include the Titanic Belfast museum, a state-of-the-art facility that offers insights into the Titanic's history with interactive exhibits; the historic Crumlin Road Gaol, which provides a glimpse into 19th-century prison life; and the iconic Belfast City Hall, known for its impressive architecture and informative public tours. These landmarks epitomize the city's rich heritage and cultural depth.
Top activities for families in Belfast include visiting the W5 interactive science museum, which stimulates young minds with engaging exhibits, enjoying the Belfast Zoo's wide variety of animals in a scenic setting, and exploring the magical CS Lewis Square, featuring sculptures from 'The Chronicles of Narnia,' to ignite the imaginations of children and adults alike.
For outdoor enthusiasts, hiking the trails of Cave Hill Country Park offers panoramic city views and a connection with nature. The Botanic Gardens provide a tranquil space for leisurely walks amongst beautiful flora. Moreover, walking or cycling the charming Lagan Towpath grants visitors a refreshing riverside retreat.
Indoor activities abound in Belfast with the Ulster Museum presenting a wealth of art, history, and natural science exhibits. The MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre) offers a cultural hub for theatre and visual arts, and the interactive discovery zones at W5 make for a fun educational experience for all ages.
Notable tours in Belfast include the Titanic Trail, which explores the city's maritime heritage, the Black Taxi political tour for a deep dive into the local history, and guided visits of the historic Belfast City Hall. Each tour offering distinctive experiences tailored to diverse interests.
The most popular museums in Belfast are the Titanic Belfast, recognized for its captivating storytelling and exhibitions, the Ulster Museum for its comprehensive collections spanning multiple disciplines, and the immersive experience of the Crumlin Road Gaol, showcasing the city's penal history.
On rainy days, indoor tours like the Titanic Belfast and Crumlin Road Gaol prove to be excellent choices, offering sheltered exploration packed with historical information. Also, the Belfast City Hall provides free indoor tours that reveal the city’s political and architectural significance.
For quick tours in Belfast, the guided tour of Belfast City Hall typically lasts an hour and gives a concise overview of the city's history, while self-guided tours at the Belfast Cathedral offer a flexible duration, allowing visitors to appreciate its artistic and spiritual offerings in a short time frame.

Best Things to Do In Belfast

Discover Belfast's best attractions and hidden gems through comprehensive audio tours tailored for every traveler.

Belfast: Peace Wall

What is it?
A significant monument representing the historical and political divisions of Belfast.
Why you should go?
The Peace Wall is more than a barrier; it's a living canvas that documents the city’s journey towards reconciliation. Stretching over several neighborhoods, this wall is adorned with murals and messages of peace from locals and international visitors alike. A visit to the Peace Wall offers an impactful reflection on Belfast's history and the hope for a peaceful future, making it a profound experience on Belfast tours.

Belfast: Cathedral Quarter

What is it?
The cultural heart of Belfast, known for its lively atmosphere and historic architecture.
Why you should go?
The Cathedral Quarter, with its cobbled streets and mix of traditional and contemporary venues, is the pulse of Belfast's cultural scene. From street art installations to live music venues, this bustling area offers a plethora of experiences, day and night. The quarter is also home to a number of festivals throughout the year, making it a dynamic hub for those looking for fun things to do in Belfast.

Belfast: The Crumlin Road

What is it?
A historically rich area featuring an infamous former prison and courtroom.
Why you should go?
The Crumlin Road connects visitors with the darker side of Belfast's past through the Crumlin Road Gaol and Courthouse. Exploring these sites offers a glimpse into 150 years of history, including the life of inmates and the Victorian architecture. The tales and escapades that emanate from the Gaol are captivating and give an unparalleled insight into Belfast's history.

Belfast: CS Lewis Square

What is it?
An outdoor art space celebrating the works of the famous Belfast-born author, C.S. Lewis.
Why you should go?
CS Lewis Square is an enchanting space featuring sculptures from 'The Chronicles of Narnia'. Visiting the square, fans can see beloved characters brought to life in bronze, offering an inspiring homage to one of Belfast's most famed authors. It's a tranquil retreat and a must-visit spot for literature lovers on their Belfast excursions.

Belfast: The Big Fish

What is it?
A modern ceramic mosaic sculpture symbolizing the regeneration of the River Lagan.
Why you should go?
Also known as the Salmon of Knowledge, The Big Fish stands along the Lagan Towpath. This striking piece of public art tells the city's story through tiles depicting scenes from Belfast history. Interactive and photogenic, the sculpture offers a quick, engaging stop on a walk along the waterfront, perfect for those looking for things to see in Belfast.

Belfast: SS Nomadic

What is it?
The last remaining White Star Line ship, tender to the Titanic.
Why you should go?
Step aboard the SS Nomadic, and you'll be walking on a piece of nautical history. This vessel, designed by the same team as the Titanic, once ferried famous passengers to the legendary liner. Now restored to her original glory, the SS Nomadic serves as a floating museum where visitors can immerse themselves in maritime heritage, experience the luxury of early 20th-century sea travel, and learn captivating stories, making it a captivating inclusion in Belfast excursions.

Belfast: Stormont Parliament Buildings

What is it?
The seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly and a symbol of political progression.
Why you should go?
Nestled among sprawling, manicured grounds, the Stormont Parliament Buildings present a majestic facade and a serene parkland environment. These buildings are not just political powerhouses but also architectural marvels. Visitors can engage with Northern Ireland's political history and enjoy walking through the scenic estate, spotting local wildlife along the way. A visit here ranks high amongst things to do in Belfast, offering a blend of education and outdoor enjoyment.

Belfast: Victoria Square Shopping Centre

What is it?
A premier shopping and leisure destination with a distinctive glass dome.
Why you should go?
Victoria Square is not just about retail therapy; it's an architectural wonder right in the heart of Belfast. With a mixture of local and international brands, restaurants, and a cinema, it's a bustling hub of activity. Ascend to the top of the dome for a 360-degree view of the city. The shopping centre’s modernity and vibrancy make it a perfect stop for those seeking a more contemporary flavor of Belfast tours.

Belfast: Belfast Castle and Cave Hill Country Park

What is it?
An iconic castle offering panoramic city views, nested in a country park.
Why you should go?
Belfast Castle, situated on the slopes of Cave Hill, provides a stunning overlook of the city and Belfast Lough. Its location in Cave Hill Country Park allows visitors to enjoy nature trails that lead to the famous Napoleon's Nose lookout point. The castle's antique charm, combined with the park's natural beauty, make this one of the most enjoyable things to see in Belfast for those who love history entwined with natural beauty.

Belfast: Falls Road and Shankill Road Murals

What is it?
The heart of Belfast’s street art scene, depicting the city’s complex history.
Why you should go?
For a profound and evocative experience, the iconic murals of Falls Road and Shankill Road are a must-see. This open-air gallery epitomizes Belfast's tumultuous history through powerful art. The murals offer a poignant narrative of the city's political and social evolution. Visitors can reflect upon the past while gaining insight into the ongoing journey towards peace and unity, making this one of the best Belfast tours for those seeking a deeper understanding of the city.

TOP-5 tours in Belfast for first time visitors

  • Embark on the "Titanic Trail" audio tour and delve into the heart of Belfast's shipbuilding heritage, where the legendary RMS Titanic story began.
  • "Historic Belfast" audio tour guides you through the city's storied streets, introducing you to landmarks steeped in culture and history.
  • Soak up the beauty of nature and architecture with the "Botanic Gardens & Queen's University" audio walking tour, a must for relaxation and inspiration.
  • Experience the political murals and peace walls with the "Belfast Political History" audio tour, a powerful and enlightening journey.
  • "Culinary Belfast" is a gastronomic audio tour, perfect for foodies wanting to discover local eats while exploring the city's buzzing markets and eateries.

Fun things to do in Belfast with kids

Belfast is brimming with child-friendly attractions that promise to entertain and educate. First on the list is the interactive science and discovery center, W5, where hands-on exhibits allow children to learn through play across a multitude of engaging themes. Next, families can explore the Belfast Zoo, home to over 140 species, set on a breathtaking 55-acre site with splendid views over Belfast Lough and the mountainous landscape—ideal for animal-loving explorers. To complete the trio of activities, the Pirate Adventure Golf provides a swashbuckling mini-golf experience, perfect for a little healthy competition and a lot of laughs. Each attraction offers a unique way to create lasting memories with the family, ensuring that Belfast is not just a city of rich history, but also one of fun and adventure for all ages.

Things to do in Belfast with family

Belfast is a city that warmly welcomes families, packed with attractions that cater to every age. Begin an exciting day at the Ulster Museum, where dinosaur enthusiasts and aspiring historians can delve into exhibitions ranging from natural history to ancient treasures—all for free. After sating your scholarly appetites, shift gears to the Stormont Estate, the seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Its surrounding gardens and playgrounds offer an excellent setting for kids to play and adults to relax amidst the backdrop of stunning architecture. Round off your day with the enthralling tales and legends on a self-guided Titanic Belfast tour, as you journey into the world of Belfast's most famous ship. The interactive galleries are sure to capture the imaginations of your little ones, making this iconic experience an unforgettable part of your Belfast family itinerary.

Free things to do in Belfast

Discover the joys of Belfast without spending a penny at some of the city’s most compelling attractions. Families and solo adventurers alike can revel in the natural beauty of Cave Hill Country Park, offering panoramic views of the city and an array of walking trails. Historical enthusiasts will appreciate the grandeur of Belfast City Hall, which offers free public tours detailing its storied past and role in the city's development. Don't miss exploring the historic shipyard through the 'Maritime Mile' trail, where interpretive signs enrich your knowledge of Belfast’s impressive maritime heritage, culminating at the iconic Titanic Sign. Each of these locations stands as a testament to Belfast's rich culture and history, providing ample opportunities for visitors to engage with the city in a meaningful, cost-free manner.

Cheap things to do in Belfast

Belfast boasts a range of budget-friendly attractions that promise a rich experience for thrifty travelers. Immerse yourself in local history with a visit to the Milltown Cemetery, a key site that offers a reflective look at Belfast's social history and the resting place of many notable figures. For those with a penchant for markets, the vibrant St. George's Market brims with local character, offering low-cost, unique finds and affordable, delicious eats during a weekend visit. Lastly, enjoy the fresh air at the Belfast Hills, where walking paths lead to breathtaking views and the famed Napoleon's Nose. This natural adventure presents a chance to escape the city's hum at little to no cost, making these hills a top choice for those looking for 'things to do in Belfast' that won't break the bank.

Things to do in Belfast for couples

Couples seeking a romantic escape will find Belfast a city of charm and culture. Embrace the tranquility of the Belfast Botanic Gardens, where intimate pathways wind through lush foliage and blooming flowers, providing a picturesque setting for a leisurely walk or picnic. For those who want to delve into the city's history and enjoy scenic vistas, a visit to Belfast Castle, located on the slopes of Cave Hill, offers an impressive backdrop for a truly idyllic outing. As the day winds down, take a stroll along the River Lagan towards the illuminated Beacon of Hope sculpture, enjoying the peaceful riverside ambiance perfect for an evening wander. These romantic spots are not only among the best things to do in Belfast for couples but they are sure to create memories that will endure as long as the city's storied past.

Things to do in Belfast at night

Belfast comes alive after dark with attractions that appeal to night owls and culture seekers. Begin the evening with a stroll through the Cathedral Quarter, where bustling bars and live music venues give a taste of the city's nightlife and serve as a perfect spot for couples and friends to soak in the local ambience. As the stars come out, head over to the Observatory at Victoria Square for panoramic views of the night sky and Belfast’s lit-up skyline—ideal for a romantic date or a peaceful contemplation. For those desiring live entertainment, the historic Grand Opera House offers a splendid array of evening performances, from riveting dramas to enchanting musicals. These attractively diverse options underline the rich and varied spectrum of Belfast tours available, making the city a delightful playground for nocturnal adventures.