Belfast Visitor Guide 2021: Everything you need to know9 February, 2021by Bounce
Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, is a city with a reputation. Once upon a time, this was one of the most dangerous cities in Europe thanks to the violent struggle for Irish independence. However, those dark days ended in the 1990s. Modern Belfast is a city that looks to the future, not the past, and as a result, it is one of the most interesting places in Europe to visit.
Officially part of the United Kingdom, Belfast combines both British and Irish culture into something truly unique. Belfast’s history is worth exploring, but there’s much more to the city than the dark days of the Troubles. And as more and more visitors explore the brighter side of Belfast, the city is learning to embrace its tourist potential. Drop off your heavy bags at a Belfast luggage storage locker and explore this unique location for yourself.
A weekend in Belfast
A weekend in Belfast will give you enough time to see some of the major attractions. While it may not be enough to make you feel as though you've really gotten to know the place, it will certainly allow you to see how much there is to do here and perhaps plan another trip in the future.
Learn more about the troubled history of Belfast at Crumlin Road Gaol. In the nineteenth century, this prison held many key figures in the struggle for Irish independence. Now, guided tours explore the history of this feared prison and the part it played in the history of Belfast.
Discover more about one of the world's most famous nautical disasters at Titanic Belfast. The famous ship was built in the Belfast shipyards, and this cutting edge museum was opened in 2012 to pay tribute to the doomed ocean liner.
Immerse yourself in nature at Belfast Botanic Gardens. Established in 1828, the gardens house a grand greenhouse built in the 1840s and contained many rare and impressive plants. It's a great place to get some fresh air and take a break from the busy city.
Belfast is a city that rewards in-depth exploration. You'll find it easier to get to grips with the place if you don't carry more than you need to. Drop off any unneeded bags with a luggage storage service in Belfast so that you can explore more easily. The lighter you travel, the more fun you'll have on your trip.
Off the beaten path in Belfast
Beyond the better-known attractions, Belfast has plenty to keep visitors occupied, whether it’s your first or fiftieth visit to the city. Drop off your unneeded bags at a Belfast suitcase storage shop and explore some of these lesser-known attractions.
Explore Cave Hill Country Park and see some of Belfast's most ancient sites. Five caves set into the cliffs are just waiting to be explored, and a Neolithic fort sits on top of the hill, offering sweeping views over the Northern Irish countryside.
Experience a Victorian gin palace at the Crown Liquor Saloon. This stunningly preserved bar looks exactly as it did when it was founded back in the 1880s. Treat yourself to a cocktail here, and you'll be partaking in an ancient Belfast tradition that dates back to the heyday of the British Empire.
Climb aboard the SS Nomadic. The last remaining ship from the famous White Star line, the Nomadic was launched in 1912 to carry passengers from the Titanic and the Olympic into smaller harbors the big ships couldn't dock at. The Nomadic became a minesweeper during the war and then spent years in Paris as a restaurant. Thoroughly restored to its original glory, the ship now sits in dry dock and allows visitors to climb aboard and learn more about this vessel's fascinating history.
What to do alone in Belfast
Given its troubled history, Belfast is a remarkably safe city to explore. While there are still certain areas that are best avoided, the tourist areas of the city are great places to visit by yourself. Drop off your bags at a Belfast luggage locker and explore the town at your own pace.
Shop like a local at St. George's market. In business since 1604, this vibrant market is home to hundreds of stalls where you can buy produce, fish, clothes, books, antiques, and just about anything else. Visit on Saturdays for the best food from around the city, or on Sunday to enjoy live music while you shop.
Explore the history of the world at the Ulster Museum. Artifacts in this institution go back to the Stone Age, and you'll find Egyptian mummies, treasure from the Spanish Armada, and even a piece of meteorite. It's a great activity for a rainy day, and lets you explore the world without leaving the city.
Northern Ireland is a completely different country from the Republic of Ireland which lies to the south. However, the two share many cultural traits in common, not least of which is traditional folk music. Belfast is full of lively pubs where you can hear the music of pipes and fiddle, and friendly locals mean you won't be alone for long.
The best souvenirs in Belfast
Pick up anything Titanic-related at the Titanic Belfast gift shop. Not only does the gift shop carry books, postcards, toys, and memorabilia related to the famous ship, but it also has a wide range of Belfast souvenirs. Or you could go for something more traditional at Avoca, where you can pick up a lambswool throw, which the company has been making since 1723. Ireland is also famous for linen production, and Belfast was famous for linen in the nineteenth century. Visit the Irish Linen Center to get your hands on high-quality linens to remind you of your trip.