Belfast is a traditional Irish city of political, cultural and historical significance and is surrounded by miles of natural beauty. There are less and less reminders of the tumultuous national conflicts that dominated the 1960s and ’70s and Belfast is now a safe, and popular, tourist destination.
With less than 300,000 residents, Belfast is the largest city in Northern Ireland, but it’s not very urbanized. Walk the cobbled streets of the old center and visit castles and jails to travel back in time. The still quite traditional city has charm, but also has ultra-modern facilities, such as the Belfast Waterfront Hall, an entertainment and conference center along the River Lagan.
Find maps and information at the Belfast Welcome Centre at Donegall Square, the central hub for shopping, entertainment and public transportation.
Visit the nearby Crumlin Road Gaol or explore the historic Titanic Quarter to re-live the story from the ship’s fateful voyage that started in Belfast’s docks. Browse the iconic St. George’s Market or try a hearty potato dish in a typical Irish pub.
Wander through the Belfast Castle, and hike Cave Hill while you are there, or enjoy the public park surrounding the Stormont Parliament Buildings.
Explore the wider County Antrim area around Lough Neagh for an even more scenic nature experience. Drive north to the dramatic Atlantic coast to discover other popular attractions. Climb through the ruins of Dunluce Castle, visit the natural phenomena known as the Giant’s Causeway and tour the oldest licensed whiskey producer in the world: Old Bushmills Distillery.
The downtown area of Belfast is compact and easily explored on foot. Travel outside the city using Belfast’s affordable public buses, or book a tour to see the coast. If you’d rather travel independently, car rental is readily available downtown and at Belfast’s two airports.
Belfast has cool to warm weather in summer and rain year-round. Its winters are known to be windy, with sometimes heavy snowfall.