Belfast is the largest city in Northern Ireland. It's also an up-and-coming tourist destination with great choice in shopping, entertainment and a lively nightlife. The people of Belfast are warm and friendly and there are plenty of attractions to keep you going, whether travelling as a family, a couple, alone or with friends. Cheap flights to Belfast are available all year round and great deals on quality accommodation can always be found on Hotels.com.
Belfast is a compact, accessible city with some impressive, historical sights. One of the best ways to see Belfast is on foot, taking in landmarks such as Belfast Castle, built in 1870; Queen’s University, with its beautiful Oxbridge-inspired buildings and grounds; St Anne’s Cathedral, a striking Hiberno-Romanesque building containing some remarkable works of art; and the Titanic Quarter, newly refurbished for the centenary of the ‘Ship of Dreams’. Guided walking tours are a good way to learn more about the city and its history. Another good way to get around is to take a Value Cab Taxi Tour, saving your feet and covering more ground. Alternatively, take a boat tour around the Titanic Quarter, a great way to take in the historic sights at the birthplace of the great ship.
If it’s retail therapy you need, Belfast has some great high street and designer stores, with something for everyone. Victory Square Shopping Centre is a favourite, with over 50 stores, cafés and restaurants, proving the perfect indoor retail experience. There is also a cinema on site to keep members of the family who are not interested in shopping entertained. If you fancy something more rustic, Belfast has some great markets including St. George’s Market, housed in a beautiful Victorian building that dates back to the 1890s. This has become a popular tourist attraction for visitors to the city. The Friday Variety Market at St. George’s opens from 6 a.m. until 1 p.m. and has everything from knick-knacks, second-hand clothes and antiques to fresh fish, fruit and vegetables. On Saturdays at St. George’s, the City Food and Garden Market is a bustling hive of activity. Open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., go along and sample the local cheeses, meats and fresh organic produce on offer.
The MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre) is one of the most exciting attractions in Belfast. Host to an array of exhibitions and events, this new venue is a great place to see some local and international talent. The Odyssey Complex, a five minute walk from Belfast city centre, is a must-visit. This large sporting and entertainment venue contains an interactive science centre, which will keep the kids happy for hours and a 10,000-seater sports arena where you can catch the Belfast Giants ice-hockey team on their home turf.
For some fresh air, Belfast has some great parks and is also ideally situated for day trips, taking in sights outside the city. At 368 metres in height, Cave Hill is a popular spot for great views of the city and Belfast Lough, and on a clear day you can even see Scotland in the distance. The Giant’s Causeway, one of the most famous tourist sights in Northern Ireland, is a stunning terrain of basalt in an area of protected natural beauty. The Causeway, Ireland’s only UNESCO Heritage Site, is approximately one hour from Belfast by car, and also accessible by train and bus, and a must-see for anyone visiting Northern Ireland.