Is Belfast worth visiting? Top 10 reasons to visit AWESOME Belfast!

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Is Belfast worth visiting? Top 10 reasons to visit awesome Belfast!

Are you considering a trip to Belfast but unsure if it’s worth the visit? Well, look no further! Belfast in Northern Ireland is a fantastically fun weekend getaway! What started as a tiny, ancient Gaelic settlement is now a thriving, cosmopolitan city. With a lively street art and music scene and fascinating industrial and maritime history (including a major Titanic heritage!), there’s plenty of great craic to be had in this incredible Irish city! So, is Belfast worth visiting? Here are the top 10 reasons to visit Belfast! 😉

Check out hotels in Belfast for an epic weekender!

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1) its fascinating history

One of the top reasons to visit Belfast is its long and fascinating history! Which is shaped by centuries of conflict, resilience, and reconciliation.

From its ancient Celtic origins to its turbulent Troubles-era, Belfast’s rich heritage can be seen in its iconic landmarks, historic buildings, and poignant memorials.

Explore the city’s storied past by visiting sites such as the Titanic Belfast, where the tragic tale of the ill-fated ship is brought to life, or take a guided tour of the Peace Walls, which stand as stark reminders of the city’s divided past.

Delve into Belfast’s industrial heritage at the Titanic Quarter, where the iconic ship was built, or wander through the narrow streets of the Cathedral Quarter, where centuries-old architecture coexists with vibrant street art.

To find out more about Belfast’s fascinating history, I recommend going on a Belfast Walking Tour. With the help of a local guide you’ll discover its beautiful architecture, stunning street art, unique heritage, and amazing stories from across the centuries!

Book tickets:

Outside the Belfast City Hall, a white victorian hall building with a statue of Queen Victoria outside on a green lawn

2) its unbelievable Titanic heritage!

Visiting Belfast offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s rich maritime history and explore its world-renowned Titanic heritage.

At the heart of this captivating narrative lies the historic Titanic Quarter, a sprawling waterfront district that pays homage to the ill-fated RMS Titanic, which was famously constructed in Belfast’s shipyards.

Here, visitors can embark on a journey back in time at Titanic Belfast, the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience, where interactive exhibits, immersive galleries, and poignant artefacts bring the tragic yet fascinating story of the iconic ship to life.

Additionally, the Titanic Quarter boasts a wealth of historic landmarks and attractions, including the Harland and Wolff shipyard, the SS Nomadic, and the Titanic Slipways, providing a glimpse into Belfast’s storied maritime past and the enduring legacy of the Titanic.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a maritime buff, or simply intrigued by the allure of the world’s most famous ship, a visit to Belfast’s Titanic Quarter promises an unforgettable experience steeped in history, heritage, and maritime marvels!

Book tickets:

Outside the Titanic Museum in Belfast with the titanic metal sign at sunset

3) The awesome Foodie scene!

Belfast is such a fabulous foodie destination. It’s well-worth the visit for food experiences alone!

From traditional Irish pubs serving hearty stews and freshly baked soda bread to chic eateries offering innovative takes on local cuisine, Belfast caters to every palate.

After all the eating, you can then enjoy washing it all down with a pint of locally brewed beer or a dram of smooth Irish whiskey, as you soak up the lively atmosphere of Belfast’s vibrant pubs and bars!

Whether you’re craving comfort food classics or eager to explore new flavours, Belfast’s diverse culinary offering promises a memorable foodie weekend!

If you’d like to discover more of Belfast’s amazing foodie scene, I recommend going on a Guided Belfast Craft Beer and Street Food Tour. You go with a local food guide to some of Belfast’s quirkiest food and drink hotspots, whilst learning all about the city!

But if you’d rather go with the flow whilst visiting Belfast, here are some of my top local vegan-friendly eatery recommendations:

  • Harry’s at 387 – offers sandwiches, wraps, and vegan pastries as well as full meals, pies, burgers and chips.
  • Jumon – Asian vegetarian restaurant offering healthy dishes and drinks.
  • Hustle – vegan coffee shop serving sandwiches, soups and treats.
  • 2 Taps Winebar – tapas restaurant in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter offering al fresco style dining with lots of vegan options!

Guided Belfast Craft Beer and Street Food Tour.

Juicy vegan burger up close with lots of garnish and vegan cheese sauce

4) cool street art and thought-provoking political murals

I am a huge fan of street art and find myself seeking it out wherever I travel to! If you’re the same – you’ll LOVE Belfast’s endless streets of graffiti art. It has a thriving creative industry and reputation for being a hub for artists!

From thought-provoking political statements to whimsical works of art, Belfast’s streets serve as a canvas for local and international artists alike to express themselves and engage with the city’s rich history and culture.

Take a walk through the city’s neighbourhoods, where you’ll discover striking murals depicting Belfast’s turbulent past, cultural heritage, and hopes for the future. Each mural tells a story, inviting visitors to delve deeper into Belfast’s complex identity and offers a unique perspective on the city’s social and political landscape.

You can embark on a Belfast Street Art Tour to discover iconic artworks and hear the stories behind the art. Or go on a Political Wall Murals and Peacewall for two to see the world famous Catholic and Protestant murals that paint a picture of Belfast’s turbulent history.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a history buff, or simply curious to explore Belfast’s streets, the city’s cool street art and murals promise an immersive and unforgettable experience that celebrates creativity and fosters important discussions.

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A mural for Peace Day on the "Peace Wall" in West Belfast that separates (still to this day) the Catholic Republicans who live along the Falls Road and the Protestant Unionists who live along the Shankill Road

5) Amazing Nightlife

Belfast beckons travellers with its vibrant and eclectic nightlife scene, making it an awesome destination for a FAB night out!

From traditional pubs serving hearty pints of Guinness to trendy cocktail bars crafting innovative concoctions, Belfast offers a diverse array of watering holes to suit every taste!

Live music fills the air in venues across the city! With talented local musicians showcasing their talents in intimate pubs and bustling clubs.

Whether you’re looking to dance the night away to the latest beats or cozy up with a drink and enjoy traditional Irish tunes, Belfast’s nightlife promises an unforgettable experience!

There are also plenty of beer, whisky and pub tours you can take in Belfast to get your night started. I’ve listed some of my top picks below!

With its friendly locals, lively atmosphere, and endless entertainment, Belfast truly comes alive after dark. It’s a must-visit destination for night owls and party-goers!

Book tickets:

Check out hotels in Belfast for an epic weekender!

Group of men and women cheersing with beer glasses having food in a bar

6) Hockey achievements and sporting heritage

Belfast boasts a proud sporting heritage, with hockey playing a prominent role in the city’s identity. Home to the Belfast Giants, one of the most successful ice hockey teams in the UK, Belfast has earned a reputation as a powerhouse in the sport!

Visitors have the opportunity to witness thrilling matches at the SSE Arena, where the Giants showcase their skill on the ice. Additionally, Belfast’s sporting heritage extends beyond hockey, with a long history of athletic achievements in rugby, football, and Gaelic games.

Whether you’re a sports enthusiast seeking to catch a game or simply intrigued by Belfast’s sporting culture, the city’s hockey achievements and sporting heritage is one of the biggest reasons to Belfast!

You can learn more about Belfast’s hockey achievements and sporting heritage on a Best of Belfast Walking Tour.

Mel holding up a Belfast Giants foam finger at an ice hockey game in Belfast with players in the background

7) Colourful year-round festivals and celebrations

Visiting Belfast promises a vibrant and unforgettable experience, thanks to its colourful festivals that bring the city to life!

From lively music festivals to cultural celebrations and culinary events, Belfast offers a diverse array of festivities that showcase the city’s rich heritage and dynamic spirit.

Join in the revelry of the Belfast International Arts Festival, where you can immerse yourself in a world of creativity and innovation through performances, exhibitions and workshops. Or experience the infectious energy of the Belfast Pride Festival, a celebration of diversity and inclusivity that fills the streets with rainbow colours and joyous parades.

What about indulging your taste buds at the Belfast Food and Drink Festival, where you can sample culinary delights from local chefs and artisans?

…And don’t forget St. Patrick’s Day! The city comes alive with vibrant parades, music performances, street parties, and cultural events to honour Ireland’s patron saint. Residents and visitors don green attire, don shamrock decorations, and join in the spirited celebrations throughout the city.

With festivals happening year-round, there’s always something exciting to discover in Belfast. Making it the perfect destination for travellers seeking a dose of culture, entertainment, and community spirit!

Check out hotels in Belfast for an epic weekender!

Two women acrobats wearing turquoise leotards on each other's shoulders at the Fools Festival in Belfast
Photo credit

8) Diverse and interactive museum experiences

One of the biggest reasons to visit Belfast (especially for me!) is its world-class museums. They offer an exciting cultural experience for visitors of all interests!

From the poignant exhibits at the Titanic Belfast, delving into the tragic story of the ill-fated RMS Titanic, to the Ulster Museum, housing a treasure trove of artefacts spanning art, history, and natural sciences, the city’s museum scene offers something for every curiosity.

Uncover the complexities of Belfast’s political landscape with a visit to the Ulster Museum’s Troubles and Beyond gallery, or explore the rich maritime heritage at the SS Nomadic, the last remaining White Star Line vessel.

There’s also Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast’s infamous prison. Explore the jails cells, execution chamber, graveyard and secret tunnel, as you learn about the prison’s 150-year history!

With each museum offering a unique perspective on Belfast’s past and present, each promises to be both enlightening and enriching for visitors of all interests!

Book tickets:

Triceratops skeleton in the Ulster Museum in Belfast

9) famous Irish hospitality

Visiting Belfast promises an unforgettable experience, due in large to the warmth and hospitality of the Irish people!

Whether you’re exploring the city’s historic landmarks or chatting with locals in a cozy pub or restaurant, Belfast’s famous Irish hospitality shines through at every turn.

With their hospitable nature and infectious charm, the people of Belfast ensure that every visitor feels like a welcomed guest!

Find out more about Irish culture, past and present, from a local on the Best of Belfast Walking Tour.

Check out hotels in Belfast for an epic weekender!

Belfast skyline with lots of different buildings from different eras of time

10) It’s a gateway to Northern Ireland (Giant’s Causeway, Antrim coast, Dark Hedges and more!)

Belfast serves as the perfect gateway to exploring the captivating beauty of Northern Ireland!

From the heart of Belfast, adventurers can embark on thrilling excursions to iconic Game of Thrones filming locations. Immersing themselves in the fantastical landscapes that served as the backdrop for the hit TV series, including: the Dark Hedges, Cushendun Caves and Ballintoy.

Additionally, day trips from Belfast offer the chance to marvel at the awe-inspiring Giant’s Causeway. This UNESCO World Heritage site is renowned for its mystical basalt columns and breathtaking coastal vistas! It’s also one of my personal favourite places in the world!

Top picks for day trips from Belfast:

Check out hotels in Belfast for an epic weekender!

Stone steps at the Giant's Causeway with a green cliff face and people in the background

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Is Belfast worth visiting? Hell YEAH! I hope you have a great time in Belfast! 😉

Quick FYI guys – this post contains affiliate links to some tours I recommend. I will receive a small commission for purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support on this “Is Belfast worth visiting?” post!

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