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19 TOP Things to Do in Belfast (Free & Paid Activities)

Majestic Belfast City Hall with its Baroque Revival architecture, green copper domes, and grand facade, featuring a statue in front and a Ferris wheel in the background under a clear blue skyMajestic Belfast City Hall with its Baroque Revival architecture, green copper domes, and grand facade, featuring a statue in front and a Ferris wheel in the background under a clear blue sky

Welcome to Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland! Located in County Antrim, this city has a rich history and a variety of activities available to the many visitors who flock to the city every year. Deciding what to do and which things should get priority on your to-do list can be tricky. I certainly struggled on my trip! So, to help you out, I put together a list of the 19 ultimate things to do in Belfast.

I recently visited Belfast on a day trip from Dublin, and I got to see the main Belfast attractions and do some of the cool activities that I’ve recommended below (the rest are on my list for my next trip to the city).

I’ll share my experience of exploring Belfast and recommend some amazing tours available in and around the city. If you decide you want to join one of the tours, I highly recommend booking them in advance. Belfast is a popular destination, and you want to make sure you have a spot.

Let’s see what Belfast has to offer!

If you are in a hurry

Want to book the best tours in Belfast right away? Here are the top 3 tours to book in advance:

And here are the best hotels: The Fitzwilliam Hotel (luxury), The Warren Belfast (mid-range), Vagabonds Hostel (budget)

1. Explore the stalls at St George’s Market

Busy interior scene of St. George's Market in Belfast, with vendors selling diverse goods, from mobile accessories to local candy, to a crowd of shoppers.Busy interior scene of St. George's Market in Belfast, with vendors selling diverse goods, from mobile accessories to local candy, to a crowd of shoppers.

If you visit Belfast during the weekend, then your first stop should be St George’s Market, situated in Belfast City Center. This covered market is one of the oldest visitor attractions in Belfast, built between 1890 and 1896, and it also holds the title of the ‘UK’s Best Large Indoor Market.’ This was the highlight of my trip.

St George’s Market is only open over the weekend—from Friday through Sunday—and features more than 240 stalls. Here, you’ll find everything from fresh produce and delicious Belfast food to art and jewelry. I was eyeing some gorgeous Celtic rings and very pretty necklaces with pressed flowers.

Each weekend, the market comes alive with live music performances, so even if you’re not planning on buying anything, you can still enjoy the lively atmosphere. It’s also a good place to go when you’re feeling hungry, as there are plenty of stalls selling tasty street-style food at affordable prices. Whatever your preference, a trip to the market is an unmissable visit!

2. Immerse yourself in the exhibitions at the Titanic Experience

Modernistic façade of the Titanic Belfast museum, featuring angular, metallic shards that mimic the hull of the iconic ship, set against a backdrop of blue sky and clouds.Modernistic façade of the Titanic Belfast museum, featuring angular, metallic shards that mimic the hull of the iconic ship, set against a backdrop of blue sky and clouds.

Belfast is best known for being the birthplace of the Titanic. The famous ocean liner was designed and constructed in Belfast and is a large part of the city’s history. The ship’s legacy is honored in the Titanic Quarter, along the Maritime Mile trail, where you’ll find the Titanic Museum, which hosts the world’s largest exhibition dedicated to the Titanic.

The Titanic Experience opened its doors to the public in 2012 and is situated on the same site where the Titanic was constructed, in the Harland and Wolff shipyards. The museum is situated in a 6-floor building and offers 9 interactive galleries, as well as an underwater exploration gallery.

I highly suggest taking a guided tour of the Titanic Experience, which includes a visit to the SS Nomadic, the ship that’s also known as Titanic’s little sister. You’ll also get to tour the shipyards with experienced Harland & Wolff workers and learn more about these historical sites. Best of all, this is a very family-friendly tour, and I can assure you that the kids will also have fun.

NOTE: if you’re looking for more things to do in Belfast with family, head to the W5 Belfast, a Science & Discovery Centre, just a 15-minute walk from the Titanic Belfast Museum.

PRICE: US$32 for adults; US$14 for children aged 5-15

3. Scout the shops at Victoria Square

Spacious and bright interior of Victoria Square shopping district in Belfast, showcasing multi-level stores, a glass dome overhead, and shoppers enjoying the facilitiesSpacious and bright interior of Victoria Square shopping district in Belfast, showcasing multi-level stores, a glass dome overhead, and shoppers enjoying the facilities

Victoria Square, named after the English Monarch Queen Victoria, is located in the heart of Belfast city center and is considered to be the top shopping destination in Northern Ireland.

I was blown away by this outdoor shopping complex. It has more than 62 shops, quite a few restaurants, and even a cinema. I parked my rental car here and used this as a base for my day trip.

TIP: If you want to go shopping on Sunday, it’s good to know that most of the shops open after 1 p.m., which is quite unusual compared to other cities I’ve visited. You can plan another activity in the morning, then hit the shop on Sunday afternoon.

I’m sure you’ll spend plenty of time going from shop to shop in Victoria Square – that’s exactly what I did—but I also recommend you visit The Dome (map). This panoramic platform provides stunning views over the Belfast skyline and attractions like Belfast City Hall and the Albert Clock.

At The Dome, you can join a completely free tour led by a professional guide who will point out the most important Belfast attractions in sight and provide some extra information. Check The Dome’s official website to see the operating hours. Also, you won’t need long to admire the sights from the platform, so you’ll be back to shopping in no time.

4. Book a Black Cab tour

Row of traditional black cabs parked beside a political mural in Belfast, offering a glimpse into the city's unique taxi tours exploring historical and political sites.Row of traditional black cabs parked beside a political mural in Belfast, offering a glimpse into the city's unique taxi tours exploring historical and political sites.

One of the most popular activities among people visiting Belfast for the first time is the black taxi tour. This political tour covers the local history of the city during The Troubles and takes you to important locations from the conflict, most notably Falls Road and Shankill Road, both lined with murals depicting significant events from Belfast’s most tumultuous years.

During the tour, you’ll ride around in a black cab, and your driver will provide information about the historic sites as you pass them along and share their personal experience about living in Belfast during The Troubles.

As you pass Falls Road and Shankill Road, you’ll see how the 2 communities are still separated by the Peace Wall, where you can stop and sign your name in support of peace and unity.

There are a variety of black cab tours available, but I recommend this one, provided by City Tours Belfast. This particular black cab tour starts at the Jurys Inn Belfast (map) in the city center – your driver will pick you up from there. The duration of the tour is 1 hour.

PRICE: US$90 for up to 2 people

5. Go back in time at the Crumlin Road Gaol

Tour group standing inside the historic Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast, surrounded by black metal staircases and arched windows, indicative of Victorian-era prison architectureTour group standing inside the historic Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast, surrounded by black metal staircases and arched windows, indicative of Victorian-era prison architecture

If you’re strapped for time and want to visit the most popular attractions, you should definitely prioritize the Crumlin Road Gaol. This former prison is the last remaining Victorian-era prison in Northern Ireland, dating back to 1845.

The Gaol was in operation for 150 years, until 1996, and has a very dark history.

Since it ceased operating as a penitentiary, it has been repurposed as a visitor center and now offers one of the most unique experiences in Belfast.

The best way to explore this historical landmark is to join a guided tour; during the tour, you’ll get a chance to explore the jail cells and visit the execution chamber and graveyard. In each of the prison sections, you’ll find audio and video commentary that explains the history of the prison and some of its most well-known prisoners.

Before you book the tour of the Crumlin Road Gaol, I have to warn you that it’s not for the faint of heart. The exhibition can be quite disturbing, and even though children are allowed, I’d advise against it.

PRICE: US$19 for adults, US$11 for children up to 15

6. Embark on a political walking tour

Vibrant political mural in Belfast depicting Bobby Sands, surrounded by symbolic chains and phoenix imagery, reflecting the city's complex history and cultureVibrant political mural in Belfast depicting Bobby Sands, surrounded by symbolic chains and phoenix imagery, reflecting the city's complex history and culture

Much like the black taxi tours, there are many walking tours in Belfast that take you through the most important monuments to The Troubles. On the tour, you’ll get to listen to both sides of history – Loyalist and Republican – and hear the stories of people who witnessed the events first-hand.

Although there’s plenty to choose from, I really like this tour; it starts at the Divis Tower (map), and you get to see all the most important murals dedicated to this period in the city’s history. The tour lasts for 3 hours, so make sure you have some comfortable walking shoes.

NOTE: the walking tour takes quite a long time and can be a bit strenuous for some people.

So, if you don’t feel like going on a walking tour or paying extra for a black cab tour (although it’s worth it) but still want to see the murals, the hop-on-hop-off bus tour is another great option to see these notable streets and all the main attractions in the city.

PRICE: US$30

7. Admire the plants at the Botanic Gardens

Serene scene at Belfast's Botanic Gardens with visitors enjoying the lush greenery and the prominent Victorian glasshouse structure under a sunny skySerene scene at Belfast's Botanic Gardens with visitors enjoying the lush greenery and the prominent Victorian glasshouse structure under a sunny sky

The Botanic Gardens were first established in the 19th century, in 1828, inspired by the public’s interest in horticulture. Originally a private park, they are now open to the public, and the entrance is completely free, which is another reason why it’s such a popular tourist attraction.

The gardens are recognizable for their Victorian greenhouses, but 2 buildings in particular: the Palm House, which is constructed entirely from glass and cast iron and houses many tropical plants, and the Tropical Ravine, which is a sunken greenhouse, home to many unique orchids and ferns.

Even if you’re not a huge fan of horticulture and botany, the Botanic Gardens are definitely worth a visit. There are many walking paths on the premises, so it’s great for a relaxing walk in nature. Plus, a lot of festivals and concerts take place here, and you can attend one of these events – check the schedule here.

Getting there: the Botanic Gardens are situated in South Belfast (map), a mile (1.6 km) from the City Center. You choose to head there on foot (it’s a 25-min walk), or you can take the metro. If you hop on any Metro no. 8, you’ll need to get off at Queen’s University, and if you take Metro no.7, you’ll need to get off at College Park. The metro rides take 6-7 minutes, plus a 4-5 min walk.

8. Explore the collections at the Ulster Museum

Spacious gallery inside the Ulster Museum in Belfast, displaying a variety of artworks and sculptures, with visitors quietly exploring the cultural offeringsSpacious gallery inside the Ulster Museum in Belfast, displaying a variety of artworks and sculptures, with visitors quietly exploring the cultural offerings

The Ulster Museum is situated in the Botanic Gardens in Belfast and displays exhibits on art, science, and natural history. Its collection consists of over 1 million artifacts from all over the world, displayed across its 4 floors.

Besides the exhibition, the Ulster Museum also offers interactive discovery centers, which will be especially fun for the kids. It also hosts many events – you can see the schedule on the website and see whether something coincides with your visit.

Entrance to the Ulster Museum is free, and I can assure you that the few hours you spend there will be time well spent. While you’re in the area, you can also stop by the main building of the Queen’s University Belfast, i.e., the Lanyon Building (map), named after its famous architect, Sir Charles Lanyon.

9. Spend time with the animals at Belfast Zoo

Giraffes at the Belfast Zoo, peering curiously towards the camera, set against a backdrop of dense foliage, providing an engaging wildlife experienceGiraffes at the Belfast Zoo, peering curiously towards the camera, set against a backdrop of dense foliage, providing an engaging wildlife experience

The Belfast Zoo (or Belfast Zoological Gardens) is the second-oldest zoo in Ireland, holding its doors open since 1934. Situated in Cave Hill Country Park (map), the zoo attracts visitors of all ages, but it’s an especially popular attraction among families with young kids.

The zoo is home to more than 120 animal species, most of which are either extinct or endangered in the wild, so you’ll have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some amazing animals. The Belfast Zoo has conservation projects that aim to protect various species from extinction, as well as breeding programs to ensure their survival.

Visitors are also invited to watch as the animals are being fed. You can check the feeding schedule on this webpage and organize your visit accordingly. I think this is such a unique experience, which is why Belfast Zoo firmly holds its spot on the list of best things to do in Belfast.

NOTE: Zoo tickets are cheaper if you buy them online than at the gate. For same-day visits, you can buy online tickets up until 9.30 a.m.; after 9.30, you can only buy gate tickets. At the time of purchase, you’ll also be asked whether you want to make a donation – tickets are slightly more expensive, but I encourage you to donate toward the good work the zoo is doing in conservation projects.

PRICE: Adults – US$18, children aged 4 to 16 – US$10; children under 4 – free; family day ticket (2 adults, 3 children) – US$55

*all prices stated above showcase the cost of online tickets, donation included; if you buy tickets at the gate, expect to pay an extra US$1.

Getting there: the zoo is situated 6 miles (~10 km) North of Belfast city, and the fastest way to get there is by car. If you’re traveling with your own car, you can rent a car or order an Uber. The drive from the center to the zoo takes about 20 minutes, and it’s much faster than public transportation, which can take up to an hour.

10. Visit the Belfast Castle Estate

Aerial view of the grand Belfast Castle Estate with manicured gardens, against the lush backdrop of Cave Hill, on a clear day showcasing Belfast's natural and architectural beautyAerial view of the grand Belfast Castle Estate with manicured gardens, against the lush backdrop of Cave Hill, on a clear day showcasing Belfast's natural and architectural beauty

Belfast Castle is a very beautiful building – like it’s been plucked from a fairytale – and is one of the city’s most popular attractions. It’s located in Cave Hill Country Park in North Belfast (map) and offers some of the most spectacular views over the Belfast skyline.

The Normans built the first Belfast Castle in the 12th century. Sir Arthur Chichester built another castle on the same site in 1611, which unfortunately burned down 100 years later.

The castle as we know it today was finished in 1870 and was gifted to the city of Belfast in 1934.

Ever since 1934, Belfast Castle has been attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, making it one of the most popular things to do in Belfast. The castle and the surrounding grounds are open to the public, and there’s no entrance fee.

You can explore a historical exhibit within the castle, but keep in mind that you might not be able to see all of the property, as the castle is often used as a wedding venue or hosts a wide range of other events.

But no need to worry – there’s still plenty to do! You can stop by the Cave Hill Visitor Centre to learn more about the area, walk around the surrounding woodland, and get something to eat and drink at the on-site cafe, the Castle Tavern.

Getting there: Belfast Castle is 3.6 miles (6 km) from the center of the city, and the best way to get from Belfast City to the castle is by car or by taxi/ride-sharing service. Even though there are some public transport options, you’ll still have to walk quite a bit, so driving there is your best option.

11. Immerse in a fantasy world at CS Lewis Square

Sculpture of Aslan at CS Lewis Square in Belfast, a tribute to the 'Chronicles of Narnia' author, with lush greenery in the background.Sculpture of Aslan at CS Lewis Square in Belfast, a tribute to the 'Chronicles of Narnia' author, with lush greenery in the background.

The CS Lewis Square in Belfast features characters from the famous children’s book ‘The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe’.

About a half-hour’s walk South of the Titanic Belfast Museum, you’ll find CS Lewis Square (map), dedicated to the famous Belfast-born author C.S. Lewis. As you walk around the square, you’ll see the statues of Aslan, Mr. Tumnus, the White Witch, and more characters and settings from the story.

This is one of the best things to do in Belfast with family, as the kids will enjoy seeing their favorite characters from the Narnia world. But this is true for adults, too – I was a huge Narnia fan growing up, and I’d be very happy to snap a photo with Mr. Tumnus.

TIP: in case you’re looking for more family-friendly spots in the area, the amazing Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory (map) is just a 3-min walk from the square. The confectionery shop is open every day of the week and offers a wide variety of delicious sweet treats.

12. Stop by the Albert Memorial Clock

The iconic Albert Memorial Clock in Belfast, with motion blur of passing vehicles emphasizing the city's dynamic natureThe iconic Albert Memorial Clock in Belfast, with motion blur of passing vehicles emphasizing the city's dynamic nature

At the center of Queen’s Square, you’ll find one of the most important landmarks in Belfast—the Albert Memorial Clock (map). The clock tower was completed in 1896 as a memorial to Prince Albert, the late husband of Queen Victoria, and is recognizable for its unique design – a combination of French and Italian Gothic.

Walk around the square and snap some photos – the clock is quite impressive, and it’s definitely an unmissable attraction in Belfast City. While you’re in the area, swing by The Big Fish (map), a large fish sculpture made from ceramic tiles and yet another great spot to take some photos.

13. Take a tour of Belfast City Hall

People enjoying a sunny day in front of the historic Belfast City Hall with its stunning architecture and manicured lawns.People enjoying a sunny day in front of the historic Belfast City Hall with its stunning architecture and manicured lawns.

One of the most significant buildings in the city is the Belfast City Hall (map), situated on Donegall Square North in the center of Belfast. It was built back in 1906 when Belfast first became a city. The first thing you’ll notice about this building is its stunning architecture; the exterior is made out of Portland stone, and there’s an impressive copper dome on top.

The Belfast City Hall is home to the Belfast city council, a Titanic memorial garden, and a coffee shop. Anyone can visit the building by joining one of the free public tours of city hall. The tours are offered daily – you can check the time here and get the free tickets at the reception desk on the day of the tour.

14. Attend a performance at the Grand Opera House

The Grand Opera House in Belfast, showing its ornate façade and signage for 'Les Misérables School EditionThe Grand Opera House in Belfast, showing its ornate façade and signage for 'Les Misérables School Edition

The Grand Opera House is the oldest theater in Northern Ireland and the sole preserved Victorian theater in the country. It first opened its doors to the public in 1895 and could accommodate 2,500 people at the time.

Over the years, the Opera House has hosted a variety of events, including operas, plays, and pantomimes, and has even operated as a movie theater. The building was restored in 1980 after a fire and now hosts many different performances with a capacity of 1,000 seats.

FUN FACT: Charlie Chaplin, Luciano Pavarotti, and other notable names have performed at the Grand Opera House in Belfast.

I highly recommend you attend one of the events at the Belfast Opera, but if you don’t have the time for that, you can also book the Theatre Tour Experience, a guided tour of the Opera House, available on Saturdays and Sundays.

TIP: near the Opera House, you’ll find Ulster Hall (map), a Victorian concert hall that’s also a great spot to attend a cultural performance. For more information, you can turn to the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre (map), just a 5-min walk from Ulster Hall and the Opera.

PRICE: Adults – US$16; Kids under 16 – US$12

15. Join a tour of the Game of Thrones studio

If you’re a fan of the TV show Game of Thrones like me, you’ll know that Northern Ireland was one of the most prominent filming locations. The Game of Thrones Studio is situated in Banbridge, but many tour providers offer round-trip transfers from both Belfast and Dublin.

I recommend this Game of Thrones studio tour that also offers optional round-trip transfers. The trip from Belfast to Bainbridge takes about an hour, and if you’re traveling by car, you can drive there yourself.

Once you get there, you can start exploring the many sets from the show, see the original costumes, try the interactive experience, and get some souvenirs at the largest Game of Thrones store in the world.

PRICE: Adults – US$38; kids 11 to 15 – US$16; kids under 11 – free

16. Go on a day trip to Giant’s Causeway

Belfast's famous Giant's Causeway, showcasing the unique hexagonal volcanic rock formations with tourists exploringBelfast's famous Giant's Causeway, showcasing the unique hexagonal volcanic rock formations with tourists exploring

The Giant’s Causeway is a nature reserve 60 miles (94 km) North of Belfast and one of the best day trips from the city. The area is a nature preserve consisting of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns created by a volcanic eruption.

The Causeway is truly breathtaking, and it’s definitely one of the best things to do in Belfast if you have an extra day. I suggest you book a spot on this fully guided day tour and go on to explore the only World Heritage Site in Ireland. On the tour, you can climb these magnificent stones and learn more about some of the myths and legends associated with the place.

FUN FACT: legend says that the giant Finn McCool created a causeway across the Irish Sea to face his rival, the Scottish giant Benandonner. After their encounter, Benandonner ripped up the causeway as he ran back to Scotland, leaving the area just as we see it today.

During this tour, you’ll visit a few other notable sites in the region, including the Caves at Cushendun and Carnlough Harbour, both of which appear in Game of Thrones, as well as Dunluce Castle and the Dark Hedges. The tour starts from Belfast and lasts approximately 9.5 hours

PRICE: US$45

17. Dive into history at the HMS Caroline

HMS Caroline in Belfast, a historic naval ship turned museum, under a clear blue sky.HMS Caroline in Belfast, a historic naval ship turned museum, under a clear blue sky.

The HMS Carolina participated in the Battle of Jutland in 1916, the largest naval battle of WWI.

Belfast has a rich maritime history, and one of the coolest things to do in Belfast is visit one of the city’s most important naval landmarks, the HMS Caroline. This museum ship is situated in the Titanic Quarter and is famous for its essential roles in both World Wars.

The HMS Caroline is a Navy C-class light cruiser built in 1914. As I already mentioned, it played a key role in one of the most important World War I battles and also served as an administrative center during World War II.

You can get tickets for your visit online and tour the ship’s interior, which has been restored to replicate the original look. One of the best things about this attraction is that tickets are valid for a whole year, so you can come back a couple of times during your stay in Belfast.

PRICE: Adults – US$14; kids – US$11.50

18. Pay a visit to St. Anne’s Cathedral

Interior of St. Anne's Cathedral in Belfast, showing the nave, arched ceilings, and rows of seating.Interior of St. Anne's Cathedral in Belfast, showing the nave, arched ceilings, and rows of seating.

The focal point of the Belfast Cathedral Quarter is St. Anne’s Cathedral (map), also known as the Belfast Cathedral. Whether or not you’re religious, I highly suggest you at least stop by the building to admire its amazing architectural design and stained-glass windows.

You can also visit the church as a tourist – you don’t have to attend any of the religious services. You can go on a self-guided tour of the cathedral or pay a little extra to have someone accompany you and explain the significance of the building and the objects on display, such as the Titanic pall, a cross dedicated to the lives lost with the sinking of Titanic.

NOTE: if you’d like to explore the Cathedral Quarter a little more, one of the best things to do is visit the Northern Ireland War Memorial Museum and learn more about the Ulster Home Guard and its role in World War II. Plus, entrance is free.

PRICE: Self-guided tour – US$3; accompanied tour – US$7

19. Grab a pint at The Crown Liquor Saloon

Traditional beer taps at Belfast's Crown Liquor Saloon with a bartender serving a pint.Traditional beer taps at Belfast's Crown Liquor Saloon with a bartender serving a pint.

Finally, your trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the most famous pub in Belfast – The Crown Liquor Saloon (map). The pub first started operating in 1826 under the name The Railway Tavern. It got its current name in 1885 when it was renovated by the Flannagan family.

In the Victorian era, this pub was one of the most popular gin palaces with stunning decorations. To this day, the pub still has its original fixtures and the carved wooden ceiling, as well as stained glass windows, a granite bartop, and tile mosaics.

The pub serves both lunch and dinner and has a full drinks menu. One of the ultimate things to do in Belfast, and in the UK in general, is to grab a pint at a pub – there’s no better place for it than The Crown. However, if you want to eat there – it’s open for lunch and dinner – it’s a good idea to book a table in advance.

🏛️ Best museum: Titanic Experience
🎢 Top paid attraction: Black Cab tour
🚶🏽‍♂️ Best free activity: St George’s Market
👧 Best attraction for kids: Belfast Zoo
🕺 Nightlife: Cathedral Quarter
🥟 Must try food: Ulster Fry

Where to stay in Belfast

Aerial view of Belfast with the River Lagan flowing through the city. The image captures a clear day with a mix of modern buildings and historic architecture, traffic on the bridges, and a backdrop of green hills.Aerial view of Belfast with the River Lagan flowing through the city. The image captures a clear day with a mix of modern buildings and historic architecture, traffic on the bridges, and a backdrop of green hills.

During your trip to Belfast, you might need a place to stay. If that’s the case, check out my top recommendations – I selected 2 for each price category, so regardless of your budget, you can still book a great place to stay.

If you need more options, check out our detailed post on the top places for staying in Belfast.

Luxury (US$240 and up)

  • The Fitzwilliam Hotel – an upscale boutique hotel in the center of Belfast city, featuring spacious rooms with elegant bathrooms stocked with designer toiletries, an amazing bar, and a top-notch restaurant serving fine wines.
  • Titanic Hotel Belfast – situated in the Titanic Quarter, this hotel is decorated in Art Deco style and offers services such as a 24-hour desk, luggage storage, and babysitting services.

Mid-range (US$150 – US$240)

  • The Warren Belfast – situated in a historic building, this B&B offers family rooms, a delicious continental breakfast with a variety of options, private parking, and complimentary Wi-Fi access.
  • Hampton by Hilton – this 3-star hotel features an on-site business center and fitness facilities, as well as modern rooms with flat-screen TVs and coffee makers. Complimentary breakfast is provided to all guests at the Hampton.

Budget (up to US150)

  • Vagabonds Hostel – guests at the hostel can choose to stay in private rooms or get a bed in one of the shared dormitories. All guests get access to a communal kitchen and a lounge, as well as shared bathroom facilities.
  • Amica Guesthouse – each of the units at the guesthouse has a comfortable bed, a work desk, and a private bathroom, plus a fully equipped kitchen where you can cook your own meals.

Practical Information

Exterior view of the Custom House in Belfast with a red navigational buoy and a seal sculpture in the foreground on a day with a mix of clouds and sunshineExterior view of the Custom House in Belfast with a red navigational buoy and a seal sculpture in the foreground on a day with a mix of clouds and sunshine

Finally, I’m just going to give you a few practical tips that will make your stay in Belfast a bit easier.

How to get around

The first thing to know about Belfast is that it’s quite a compact city, so you can easily get around on foot or by bicycle. However, if you feel tired, you can always rent a car or rely on taxis and public transportation – more on that in the following sections.

Public Transport

All public transport in Ireland is provided by Translink; in Belfast, you can get around using the metro and Glider services. More information about routes and ticket prices are available on the operator’s website.

Taxis/Ride Sharing

Several taxi companies are operating in Belfast – fonaCAB Ltd is a great choice as it offers a free app that allows you to book a taxi quickly and without any hassle. Another option is Uber, which allows you to get a quote on how much the ride will cost. Both taxis and ride-sharing are great sharing, and the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference.

All about SIM cards

Smartphone displaying eSIM service ads with the app "Airalo: eSIM Pocket Internet" highlighted and text "Discover eSIM App. Be in Touch When You Travel. Global Internet in Your Pocket." on screen.Smartphone displaying eSIM service ads with the app "Airalo: eSIM Pocket Internet" highlighted and text "Discover eSIM App. Be in Touch When You Travel. Global Internet in Your Pocket." on screen.

If you want to have internet access during your Belfast stay, you’ll need to get a SIM card from a local provider. There are many options on the market, but I like Lebara, which allows you to buy a monthly plan for £5 (US$6.50) and get 5GB of Internet, 1,000 UK minutes and texts, as well as 100 international minutes.

You don’t have to get on a plan to use these services, and you can cancel anytime, so it’s a great option for short-term stays.

Another great option is Airalo, an eSIM card that offers regional packages. If you’re traveling to Europe, you can get coverage for 39 countries, including the UK. Regardless of where you are, you can keep using your minutes and data. This is the best option if you’re traveling to several countries and want to avoid the high roaming costs. I used this on my trip and had no issue when going from Ireland to the UK – I highly recommend it!  

FAQs about the top things to do in Belfast

a red boat floating on top of a river next to tall buildingsa red boat floating on top of a river next to tall buildings

🏙️ How to spend a day in Belfast?

If you only have a day in the city, some of the top things to do in Belfast include a visit to St George’s Market, exploring the Titanic Belfast, and taking a black taxi tour to see some of the city’s most important spots.

📅 Is 3 days enough in Belfast?

Yes, 3 days is plenty of time to explore the city and do most of the activities on this list of the best things to do in Belfast.

🚢 What is Belfast best known for?

Belfast is best know, so during your stay in the city, you should definitely tour the Titanic Experience, the world’s largest exhibition on Titanic.

⚖️ Is Belfast cheaper than Dublin?

Yes, Belfast is significantly cheaper than Dublin. Accommodation prices, food, and activities are much more expensive in Dublin, so if you’re traveling on a budget, Belfast is the better option.

🥘 What is a traditional food in Belfast?

A traditional food and one of the quintessential things to do in Belfast is try the Ulster fry, a typical Irish breakfast consisting of bacon, sausages, black pudding, and fried eggs.

Conclusion

Belfast City Hall illuminated at night, viewed from a vibrant, bustling street.Belfast City Hall illuminated at night, viewed from a vibrant, bustling street.

We’re at the end of my comprehensive list of the top things to do in Belfast. Hopefully, you’ve found some activities for your upcoming trip to Belfast and added them to your itinerary.

Whether you want to wander the stall at St George’s Market, spend a day at the Titanic Belfast, shop at Victoria Square, join a walking tour of the city, or hear the legends of the Belfast Giants on a day trip to Giant’s Causeway, I’m sure you’ll have a great time in Belfast.

To make your trip a bit easier, you can book the tour you’ve chosen in advance. Once you get there, the only thing you need to think about is getting from one place to the next.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you have any questions about Belfast – I’m happy to chat!

Have fun in Belfast,

Kathryn


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A vibrant graphic featuring '19 Unmissable Things to Do in Belfast' with an image of Belfast City Hall and a statue, framed by floral arrangementsA vibrant graphic featuring '19 Unmissable Things to Do in Belfast' with an image of Belfast City Hall and a statue, framed by floral arrangements

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Promotional image for '19 Things to Do in Belfast' showing the historical architecture of Queen's University Belfast with clear blue skiesPromotional image for '19 Things to Do in Belfast' showing the historical architecture of Queen's University Belfast with clear blue skies

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