The capital city of Northern Ireland is a wonderful city to explore, Belfast's new sense of optimism and renewal provides a fresh visitor experience, and the city's traditional charm has remained relatively undiscovered compared to the well-trodden tourist trails of Dublin. From the Victorian and Edwardian heritage buildings, to the remarkable urban renewal, with new hotels, bars and a thriving restaurant scene. Belfast is a surprising and authentic glimpse into the Irish way of life
While the city is working towards a future of peace and prosperity, there are still reminders of the troubled past, and no trip to Belfast would be complete without a tour of the Belfast Murals. Promoting a sense of history and political change through art rather then violence, these murals are both artistically impressive and incredible moving tributes.
For natural wonders, escape the city and take a drive along the astonishingly beautiful north coast. Stop at any of the many vantage points on cliff tops, or wander down the bays and you may be rewarded with a glimpse of the local wildlife that frequent the stunning coastline. You'll be able to marvel at the geological phenomenon known as the Giant's Causeway, as you clamber down to the spectacular natural formation of basalt columns rising out of the North Sea.
- Get Medieval: Just north of Belfast is the quaint town of Carrickfergus, home to the imposing medieval Carrickfergus Castle.
- A Different Kind of 'Black Gold': After exploring the streets of Belfast stop in at either the Liquor Saloon or the Euro.
- Day Trip to Portaferry: Head to the seaside for fish 'n' chips. Keep an eye out for seals while looking out over the lovely Strangford Lough.
For maps, days tours and accommodation options, visit the Belfast chapter in our online Britain & Ireland Essentials brochure. Click here.