Belfast is a place with a lot of ups and downs during its history (some which you can visibly see) but it’s also doing well for itself, considering that they currently don’t have a fully functional government
The city population of just under 300,000 people. Compare that to a London population that’s between 9-10 million it is a stark difference, but in terms of providing entertainment and interest to their locals the gap is nowhere near as much, plus location of activities are of better convenience.
There’s no shortage of shops, restaurants and bars around its centre, combined that with lots of landmarks and attractions you cannot miss out on and the Northern Irish’s welcoming presence then you’ll find pleasure from visiting Belfast easy to come by.
Here’s the 5 things you’ve got to put on your Belfast itinerary:
Disclaimer: This is a just personal list of what I think travellers should do with their time in Belfast.
1. Visit Titanic Belfast
Now one of Belfast’s main pull is that it is known to be the city where the Titanic was built Heck a district is even named after the sunken ship itself! The Titanic Belfast is the biggest museum dedicated to the ship and it’s an experience worth looking into at least.
There’s loads of enjoyable and engaging galleries and features that serve to educate those on the history of Titanic and ships of its similar ilk, the struggles those involved with the ship had, the lead-up to the tragedy and what was going on around the time of the ship sinking. My standout was the Shipyard Ride where you’re taken through the shipyard.
You have two tours you can choose from to: The Titanic Experience, which was the one I went on and it costs £18.50, The Discovery Tour which is a guided outdoor walking tour that allows you to step into the shoes of the workers on the ship and visit the infrastructure at £9 for adults. Alternatively, you can buy the Star Premium Pass for £30 that includes both the Titanic Experience and Discovery Tour, entry to the SS Nomadic, which is the very last of its own kind of ships and a souvenir pack.
2. Have A Drink At Laverys
Going to a pub or bar in Northern Ireland or Ireland and socialising with the Irish if you’re at least a social drinker is an experience you can’t miss out on. Look no further than Laverys bar; family bar by day, the pinnacle of Belfast’s nightlife by night since opening exactly 100 years when the family the bar is named after purchased the bar.
There’s loads going on: from live sport in every room, comedy nights, open mic sessions to full-blown club nights – most of them being free of charge. There’s little-to-none for you not to find some form of enjoyment at Laverys, with food and drinks offered at affordable prices also.
It’s undoubtedly the biggest bar I’ve ever visited. It has up to three floors; at the top floor is a massive pool room of 18 pool tables and a roof terrrace for you to get your competitive spirit going and. Other floors having multiple public bars and lounge areas along with a ballroom, not to mention the back bar and smoking spaces. I thought at one point I was going to be forever finding new spaces owned by the bar.
3. Eat At Cuban’s Sandwich Factory
If you’re after food from an exotic country, namely Latin America, then Cuban’s Sandwich Factory have you covered. Offering a wide range of authentic food from Cuba such as cuban rice with fried plantain, grilled cuban chicken, shredded pork and beef accompanied by many vegetarian alternatives for those wanting to stay clear of meat.
The food is really enjoyable and comes in large portions too if my veggie sloppy joe’s meal is to go by. Prices are very affordable; sandwiches typically range between £4.50-£6 with fries and drink an extra £1.50. You have the option to eat-in or take-away so it’s perfect if you’re after an early take-away dinner or want to have lunch. For me it reminds me of Bombers and New York Deli in Cardiff
As for opening and closing times the food outlet opens at 9am on weekdays and Saturdays and 1pm on Sundays. It closes everyday at 6pm.
4. Wander around the Botanic Gardens
Next up on my top 5 is the Botanic Gardens in Belfast, previously owned by royal members now open to the public. If you love a place that allows plants to thrive in different shapes, sizes and colours then the Botanic Gardens is the right place to be. The two main exhibitons within the public park is the Palm House and Tropical Ravine, which is dedicated more to wildlife in tropical conditions that are replicated, they’ve recently reinnovated the building to maintain its original infrastructure so that’s another reason to pay a visit – without wrapping up too warm though :p
Botanic Gardens’ beauty is magnified when walking through on a sunny day and all in all the plants are breathtaking to look at – the conservationists do an excellent job in preserving the plants and habitat that they grow in and you can see the passion they have for protecting the environment in general through other work (e.g. the collage of used electrical devices – art personified!). Even if you can’t get to the one in Belfast there’s likely to be a Botanic Garden in a major city close to you. Most of them, including Belfast’s one, is free admission and you simply just walk into the area.
5. Spend A Day Going On The Game Of Thrones
Final essential activity revolves around something that’s the talk of TV on an annual basis since its run began in 2011 – and that’s a tour of Game Of Thrones shooting locations just outside of Belfast
Run by the tour guide company Irish Tours, It is a fully-guided tour exploring some of the most iconic parts of the famous Westeros. The tour lasts the whole day so it’s best advised that you pack some warm clothing, especially during the colder seasons. and a packed lunch along with medications you may or may not need to take during the day. Also due to travelling done to get to the locations and the tour being a whole day if you’re in a family this tour is not suitable for children.
Obviously not everyone is a fan of the show, as popular as it is. I obviously need got round to booking onto the tour itself but for anyone else it’s a great opportunity to get to know the city’s connection with something pop culture and enchant your instagram feed with some awesome pictures
More details about the tour are on the Irish Tour website
That’s my top 5 list for things to do in Belfast. If you’ve been to Belfast I would like to know what are your top 5 things to do in the city? Do you agree with my personal list?
I haven’t done a Top 5 things for a while now so it was refreshing to do another addition to the series again. Don’t forget to follow/subscribe to my blog and follow my socials via the social icons at the bottom of the post.
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