It’s not Dublin, London or Cardiff, but Belfast is an often-overlooked jewel nestled in the northernmost part of Ireland. Home to insurmountable views, hospitable people, delectable food and a vibrant culture, Belfast has been making waves as the hip place to be in the UK. There are so many incredible things that have come from Belfast, including but not limited to: the Titanic, your favorite scenes from Game of Thrones and the infamous Ulster rugby team. Belfast is an absolutely incomparable city that should be on your radar.
Live Like Royalty
Belfast Castle is the town's most famous attribute. Located outside the city center about 400 feet above sea level, it’s revered for its dual ocean and city views. Originally built in the 12th century by Normans, it’s been passed down through the generations and resides in a small park. Visitors simply can’t leave Belfast without making a trek to the top.
Eat Your Way Around
For traditional Irish fare with a modern twist, pay a visit to Molly’s Yard. Located inside a converted stable in the Queen’s University Quarter, Molly’s is a relaxed, well-loved establishment that has kept people coming back for years. They specialize in refined foods without the fuss. Their hearty seafood chowder is beyond compare, and they have a goat lasagna which tastes like a little slice of heaven.
Belfast is a city that lives off the sea, so, naturally, its seafood is incredibly well received. Mourne Seafood Bar is a gem in the heart of downtown that does oysters, fish, and crab right. It’s the perfect place for groups or for a couple of friends looking to grab drinks and munch on small plates.
The RMS Titanic is one of the most infamous ships to ever sail the seas, but you probably didn't know it was built in Belfast. The city erected its own Titanic Museum to pay homage to the fallen ocean liner, creating one of the most alluring museums to ever exist. Crafted from shiny steel, it’s impossible to miss, and often called the crown jewel of the city. The experience is incredibly interactive and features heartbreaking videos, artifacts and even a ride that takes people through parts of the infamous maiden voyage.
Smell the Roses
It rains a lot in Belfast, and while the city is still charming while wet, it’s always a good idea to take refuge from the drizzle. The Ulster Museum is situated within the Botanic Gardens and displays fine art, local history, world history, archaeology, botany, and even zoology exhibits. It’s a smaller museum, but perfect for passing a rainy afternoon that everyone from art lovers to scientists will find intriguing.
Shop 'til You Drop
The UK is known for its wonderful markets, which are the heart and soul of many European cities. Belfast's main market, St. George’s, has been around for decades and is completely enclosed. It features local food vendors, artists and craftsmen where you'll find everything from a well-cooked burger to bedroom furniture all under one roof. One of the city's oldest attractions, there has been a Friday market on the St. George’s site since 1604 with the current iteration built in the late 1800s.