According to Plus-Size-Tips, the Northern Irish capital of Belfast is known as one of the nicest and often undiscovered destinations for a city trip. The city therefore has a lot to offer. Of course there is the turbulent history that has left its mark to this day. There have been unrest on the Irish island for centuries. These unrest continued for a long time in Northern Ireland; they actually still live under the skin. Nevertheless, large parts of Belfast are very much worth a visit. The rough edge of the recent past may also contribute to this. The fear of bombs exploding is now far behind us. A good time to visit this bustling city.
Top 10 sights of Belfast
#1. Titanic Belfast
Since 2012, visitors can admire the Titanic Belfast. As the name suggests, this attraction has everything to do with the maritime history of the Northern Irish capital and the link with the legendary ship ‘The Titanic’. The building looks very modern on the outside and is located on the site where the Hardland & Wolf Shipyard used to be. This shipyard built the ‘Titanic’. The building covers an area of 12,000 square meters and houses exhibition spaces, rooms for private activities and community facilities. Since March 2018, a bar, the ‘Hickson’s Point Destination bar’, can also be visited.
#2. Crumlin Road Gaol
The former Crumlin Road Gaol dates back to Victorian times. The prison can be found on the street ‘Crumlin Road’ and has served as a prison until 1996. After a period of years of vacancy, the prison was restored and opened in 2012 as a tourist attraction. Today you can visit ‘The Crum’ and see what this old prison looks like inside without having to be punished first. The prison opened its doors in 1845. Something that sounds strange for a building that is designed to keep people inside. You will also learn about some of the famous prisoners who served their sentences or were executed here.
#3. HMS Caroline
The maritime link is never far to seek in Belfast. A good example of this is the HMS Caroline. This military ship dates from 1914 and served until 2011. In this long period of time it has been used during the First and Second World Wars and other conflict zones on the planet. In recent years, the ship has functioned as a training ship. It is the only ship in existence that was involved in the battle of Skagerrak. Today the ship is owned by the ‘National Museum of the Navy’ and you can visit it. This way you learn more about the impressive past of this maritime piece of history.
#4. Ulster Museum
The Ulster Museum is located in the Belfast Botanic Gardens. Nowadays, since 2009, the museum is housed partly in an old building and partly in a new building. Both buildings merge into each other. That makes the outside of this museum very interesting. The museum has a large collection of fine and applied art, as well as archaeological and ethnographic artifacts. This is just part of this museum’s impressively diverse collection. The treasures of the Spanish Armada are also unique. Practically all themes are covered in this museum. Be surprised by the wide variety of the museum’s collection. Another advantage is that the museum always has something that you find interesting.
#5. St. George’s Market
The covered market hall ‘St. George’s Market’ is the last of its kind dating back to Victorian times and can be visited in Belfast. You will find the entrance to the market on May Street. The building was realized in three phases, running from 1890 to 1896. Before that, there was already an open market here, where a meat market and slaughterhouse were housed. Today, the market hall is home to around 300 traders, artisans and other venues, making it a fun and varied market. The music concerts that are held here from time to time also contribute to the unique character of the market.
#6. Falls Road
If you want to learn more about Northern Ireland’s recent divorce, Falls Road is a good place. This street runs through a residential area where Catholic Republicans live on one side and Protestant Unionists on the other. The neighborhood is separated by the so-called ‘peace wall’, a cave-high fence that ensures that the groups cannot come into direct contact with each other. There are even backyards that have a kind of conservatory directly against this wall. This conservatory is mainly there to keep incendiary bombs out. Recent history comes very close here. You can see this in things like murals, the peace wall and events such as orange marches and huge bonfires, which are experienced as intimidating for the other group. When you come here you see how fragile the peace actually still is.
#7. City Hall
One of the most beautiful buildings in Belfast is the City Hall of the Northern Ireland capital. The town hall is built in neo-baroque and Edwardian style and dates from 1906. The dome, which towers 53 meters above the streetscape, is particularly characteristic of the town hall. On the inside you can also see how beautiful the stained glass is in the council chamber and the main hall. There is a large park around the town hall where you can also escape the bustle of Belfast. It is definitely recommended to also visit the park if you visit the town hall. There are still a number of memorial monuments in the park, including those of the Titanic and those of the First World War.
#8. Metropolitan Arts Center (MAC)
Various forms of art and culture are housed in the MAC. Not only art exhibitions are given here. Theater and music performances are also held. All forms of art are presented here. The Mac is therefore known as one of Belfast’s best cultural spots. Only one work is on permanent display; ‘The Permanent Present’ by Mark Garry. Furthermore, there are always other exhibitions and performances of a temporary nature. This makes the MAC always a nice place to visit several times.
#9. peace wall
The Peace Wall is the symbol of the conflict between the Protestant Unionists and the Catholic Republicans. The first group strives for an Ireland that is part of Great Britain and the other group strives for an independent Ireland and Northern Ireland to become one. Until the 1990s, this conflict caused a tense relationship between these two groups. This regularly led to acts of terrorism. The so-called ‘Peace Wall’ is a large fence that ensures that both groups can come into contact with each other as little as possible so that things do not escalate into violence. At the same time, the wall makes it more difficult to grow together, the situation is still very tense. The Peace Wall shows that a lot still needs to be done before real peace can be spoken of.
#10. Botanical Gardens
The area of the Belfast Botanic Gardens is no less than 110,000 square meters. This huge park is therefore a place where office workers, students and tourists like to come and find peace. The gardens opened in 1828; first as a private park to open to the public later in 1895. Iconic is the building ‘the palmhouse’, a huge conservatory in clear Victorian style. In this greenhouse you will find tropical plants and of course palms. In addition to this beautiful conservatory, there are many other gardens. Open-air concerts are also regularly given. Legendary was the performance of U2 in 1997. The Ulster Museum can also be found on the grounds of the Botanic Gardens.