The Top 10 Things to See and Do in Belfast, Northern Ireland

| © Tony Pleavin / Alamy

Belfast boasts a rich, traditional history and a vibrant modern social scene. These two sides of the city, together, create a village-like atmosphere in a big city space, perfect for students and tourists alike. Unlike many of its neighbouring cities in Scotland and England, it’s also good for your money – it’s one of the UK’s cheapest areas. If you’re a first-time visitor to the city, here are the top 10 attractions and must-sees to put on your list.

Ulster Museum

The Ulster Museum celebrates world natural science, local history and one very famous mummy. Opened in 1929, the museum went under reconstruction between 2006 and 2009 and has since become one of Northern Ireland’s prized attractions. Completely free to the public, the museum boasts four floors, consisting of zoological, botanical, historical and natural sciences. Must-see highlights include Takabuti the mummy and the impressive collection of British and Irish art, 1740-1840. Occasionally, the museum hosts a special ‘Night at the Museum’ event, a rare treat for young curious minds.

Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, Belfast, UK, +44 28 9044 0000

© Paul Lindsay / Alamy

1. St Anne's Cathedral

Cathedral, Church, Historical Landmark

St. Annes Cathedral, Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Europe
© imageBROKER / Alamy
Sir Thomas Drew began work on St Anne’s Cathedral in 1899, and it has since become the gemstone of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. It is a must-see attraction for its stained glass, intricate floor and ceiling mosaics, and a Celtic Cross sculpture, designed by John MacGeagh, on its exterior. History buffs will enjoy the story of this cathedral throughout the 20th century in visual art and tapestries.

2. Queen's University Belfast, Lanyon

Building, University

Queens university Belfast Lanyon Building
© SPKIR / Alamy

© SPKIR / Alamy | © SPKIR / Alamy

3. Crumlin Road Gaol


Cells and landing in the Crumlin Road Gaol, a Victorian built prison.
© Stephen Barnes/Law and Order / Alamy

© Stephen Barnes/Law and Order / Alamy | © Stephen Barnes/Law and Order / Alamy

4. Cave Hill

Hiking Trail, Park, Zoo

© / Christopher Hill Photographic / Alamy | © / Christopher Hill Photographic / Alamy

5. Belfast City Hall

Building, Memorial

Belfast City Hall in Northern Ireland, UK
© Krzysztof Nahlik / Alamy

© Krzysztof Nahlik / Alamy | © Krzysztof Nahlik / Alamy

6. Botanic Gardens

Botanic Gardens, Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Europe
© imageBROKER / Alamy

© imageBROKER / Alamy | © imageBROKER / Alamy

7. Titanic Museum

Building, Museum

An evening view of the Titanic museum in Belfast.
© Chris James / Alamy
Recently named World’s Leading Tourist Attraction in 2016, the Titanic Museum doesn’t disappoint. At the heart of the Titanic Quarter, visitors can enjoy a view of the Harland & Wolff shipyard, which constructed the RMS Titanic in 1912. While you visit the museum, your ticket will cover entry into the SS Nomadic ship on-site.

8. Duke of York

Belfast Culture Night crowds pubs bars duke york northern ireland
© / Christopher Hill Photographic / Alamy

© / Christopher Hill Photographic / Alamy | © / Christopher Hill Photographic / Alamy

9. St George's Market


UK, Northern Ireland, Belfast, St. Georges Market, interior
© Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy
Markets are fast becoming popular tourist attractions for the young and old. St George’s Market is a perfect place to sample the Northern Irish spirit, offering food, arts and crafts, local fashion, jewellery and entertainment year-round, earning it the UK’s Best Market Attraction 2017. It holds a Variety Friday Market, City Food and Craft Saturday Market and a traditional Sunday Market, with special twilight food markets throughout the year.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article