Belfast once a shipyard power, where the Titanic was built, is a city that is constantly changing its image. After its tragic past, it has thoroughly transformed into a friendly, modern place that attracts the attention of tourists from all over the world.
At the same time, Belfast is not hiding its past, as is trying to “educate” tourists so as to leave them with the fullest picture of the city, the old one and new one.
The capital of Northern Ireland has become a stage of a long-standing religious conflict between Catholics and Protestants. At present, these two unfavorable groups are called Republicans and Loyalists or Nationalists and Unionists. The period from 1969 to 1998 was the time of unrest turbulence called the Troubles. There were bloodshed in the streets of Belfast, assaults, murders and acts of violence.
In 1972, the paramilitary organization Provisional IRA committed a fatal attack, known as the “bloody Friday”. In the centre of Belfast 22 bombs exploded. Nine people were killed. In 1998, Good Friday Agreement was signed and since then Belfast has been relatively quiet since.
Belfast can be visited on foot or by special tours such as two-level buses. The ticket is bought for the day and is free to get in and out in the most interesting places. One of the attractions are also traditional “black cabs”.
Here you have a list of things I would recommend you to see and do in Belfast.
- City Hall – called “wedding cake” because of the decorations covering the entire body of beautiful white Portland stone. This iconic building was created in 1906 in the Baroque Revival style. The Town Hall can be visited only with a guide, the lawns surrounding the City Hall are a place to relax for tired walkers. Enjoy a free tour of the City Hall Monday to Friday 11am, 2pm and 3pm; Saturday and Sunday 12pm, 2pm and 3pm.
- Cathedral of Saint Anne – Neo-Roman cathedral is enchanting with its enourmous size. It is worth paying attention to the beautiful stained glass inside and the largest organs in Ireland.
- Albert Memorial Clock – also called “leaning tower”. Built in 1869, this clock is memorable not only for its statue of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, and ornately carved crowned lions and floral decorations, but also for its lean.
- Big Fish – a curiosity of recent years. It is a sculpture on the bank of the river Lagan, on the shimmering scales of large salmon size was put in the form of brief information and pictures the city’s history. History of Belfast in a glance.
5.Queen’s University – one of the most important Irish universities, its Georgian-style buildings are housing various faculties, but also the library and the Seamus Heaney Center for Poetry. Fans of the Irish Nobel Prize laureate come here from all over the world
6. Botanic Garden – a perfect place for a walk, but also a curiosity for those interested in architecture: a palm house built in the 1920’s was the world’s first building made of entirely new materials – glass and metal rods.
7. Ulster Museum – a must see place in Belfast. Over 8 000 square meters of exposition that touch upon all aspects of Northern Ireland’s history: geological, historical, botanical, archeologica
8. West Belfast – Interested in the modern history of Northern Ireland should take a stroll through the streets of Falls and Shankill, where you can find well preserved murals that document many years of the unrest that have shaken this part of the city
9.Following Titanic – there are many places in Belfast that are associated with the Titanic as well as the shipbuilding past of the city. At the harbor there are two powerful cranes: Samson and Goliat. As part of the tour “in the footsteps of the Titanic” you will visit the office in which it was designed and the dock where it was launched.
10. Belfast Castle – Built in the 19th century, an impressive sandstone building surrounded by magnificent gardens. In the old gardens area the ZOO is located with over 160 species of animals