Northern Ireland's capital is as rich in culture as it is in sweeping scenery and rolling greenery. Belfast is a city steeped in history that is a must visit for historians and adventurers alike.
Belfast is fast becoming an international hub of creativity and the arts, but it still borrows heavily from its glorious Celtic past. Thanks to its vibrancy, unmatched by most British cities of a similar size, it sees over 7.5 million tourists visiting every year.
Culture in Belfast
The historic Cathedral Quarter surrounding the ornate St Anne's Cathedral, in the heart of the city, plays host to festivals and events the whole year through. The winding streets are enlivened by performers, while the citadel is one ofBelfast's oldest and most beautiful. The University of Ulsterand Metropolitan Arts Centre campuses situated in the area attract those with a creative flair, making the Cathedral quarter something of a hotbed for the arts. Saint Anne's Square,Custom House Square, Writer's Court, Cotton Court andCathedral Gardens are just some of the outdoor venues to take in whilst on holiday in Belfast.
The festivities continue further south into Belfast's Queen's Quarter, where Queen's University, the recently re-opened Ulster Museum and the Botanic Gardens can be explored.
The legendary Golden Mile, which stretches all the way from the University to the beautifully baroque Belfast City Hall, is where the famous Irish party spirit is most present. Some of Belfast's best loved restaurants and bars can be found here, while a trip down Great Victoria Street to the picturesque Crown Liquor Saloon – one of only two pubs owned by the National Trust – is something of a rite of passage while on a trip to Belfast.
For a true taste of Ireland, head west and take a stroll down Falls Road in the iconic Gaeltacht District. Here, the use of the traditional Irish language is encouraged, and its history embraced more than anywhere else in the city.
For fans of the wildly popular Game of Thrones television series, some of the lush, mountainous terrain of the Giant's Causeway and the imposing Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge may look familiar; the hit show is filmed in the Northern Irish capital, where fans can be transported straight to Westeros on a Game of Thrones location tour.
History in Belfast
The Titanic Museum and surrounding area recalls Belfast's contribution to the building of the legendary vessel over 100 years ago. On this stretch of reclaimed land, the gigantic museum gives insight into the Titanic's construction, while the view over Belfast Harbour and the plethora of riverside entertainment make this waterfront district a firm favourite among visitors to the city.
Belfast's skyline is a perfect microcosm for the city itself, with Edwardian buildings such as the City Hall interspersed with more modern architecture such as Waterfront Hall. It is easy to see why city breaks in Belfast are quickly becoming one of Europe's favourites.