Belfast and Titanic City Breaks
Belfast is most notably associated with the Titanic. This ship-building city is full of history that extends beyond the legend of the Ship of Dreams. It is a city that has produced literary greats, such as CS Lewis and Louis MacNeice. It is also the birthplace of music icon Van Morrison, so prepare to start humming along.
It provides the buzz and vivacity of a modern capital city whilst being a gateway to the pastoral countryside of Northern Ireland. Situated at the head of Belfast Lough, the city is compact and easy to get around on foot. Like most capital cities, Belfast is packed with a plethora of pubs, restaurants and trendy clubs.
The birthplace of the Titanic, the industrial history of Belfast has produced a city rich in culture. Learn about the Titanic, from the visionaries who conceived her, to the men who designed and built her, to her ill-fated maiden voyage, as well as Belfast’s remarkable history as one of the world’s greatest ports.
Your Belfast city break includes a Black Taxi Tour of the city sights, a tour of Titanic Belfast, and a day trip out of the city to explore the scenic Antrim coast and the Giant’s Causeway.
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The dock location not only holds significant historical value, but has a world-famous exhibition. The Titanic Belfast pays tribute to the legendary Titanic in every possible way; it is even the same height as the ship. One step inside this museum and you are transported back in time with the shipyard ride or a trip underwater to the burial site of the Titanic. If you’re feeling energetic, take the time to also do the Titanic Walking Tour
St Georges Market
This bustling marketplace is open at 6am to 3pm on Friday, and 8am to 4pm on Saturday/Sunday. Hosting more than 150 traders, products range from locally produced artisan foods to handcrafted merchandise, all housed within an original 19th-century market building. Not a spot one wants to miss particularly when the complementary attractions inside regularly include live music, food tastings, and craft demonstrations.
Belfast City Hall
The strapping Baroque-revival style of Belfast City Hall is a visual treat. On its grassy perimeter you will find statues of Queen Victoria as well as a memorial statue to the Titanic victims. Keeping with the Titanic theme is the newly opened memorial garden also found outside the hall. Inside, explore the two free exhibitions, Waking a Giant and No Mean City – both are excellent means to get under the skin of Belfast. Nearby Victoria Square is full of cafés, restaurants and bars.
Queen’s University is easy to spot with the elegant architecture reminiscent of Hogwarts in Harry Potter. Inside houses a library complete with a CS Lewis reading room and wardrobe commemorating the writer’s birth city. The university itself holds an interesting past that originally began to prepare students for ministry, and even became one of the first universities to admit women. When inside, make time for a cup of tea in the charming café.
Victorian Crown Bar Liquor Saloon
This wonderful saloon was built in 1826, and boasts a décor of stained glass, intricate mahogany mouldings and elaborate tiling. It was its atmosphere and beauty that landed this pub in two movies: Odd Man Out in 1947 and Divorcing Jack in 1998. The saloon also has its snugs, which are private sitting areas closed off by swinging doors – just ring the bells to order drinks!
Victorian Grand Opera House
Within this historical theatre is an array of entertainment, from opera to dance. Holding a significant history since its construction in the 1890s, the Grand Opera House has seen performances from Gracie Fields and seated Eisenhower in its audience. Should you wish to continue your cultural odyssey in the city, there is always the Queen’s Film Theatre or The Odyssey to choose from. Traditional music is easily found in Belfast, too, while the Crown Bar Liquor Saloon is a must for a Victorian nightcap.
The phrase “stop and smell the roses” never proved to be as apt as when visiting the Botanic Gardens. This charming park is fabulous flora and fauna. Trees, flowers and manicured lawns slope down to the river Lagan while also on the grounds is the curved-iron and glass Palm house and the Tropical Ravine House, which hosts an astonishing collection of plants, such as tropical flora and Killarney ferns.
Located within the Botanic Gardens this museum is a virtual treasure trove. One such treasure is a 400-year old jewel pendant with a stunning gold salamander (a symbol of good luck). Found in the Atlantic, it’s part of a collection from the Spanish Armada vessel, Girona.
Later, for dinner, make plans in one of Belfast’s many award-winning restaurants.
- 3 nights Belfast city centre
- 4 star hotel including breakfast daily
- Black Taxi Tour of the city sights
- Titanic Belfast tour
- Day Tour of Antrim Coast and the Giant’s Causeway