Described as an unspoiled treasure by National Geographic Traveller Magazine, Belfast has become one of the United Kingdom’s must see destinations, famous for its culture, cobbled streets and historic public houses. If you’re looking to visit Belfast for a quiet weekend without the kids or on a romantic getaway, below are our Top 5 site recommendations for an unforgettable visit, including a range of Belfast tours, markets and restaurants you won’t want to miss out on.
1) Titanic Walking Tours
Explore the birthplace of the most famous ship in history on a Titanic Walking Tour, a popular attraction which James Cameron, director of the record-breaking 1997 film Titanic visited. Explore the dock in which the ship originally took sail from in 1911, view artwork and designs for the monumental vessel in its original drawing office, and witness the massive engines created to service the Titanic in the pump-house. Military history enthusiasts can also marvel at the last ship in existence from World War One, HMS Caroline, built in 1914 and retained in Belfast since 1924.
2) The Crown Liquor Saloon
With its Victorian architecture and fine selection of ales, this historic pub house is a feast for the senses, offering quality refreshments in a truly extravagant environment. The Crown Liquor Saloon dates back to 1826, becoming an extremely popular gin palace for Irish construction workers during the Industrial Revolution. It was restored recently in 2007 to ensure the vibrancy of its extraordinary interior was maintained, giving extra lustre to its gold ceilings, mosaic tiles and intricate wood carvings. Offering both seasonal guest ales and rare wines, The Crown is your go to place for a luxury lunch in Belfast.
3) St George’s Market
Considered one of the best markets in Great Britain, St George’s Market is renowned for its fresh and local produce, as well as offering a selection of gastronomical delights from around the globe. You’ll be sure to pick up a bargain, whether your passion is antiques, books, fashion or arts and crafts. Enjoy delicious French pastries, locally sourced meats and cheeses, as well as fresh fish, with its 23 fish stalls helping the market maintain its status as the best retail fish marketplace in Ireland.
4) Original Black Taxi Tours
Belfast’s Black Taxi tours are considered an essential excursion for learning about the city’s turbulent political history beyond the smoke and mirrors of its tourist sites. Known as the ‘bombs and bullets’ tours, these taxi journeys are tailor-made, customizing locations based on what you would like to discover about the city. Popular hot spots include West Belfast’s murals and the infamous Peace Line created to keep Nationalists and Loyalists apart, as well as the city’s historic shipyards, Victorian jailhouses and its breath-taking country side and coastal landscapes.
5) The Bar and Grill
Built in an old linen mill and run by former BBC Two Best British Menu contestant Niall McKenna, The Bar and Grill on James Street is one of Belfast’s most celebrated restaurants. Its menu offers a range of seasonal and decadent dishes using Northern Irish ingredients, including rib eye steaks, truffle fries with parmesan and a variety of creamy risottos.