A trip to the Emerald Isle of Ireland is not complete without a visit to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Belfast is only a short two hour bus ride from Dublin and has transformed over the last few decades, making it one of the most enriching and educational cities. Whether you are a history buff, film fanatic (Game of Thrones is filmed here), or art lover, you will find it here. Here are the top places to explore in Belfast on a weekend trip.
Watch the Belfast travel vlog:
Where to Stay: Ten Square Hotel
First stop is to check into our hotel, Ten Square Hotel, which is conveniently located next to the city's center point - the historic City Hall. The hotel has one of most comfortable beds, free wifi, and includes continental breakfast. If you are looking for a skyline view, the hotel's terrace overlooks the city center.
1. Peace Walls
For an educational and artistic way to enjoy the city, check out the Peace Walls, which are murals that showcase the city's past and future. The murals are found along Shankill and Falls roads. The older murals tend to contain political messages while the more recent murals opt for messages of humor and peace. You can tour the Peace walls by foot, Black Cab Tour, or the hop on hop off bus.
2. Titanic Museum
A visit to the Titanic Museum is a must see for visitors to learn the history of Belfast. The city's economy was based on ship building. Most notably, the Titanic was built here and was the largest ship afloat at the time. The museum tells the story of the ill-fated voyage with highly interactive exhibits, including a theme-park-style ride through a shipyard.
3. Game of Thrones!
Outside of the Titanic Museum is the filming studio for Game of Thrones which is in the unmistakable yellow and silver building. Many of the sights featured int he HBO series are filmed in Northern Ireland. There are tours of the filming locations which draw top photographers to the area as well as fans of the show.
4. Belfast Free Walking Tour
If you are a budget traveler, you will find plenty to do in Belfast. Belfast is filled with free activities, including one of the most educational activities - the Belfast Free Walking Tour. The small group tours are casual and informal, led by local historians who show you the important sights to Belfast's history and tell stories about each location. The tour showed the history from a local's perspective. Our tour guide, Gavin grew up in Belfast and watched the city transform to what it is today. It truly brought the city's history to life.
5. St George's Market
This lively market is the perfect place to sample the foodie delights of Northern Ireland. The building was built in the late 1800s and is filled with delicious food, crafts, antiques, and occasionally even live music. Outside of the St. George's Market, Belfast has historic pubs, Michelin star restaurants to satisfy foodie travelers.
Aside from my hometown of Los Angeles, Belfast is one of the top cities for street art. The city is filled with art on the facades of many buildings - all you have to do is walk around the city center to find them. Start at the MAC Belfast, which is a main hub for beautiful murals.
Belfast is one of the most historic, educational, and artistic cities that we have visited in Europe. What is your favorite thing to see in Belfast? Comment below!
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