Since the new millennium, Belfast let down its scars from its heavy conflicting past and is now a vibrant and rejuvenated city in complete reinvention. Belfast played a key role in the Industrial Revolution and has kept a lot of industrial features in its architecture which gives the city a very particular character. Belfast may be the capital of Northern Ireland but it is a pleasingly walkable city laid out on a human scale.
It has four quarters each with its own identity and character. The Cathedral Quarter is the oldest quarter, located closest to the water front and dominated by the Church of Ireland Cathedral, St Anne's. The Queen's Quarter, an energetic and lively area, with the Queen's College at its heart. The area fuses entertainment, culture and commerce to create a uniquely spirited neighbourhood.
The Titanic Quarter, located in the old shipbuilding yards of Harland and Wolff. This area catapulted Belfast onto the map and gave the city its reputation and fortune. And finally, the Gaeltacht Quarer, Celtic roots, music and folklore. The Irish heritage is celebrated here in west Belfast. Along the Falls Road the Irish language, music, literature and culture have flourished.
What transport do you recommend? Belfast is a good size city and though it's possible to navigate the centre on foot, we do recommend using taxis, the sightseeing hop on hop off bus or your own transport to go slightly further afield.
The Titanic Experience is a brand new museum which opened in March 2012. The spectacular building is located beside the historic site of the world famous ship's construction. This state-of-the-art visitor experience tells the story of the Titanic from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her infamous maiden voyage and catastrophic demise. The journey goes beyond the aftermath of the sinking, to the discovery of the wreck and continues into the present day with a live undersea exploration centre.
Belfast Castle is situated on the lower slopes of Cave Hill Country Park in north Belfast, the Belfast Castle provides unobstructed views of the city. This magnificent sandstone castle was built by the Normans in the late 12th century. Its sense of history, the superb setting and its landscaped gardens ensure Belfast Castle is a 'must see' for every visitor.
Titanic Dock and Pump House. Discover the story behind Belfast's maritime magic at the site of the Thompson Dry-Dock and Pump-House, once the beating heart of Harland & Wolff during the construction of the great White Star Liners – the Britannic, Olympic and most famously, the Titanic. This place is a genuine foot-print in history where you will be able to see the only publicly accessible intact piece of the Titanic's great legacy.
W5 is the perfect place for families: with over 250 interactive exhibits in four amazing exhibition areas, W5 provides a unique experience as well as fantastic fun for visitors of all ages. W5 has a daily programme of live science demonstrations and shows throughout the day.
Built by John de Courcy in 1177, conqueror of east Ulster, and garrisoned until 1928, this is a striking feature of the landscape from land, sea and air. It represents over 800 years of military might. Besieged in turn by the Scots, Irish, English and French, the Castle saw action right up to World War II.
Belfast City Hall was designed by Alfred Drumwell, and is sometimes called the 'stone Titanic' because its interior decorating was fitted by the craftsmen who worked on the Titanic, to which it shares many interior similarities. Today the grounds around t