Belfast City Hall is the centre point of the city and visitors can enjoy a free tour of this iconic building, relax in the surrounding grounds and visit the Titanic Memorial Garden. Explore the main shopping district and the award-winning St George’s Market, as well as an abundance of cafes, great pubs, trendy bars and an amazing restaurant scene. Start off in the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre (opposite City Hall) to pick up information, book tours and make the most of your visit.
Taking its name from St Anne’s Cathedral, this historic trading quarter is packed full of fascinating architecture, cobblestoned streets, buzzing beer gardens and trendy warehouse restaurants. It contrasts the old with the new, with St Anne’s Square, home to the Metropolitan Arts Centre (MAC) and a piazza of welcoming eateries, alongside the oldest streets in Belfast. Full of colourful street art, this area is a buzz with music, entertainment and fun at night.
Steeped in memories of a bygone era when Belfast was a world centre of maritime trade, shipbuilding and commerce, the Titanic Quarter is now a fun and energetic urban waterfront development. Visit or take a tour of the many historic and state-of-the-art Titanic and maritime visitor attractions, or follow the Glass of Thrones trail featuring six stained glass windows portraying famous scenes from Game of Thrones, which was filmed in studios in the area.
The Linen Quarter is the area south of Belfast City Hall, which was once the home of the White Linen Hall. Belfast, once nicknamed “Linenopolis”, was the world leader in the production of linen in the 19th century. Today you can enjoy the architecture of the old linen mills which house a mix of offices, chic bars and award-winning restaurants. This is a great part of the town to enjoy dinner and drinks before an entertaining show at the Grand Opera House.
The leafy area around Queen’s University is home to a treasure trove of shops, cafes, bars and art galleries. Visit the collections at the Ulster Museum, stroll around the Victorian Palm House in the stunning Botanic Gardens, take in an art-house movie at the Queen’s Film Theatre or enjoy live music and stand-up comedy at the Empire Music Hall. The neighbouring Lisburn Road offers designer shopping, cafés and artisan delis, while Botanic Avenue has lots of student hang-outs.
The focus of Irish language, music and culture is in the west of the city. Many visitors come to see the area’s famous political murals and peace wall but there’s plenty more to discover. An Chúlturlann, the Quarter’s culture and arts centre, contains an excellent restaurant, theatre and gallery. Explore the stunning Clonard Monastery, located off the Falls Road, or enjoy the three mile Divis Summit Trail on Divis Mountain, with spectacular views over Belfast and beyond.
EastSide, in the east of the city, was once the beating heart of the city’s industrial past with thousands of people employed in linen mills, rope factories, engineering works and shipyards. EastSide is now thriving once again but this time as a hub of culture and creativity. Make the EastSide Visitor Centre your first stop, with information on key attractions in east Belfast and famous people who lived in the area including CS Lewis, George Best and Van Morrison.
Straddling North and West Belfast, the Shankill is home to a wide collection of painted murals depicting the social and political history of the area. Places of interest include the Peace Wall, the Old Shankill Graveyard, dating back to the 14th century, the Shankill Memorial Park and the ancient Bullaun Stone. The Spectrum Centre, a major landmark in the area, hosts a range of events and exhibitions. St Matthew’s Church, built in 1872, is nearby and is known as the Shankill Shamrock due to its unique design and distinctive shape.
Home to the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender festival in Ireland, the city has a thriving LGBT+ community and gay scene. In the Gay Quarter, you’ll find Belfast’s best gay bars and clubs. Head to Kremlin, the city’s most famous gay club for themed nights and great music. Or visit The Maverick on Union Street, well-loved for its eclectic live music nights and comedy shows.