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Capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast is definitely a varied mixture of traditional and contemporary Irish culture and living. It’s rich ever, playing an engaged role throughout the economic revolution, using the city to change around its ship building and linen industry. Today it's well known because of its desire for the humanities and hospitality to vacationers, and lots of cultural points of interest situated close to the port. You will not have far just to walk to soak yourself with the best of Northern Ireland. The main harbor is still an exciting industrial area which welcomes over 5000 ships annually, and visitors will receive a feel of the significance of the region once the ship is available in to pier at its busy quayside. Belfast is more British and cosmopolitan in is appeal, while still retaining its Irish charm.
 
There is a period when the title Belfast elevated an instantaneous warning sign to site visitors, but nowadays, the town's highly promoted political unrest has greatly gone away. Curiosity-searchers can continue to find elaborate wall art along with other artifacts from turbulent occasions residual in a few communities, but typically, Belfast has become safer than a number of other European capitals, and it is new image is among both progress and hospitality.
 
If you have been to Dublin, the variations between that city and Belfast may appear striking. Belfast, obviously, belongs to Northern Ireland, which itself belongs to The United Kingdom. So British influence appears to possess covered Belfast having a more polished veneer along with a Victorian elegance that's apparent within the town's shops, restaurants as well as its pubs. The all pervading Irish charm still is available, but Belfast also projects a cosmopolitan flair that's rarely seen elsewhere around the Emerald Isle. The glittering row of boutiques lining the Golden Mile, Belfast's premier shopping district, is much more similar to Paris or Milan, while a brand new wave of stylish restaurants offers site visitors haute cuisine additionally to local favorites. The town has advanced significantly because the times of security checkpoints and armored patrols, and Belfast now seems poised to reduce its unfortunate past and take its place among Europe's new locations.
 
Where You are Docked
You'll pier in the Port of Belfast, roughly two miles northeast from the city center. Belfast is really a vibrant, busy city encircled through the moving Irish countryside. The favorite metropolitan areas within the UK it’s ready for that numerous site visitors that flock to the shores every year. Among the best methods to begin to see the city is by walking so that you can fully understand the beautiful Edwardian and Victorian facades. They nestle between modern structures and small winding side roads that hide some interesting sights. Coming in the busy port, vacationers can click on the recently-built Titanic exhibition. It’s devoted towards the ship that made the town famous and hosts a distinctive Pump-House that’s worth seeing. Here are a few sights you will not wish to miss whenever you step off your ship.
 
Hanging Out
Regrettably, the amenities in the port itself are scarce, and there is hardly any of great interest within easy reach. Site visitors are best taking among the free shuttles running between your harbor and also the city center every fifteen minutes.
 
Making Your Way Around
By Walking: Belfast is among individuals small, intimate metropolitan areas that suits people on the streets, so walking this is a pleasure. Many points of interest are inside a short stroll of one another and you will find lots of pubs for individuals who nedd to just relax and let their hair down after a tiring day.
 
By Bus: Belfast's Metro bus product is quick, simple and easy , fairly affordable. You can buy one-way outings or all-day passes.
 
By Taxi: Cabs in Belfast are all around but costly. Search for the classic black London-style taxis, and steer clear of the non-official types that won't possess a meter and may sometimes charge crazy costs.
 
By Rental Vehicle: Avis, Budget and a number of other rental vehicle companies have offices in Belfast. Attempting to drive and park within the downtown area could be a chore, though, therefore it is easier to rent a vehicle only when you are planning look around the surrounding countryside.
 
While you would in almost any city, keep unnecessary belongings on board inside your cabin's safe.
 
Things to see & do 
 
Titanic Belfast
Titanic’s Pier and Pump-House: No visit to the town could be complete without going to the Titanic exhibition with is interactive experience with existence in 1912 Belfast. Walk within the same places as individuals who built the ship and find out the initial moving engines used.
 
Billed as "the world's largest titanic visitor attraction," this distinctive landmark building is a tribute to the story of the Titanic and Belfast's interesting maritime history. Nine interactive exhibitions show how Belfast has developed from a city that once boasted the most powerful ship building industry in the world into a reborn visitor destination. More than a century ago, the infamous and ill-fated ocean liner, Titanic, was built at this precise spot. There are guided tours around the slipway and gigantic dry-dock. The building, which is star-shaped to represent the logo of the White Star Line, houses a number of fascinating artifacts including letters, brochures, and menus. A particular treat is the fully restored tender to the Titanic, the SS Nomadic, which visitors can board and explore for an additional charge.
 
Hours: Daily June-August and April 9am-7pm, May & September 9am-6pm, October-March 10am-5pm
Admission: Adults £15.50, child (5-16) £7.25, child (under 5) free, family (2 adults, 2 children) £39.00, senior (over 60) Monday-Friday £11.00, senior (over 60) Saturday & Sunday £13.00, student £10.00
Address: 1 Queens Road, Titanic Quarter, Belfast -- Official site: www.titanicbelfast.com
 
Waterfront Hall
Just over a mile from the Titanic Quarter and overlooking the River Lagan in central Belfast, the Waterfront Hall is a world-class entertainment and conference venue that, in no uncertain terms, reflects the regeneration of the city. Since opening in 1997, the center had seen more than five million visitors and now attracts top-musicians and performers from around the world as well as hosting a range of exhibitions. When lit up at night, the building is particularly impressive, and many visit not only for the many concerts ranging from pop to symphony, but also to eat at the on-site restaurant, The Arc Brasserie, which boasts panoramic views over the river and beyond.
Address: 2 Lanyon Place, Belfast -- Official site: www.waterfront.co.uk
 
Exhibition in Belfast's Ulster Museum
A five-six-minute drive from the Waterfront Hall will bring you to The Ulster Museum. Having undergone a major refurbishment in recent years, it's now one of Belfast's must-sees. This impressive national museum should be high on the list for any visitor for a number of reasons, not least of all that it doesn't shy away from the city's recent troubled past. Exhibits include a 2,500-year-old Egyptian Mummy (Princess Takabuti - unwrapped in Belfast in 1835), the Armada Room, modern masterpieces, ancient relics, and a richly diverse collection of art, history, and natural science exhibits spread over several floors.
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm  Admission: Free -- Address: Botanic Gardens, Belfast Official site: www.nmni.com/um
 
The Botanic Gardens
A pleasant way to relax for a few hours, the Botanic Gardens was established in 1828 and has been owned by Belfast City Council since 1895 when it became a public park set on 28 acres. The elegant Palm House (designed by Sir Charles Lanyon) contains a diversity of tropical plants, including birds of paradise and lush hanging baskets. Comprised of curved iron and glass, the structure is one of the earliest examples of a glasshouse made in this way and demonstrates how advances in technology allowed horticulturists to grow exotic plants during the Victorian period. The Tropical Ravine (1889) houses exotic delights such as bromeliad, banana, orchids, and cinnamon, and protects some of the world's oldest seed plants. Just north of the gardens is Queen's University with its fine Tudor-style buildings.
Hours: Open 7.30am (seasonal closings) -- Admission: Free -- Address: College Park, Botanic Avenue, Belfast
 
St. Anne's Cathedral
Designed by architect Sir Thomas Drew and begun in 1898, St. Anne's Cathedral is the main church of the (Anglican) Church of Ireland. It was built in neo-Romanesque style of the basilican type and has three west doorways adorned with sculpture. The baptismal chapel features an exquisite mosaic ceiling. Further points of interest are the carved stonework, many fine stained glass windows, marble tiles on the floor and walls, and delicate woodwork. In the chapel you'll find the tomb of Sir Edward Carson (died 1935), leader of the Ulster Unionists.
Hours: Open 8am-6pm Monday-Saturday, 8am-4pm Sunday -- Admission: Suggested donation £2 per adult -- Address: Donegall Street, Belfast Official site: www.belfastcathedral.org
 
Grand Opera House
West of the City Hall on Great Victoria Street, the highly ornate Grand Opera House is well worth visiting to take in a show. Dating from 1895, it has seen its share of troubles over the years. In 1972, at the height of conflict in Northern Ireland, the building was sold to property developers and nearly demolished. Thankfully, due to a campaign, this didn't happen. Between 1976 and 1980, the structure was extensively restored, including the restoration of the ceiling panels in the main auditorium. A large extension was added in 2006. These days it hosts musicals, operas, and live performances and is one of the city's true landmarks. Guided tours are available. Address: Great Victoria Street, Belfast -- Official site: www.goh.co.uk -- 7 Crumlin Road Gaol
 
Crumlin Road Gaol
When it closed in 1996, many believed the infamous prison would never reopen. How wrong they were. The once notorious jail has quickly become one of Belfast's premier visitor attractions since reopening just a short time ago in 2012. This is a great place to get to grips with Northern Ireland's history. Fascinating guided tours tell of the women and children who were incarcerated here as well as the segregation of republican and loyalist prisoners. You can wander through the underground tunnel that used to connect the jail to the courthouse, sit in the Governor's chair and, rather gruesomely, pay a visit to the condemned man's cell. Hours: Open daily 10.00am-4.30pm (last tour) Admission: Adults £8.50, children £6.50, family £25.00 (2 adults & 2 children) Address: Crumlin Road, Belfast Official site: www.crumlinroadgaol.com -- 8 Belfast Castle
 
Belfast Castle
Around four miles from the city center (A2/A6 - Antrim Road) is Belfast Castle. There are plenty of events here year round, and it's a popular wedding venue due to its picturesque location and beautiful historic building. A castle has existed on this site since the 12th century in many different incarnations. The current structure dates from 1870, although additions and embellishments have taken place since then. There's a restaurant on site as is Cave Hill Visitor Centre. Cave Hill Country Park and the Adventure Playground are well worth exploring, and the grounds are particularly popular for picnics during summer months. Address: Antrim Rd, Belfast
 
Belfast Zoo
Around three minutes' drive from Belfast Castle is Belfast Zoo, set on 55 acres with views over Belfast Lough and home to more than 140 species of animals. Dating from 1934, this is one of the oldest tourist attractions in Northern Ireland and has been extensively upgraded in recent years. Nowadays in excess of 300,000 people visit annually. Highlights include the ring-tailed lemurs, Asian elephants, monkeys, Malayan sun bears, Sumatran tigers, and Barbary lions. The rainforest exhibit brings together tropical plants with fascinating animals such as sloths and fruit bats.
Hours: Open summer (April-September) 10am-7pm, winter (October-March) 10am to 4pm Admission: Adults £8.20, children (4-17), senior citizens & students £4.10, children under 4 free, family day ticket (2 adults & 3 children) £22
Address: Antrim Road, BelfastOfficial site: www.belfastzoo.co.uk
 
Stormont (Parliament Buildings)
No visit to Belfast, or indeed Northern Ireland, would be complete without at least seeing this grandiose and often controversial building. This is the home of the "Power Sharing Executive," or Northern Ireland Assembly, the place where former foes sit down together and carry out the day-to-day business and politics of running the state. Dating from 1921, it was built to house the then newly formed government of the Province. It's impossible to miss the statue of Unionist Sir Edward Carson on the front lawn. Despite its controversial legacy, the scenic grounds are popular with day-trippers, joggers, and those simply wishing to escape the city for a while. Hours: Open Monday-Friday 9am-4pm (guided tours) -- Admission: Free -- Address: 587 Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast
 
Stormont Castle
Housing the Northern Ireland Set up, the castle and it is pretty gardens are available to site visitors. Tours take visitors round the discussing chamber, revealing the initial architecture and artwork and supplying interesting details many people won’t learn about.
 
Crumlin Road Gaol
This historic landmark goes back to 1845 only lately closed its doorways to citizens in 1996. Today, site visitors may take a led tour from the gaol and find out where ladies and children accustomed to stay, to the way it was utilized for that separation of political criminals in additional recent occasions
 
Ulster Folk & Transport
Museum: Unlike most museums that just feature visual shows, the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum enables visitors to really wander via a bygone era. Disseminate over 170 acres of moving countryside, the Folk Museum features a large number of 19th-century structures. Site visitors walk freely through houses, farms, mills and places of worship while costumed stars show how people from that point period worked out their lives. Within the Transport Museum, all types of transportation in the equine-attracted carriage towards the in your area built Titanic are displayed. The museum lies seven miles east from the city center and opens at 10 a.m., closing between 4 and 6 p.m., with respect to the season.
 
Belfast Cathedral
Impressive around the outdoors, the Belfast Cathedral is much more beautiful inside. You will find the highest Celtic mix in most of Ireland there, in addition to elaborate stained-glass home windows along with a variety of ceilings. Situated close to the heart from the city on Donegall Street, the cathedral is perfectly situated for any brief visit while you stroll within the city center.
 
The Botanical Gardens
Site visitors and local people alike like to lose themselves within the lush greenery of those gardens. Only a short stroll south from the city center, hidden away behind Queen's College, the gardens were founded in 1827 and have a vibrant range of plant existence, together with a stunning rose garden. Hidden one of the foliage may be the Palm House, a distinctive glass and wrought-iron structure that houses an array of tropical plants. Probably the most soothing venues may be the Tropical Ravine using its tranquil ponds and huge water lilies. The gardens are open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset, as the Palm House and Tropical Ravine could be seen from 10 a.m. to five p.m., even though they close for just one hour between noon and 1 p.m.
 
Carrickfergus
Individuals craving for an idea of Ireland's small-town charm will feel at home in Carrickfergus. This small suburb of Belfast is just 12 miles north and simply accessible by train, bus or taxi. The quiet seaside town consists of beautiful 18th-century houses additionally for an 800-year-old castle, several nice places of worship and also the Andrew Jackson Center, a monument towards the U.S. leader whose parents praised from Carrickfergus. The city has points of interest to match any age, and kids particularly will like the Dark night Ride, a sound-visual get a hearty the town's past.
 
Local Experiences
Giant's Causeway: Northern Ireland's most well-known natural attraction is Giant's Causeway along its northern coast. A 2-hour drive from Belfast, the causeway, that is referred to by Northern Ireland's own tourist folks like a "geological freak," first started bringing in vacationers within the 1700's. You will find greater than 40,000 of those posts, mostly hexagonal fit. The highest have to do with 40 ft high, and also the hard lava within the coves is 90 ft thick in places.
 
Bushmills: Located nearby is Bushmills, the place to find Ireland's earliest maker of whiskey. The distillery offers tours make bookings ahead of time.
 
Pubs: Belfast hosts a number of Ireland's earliest and many famous pubs. Because of so many to select from, locating a spot to stop and whet your whistle isn't an issue the task originates from attempting to choose which someone to visit first. Most pubs start serving at 11:30 a.m. every single day except Sunday, once the doorways open at 12:30 p.m.
 
The Crown Liquor Saloon: This area appropriately reigns because the king of Belfast's pub scene. Your building is really a showcase of Victorian splendor, both inside and outside, and site visitors can also enjoy their pints encircled by stained glass, beveled mirrors, marble and mahogany. Have you ever yearned for that experience of drinking a glass or two inside a pricey antique market, then this is actually the spot for you. (46 Great Victoria Street)
 
 White's Tavern: The tavern, first opened up in 1630, claims the title of Belfast's earliest pub. The little, humble building is hidden away within an alley and could be difficult to find, but persistent people can reward themselves having a drink within the city's most venerable institutions. There is no pomp and circumstance -- just well-put pints along with a quiet, rustic atmosphere. (2-12 Wine Cellar Entry, between Rosemary oil and Roads)
 
The Morning Star: It once offered because the final stop around the Dublin-to-Belfast stagecoach line, that might explain the horseshoe-formed bar. Your building goes back to 1810 and offers certainly one of Belfast's most cozy, cozy pub encounters. (38-42 Great Victoria St.)
 
Shoreline Activities
Perfect for First-Time Site visitors: Experience a couple of Belfast's highlights by going to City Hall, one hundred-year-old Renaissance-style building encircled with a huge range of statues and monuments. Abide by it with a visit to the Ulster Museum. Additionally to the Irish history shows, the museum can also be full of collections dedicated to art, natural history, geology and industry.
 
Perfect for Laid-Back Vacationers: A vacation to the Mount Stewart House and Gardens, a sprawling 18th-century estate near Strangford Lough (Northern Ireland's form of America's Chesapeake Bay) is essential it's packed with antiques and dripping with elegance. The 4-hour tour gives site visitors sufficient time to determine the home and relish the ponds, fountains and greenery within the lush gardens.
 
Perfect for Active Vacationers: Begin your day with a trip to scenic Dunluce Castle before moving onto the Giant's Causeway, a sweeping natural staircase made from hexagonal gemstones that meander in the shoreline in to the ocean. One last stop may be the impressive Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge, suspended high over the ocean between two rocky coves.
 
Eating Out
Belfast has a multitude of restaurants to select from. Near to the port, fourth Mall is really a relaxed brassiere that’s well-liked by local people. It produces exciting dishes using in your area acquired produce, while offering a periodic menu.
 
Sea food lovers’ flock towards the Mourne Sea food Bar which develops its very own sea food in your area. It’s an excellent place to savor traditional and fusion dishes inside a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and it is a well known choice with local people in addition to site visitors.
 
The unimposing façade from the Shu Restaurant belies the delights that lie inside. This restaurant has gotten numerous accolades from various foodie sources, and quite appropriately so. Their mixture of local and worldwide dishes are cooked perfectly, using in your area acquired produce. Site visitors searching for something a bit special can go for private dining, and also the Shubar within the basement is ideal for an after dinner drink and dance.
 
Virtually every pub serves food in certain shape or form, which are wonderful places to test local dishes like sausages with champion (mashed taters dreamed track of spring let's eat some onions and butter) or oysters fresh from the bay. Sandwiches and Irish stew can be found on virtually every menu, and dining inside a pub is a terrific way to take in the neighborhood atmosphere throughout your meals. For any more formal dining experience, take a look at among the hot new restaurants suggestive of Belfast's growing food scene.
 
Best Local Eats: The John Hewitt (51 Donegall St., lunch Monday through Saturday from noon to three p.m.) delivers traditional Irish food at inexpensive price points, including homemade soup, grilled lamb and roasting fish. The atmosphere there's always festive, along with a great choice of beer and wine increases the attraction.
 
Perfect for Trendy Treat: James Street South (21 James St., lunch Monday through Friday from noon to 2:45 p.m.) is definitely an elegant eatery offering modern versions of Irish favorites inside a chic, minimalist setting. Costs are just a little high; however the three-course lunch menu is really quite reasonable at $29. Try the nice and cozy duck salad and roast ocean bream, and finished your food served by chocolate panacotta, a creamy dessert jazzed track of spiced apples.
 
Perfect for Families: Parents makes it easy on themselves if you take the children towards the Journey (2 Queen's Quay, open at 9 a.m.), a multi-story entertainment complex chock-filled with eateries, shops and diversions. The Journey Pavilion houses several restaurants well-liked by children, together with a sandwich bar, a pizza place, a Chinese restaurant as well as an old-fashioned diner known as Soda Joe's.
 
Bushmills: If you are planning a trip to Bushmills, stop for any midday bite in the restaurant in the Bushmills Motel, situated at 9 Dunluce Road. Open for supper from noon to 6 p.m., you will find items like sea food tempura, smoked fish, hamburgers, steak, pasta and an array of mouth-melting desserts. A vegetarian menu can also be available.
Shopping in Belfast
Not surprisingly of these an exciting cosmopolitan city, Belfast includes a huge variety of shopping areas offering high-finish designer boutiques to bargain marketplaces to understand more about. There is really something for everybody here.
 
A strong favorite with vacationers is Aunt Sandra’s Chocolate Factory. Using 100 years old quality recipes, the sweets are hands-produced in the quaint on-site factory. Aunt Sandra’s produces an array of chocolates and fudges and site visitors are asked to look at them being made and sample them in the finish from the tour.
 
 Victoria Square is really a glass-domed retail center having a breathtaking look at the town. It hosts an array of designer shops in addition to less expensive traditional stores along with a food court. St George’s Market offers site visitors towards the city a far more rustic shopping experience. This Victorian marketplace offers a variety of items at its weekend marketplaces. On Friday’s it’s full of from seafood to clothing. Saturday sees the meals and Craft Market spring directly into action, and Sunday offers a mixture of both. It’s an engaged shopping experience enhanced by live music along with a hectic atmosphere.



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