The top sights, highlights, tours & travel itinaries curated by our Travel Experts.
Belfast. Where to begin? The capital of Northern Ireland, and birthplace to the world-famous RMS Titanic. An intensely historic city, most known for the Troubles—a sectarian war that took place between 1969 and 1998. Nowadays, Belfast is energetic and young. It’s home to a lively pub culture, and a thriving food, music, and artistic scene. So, get ready for a pint, a good dollop of Irish craic, and a vacation that will leave you yearning for more. Speak to one of our Travel Experts today about your personalised Belfast tour with Tourlane.
Museum about Titanic ship tragedy
Start off your Belfast tour with the brilliant, and highly interactive museum about the Titanic—the ‘unsinkable’ ship that struck an iceberg and sank in 1912, killing more than 1,500 people. Located on the site where the gigantic cruiser was built and launched, this spectacular building is an architectural wonder in its own right: four great metallic wings look like the hulls of several ships, jutting out on diagonals. This exhibition will inspire and move you, as it leads you from the engineering feats of the 20th century, to the tales of the ship designers, craftspeople, and passengers, whose lives were forever changed, and taken, by the ill-fated ocean liner. It’s one not to be missed!
In the heart of Belfast, stands the great City Hall. Grand, bold, and proud, its towering dome, and impressive gardens, give this building serious gravitas—an element of any Belfast vacation. Wander through its halls, and gaze up at the stained glass windows, displaying scenes of Celtic legends, the Great Famine, and tributes to the women of the city. Outside, you’ll find a Cenotaph commemorating the fallen of the First World War, as well as ‘The Belfast List’—a 30-foot long plinth that names all 1,512 people who died in the Titanic tragedy.
The Crumlin Gaol, once called ‘The Alcatraz of Europe’, is a crucial part of any Belfast vacation. On the 70-minute tour through this high-security prison, you’ll see everything from the courthouse to the Condemned Man’s Cell, where 17 men once awaited execution. Opened in 1846, the prison was in use for 150 years, having held suffragettes to murderers, as well as key figures during the Troubles, before it was finally closed in 1996. Standing in the halls that 25,000 inmates have passed through before is a harrowing experience, but a formative one.
After some tough history, it’s time to lighten the mood and to refuel with some tasty bites. And luckily, we’ve got just the place: St George’s Market, a 100% local, and extremely popular food hall, located just next to the River Lagan. From Friday to Sunday, the covered market is filled with some 250 vendors, ready to feed hungry bellies with anything from French crêpes to the local savoury favourite: a breakfast roll with potato bread, bacon, sausage and an egg. And for the plant-eaters, we’ve got you covered too! St George’s boasts an impressive array of vegan and veggie options—Fin McVeg is delicious! We hope you’re hungry!
Finish your Belfast tour on a high with a visit to one of the city’s oldest pubs. At Kelly’s Cellars, you can enjoy one of the best Guinnesses in town along with a hearty portion of beef Irish stew, as you soak up the energetic and jovial atmosphere, with a backdrop of live, foot-tapping traditional Irish music. Built in 1720, Kelly’s has stood the tests of time, and still owns many of its original features—with its low ceilings, white washed walls, a slanting floor and an open fireplace—and marks a point of historical significance, as it was the meeting place for leaders of the 1798 rebellion against the English. Less
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