no alt text

Bucket list destination:

Last updated: 30 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Nicola Brady

Belfast has shaken off the shadows of its history and emerged as a vibrant, arty and colourful city, with street art around every corner and a healthy smattering of Michelin stars.

And while there’s so much more to the city than drinking, the city’s historic pubs are as charming as they are convivial, with cosy, fireside nooks that are perfect for sheltering from an afternoon rain shower.

This is a place where you can potter around an art gallery, stroll around the botanical gardens and get chatting to the supernaturally friendly locals who cross your path – just be prepared to keep nattering for an hour or more.

Tours, tickets & transfers

5

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this destination, plus helpful tickets and transfers

A History of Terror - Belfast City Centre Walking Tour

Belfast

A History of Terror - Belfast City Centre Walking Tour
Over 2 hours and 30 minutes, our local expert guides will take you on a journey back in time through the city centre of Belfast. You will discover how 'the Troubles' started, visit the locations where some of the most important events occurred, and learn about the path to reconciliation and eventually peace (and the challenges the future may hold). You will discover the realities of growing up and living your life during the conflict, and how it touched everyone. The tour is factual and historically accurate to ensure it is unbiased, the guides are conflict historians, who also weave their own stories into their tours to bring history to life, transporting you back to the Belfast of the 1970s and giving you a unique understanding of the recent past. The tour starts each day at 10.30am.

Price: £22

Min age: 12

Rating 4.96 / 5 [1906 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo

City Sightseeing Belfast Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Belfast

City Sightseeing Belfast Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Discover Belfast, with a 1 or 2 day unlimited hop-on hop-off bus pass. This enjoyable sightseeing tour will take you to all of the key landmarks, including Titanic Belfast, Stormont, St George's Market, Queen's University, the Botanic Gardens, Albert Memorial Clock, the Big Fish sculpture and much more! Explore all of Belfast's fabulous culture at your own pace, hopping on and off the double-decker bus as much as you want in the chosen time period. Learn all about the character of Northern Ireland's capital city from the on-board audio tour commentary, which is provided in several languages. And experience 360 degree views from the open-top deck, before hopping off for a closer look!

Price: £20

Min age: 0

Rating 4.30 / 5 [1463 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo

Best of Belfast Walking Tour

Belfast

Best of Belfast Walking Tour
Starting at our iconic City Hall, our Best of Belfast walking tour is your essential introduction to Belfast and its past; an amazing way to discover fantastic street art, beautiful architecture, curious history and the unique stories of Belfast’s citizens throughout the centuries. Our award-winning guides are local experts, born and bred in Belfast who love to introduce guests to our city and its secrets. You will hear about the Troubles and the Titanic, but there is so much more to our city. Not only will you learn the story of Belfast but with the help of your guide you'll discover bars, restaurants and whole districts you may not otherwise have found, gain the confidence to explore further and really make the most of your visit. Starting and finishing your tour at City Hall, the entire walk is less than 2 miles and with 14 stops on the tour we promise an experience which truly connects you with the heart of Belfast!

Price: £22

Min age: 12

Rating 4.97 / 5 [234 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo

Belfast Political Tour-Conflicting Stories Walking Tour

Belfast

Belfast Political Tour-Conflicting Stories Walking Tour
The opportunity to experience a tour of a lifetime. Understanding Belfast's troubled history with a honestly presented political tour by Republican and Loyalist ex-political prisoners. Discover a side of Belfast you won't find in the Tourist books, We invite you to walk the streets of the city on both sides of the Peace Wall with the men and women who have served time in prisons of Northern Ireland for standing up for their beliefs. Republican and Loyalist ex-prisoners will share their own personal stories and the effects on their communities and explain the murals that tell the local history and culture of each area. The only tour to give you two truly opposing views of 'The Troubles' through the streets of West Belfast. A portion of the tours proceeds goes to working with local children in cross community projects.

Price: £23

Min age: 15

Rating 4.58 / 5 [219 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo

Belfast Bike Tours

Belfast

Belfast Bike Tours
Get outside and join a guide on a bike ride around Belfast. Bike rental is included, so you don't have to worry about bringing one with you, and a guide takes care of the navigating so you don't get lost. Highlights include Belfast's famous murals, one of Ireland's oldest pubs, Belfast City Hall, St. George's Market, and the Titanic Quarter. So you don't miss anything important—there are plenty of stops and the guide provides commentary along the way.

Price: £30

Min age: 1

Rating 4.99 / 5 [201 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo

Travel advice

When to go

Summer is always a busy time in the city, and weekends in peak season can book up far in advance – this means tickets for tourist attractions as well as hotels. The city is at its most beautiful in late spring (April and May) and autumn (September and October), when the weather tends to be at its best.

But remember – this is Ireland, and the weather can change by the minute. So dress accordingly!

Getting there and away

There are two airports in Belfast. George Best Belfast City Airport is the more central (right by the Titanic Quarter),  around 10 minutes from the city centre by taxi, or 15 minutes via the Airport Express bus. Budget airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet use Belfast International Airport, which is around a 30 minute drive from the city centre. The bus takes 45 minutes.

Getting around

The city is so compact that walking is your best mode of transport. For sights that are a little further out of the city (like the Titanic Quarter and Peace Mural) you’re better off getting a taxi than faffing around with public transport – if you’re on a budget, the city’s buses can be slow, but do pass most of the main sights.

To see anything well outside of the city, such as the Giant’s Causeway, your best bet is to rent a car – public transport outside of Belfast is pretty sparse.

Where to stay

If you want to be in the heart of the action, with a wealth of restaurants and bars at your fingertips, the historic Cathedral Quarter is your best bet. While there are a few exceptions (the Titanic Hotel being one), it’s best to keep as close to the Cathedral Quarter as possible, to avoid lengthy taxi rides home.

If you’d prefer to avoid street noise (Belfast likes to party) then opt for one of the taller hotels near City Hall.