The Capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast is an amazing city to experience. With an amazing airport, motorways and seaport, Belfast can be accessed by all avenues of transport. Perhaps the biggest claim to popularity Belfast has to offer is the main shipbuilders of the city – Harland and Wolff, which built the RMS Titanic.
Of course Parks and gardens are an important part of Belfast’s vast heritage and house a myriad of species of local wildlife and are popular sites for picnics and walks in the milder months, as well as playing host to a variety of activities and festivals.
Belfast also boasts an amazing zoo – Belfast Zoo – where you can see vulnerable and endangered species including Malayan Sun Bear’s, a Temmincks Golden Cat or the impressive Western Lowland Gorilla. Of course, being a large city, Belfast also has a fantastic nightlife and shopping facilities, as well as fabulous restaurants and entertainment outlets.
Belfast Zoo, Antrim Road, Belfast BT16 7PN (028) 9077 6277
The top fee paying attraction in Belfast, Belfast Zoo offers a 55 acre home to more than 1,200 animals.
Overlooking Belfast Lough, it offers stunning views, particularly ‘lake side’. Here visitors can enjoy a picnic or visit to the play farm; home of ring-tailed lemurs, waterfowl and flamingos.
Botanic Gardens, College Park, Botanic Avenue, Belfast BT9 (028) 9031 4762
Devised during Victorian times, Belfast’s Botanic Gardens is a popular meeting place for residents and tourists.
The most important features; the Palm House and Tropical Ravine; offer visitors an assortment of tropical plants, flower beds and mature trees to enjoy.
Whowhatwherewhenwhy – W5, Odyssey Complex, Queen’s Quay BT3 9QQ (028) 9046 7707
Created as an interactive discovery centre, W5 has become one of Northern Ireland’s favourite tourist attractions.
Visitors can enjoy over 160 exhibits in four areas and can even build houses, explore castles or just go ‘make-believe’ shopping.
Ulster Museum, Stranmills Road, Belfast BT9 5AB (0845) 608 0000
Featuring a 23-metre high atrium at its entrance and glass and steel walkways throughout, the Ulster Museum has been the subject of a £17.5m refurbishment.
Housing a diverse collection of iconic objects, the museum boasts the most complete real dinosaur fossil on display in Ireland and a 7th Century Egyptian mummy.
Titanic’s Dock and Pump-House, Queen’s Road, Belfast BT3 9DT (028) 9073 7813
It was, of course, at the beginning of the 20th Century that the Harland & Wolff-constructed ‘Titanic’ launched from this very dock. Today, this exhibition; on the site of the Northern Ireland Science Park; brings to life the extraordinary story of the people and technology of the time.
Visitors can enjoy guided tours that take them along the dry dock to view a scale trail which shows just how big ‘Titanic’ was.