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Belfast travel guide: things to see and do, best hotels, best restaurants

Titanic Belfast

Belfast is the “Home of the Titanic” and home to the largest Titanic tour experience in the world. Located next to Titanic’s slipways and Harland & Wolff drawing offices – the very place where the ship was designed, built and launched – Titanic Belfast relays the story of the doomed ocean liner and its subsequent place in history. Visitors can trace the ship’s journey through time and Belfast’s role in the wider shipbuilding industry.

The ‘tourism’ troubles

“Tourism” is “booming” and the “once most notorious areas” of the city are inundated with international visitors, the Belfast Telegraph said. The Crumlin Road Gaol, a 19th century Grade A listed prison, is open to the public for tours and is the No.1 attraction to visit in Belfast, according to Trip Advisor. It offers guided and self-guided prison experiences as well as “The Troubles Tour” by black cab or on foot.

The Ulster Museum is one of Belfast’s must-see attractions, PlanetWare.com said. This impressive national museum “should be high on any visitor’s list for a number of reasons”, not least because it “doesn’t shy away from the city’s recent troubled past”.

Going around the Belfast Peace Walls is now a thing or a kind of tourist attraction, said blog Brit On The Move. The Peace Walls – or Peace Lines as they are sometimes called – are a series of barriers in Northern Ireland which separate Catholic Republican and Nationalist areas from Protestant Loyalist and Unionist areas. “It is a deeply moving tribute to both parties.”

The Belfast Experience also offers walking tours and taxi tours of Shankill Road, giving visitors the chance to “be part of historical happenings with a hands-on and thought-provoking approach”.

Great outdoors: walking, golf and sailing

Just north of the city, a ten-minute drive from Belfast Zoo and a 20-minute drive from Crumlin Road Jail, you’ll find Cave Hill Country Park, which offers “by far one of the best walks in Belfast” , said James. March on The Irish Road Trip. Rated Belfast’s best park by Lonely Planet, the panoramic view from the top of Cave Hill (368m) “encompasses the full expanse of the city, the quays, Belfast Lough and the Morne Mountains – on a clear day you will can see Scotland”.

Northern Ireland is a golfer’s paradise and offers around 100 courses for players to enjoy. If you’re in Belfast, “and have your clubs to hand”, then be sure to play at the “impeccably conditioned” Malone Golf Club, Top100GolfCourses.com said. “You’ll be hard pressed to find a better course in a park.”

For sailing enthusiasts, the spectacular inlet of Belfast Lough offers thrilling water adventures. Follow Seas offers a ‘Sailing in the Wake of Giants’ day trip from £125.

CS Lewis Square

The Chronicles of Narnia Author CS Lewis was born in Belfast and the square named after him is a public space with seven bronze sculptures by The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It is a “stunning display of public art”, VisitBelfast.com said.

The iron Throne

The “coastal roads, rugged castles and sprawling glens” of Northern Ireland served as the backdrop for the Seven Kingdoms in The iron Throne, said VisitBelfast.com. In addition to filming locations and driving directions, fans can also visit the official website The iron Throne studio visit to Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge, 30 minutes drive from the city via the M1 and A1.