There are 8 things you must do on your trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland to see it’s natural beauty and delve into its tumultuous history.
1. Titanic Quarter
While we easily spent a couple hours exploring the Titanic Quarter of Belfast for free, we plan to go back someday to tour the actual museum when we have more time.
I just love the sculpture pictured above, far right. It’s a giant model ship punch out sheet.
2. Catch the Panoramic View from Victoria Square Shopping Centre
Stop by Victoria Square Shopping Centre and take the elevator to the top for great views of the city. Plus, when we arrived there was as local guide who gave us great suggestions of things to do in the area.
See those yellow cranes in the distance? Those are Samson and Goliath, shipbuilding cranes and icons of the city.
3. Falls Road Murals and Peace Wall
We stayed in the Falls in an AirBnb. The walk from downtown on Falls Road took about 25 minutes. Along the way we were able to see the Murals and Peace Wall. The Peace Wall was put up during the rebellions in 1971 by the British and separated the Catholic neighborhood from the Protestant. I was shocked to learn that the wall’s gates continue to be closed nightly! The Murals depicted scenes and ideals from the struggle for Northern independence.
4. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
From Belfast, we drove the Causeway Coastal Route north. Our first destination, was the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge. For £7.00, you can walk the bridge to a small island. The bridge was originally built by fishermen in the 1700’s and still today, a fisherman’s house remains on the island.
5. Giant’s Causeway
The best local tip we received was that we shouldn’t pay a penny (pence) at the Giant’s Causeway. Park on the street and walk under the bridge (to the back of the museum/gift shop) and save the £10.50 per person. If you park in the lot, they’ll require you to purchase a ticket.
Read about the Legend of the Giant’s Causeway. What is really cool about the causeway is that, if you follow a straight line to Scotland, you’ll find similar rock formations along its shoreline.
6. Bushmill’s Whisky Distillery
The Causeway is very close to Bushmill’s, so we couldn’t pass up to visit the world’s oldest Whisky Distillery (est. 1608).
7. Game of Thrones’ Kingsroad
For any Game of Thrones fans, you’ll want to take a short detour off the Coastal Route to see the famous Dark Hedges, aka “Kingsroad.”
8. Delve in to the War-torn Troubled History of Derry
Our final stop in Northern Ireland was Derry where we found more reminders of the Civil Rights movements in Northern Ireland. The city is referred to as Londonderry by the Protestants while Catholics favor Derry.
Derry is home to Ireland’s best walled city. On your arrival to the city, spend some time walking the Walled City Heritage Trail to learn about the city’s history and get a lay of the land.