Due to the COVID-19 pandemic ruining all my travel plans for the foreseeable future, I have decided to look back on my past trips! One of my favourite city breaks was visiting Belfast in 2019. As I had such an amazing time I have decided to list a few reasons why you should make Belfast your next city break!
The History – Belfast was a completely different place only 20 years ago. There was so much violence in the city and it was a pretty unsafe place to be. You can learn about how the violence came to an end by hopping on one of the bus tours. we used Belfast City Sightseeing and I can’t recommend them enough! Their tour guides are so friendly and the tours drop you at the door of the museums, they also gave you a discount for the museums on their route. The bus takes you all around the city and whilst showing you some of the main tourist attractions it also shows you the darker side of Belfast where there is still a huge divide between the two communities. It is extremely eye-opening.
Cathedral Quarter – This area of the city is lined with funky bars and restaurants. It has such a great vibe about it and it is always buzzing. The streets are decorated with colourful benches and fairy lights, which makes a great spot for a good Instagram pic! You won’t be stuck finding somewhere for a drink or food in Belfast, you can literally fall out of one bar and fall into the next!
The Museums – Whilst we were in Belfast we visited the Titanic Experience and the Crumlin Road Gaol. I definitely learnt a lot from the Titanic Experience. It focused on Belfast’s part in the building of the Titanic and how it was a huge part of the city. Some of the things you learn about are the conditions the workers were in whilst building the ship, how the aftermath effected the city and also you get to see what the ship was like inside. The museum also has a ride which takes you around a reconstructed shipyard, it really gives you a feel of what it was like. We also visited the Crumlin Road Gaol, which was one of the main prisons which held terrorists who were involved in Northern Ireland’s troubles only 22 years ago. Some of the information was really shocking and it is hard to believe what was happening in Belfast just before I was born. You get taken into the execution room where the last execution took place in 1961. I won’t give away too much but I would definitely recommend you pay a visit to Crumlin Road Gaol as it is so crazy to think of the things that took place only 22 years ago.
The Shopping – Belfast has a huge shopping centre called Victoria Square with over 60 shops including All Saints, House of Fraser, MAC, Kurt Geiger, the list goes on. The TopShop is also one of the best and biggest ones I’ve been in! It is perfect for a bit of retail therapy in between the museums and drinking.
The Murals – Belfast’s streets are scattered with amazing murals which all have meaning in relation to the city’s past and future. The bus tour takes you around most of the murals and explains their meanings, although some of them are hidden down the small streets throughout the city. There are some great photo opportunities and it is fascinating to see the level of detail.
Thanks for reading,
Georgia May x