BELFAST – THE PEARL OF NORTHERN IRELAND
Steeped in history, vibrant Belfast is a destination with a difference! Get to know this welcoming city with a stay at the upscale Radisson Blu Hotel, Belfast. Located near the city centre in the historic Gasworks area, the hotel is a great base for shopping, strolling through Belfast’s Victorian streets, exploring the countless traditional bars and trendy clubs, or taking a trip to the renowned Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.
As Northern Ireland’s largest city Belfast has always been a hub of trade and activity, building a solid foundation for the busy, happening city it is today. There’s no doubt it’s a first class place to jump into and explore and the contemporary Radisson Blu Hotel, Belfast, located in the bold and creative Gasworks area, is just a quick bus ride to the very heart of the action.
The city’s landmark architecture tells the story of its past - the Linen warehouses and shipyards add a historical reference to the stylish modern city Belfast is today. There’s something for everyone in Belfast from fascinating tours of the Murals and key streets at the centre of ‘The Troubles’, to a trip to buy local produce at the lively St. George’s Market. And no visit to Belfast would be complete without a visit to the birthplace of the Titanic, which sailed and sank on its maiden voyage in 1912. Today one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland is in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter – the iconic Titanic Museum.
Belfast is a dynamic melting pot of old and new split into areas which reflect its history. There are 250 listed buildings and 14 Conservation Areas in the city and over the last few years a lot of energy has been put into restoring some of Belfast’s most historic buildings. Wandering through the lively streets is one of the best ways to see these remarkable places. The Cathedral Quarter is home to some of the city’s oldest buildings but also the art scene with the MAC (Metropolitan Art Centre) and Custom House Square, where there’s always something creative going on – from street entertainment to music festivals and theatre. The animated Queen’s Quarter is where the students hang out in leafy side streets and quirky shops and cafes, while those looking for a more traditional Irish experience won’t be disappointed with the Gaeltacht Quarter, which shows off the Emerald Isle at its best – filled with folk music, Irish cuisine and jolly upbeat pubs.
Belfast has several cultural quarters and a dynamic range of sights and experiences – so many it’s hard to know where to begin, so we’re giving you a helping hand. Here’s five top Belfast attractions we don’t want you to miss out on.
- The Titanic Quarter, famous for its shipbuilding roots and home to the contemporary Titanic Museum, is an absolute must for anyone visiting this stylish city. While you’re there why not take a peek at SS Nomadic – built alongside the Titanic and a quarter of its size, this ship tells the story of life at sea after the great ship sank.
- There’s been a glorious resurgence in recycling, arts and crafts and living ‘the Good Life’ and what better place to experience all of this than at the famous St George’s Market. There’s been a market on this spot since 1604 – Friday, Saturday and Sunday all offer different experiences from fresh fish, to antiques, to warm home-made cakes.
- ‘The Troubles’ have shaped much of Belfast’s character and taking a tour to the key areas in the city is both moving and essential to understanding the Belfast of today. You’ll get to see the Shankill area, and the Falls as well as the Murals and Peace Wall along with a detailed history including the peace process.
- Head to Lisburn Road, ‘the King’s Road of Belfast’ with its designer stores and trendy boutiques. It’s easy to get absorbed in the beautiful objects around you from antiques to vintage dresses and unique jewellery.
- You’ve explored the streets of Belfast, soaked up the architecture and culture so what about the nightlife? There’s so much to choose from but if you head to the Cathedral Quarter you’ll find a real Belfast buzz at the lively but traditional Duke of York – there’s live music, whiskey and plenty of friendly faces to share the night with.
Belfast is a city with such a lot to offer it can be hard to know where to begin exploring, but taking one of the city’s unique tours will help everything fall into place. Here we’ve picked five ways to see Belfast.
- Taxi! Belfast is famous for its Black Cab Tours and you’ll get an excellent tour of the city with people who know it like the back of their hand. You can choose to go down the political route or look at the architecture or be whisked around all the places connected to the Titanic.
- Float your boat! Getting out and about on the River Lagan will give you a different perspective of Belfast so jump on a boat tour and take your camera for sights of the city, the docklands and the people.
- On your bike! Hop on a bike tour – this is a great way to see the city sights and it’s really fun and flexible too. You can easily park up and have a coffee – or a pint of Guinness to make the onward journey even more interesting.
- Belfast on the run! If you’re feeling more energetic you can take a running tour to see Belfast. The hotel can help with a route or you can join a guided tour which usually starts in front of the City Hall on Sunday at 10.30am.
- On the buses! If you don’t fancy working up a sweat take a bus tour. Jump on and off the bus at places that interest you – from the Titanic Quarter to the Cathedral Quarter, the Murals, Falls Road and Shankill Road. Tickets last for two days so you can take your time and enjoy.
Belfast is a busy, exciting city full of history and modern quirks. Here are some ideas for how to spend your time while you are staying with us.
- Take an architectural tour. The story of Belfast will be told through its wonderful old buildings (there are 250 listed buildings in Belfast) from the huge warehouses and shipyards to the murals on the walls from the Troubles. There are lots of different tours you can take – by bus, taxi, bike or walking.
- Visit the city’s Titanic Quarter where the great Titanic was born ready for its fateful voyage in 1912. There’s a great modern building for the Titanic Museum and it’s a good place to get an understanding of what the shipbuilding industry meant to the city and the tragedy of the lives lost on the iconic ship.
- Check out Belfast’s art scene at the MAC (Metropolitan Art Centre) and discover the international exhibitions and theatre, dance, art and music this new modern centre offers. You can pick up some lunch in the Cathedral Quarter afterwards.
- Top up your wardrobe with a trip around some of Belfast’s shopping centres. Victoria Square and Castle Court are bursting with places to splash your cash from large department stores to popular high street shops.
- If you’re after a tipple head to the docklands and do a tasting session at wine merchants Direct Wine Shipments – this place has knowledgeable staff who can match your wines to food and help you choose the right case for special occasions.
- For a fun night out head to the Gaeltacht Quarter, which is filled with Irish folk music, busy pubs and traditional restaurants – it’s here you’ll find your feet, tap out a jig and reminisce over a great day sightseeing in Belfast.