Belfast, home to the wall murals with their dark political past, birthplace of the RMS Titanic which met its fate in 1912, and a gateway to the Giants Causeway. Belfast is a significant place for modern history and natural landmarks in the western world.
As a destination, there’s plenty to see and do, with attractions to suit all ages. If you love museums and art galleries, the city’s unique cultural hub awaits you. And compared to Ireland’s other capital, Dublin, the city of Belfast is much cheaper for food and drink. So you can enjoy a culinary feast or enjoy a night on the town for less.
The Botanic Gardens is an important part of the city’s Victorian heritage, with its unique listed building and fine example of Victorian glasshouse technology for growing the exotic plants housed here.
Titanic Belfast is a must for anyone staying in or visiting the Northern Ireland capital. It’s been named as the world’s leading tourist attraction, and offers 9 interactive galleries, a shipyard ride, and a bistro serving Titanic heritage dishes.
Photo: Mariusz Kluzniak
Belfast City Hall first opened its doors in 1906 and has served as the capital’s civic building ever since. Free tours are available throughout the seasons, and there’s also the Titanic Memorial Garden on site.
Belfast Castle is nestled into the hills of Cavehill Country Park and boasts a fairy tale setting for those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle. Take a long walk, explore its gardens, or enjoy coffee and fresh scones in the café.
The Ulster Museum features collections of art, history and natural sciences, and is suitable for all age groups. Get up close to dinosaur remains, see a real Egyptian mummy, and witness famous paintings in person.
There’s no shortage of attractions in Belfast, with many of Ireland’s top museums and galleries found here. This is definitely a capital that can appeal to history buffs and culture vultures, as there’s simply so much to see on your tour. But the best museum by far is perhaps the open air display of the city’s graffiti and art murals. Since ‘The Troubles’ ended in 1998, the walls now tell the story of when Catholic and Protestant communities were at war – a sober reminder of the country’s violent past.
For more troubles history, visit Crumlin Road Gaol to see where the most notorious criminals were held. Look through the political archives at Linen Hall Library and Belfast Exposed. Or hop on an open top tour bus from Shankill Road to sightsee in comfort.
When you need to refuel, make your way to Great Victoria Street and Grosvenor Road where you will be spoiled for choice with restaurants and bars. For history and some good tipple combined, don’t miss the unique Crown Liquor Saloon. It’s famed for its 1820s pub décor, and boasts a menu of traditional British and Irish dishes. If you’re a seafood fan, you won’t be disappointed with the selection either. Mourne Seafood Bar is hugely popular with locals and tourists alike, serving everything from oysters and juicy scallops to fresh lobster and langoustines, all sourced from its own shellfish beds.
If you are travelling with children, the Zoological Gardens makes a great day out. The zoo is home to over 140 different species, many of which would be in danger within their own natural habitats. The whole family will also enjoy strolling around St George’s Market, the last surviving Victorian covered market in Belfast featuring everything from food stalls to crafts and gifts.
The summer months are the best time to take a tour if you’re keen for warmer weather. Although the city is a fantastic place to stay and sightsee in any season. Visit in June, July and August for long daylight hours, pleasant sunshine and an average temperature of 17°C or more. Summer also marks the start of some of the city’s top festivals. Belfast Photo Festival, Belfast Guitar Festival, Belfast Hills Heritage Festival, Belsonic, East Side Arts Festival, August Feile, and Summer Sundays in Ward Park are just to name a few.
To avoid the crowds and to benefit from the cheapest travel, plan your tour in the spring or autumn. The shoulder season offers just as much charm, without the mad tourist rush. In April and May, you can expect highs of 12-15°C, whilst in September you can expect highs of 16°C. October starts to get wetter, but the beautiful hues of orange, red and gold will make it worth your while.
If you’re interested in winter travel, the Belfast Christmas Market is one of the best festive events in Europe. Enjoy a hot mug of mulled wine with a tasty hog roast, and pick up one-of-a-kind gifts from the artisan craft stalls.
Photo: Flood Risk Management NI
We have tours that include Belfast as a city stop along with Donegal, Londonderry and the Giant’s Causeway. The capital is an ideal destination to finish your journey after experiencing those breath-taking views of the Antrim Coast and Glens, and exploring the amazing countryside in Northern Ireland.
Whether you’re here to learn more about the city’s history, or interested in Irish gastronomy, there’s something for everyone. To find out more about our tours to Belfast and beyond, take a look at our itineraries below.
Join us as we visit many of Ireland’s best loved landmarks and off the beaten track hidden gems.
Overland Jewel is a relaxed style tour that focuses on authentic experiences that capture the real Ireland.
Think castles, picture perfect villages, epic scenery and allow us to introduce you to our friends and partners throughout the country.
Enjoy very light activity including walking tours and kayaking (which is optional). Jewel Tours are perfect for going at a smoother pace.
This is Ireland unfiltered!
Belfast is a capital that offers something for every type of traveller. With its unique and harrowing political history, it’s a significant place that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. And it’s one of the most exciting destinations to add to your Ireland adventure tour.
Before you venture into the city, our team will give you their recommendations for things to see and fun things to do with your group. They can also let you know some of the best places to eat and drink, and advise you on the top spots for nightlife.
To book your tour, or to create your own tailor made experience to Belfast, get in touch now.
Our Ten Day Ultimate Tour was amazing from beginning to end. Ray and Marie were awesome guides, our accommodations were excellent, the experiences were incredibly fun, and Ireland is spectacularly beautiful. I can’t recommend this tour and Overland Ireland strongly enough.
Margie – Google Review
Epic, totally epic!
Safe to say it was one of, if not, the best holiday EVER!
the accommodation was great, the breakfasts were delicious. The guide was friendly and informative – really felt like I learned a lot about all aspects of Ireland.
The activities were so fun.
As a solo traveller, I felt like it was a really inclusive group, we had some great nights out in the cutest local bars and listened to some great Irish music.
It also helped that the weather was sunny, every single day.
I loved every minute of this tour.
Marc – TripAdvisor Review