Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland, the second-largest city in all Ireland, and the 12th-largest city in the United Kingdom. The name comes from the Irish Béal Feirste, which means “river mouth” and “sandbank” in reference to its location on the banks of the River Lagan. Belfast is a major port and home to many industrial docks, such as the Harland and Wolff shipyard, the birthplace of the famous RMS Titanic that tragically sank in 1912. Belfast is a place full of history and commerce to experience. Here is how you can get the best out of Belfast in just 24 hours.
Start your day by exploring one of Belfast’s many great museums, the Ulster Museum. Take in the Renaissance-style architecture as a backdrop to numerous displays of art, industry, and discovery. Nearby is Belfast’s beautiful botanic garden. This extravagant public garden dates to 1828 and is known for its elegant dome-roofed conservatory. The botanic gardens feature many tropical species of plants from around the world. Don’t forget to make a stop at St George’s Market, open Friday to Sunday. This vibrant market offers a variety of fresh fare, from fruit and flowers to artisan crafts in a 19th-century atmosphere.
Since Belfast is the original home of the Titanic, no visit to this city would be complete without experiencing that piece of history. For educational and interactive exhibits, visit the Titanic Belfast museum. See full recreations of cabins and deck areas of the ship, and experience the exploration theater and the thrilling dark ride exhibit that gives you a first-hand experience of the Titanic’s harrowing last night. Next, you must stop by the SS Nomadic; an original ship used to carry passengers to the Titanic, which is now a maritime museum. After this incredible journey, you can take a break at Kelly’s Cellars, Belfast’s oldest traditional pub, and enjoy a pint.
As you wrap up the day, you can enjoy some more tranquil sightseeing. St Anne’s Cathedral is a beautiful monument to Belfast’s historic struggle towards peace. The cathedral was consecrated in 1904 partially as a war memorial. In it are echoes of an ages-old conflict between the Protestants and Catholics, before the signing of a peace settlement in 1998. Around town, you will also spot many other notable monuments. The Albert Memorial Clock is a tower constructed during the 1860s with a statue to memorialize Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the clock tower itself is leaning. Be sure to also check out the Big Fish, a massive ceramic sculpture of a fish in honor of the River Lagan, where you can find pictures and text recounting Belfast’s history.
Experience Ireland With AESU
AESU offers unique, thrilling travel programs for college students and young professionals at affordable rates. Each trip is action-packed and informal—designed just for people your own age. We are also able to design custom tours just for your group.
Experience an exhilarating adventure to Belfast and more on the Northern Ireland: Game of Thrones tour!
If you have any questions or want help booking your European adventure, please contact AESU by calling 800-638-7640, or fill out the contact form found on our website!