Belfast travel guide

With its turbulent past behind it, Belfast is an exciting, progressive city with buckets of charm and a welcoming buzz. Despite its compact size, Belfast manages to give travellers lots to see and do. There are world-class museums, castles, cathedrals, Michelin-starred restaurants, cosy traditional pubs, loads of live music, shopping strips, galleries and parks. You can also take in the spectacular surrounding countryside and views across the Belfast skyline along the Black Mountain ridge trail. If you’re planning a visit, explore our Belfast travel guide and find out how to make the most of your time in this Northern Irish city. We’ve collected the best tips from our travel experts, and have all sorts of suggestions for things to do, the best time to travel, where to stay in Belfast, getting around and more.

Where to stay

While not a particularly large city, Belfast is divided into four major quarters – the Titanic Quarter, the Cathedral Quarter, the Queen’s Quarter and the Gaeltacht Quarter – in addition to the city centre itself. Each of these areas boasts unique locations, landmarks and activities for visitors to check out, but they’re also home to some of the best places to stay in Belfast.

Things to do

While one of the more compact capital cities in the world, there are far more things to do in Belfast than you might think at first. From tourist attractions like the Northern Ireland Science Park and historic Crumlin Road Gaol, to the gorgeous countryside surrounds beyond the city limits, there’s so much on offer. Here are a few ideas to help get your itinerary started.

Travel tips

If you haven’t travelled to the UK before, there are a few Belfast travel tips to help you prepare for an enjoyable holiday here.  Belfast is located in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. This is different to the Republic of Ireland, which accounts for the rest of the Irish mainland. So if you plan to head from Australia to Belfast, you should expect the same entry procedure through customs as you would find at any airport in the UK.

Getting Around

While not the largest city in the world, plenty of Belfast transport is still on hand to help you get from A to B that little bit faster. In a city built on industry, good transport infrastructure is important and Belfast exemplifies this with on-time public transport and minimal road traffic.  Whether you prefer taking taxis, relying on busses, hiring a bike or just walking the streets at your own leisure, you’ll be in your element here. There’s no wrong way to get around in Belfast.

Where to eat

After a few hours in the city, you’ll likely find yourself in search of some quality Belfast food and drink. Good news: your search won’t take long. No matter where you are in the city or its many quarters, amazing food abounds – and who could pass up the opportunity to try an authentic, home-cooked Irish stew? ...


Home to sprawling shopping centres and small designer boutiques alike, Belfast shopping makes bargain hunting a breeze. Several streets of the city centre are almost exclusively dedicated to shopping centres, precincts, squares, and markets.  From high fashion to homemade keepsakes to remember your northern adventure by, there’s a great souvenir waiting for you in Belfast. If you aren’t sure where to start, take a trip to the CastleCourt shopping centre, the Queen’s Arcade, or consult a Belfast shopping guide to see when and where markets are being held during your holiday.

Best time to travel

While the weather in Belfast is the subject of much bemoaning among the locals, if you were to ask them when they thought was the best time to travel to Belfast, they’d probably suggest you visit during the summer. We tend to concur with this – Belfast in the summer brings comfortable temperatures, more daylight hours than any other time of year, and even a dip in the amount of rainfall. ...


Located in one of Northern Ireland’s leafiest areas, Belfast parks rank among the finest anywhere on the Irish isle. From the gorgeous hills overlooking the city and bay to the east, the rolling fields to the city’s west and the many public parks and squares that dot the city, Belfast has a space for nature lovers of every stripe to explore. Start your nature journey in the delightful Botanic Gardens, pack a picnic lunch for the Lagan Valley, or spend time musing at the statues of CS Lewis Square. Alternatively, head to Ormeau Park for a workout with picturesque views.