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Things to do in Belfast

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.

Belfast Castle

Belfast Castle is an integral part of the city's landscape and history. Though the building that sits on the site today is a beautiful castle-like mansion constructed in 1811, the original structure (and the one for which the site is named) was built in the 1100s by Normans before being destroyed by fire in the 1700s.
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Carrickfergus Castle

Carrickfergus Castle is another Norman castle by Belfast Lough constructed in the 1100s, this one still in remarkably good condition. A verified ancient monument, it has the distinction of being one of the world's longest-standing military structures, continuously garrisoned for some 750 years before the British Army transferred ownership of the castle to the Northern Ireland government in 1928.
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West Belfast Black Taxi Tours

Belfast's famous Black Taxi Tours are a local institution and a great way to see the city. Guided by a knowledgeable driver, you'll take in the city's many sites by road. From the SS Nomadic to the Albert Memorial Clock, from St Anne's Cathedral to the Clonard Monastery, this is the most efficient way to see the city. The real highlight, however are Belfast's political murals and the Peace Line – an incredible part of the city's turbulent history.
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Crumlin Road Gaol

Operational for 150 years and known in its day as the Alcatraz of Europe, Crumlin Road Gaol (also known as HMP Belfast or by the locals simply as The Crum) is another of Belfast's great architectural accomplishments. Home to thousands of prisoners over the course of its life, The Crum was still operational until it was officially closed in 1996.
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Belfast City Hall

Located in Donegal Square, Belfast City Hall was built in 1910 on the site of the old White Linen Building (from which structure the Linen Quarter, where the current building resides, takes its name). While the building remains the operational home of the Belfast city government today, it's also open for guided tours.
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Stormont

Stormont, the common name for Belfast's Parliament Buildings, lies east of the city in County Down. Surrounded by parklands and forests, the area is the home of the Northern Ireland Assembly, the body that answers to the UK government. The building itself has not changed much in the years since its completion in 1932, and is still operational and providing guided tours to this day.
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Ulster Museum

Ulster Museum is Belfast's largest and most popular museum and gallery, filled with hundreds of exhibits and artworks from the Emerald Isle and abroad. Originally established in 1929, it has been a fixture in the city ever since, dutifully collecting and recording its history for future generations and educating those here now on everything that came before.
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Grand Opera House Belfast

One of Belfast's grand old dames, the Grand Opera House Belfast is one of the finest surviving old-world theatres anywhere in the world. Opened in 1895 and renovated in 2006, the theatre is still operational today, home to regular productions, as well as restaurants and cafes on its ground and third floors. This is a must-visit for anyone with a love of the theatre.
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Ulster Folk Museum

The Ulster Folk Museum is really two museums in one. On one side you have the Ulster Folk Museum, which seeks to educate visitors on what traditional Celtic life in the area was like and the Irish traditions that survive today. On the other you have the Transport Museum, which chronicles the proliferation of transport in Northern Ireland. It also contains one of the most authoritative exhibits on the construction of the RMS Titanic in the world.
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Titanic Quarter

It's difficult to escape the RMS Titanic in Belfast, so proud is the city of its creation of the ‘Unsinkable Ship'. The Titanic Quarter is the name given to the dry dock area where the ill-fated ocean liner was built, now a vibrant entertainment complex filled with museums, galleries, and film studios.
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SS Nomadic

The SS Nomadic was a transfer vessel built originally to help ferry both mail and passengers from the White Star Line's major vessels, the RMS Olympic and the RMS Titanic. Restored to her former glory in 2012 and placed on permanent display in what is believed to be the very dock she was built in, the SS Nomadic represents an important part of Belfast's maritime history.
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