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5 Things to See During a Port Stop in Belfast, Northern Ireland

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Belfast is the second-largest city in Ireland, and is also the capital of Northern Ireland. You can enjoy excellent facilities in this modern city. The serene view of the flowing river Lagan looks beautiful as it goes from Central Belfast towards the North Channel.

belfast northern ireland

River Lagan is an essential source of wealth for the shipping industry of this state. It is an integral part of Belfast.

Belfast is known for the famous ship Titanic which was built in 1911 within the shipyards of the city. While traveling to the Belfast port, you can enjoy exploring the amazing excursions in the area. There are many areas of Belfast which are highly developed with new shopping areas, restaurants, and hotels that have been opened in the past several years. Belfast is immersed in history, full of award-winning architecture from the twentieth century.

Victoria Square and Titanic Quarter are unique places to visit within the city. The town offers excellent museums like the Transport museum and Ulster Folk. These are the best places with showcases of carriages, cars, fighter planes, and motorbikes along with complete knowledge of the Titanic along with some real artifacts from the vessel.

The top 5 things to do in Belfast:

1. Giant’s Causeway

giant's causeway northern ireland pixabay

(Photo courtesy of Pixabay/larahcv)

Start exploring the shore early in the morning with a drive down towards the coast. The next place to explore is the spectacular northern side of the country reaching the Giant’s Causeway. This causeway in the Irish language is also termed as “Clochan an Afir.”

Due to the volcanic eruptions in ancient times, it created over 40,000 interlocked types of basalt columns. According to history, it shows that columns of this causeway are remains which were created by Fin McCool, the Giant that had to fight against the Scottish giant named Benandonner.

UNESCO declared this area as a World Heritage Site in 1986. Now, this causeway is a National Nature reserve which is owned by the National Trust.

2. Belfast Castle

belfast castle northern ireland

(Photo courtesy of Pixabay/endamac)

After visiting the Giant’s Causeway, you can explore Belfast Castle and take lots of photographs. This castle is a medieval structure, located over the slopes of Cave Hill Country Park in Northern Ireland.

This majestic castle dates back to the 1870s and is prominently located 400 feet above sea level. The cave hill is famous for its five caves that surround the side of the cliffs.

The hill that the castle estate resides on also features the famous Napoleon’s nose basaltic outcrop, which served as inspiration for Gulliver’s travels from Jonathan Swift’s novel.

Landscaped gardens surround the castle with a mixed woodland offering the viewers superb scenic views. After exploring the Cave Hill Country Park, you can fill your appetite at the famous Cellar Restaurant. 

READ MORE: 9 Things to Do in Gibraltar During a Cruise

3. Titanic Belfast

titanic belfast museum pixabay

(Photo courtesy of Pixabay/josefko48)

Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of Titanic when visiting the Titanic Belfast. After paying the entrance fee, you are free to explore the world’s largest exhibition of Titanic artifacts. The exhibits include the famous documents about the ship regarding the tragic voyage and the legacy of the vessel.

This intriguing museum is built over the original site where the Titanic ship was constructed. Gaze at the amazing interactive exhibits in the atrium and hear the heartbreaking story of Titanic. Learn all about the ship’s connections to Belfast and the industrial prosperity that followed the construction of Titanic at nine state-of-the-art galleries.

After perusing the exhibits, explore the Shipyard Ride, a simulator that offers special effects and surprises, immersing you in the story of shipbuilding in the 20th century.

After exploring Titanic Belfast, the entrance ticket can be used to visit the Ocean Exploration Centre which focuses on marine research and oceanography. 

4. Ulster Museum

ulster museum northern ireland wikimedia commons

(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Bazonka)

At the Ulster Museum, enjoy learning about dinosaurs, see an Egyptian mummy, and view modern masterpieces. This museum is a collection of history, art, and natural sciences featuring the impressive galleries with interactive discovery zones.

Ranging from the South Pacific to Ireland, both ancient and modern pieces are available for everyone to enjoy at Ulster Museum. The art collections at the Ulster Museum have some of the most exquisite art pieces from all around the world. These include sculpture, paperwork, fashion, ceramics, contemporary art, silver, glass, and furniture.

The engaging historic galleries within the Ulster museum tell the stories of different people from Ireland from their first day of arrival until today. The galleries within this museum are a must-see for any history buff.

READ MORE: 5 Things To Do in Dublin, Ireland

5. Peace Walls

peace lines peace wall belfast northern ireland

(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Ross)

The Peace Walls or Peace Lines are in Northern Ireland. They are 18-foot high walls that are mostly in Belfast, but can also be found in Derry, Portadown, and Lurgan.

The Peace Walls are defined as a sequence of parting barriers that mainly separates Nationalist Catholic neighborhoods and Republicans from the Loyalist and Unionist protestant neighborhoods. The purpose of the peace walls was to minimize the chances of inter-communal violence between Protestants and Catholics. The walls were constructed with brick, iron, and steel. The gates are open for passageway during the daytime but remain closed at night.

The artwork painted on the peace walls on both sides, promote the message of harmony along with the dangers of oppression and revenge. One of the famous peace walls is known for dividing Shankill Road and Fall Road.

Visit the peace walls today and you can still see the Union Jack Flags hung over the poles and houses over the street on Shankill Road. These flags display the British colors with images of the Queen emblazoned on them. On the other side of the open gates, you can see the Irish flags and more of the Palestinian flags with images displaying Spain’s Basque state.

Visit the peace wall in Belfast and loop around to see the murals on each side and get a sense of the different points of view.

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5 things to see during a cruise port stop in belfast, northern ireland

America's trusted voice on cruise vacations. Editor of Cruise Radio and producer/host of Cruise Radio Podcast and CRN audio briefs.

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