27 March, 2022

Belfast - a city of contrasts

A city of contrasts,  a cosmopolitan centre, a vibrant film industry, fascinating walking tours, bus and taxi excursions, cultural escapes, scientific exhibitions and literary inspirations. Belfast has it all and I've not even mentioned the superb shopping, beautiful landmarks or friendly people.

Belfast is a great destination for a traditional city break,  although with so much on offer in and around the area, you might want to spend a bit longer there to explore everything there is on offer as well as going further afield. 

Fantastic Four.......

Top of the agenda to see in Belfast for so very many people is the stunningly designed Titanic Belfast visitor attraction.  In 2016, it was awarded the mantle of  World's Leading Tourist Attraction at the World Travel Awards and has been popular ever since. The funky building is located beside the Titanic Slipways, the Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices and Hamilton Graving Dock, the very place where Titanic was designed, built and launched in 1912.

Titanic Belfast, as you would expect, tells the story of the Titanic, from her conception in the early 1900s, through to construction and launch. It covers her maiden voyage and subsequent tragic end and her place in history.

The experience extends over nine interactive galleries, exploring the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her.

Just a little way from Titinic Belfast is this SS Nomadic, perhaps most famous for the part she played in the Titanic story when she ferried first and second class passengers to Titanic from Cherbourg, but this was only the beginning of her extraordinary journey that stretches over 100 years. Restored to her original 1911 glory and back home in Belfast where she was designed and built, a visit to SS Nomadic and Hamilton Dock combines the authentic heritage and atmosphere of this historic ship with the intriguing stories of her passengers and the ups and downs of her dramatic career.

Stretched over four decks a visit to Nomadic allows you to experience first-hand what it was like to be a passenger boarding Titanic on her fateful maiden voyage, to marvel at the intricate details and the contrasts between the separated class areas on board.

Price for Totanic Expreience and SS Nomandic are Adult £21.50 and Child (5-15) £10.00

Game of Thrones Studio Tour

It may have finished quite some time ago,  but  Game of Thrones is still incredibly popular and in Belfast you can step inside the Seven Kingdoms and explore the whole world of Game of Thrones with the official Game of Thrones Studio Tour.

It is located at the shows filming location at Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, and is a pretty immersive experience designed to give you a journey through the lands of Westeros and explore pretty much everything Game of Thrones.  Walk through iconic sets from Winterfell to King’s Landing, discover the secrets of filmmaking and explore the craftmanship and artistry responsible for bringing the global hit TV series to life on screen.

Ok, so yes it is outside of Belfast,  about 30 minutes away, but it really is worth taking a day trip here not just for a GoT fans, but for all wanting a great experience. However, it is pretty expensive,  Adult tickets start at £39.50 and for a child its £27.50.  

The Botanic Gardens 

The Botanic Gardens is perhaps a more relaxed and gentle attraction but should be a key excursion for most first visits to Belfast. It really is an important part of Belfast's Victorian heritage and a popular meeting place for residents, students and tourists.  It was established way back in 1828 by the Belfast Botanic and Horticultural Society, as a direct response to public demand. 

Originally known as the Belfast Botanic Garden, the site contained exotic tree species and impressive plant collections from the southern hemisphere, many of which can still be seen in the park.

Today, the park is popular destination for both visitors and locals, plus it is often (covid permitting) a venue for concerts, festivals and other fun events. 

Ulster Museum

It is a place where you can come face to face with dinosaurs, meet an ancient Egyptian mummy and see modern masterpieces.....where is it?     It is Ulster Museum.  The home of Northern Ireland's treasures from the present tdays to times long passed by. It houses a rich collection of art, history and natural sciences and - get this,  it is free to all visitors. Yay, super bargin with lots to see and do, as well as a bit of an exhibition on recent TV smash, Derry Girls. 

Other top attractions worthy of a visit or making time to explore include:

Parliament Buildings
Cathedral Quater 
City Hall
Peace Wall
Grand Opera House
Belfast Castle

Great prices for hotel stays....

Holiday Inn Belfast City Centre is conveniently located close to the city’s retail and entertainment districts. The hotel is adjacent to Belfast’s main transport interchange and is easily accessible to the main road network makes this a great place to base yourself for Belfast city stays. 

Radisson Blu Hotel

The hotel offers 120 guest rooms including five suites, two tower suites and the largest Presidential suite in the city. There is also onsite parking with over 200 spaces available.

Radisson Blu offers seven modern, flexible and fully equipped meeting rooms. The bedrooms are decorated in two unique styles, Urban and Nordic. In-room amenities include air conditioning, LCD TV, pay movies, laptop size safe, tea and coffee making facilities as well as complimentary high speed internet access for all guests.

For added luxuries and comfort upgrade to a Business Class room or one of eight suites. Additional amenities include complimentary newspaper, in-house movies, Super Breakfast Buffet, and a bathrobe and slippers. The hotel's Magnificent Suite 7 enjoys views across Belfast, a dining and lounge area, lobby and its own private boardroom with a kitchen.
For more information and reservations

This is usually a great value good quality and centrally located hotel. It is in a good location and offers all the usual facilities you should expect from a reasonably priced hotel. Complimentary high speed WiFi available throught the hotel. SQ Bar and Grill restaurant located within the Hotel, plus The Hub, place to meet, drink, eat, relax all on one floor. It's a four start property and has nice comfortable rooms and the location is great.

Hilton Belfast

The Hilton Belfast is a five start hotel with all the super features and amineties you should expect from such a hotel. It is located on the banks of the River Lagan and the heart of the city, the Hilton Belfast offers 198 guest rooms and suites and they all have  LED TVs, air conditioning, working desk with ergonomic chairs, tea/coffee making facility and minibar. 

Plus of course you have amazing views from the 11th Floor Executive Lounge for guests booking into Executive Floors and Suites; breakfast and evening drinks and canapes (6 - 8 pm) are served daily. 

Prime city center location next to Central Station, Belfast Waterfront and St. George's Market with financial, shopping and social districts nearby - Odyssey Arena, Titanic Belfast, Belfast City Hall, T13 and the Cathedral, Titanic and Queens Quarters all within 1 mile - WiFi available throughout hotel in public areas and in all areas for Hilton Honors Members.

The popular Sonoma Restaurant with river views serves breakfast and dinner daily. Relaxed dining, coffee and extensive drinks menu all day in Cables Bar.

Form more details and to book at the best rates.....