Voted one of the world’s top destinations for 2012, Belfast is a vibrant and exciting destination.

The capital of Northern Ireland, in recent years the city has seen something of a renaissance, with the city centre in particular blossoming into a happening commercial and social space.

So, what exactly makes Belfast such a great destination for tourists right now?  Well apart from the many fabulous shops, cafes, bars and restaurants there is much to enjoy in this beautiful city.

Read on to cast off any aspersions you may have had about this historic town and find out why you should be making a beeline for it right this very moment…

Belfast’s best attractions

#01 Titanic Belfast

Titanic Belfast

This hugely impressive multi-million pound exhibition space is all about the tragic story of this ill-fated ship.  You can also find out lots of interesting historical background to Belfast during that time, which in the early 20th Century was a real boomtown.   There are also a host of other things to do in the Titanic Quarter, including boat trips and Segway guided tours….

#02 The Crown Liquor Saloon

The Crown Liquor Saloon Belfast

The iconic Crown Liquor Saloon in Belfast has got to be one of the best pubs in Northern Ireland for character and ambiance.  Tuck yourself away in one of the snugs with a few pints of the Black Stuff.  Great afternoon of craic guaranteed!  And of course there are lots of other great bars in Belfast to explore after this including the Eriggle Inn, Bittles Bar and some chic little numbers in the Cathedral Quarter.

# 03 Literary Walking Tours

Literary Walking Tours Belfast

A chance to discover Belfast’s rich literary heritage and have lots of fun in the process.  Tours include the C. S. Lewis tour and  The Belfast Literary Walking Tour taking in writers like Seamus Heaney, E M Forster and Paul Theroux.  If books are your thing, you will love it.

# 04 Belfast City Hall

Belfast City Hall

Belfast architecture is a mixture of grand Victorian facades and Edwardian elegance.  Perhaps the most impressive building being the sumptuous Belfast City Hall.  Recently re-opened after an £11 million refurbishment, this Baroque masterpiece is well worth a look around.   Take a picnic and have lunch in the Titanic Memorial Gardens in the building, and try to catch a glimpse of it lit up at night.  Wonderful

# 05 Belfast Zoo

Belfast Zoo

Now I wouldn’t normally include a zoo on any list of top attractions, but Belfast Zoo is a bit different to the norm.  Set in an elevated position looking down over the city and beyond, the views are amazing from up here, and the enclosures have been set out in a very humane and pleasant way.   It’s a must if you have kids in tow – they will love it here.  And afterwards you can head over to Belfast Castle for a wander around the lovely gardens and parkland here before sitting down to afternoon tea.

There are of course many more delights to be discovered in Belfast including the Palm House, Botanical Gardens, Hillsborough Castle and Gardens and the world class restaurants like Deanes and The Mourne Seafood Bar. So book your trip to Belfast now and enjoy!

Belfast and Northern Ireland – Where to stay

Orchard Cottage Fermanagh

All of our luxury self-catering holiday cottages are within easy reach of Belfast and its many attractions.

Click here to view all of our holiday cottages in Northern Ireland.