City Guide: Belfast
Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, was to my surprise a very fascinating city to visit. Blessed with rather untypical sunny weather, we really enjoyed exploring the many interesting sights. In this city guide I want to share some of the places we’ve seen with you.
Botanical Garden and Queen’s University
We started off our trip through the city in the south of Belfast. This is where the Botanical Gardens and Queen’s University are located. The Botanical Gardens, originally opened in 1828 as private gardens, but is nowadays a place for the wider public. The most interesting feature of the park I’d say is the Palm House. Inside the Palm House you can find many flowers and plants. It includes both a tropical (yes it is indeed very humid in here) and a cold wing.
Nearby the Botanical Gardens you can find various buildings of the Queen’s University.
Belfast City Hall
A not to miss sight in any city guide about Belfast is the City Hall. Right in the centre of Belfast, close to high street, you can find this historic building which was built in 1906. The City Council holds its meetings here. Previously it was used as an international Linen Exchange hall.
Next to the City Hall you can also see the impressive Scottish Provident Institution Building, which was originally designed to create office space.
Cathedral Quarter and St. Anne’s Cathedral
From the city centre onwards we walked towards the Cathedral Quarter. In the heart of it you can find St. Anne’s Cathedral which is also often referred to as Belfast Cathedral. It was constructed around the old church of St. Anne, which was then taken down after construction works of the Cathedral had finished.
Hit severely by bombs in the second world war, it was in deep need of reconstruction for quite some time. Financial constraints, however, prolonged the process up to 1974.
Another important site in this city guide is the Titanic Museum. As the famous Titanic was built in a shipyard in Belfast, the city has created an extensive museum covering high-tech technology which opened in 2012.
Although we did not manage to find time to go to the museum and also preferred to spend our time outside, we have heard some good things about it, so would definitely recommend it to anyone coming to Belfast. The area around the museum is being re-developed to create new apartments, hotels and entertainment facilities.
We finished our sightseeing tour through Belfast along Lagan river, as we stayed in the Hilton closely located to it. The promenade allows for a nice walk alongside the river and you can spot a few other interesting sights such as the Big Fish or the SS Nomadic.
As you will be able to see in Moritz’ running guide, it’s also a nice location to go running in.
Our overall impression of Belfast
As you can see from this City Guide, Belfast has a lot of interesting spots to visit. Before travelling here we hadn’t really heard anything special about Belfast, but were really positively surprised. The city can be easily explored by foot and offers a nice mixture of historic and modern buildings as well as green areas. If you’re looking for a less touristic city in Europe, this is definitely the place to be!