Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, has been attracting more and more tourists in recent years and has developed into a burgeoning arts and culture hub. The ease of access from mainland Britain and the city’s diverse history make it the perfect place for a city break. Many airports offer direct flights to Belfast, and with cheap ferry trips, it couldn’t be easier to explore this historically important city.
As part of investment into the city, the local government have increased funding for tourist destinations, and in March 2012, the Titanic Belfast attraction will open as the centrepiece of the city’s Titanic Quarter. Belfast was home to the shipyard that built the famous ship, and if you are interested in the story behind the supposedly ‘unsinkable ship,’ then Belfast will soon be an ideal hub for your curiosity.
Belfast has also got a burgeoning film industry, and this is something that is sure to attract tourists. The major series ‘Game of Thrones’ was shot in Belfast, and the cult following that the show attracted means that Belfast is fast becoming a location of pilgrimage for fans of the show. The Paint Hall is the studio where many of these shows were filmed, and the Belfast council is attempting to build on the success of the city as a filming location.
In 2008, Belfast was appointed as a European City of Culture, and the investment in poetry, art and music has seen an increase in all of these. The Ulster Orchestra have become well-known, and the Symphony Hall is the site of world-class and world-famous concerts. Increasingly, famous artists are including Belfast on their UK tour, meaning that you can combine a trip to the city with seeing one of your favourite musicians in a live performance. You should check ahead to see who is performing when you visit.
Belfast is an ideal city to explore, and one of the best options is to simply get lost in the city. The waterfront is particularly picturesque and provides a link with Belfast’s shipbuilding past. Many hotels in Belfast can advise you as to good walks in the city. Although Belfast has invested in a new public transport system, the city is an ideal size to explore on foot, and this will allow you to find some hidden gems. The spirit of Belfast is famous, and exploring the backstreet pubs and cafes will reward you with an unforgettable experience.