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Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland and is one of the best places to explore on the whole island of Ireland. The city has seen its popularity soar among visitors in recent years for so many different reasons. I always make sure that I recommend people visit Belfast whenever they can.
People visit Belfast for the excellent food, attractions and the local culture. The city has seen the number of businesses in its hospitality sector increase to meet the demand for tourism. Visitors can expect excellent quality cuisine in restaurants and local guides, eager to share their home.
When I go up to Belfast, there is always something going on and the city changes all the time. In recent years many people would have found the prospect of going here intimidating. Today however, Belfast is well worth the visit. Here, you will get to see so much that is unlike anywhere else in the world.
Why Belfast is Worth Seeing
Belfast’s popularity as a travel destination has blossomed in recent years for good reason. The city offers one of the best experiences for any traveler to Ireland when it comes to things like dining, nightlife and culture.
Though the hospitality industry in Northern Ireland might not be as well-established as in the Republic, it has seen huge growth in recent years. Many excellent establishments have opened up in the last 10 years or so in Belfast to accommodate the new arrivals.
While Belfast has done this in a literal sense, with new hotels opening up all the time, there are also plenty of excellent new restaurants in the city. More and more open up all the time. The “foodie revolution” that has definitely taken hold in the rest of Ireland is alive and well here.
Once you have your fill of food however, there is still plenty to see and do in Belfast city. There are some amazing walking tours that run throughout Belfast, but you can also take bus tours or the famous “Black Taxi” tours of Belfast. I will mention the tours I recommend below.
By far the best thing that makes Belfast worth visiting though, is its people. Though the city has a reputation for conflict and division, people from this part of the world are incredibly welcoming and will go out of their way to share the best of their home town with you.
What is So Special About Belfast?
The people who live here are by far the most special thing about Belfast and the aspect of the city that makes it so unique in the world. Throughout the city, you will meet people who want to make sure you get the most from your stay.
The locals are, generally, delighted with the recent economic changes that Belfast has seen. This new culture of tourism has been embraced and its very common for locals to start new businesses of their own, especially in the hospitality sector.
A big factor that must be mentioned though is the recent history of Northern Ireland. From 1968 to 1998, this part of the world suffered as a result of a civil conflict that we now call the “troubles”. This period of violence resulted in the deaths of over 3,000 people, mostly in Northern Ireland itself.
You can still see evidence of this today in the city’s “Peace Walls”. These are barriers that still divide many of the residential areas of Belfast into Nationalist and Unionist communities.
The peace process, which really got underway in the 1990’s, has been one of the main factors in the recent economic successes that you will see when in Belfast. There are plenty of new, modern buildings throughout the city.
Today, Belfast has a modern economy and is the capital city of Northern Ireland. Walking through the streets yourself is one of the best ways to get around the city. But if you want to learn a little more about the place, there is an excellent walking tour that you can take.
What is Belfast Famous For?
Belfast is famous for more reasons than you might initially expect. This small city has had a much bigger impact upon the rest of the world than others of its size. Below are just a few of the more famous things about Belfast and how to learn more about them while you’re here.
Possibly the most famous ship to ever sail was built in the Harland & Wolff Shipyards in Belfast. The shipbuilding industry was one of the most important in the city for generations. Many of the nicest buildings in the city were build with money from this industry in the late 19th century.
Today, the Titanic experience is one of the most popular attractions in Ireland. If you make the visit, you will not only learn more about the ship itself, but you will learn about its impact on the city too.
Game of Thrones
One of the most popular television series ever was mainly filmed here in Belfast. Now I know that the show’s ending was not popular, but the show was watched by millions of people all over the world for a reason. It was truly beautiful to watch and some of its locations are well worth visiting.
Other parts of the world were also used as filming locations for Game of Thrones, like the city of Dubrovnik in Croatia, but the main production studio used was actually near the Titanic museum in Belfast.
One of the reasons why the hospitality sector has increased so much in the last 10 years or so was actually because of the filming of this tv show.
Northern Irish politics has been in international news for over 50 years at this point. Ever since the troubles really got under way in the 1960’s people have heard a lot about a situation in Northern Ireland.
While it is common knowledge that there was a war going on, most people don’t really know much more than that. The politics of this part of the world are well worth learning about, even if you just want to understand more about why Northern Ireland keeps getting mentioned when people talk about Brexit!
My favorite political tour in Belfast is the Conflicting Stories tour. You will walk through two neighborhoods in Belfast, each on either side of a peace wall. There will be a guide on either side, who will share their own personal experience of the conflict.