The best attractions of Belfast

Albert Clock, photo by infomatique/flickr

Belfast is the capital city of and also largest city of Northern Ireland. It has been a centre for the Irish linen industry, tobacco production, rope-making and shipbuilding. Today, Belfast remains a centre for industry and it is also one of Northern Ireland’s most attractive towns. The spectacular city of Belfast owns dozens of fantastic attractions. The buildings’ architectural style in Belfast range from Edwardian to Victorian style. There are numerous gorgeous landmarks in the city. From castles to museums, from parks and gardens to operas, Belfast has some wonderful tourist attractions. Being one of the most visited cities in the United Kingdom, Belfast attracts dozens of visitors every year. To help you find the best attractions of Belfast, below there will be presented some of them.


Albert Memorial Clock and the City Hall


Both are important landscapes of the city. Erected in 1865 in Gothic style, the Albert Memorial Clock was built to commemorate Prince Albert. The 113 feet tall Albert Clock features a statue of Prince Albert and ornately carved crowned lions, as well as floral decorations. The City Hall is the City Council’s civic building of Belfast. It is located on Donegall Square, in the city center. Free public tours are available from Monday to Saturday which last about one hour and present the history of Belfast City Hall. The tours are available at the following times: from Monday to Friday at 11:00, 14:00 and 15:00, on Saturday at 14:00 and 15:00. (July 2012)


Albert Clock, photo by infomatique/flickr


Belfast Castle Estate and Cave Hill


Belfast Castle Estate is adjacent to one of the highest points of the city, Cave Hill, offering spectacular views over Belfast. The castle houses an antiques shop, a restaurant, a visitor centre and it is a popular place for conferences, private dining and wedding receptions. The estate contains both parkland and mature mixed woodland. Cave Hill is a very important landmark of the city. It provides impressive views over Belfast. It is named for the five caves located on the side of the cliffs. Cave Hill contains several natural, archaeological and historical features, including Belfast Castle. There is also a visitor centre here which is located on the second floor of Belfast Castle. It is a fantastic museum and is open from Monday to Saturday, 9:00 to 22:00, and Sundays from 9:00 to 17:30. Admission is free. (July 2012)


Belfast Castle, photo by Andrew_D_Hurley/flickr


Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory


It is very famous, being one of the finest purveyors of hand made chocolates and boiled sweets. Visitors can watch the whole production process and how hand made chocolates and candy are made, as a small viewing window into the factory allows visitors to enjoy tastes and smells of traditional candy-making. It is a very popular attraction of Belfast. Tourists arrive here from all around Northern Ireland. The candy factory is open from Monday to Friday, 9:30 to 16:30, on Saturday from 9:30 to 17:00 and on Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00. (July 2012)


Armagh County Museum


Being the oldest county museum in Ireland, Armagh County Museum can be found in the beautiful Georgian tree lined Mall. The museum presents collections relating to the people who lived, worked and had connections with Belfast and the historic county. Armagh County Museum is part of the National Museums Northern Ireland, which also includes the Ulster Museum, Ulster Folk & Transport Museum and the W5 Science Centre. Admission to the museum is free. It can be visited from Monday to Friday, 10:00 to 17:00, on Saturday from 10:00 to 13:00 and 14:00 to 17:00. (July 2012)


Belfast Zoological Gardens and Botanic Gardens


The zoo is located in the city’s northern part, on the slopes of Cave Hill. It is home to more than 1000 animals and 150 species. As one of the oldest visitor attractions in Northern Ireland, it has been home to the animals since 1934. Attracting about 300.000 visitors every year, the Belfast Zoo is now a leading and award winning attraction in Northern Ireland. During summer (April 1 to September 30) it is open every day from 10:00 to 19:00. During inter (October 1 to March 31) it can be visited daily from 10:00 to 16:00. (July 2012) The Belfast Botanic Gardens is an important part of Belfast’s Victorian heritage. It is one of the major attractions of the city, containing two important buildings, the Palm House and the Tropical Ravine. Visiting the garden is a great day out for the whole family, as it includes a children’s playground, a bowling green and walking routes. While visiting the botanic garden, you have the occasion to admire a rose garden and assorted tropical plants, mature trees and flower beds. The park is often used for events, such as concerts and opera performances. It opens every day at 7:30. Closing times vary according to time of the year. (July 2012)


Belfast Botanic Gardens, photo by Valdiney Pimenta/flickr

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