Belfast, the biggest city in Northern Ireland. What a fun and happening place it is! You can squeeze in a lot of antics and sightseeing in a short time. We definitely did, especially in the 36 hours we had there! Rolling in from the airport in the afternoon, we checked into our Airbnb and went off exploring! Belfast definitely has a quieter feel than most cities but it has a fantastic night life that inspires you to have a lot of fun!
St Anne’s Cathedral
A church with the most interesting spire I have ever seen! Belfast has taken a modern twist on the old building tradition. Instead of being made from stone it is from metal, so the spire is literally a spike! It is meant to signify hope? Definitely not something that you see everyday. The inside of the church is beautiful with some interesting statements inside. For example, having an area dedicated to Oscar Wilde’s play writes, and a stained glass window made to show the support of guide girls. However, my favourite part was the entrance to the aisle. If you followed the maze of white tiles it would lead you to heaven and the altar. But if you followed the black, you would stay in hell for your sins and always be lost. This brings new meaning to choosing your path! Light isn’t it?
A nice piece of architecture! Inside had many stained glass windows which have been dedicated to Irish history and the troubles of Northern Ireland. There is also an exhibit there for you to look at if it takes your fancy.
The area of Belfast with a buzzing night life! There are many different pubs, bars and live entertainment options. One of our favourites, is called the Dirty Onion which has live music every night and a good selection of drinks. We tried a traditional drink called the Boiler Maker- you have a shot of whisky, which is then chased by IPA beer. The entertainment for the evening included Irish music played with large harps – now that was cool!
Off to gaol you go whether you have stolen bread, or set an IRA bomb in the city centre. This gaol looks like one of the ones you would see in a TV program, and was very different to old Australian prisons I have seen. A guided tour takes you through some of the stories of the prison, how death sentences were carried out and what life was like for it’s prisoners.
The ‘Troubles’ (IRA) Murals
One of the highlights of Belfast for me. There is nothing quite like walking around a new city and discovering things that are not on the list of must see’s. It can be quite hard to find these murals marked on a map which is what makes them incredibly fun to discover! There are paintings from the two parties that campaigned to rule during the IRA period.
Even in the rain, the Botanical Gardens is a beautiful place to visit, and it is also home to the Ulster Museum. There are large rose gardens, winding paths along little creeks, open green spaces and beautiful green houses.
I personally think this is the best museum in Belfast, especially if you want to learn about the history of Northern Ireland. It takes you through the terror of the IRA, fighting for religious rights, the World Wars, the famines, the list goes on! You could spend hours in this fascinating place.
Belfast night life definitely does not disappoint! You can easily have a good night out – no matter what night of the week it is! We went to some great pubs in the Cathedral Quarter, there is always a live band playing somewhere or jamming in a pub, plus some hilarious comedy nights near Queens University. You are bound to have an incredible time!