What do you think about Belfast, is it the best city in the world?
Also known as Beal feirste, the capital of Northern Ireland and the largest city of the country can easily boast of how things have changed since “The Troubles”, to now hold true to a city of colour , and arts, and life, a city revived from times of uncertainty to one which is blossoming and taking leaps and bounds in the tourism industry.
A city of a quarter million people, this is a place where people are intent on making your visit to Northern Ireland, a memorable one. You should not be surprised if the locals were to stop you and tell you all about their lives and invite you to join them for an evening drink because it is truly how things have changed.
The people of Belfast are welcoming to it visitors and rightly so since it is becoming noted as one of the friendliest cities of the UK.
Wherever you travel to, the first place you want to look for is a good place to lodge and within the city, there are choices ranging from your local B&B’s to luxurious five star hotels. No matter what kind of a traveller you may be, there is always an appropriate place for you to stay in here. From the classically Irish “The Salty Dog” to the strikingly modern “Radisson Blu Hotel”, there are places within and around the capital of Northern Ireland that will appease the traveller’s needs.
The next thing in line on any traveller’s itinerary would be the hunt for good food and good fun, and this city will offer these in abundance. From concerts and gigs to theatre, you can look out for more than your fill at places like the Odyssey Arena or the Ulster Hall and for some unconventional gigs, there is always the Custom House Square or the natural amphitheatre in front of Parliament Buildings, Stormont.
In terms of the theatre, the Northern Irish are well know for their razor sharp wit and creativity with generation after generation of talent developed right on the streets of city.
There are plenty of dining experiences that will delight any food lover. Ranging from fast food to fine dining, there are even Michelin starred eateries that you can visit. For travellers with a discerning taste, they may find their gourmet delights from the Mourne Seafood Bar, Sawers Deli which is 1 century old, the famous John Hewitt pub which carries refreshing artisan beers, and Nick’s Warehouse which is famous for its Irish cheeses. For a unique slice of heaven, Paddy’s Pizza is well worth the visit.
A little piece of good news on top of the good news would be the convenient form of travel that can be found within the city. As a city that doesn’t require you to “have a car”, you can find that exploring the old city that is Belfast, by starting in the old quarters, the oldest city area the Cathedral Quarter. With its little alleyways and streets with their “histories”, the traveller will find this an enjoyable experience.
Moving on to the Queen’s Quarter, south of the city centre which is named after the Queen’s University which reigns over this easygoing part of the city, you will be bound to discover the city from the bottom up. Across the River Lagan to the east, you will find the Titanic Quarter (no need for a hint here), newly named though as old as any part of this capital city. Of course you may also rent your cars and hail your taxis within this city but it must be noted that in this Northern Ireland city, you are expected to bargain, so bargain away.
More about the city and its tourism revival:
Belfast now stands proudly as one of the top tourist cities in Europe. People from all over the globe now descend on the city and most leave with glowing reports of their visit. Few would have predicted such success for the city a couple of decades ago; then it was usually only bad news coming out from Belfast. It is a spectacular turnaround, but how exactly did Belfast manage to become such a top tourist attraction?
So How Has Belfast Managed Such Tourism Success?
Those who know the city well will be less surprised by the huge influx of tourists. The city has been like a hidden gem and only those who got close to it could admire its beauty.
Decades of trouble in the city meant that this was all that outsiders would hear about; Belfast was like the ugly duckling with a beautiful swan hidden inside. Once the fighting stopped then the real beauty of the city could shine through, and this is what we are now seeing.
Of course it would be misleading to say that it is only the ending of the troubles that has led to the recent success within the tourism industry. This was a vital part of it, but without all
the recent development in the city it is unlikely that things could be anywhere near as good as they are now. A lot of money has been pumped into Belfast and this is now providing dividends in the form of tourist pounds, dollars, and euros.
There is a real buzz about Belfast and this is what appeals to the tourist. The people of this city are naturally friendly and tourists will often remark on how welcome they were made to feel during their stay. The clash of different cultures was something that almost tore the city apart but now this mix of cultures is what attracts so many people. People are learning that diversity is something to celebrate and not fight over.
The Future of Belfast Tourism
The last few years have been boom time for tourism in the city. There are now over 7 million people visiting the city each year and there are new businesses aimed at the tourist opening on an almost daily basis. Of course there are pessimists who predict that it can’t last and that these tourists will soon find somewhere else to spend their money. This negativity seems unwarranted though because people who visit the city want to come back again; you can also
be sure that they are spreading the word when they get home. The rate at which tourist rates are increasing might reach more modest numbers, but the city is now firmly placed on the
Belfast is a great little city and deserves all the attention and praise it is now receiving. It was always a beautiful place but now more people can appreciate what is on offer. This is a winwin
situation for those fortunate to live in Belfast and those just visiting.
Back to A- Z site map from Belfast.