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7 ways to discover Belfast

belfast-city-hall

Northern Ireland’s capital, Belfast, is a destination with plenty of discoveries to be made. Hire a car from Belfast Airport and enjoy these seven great activities.

Hike through Cave Hill
Cave Hill Country Park offers magnificent panoramas of Belfast. There are walking trails suitable for all people of all fitness levels. It also has five caves on the side of its cliffs, which are full of archaeological and historical attractions, such as Belfast Castle. The most famous feature is Napoleon’s Nose, which locals say inspired Jonathan Swift’s story, Gulliver’s Travels.

Pub hopping
Spend a night hopping from pub to pub. After all, the Irish are known for their ability to drink whiskey! There’s plenty to choose from but if you’re stuck for ideas, start your pub crawl at the Crown Liquor Saloon. Then make your way to The Duke of York, which is set on one of the city’s oldest streets and decked out with original mirrors and memorabilia.

Tour Parliament Buildings
Parliament Buildings are open to the public Monday to Friday and when the Assembly is sitting there are free half hour public tours available. This will take you to the historic Senate Chamber and teach you about the story behind the incredible architecture. While here, make sure you check out the beautiful surroundings of Stormont Estate.

Go browsing at St George’s Market
It took six years to build St George’s Market from 1890. To this day it remains the city’s only surviving covered Victorian market. There are hundreds of stalls selling a variety of favourites, from seafood and specialty foods to locally made art and crafts. There’s also live music to entertain as you walk through one of the UK’s best markets.

Step back in time at Grand Opera House
The opera house opened its doors in 1895 and has been delivering world-class entertainment ever since. It regularly hosts operas, dramas, musicals and comedies, to name a few. You can discover the history behind these walls and the story of theatre architect Frank Matcham with a group tour.

Visit Crumlin Road Gaol
The Crumlin Road Gaol was one of the most advanced prisons of its time. It opened in 1845 and was designed to house 500 prisoners. However, during the height of the Troubles it housed up to 900 people. Take a tour of the prison, which includes a visit to the execution cell, the flogging room and the underground tunnel to the courthouse. There’s also a Paranormal Tour at night.

Explore the city in an old-fashioned taxi
This is a tour unlike any other. With Belfast Black Taxi Tours you get to spend an hour and a half in a traditional black cab, discovering the highlights of Belfast. Drivers pick you up from any location and take you to see the so-called Peace Walls, murals and Catholic Falls Road. The driver will also give you a good rundown of the history of these places.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Brianna Piazza is an Australian television reporter and part-time travel blogger. Originally from Melbourne, she's currently living in Cairns where she works for WIN News and spends her weekends exploring the outdoors Far North Queensland.

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