After a long day of travel from Galway, and learning about folklore at the Giant’s Causeway, we traveled to Belfast, Northern Ireland. We only had one night, and a half day the following morning before we took a ferry toward Glasgow, Scotland, but we made the most of it!
When we finally found our airbnb (this apartment was by the far the most difficult place to reach on any of my travels, we literally found the building and circled it a few times, accidentally got back on a highway thanks to a bus in our way, and had to turn around before we could figure out the one-way streets and gated areas surrounding the building, and dead street-ends of groups of people using drugs) we were grumpy and in need of a rest. We rested for a bit, started some laundry, and looked for a place to eat before making our way to check out the downtown area and get dinner.
We took a taxi to see the riverfront and walked around to check out the area and see the Big Fish and Albert Memorial Clock. In this area you can also go to McHugh’s Bar, est. 1711, where they serve pub food. We decided not to go here because we wanted to switch it up for dinner, so we went for sushi at Zen Asian Cuisine.
The next morning we woke up and drove 22 minutes to the Belfast Castle and Cavehill, the scenic overlook of Belfast (this is about 29 minutes from the Titanic Museum). The Belfast Castle is open 9:00am-6:00pm and has free admission to visitor center- it is free because there is nothing to see! We got to the impressive looking castle, but when we entered there was a single floor available to walk through. There is also a tea room if you want to stop for tea and look over the gardens which is pretty. We were here for maybe 30 minutes. We had some time to kill so we went to the Belfast Zoo. The highlight of the zoo was watching the baby gorillas eat bugs and play, it was too cute.
One place we decided not to visit was the Belfast Titanic. Here is where the infamous ship was built before it set sail from Southampton, England. The admission price for an adult is £18.50, the museum is open from 9:00-6:00pm, and visitors suggest about two hours for your visit. I have heard mixed reviews about the museum. It doesn’t seem to be an overwhelmingly awesome “must-do” according to what I have read and heard. If you are super interested in the Titanic maybe this would be a good stop for you; and then be sure to let me know how it is!
On this trip, Belfast was the the most underwhelming place we visited. This could have been impacted by several variables. Perhaps it was our difficulty getting to our airbnb and encounters with people using drugs when we first drove into the city, perhaps we were approaching the half way mark of the trip and we were all tired from our travels that day. Whatever is was, I am happy we visited Belfast, but probably won’t have it on our list of places to return any time soon. If you find yourself in Belfast, I would highly suggest a day trip to the Giant’s Causeway– it is an unbelievable place to see and made our visit Northern Ireland totally worth it.
What is your impression of Belfast? I hear people love it or hate it? Where do you fall?