Belfast was the second leg of my trip to Ireland. I was really excited to go to Belfast as it is a city with a complicated history and I wanted to learn more about ‘The Troubles’ and how the city overcame them to be a city on the rise. Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom, the currency used is the GBP (£).
Cost of my trip
I caught a coach from Dublin to Belfast and it took approximately 2hrs 30mins at a cost of €17. Accommodation cost £45 for 3 nights and my return flight back to London cost £35.
Where I stayed
Global Village Hostel
The hostel was located in the university district of Belfast. The hostel is not centrally located but it is very easy to get to the centre with a local bus or it is a 20-30mins walk dependent on your speed. The hostel was very cool, clean and the staff really made you feel welcome. There is a real community spirit encouraged by the staff at the hostel and for £15 a night it was great value for money.
What I did
To learn about Belfast and Northern Ireland’s history the museum is a great place to start. The exhibition on ‘The Troubles’ is laid out in chronological order and it offers a great sense of what happened. Aside from the exhibition on ‘The Troubles’ there are other exhibition and collection on display and they are the most eclectic collection and display I have ever seen. Nevertheless it is still a great museum and there is no entrance fee.
Belfast Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens is also home to Ulster Museum so you can visit both attractions on the same day. The beautiful domed conservatory is not very large but it is very interesting and a worthwhile visit, there is no entrance fee to the conservatory.
A Christmas market was held on the grounds of the grand Belfast City Hall, an iconic building in its own right brought to life by the dazzling lights and various booths and stalls selling everything to make the festive period extra special.
Giant’s Causeway Tour
The Giant’s Causeway is an all day trip for £25, the trip includes a trip to Carrickfergus Castle, a walk along the legendary Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and culminates at the UNESCO Giant’s Causeway. The drive to the various attractions goes along the gorgeous Antrim coast, offering beautiful and unspoilt views.
The stop at the castle was very brief and we weren’t able to go inside but the views were worthwhile.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Walking on the bridge is not guaranteed as on days with high winds the bridge is closed, so I was very lucky the bridge was opened. There is a short and easy 1 kilometre hike from the car park to the place where you access the bridge, there is a small fee of £5 to cross the bridge. The views were really amazing and crossing the bridge was one of the best experiences of my life it was scary but exhilarating.
An amazing wonder of nature, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986, and a national nature reserve in 1987 by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland. In a 2005 poll of Radio Times readers, the Giant’s Causeway was named as the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom. It was a truly unique sight and well worth the visit, I would like to visit again during summer time.
Other sights and things of Belfast
My Review of the City
Belfast is a city that is relatively new as a tourist destination but it is well worth a visit, I recommend going there before it becomes too commercial and things become very expensive. Going out eating, drinking and all the activities I did were very reasonably priced, I am sure this will change once the tourism industry becomes well and truly established. I had a good time in the Belfast even though there isn’t much to do in the city but when coupled with a trip to Dublin like I did, you will be bound to have a fun filled trip.
If you’ve enjoyed my review or if you want any advice for your trip leave a comment and I will be sure to do my best to help you.
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