Belfast, home of the Titanic
It took just two years for the Titanic to grow from a pile of girders and rivets at Belfast’s harbour to the looming structure visible from anywhere in the city. With the sound of hammering rivets and clanging steel echoing around the streets, and the thousands of locals marching to work in the shipyard each morning, you could say the city grew around the ship as much as the ship grew up there.
Belfast was once the greatest ship building port in the world, it built the largest man-made structure ever moved, and made a ship of dreams a reality. When the Titanic slid from its slipway into the chilly waters of Belfast Lough, it’s fair to imagine that the pride of a city soared with it.
The story of the Titanic is etched, hammered and carved into the city of Belfast. Though the ship left almost one hundred years ago, visitors will find portholes of this history around each corner, whether it’s the White Star drawing rooms, a Titanic-inspired mural, or the Samson and Goliath cranes of the shipyard itself.
In a city full of stories, the Titanic can be the first page from which you explore Belfast.
Who could know the Titanic better than the city that built it? Let Belfast share what it knows. A tour of the ship itself is a bit beyond our remit, but the Titanic Boat Tour does sail the city’s Titanic sites, including the shipyard, slipway and harbour. A guided tour by a relative of a Titanic engineer who was lost on the ship is another experience guaranteed to bring the story alive.
After a day of Titanic touring visit The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum and its fascinating Titanic exhibition as well as viewing the Titanic era streets and homes that have been preserved to keep the city’s history alive.
You can delve deeper (so to speak!) into the history and stories of the world’s most famous ship on the official Belfast Titanic: The-Titanic.com website. There are videos, facts, passenger stories and FAQs to keep you fascinated for hours, and ensure you’re well prepared for the inevitable Titanic question in the next pub quiz!
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This port city still buzzes, with a roaring music scene, countless festivals and some of the most popular attractions in the region. There’s the blooming Botanic Gardens or just sit and ponder amid the regal good looks of Barnett Demesne. Break up your touring with a ‘wee drop’ in the rustic old world charm of the Crown Bar before soaking in the soaring roof and stained glass of St Anne’s Cathedral. Nighttime in Belfast is a treat too so spoil yourself with a decadent dinner at one of Belfast’s delicious restaurants like Deanes followed by a slow Martini at one of the city’s laid-back bars such as Bar Becca.
Belfast has a rich and weaving history and the city is studded with insights into its fascinating past. Your first stop has to be the historical treasure trove of the Ulster Museum. Then on to the Linen Hall Library to peek at the oldest newspaper in the world followed by a visit to Belfast City Hall and its Titanic Memorial. After a day’s touring, enjoy a show at the Grand Opera House – you can be sure you’re in for a good time, they’ve been doing this for centuries.
We know turning a corner and finding a Belfast hidden gem all by yourself is a great buzz, but it’s also handy to know which tasty café, quirky gallery and cosy hotel is just around that next corner, too. The gotoBelfast App is your official, and free, guide to the city, providing the nearest shopping mecca, restaurant, pubs, Arts and sightseeing spots with a little tap of a screen.
Getting to Belfast
Getting to Belfast couldn’t be easier. The city of Belfast is served by two airports: Belfast International Airport and George Best Belfast City Airport, both of which are excellently served by public transport and will have you in the city centre in a matter of minutes. Those arriving by sea can sail right into Belfast Harbour by ferry - the perfect way to start a Titanic inspired journey. Belfast is also well linked to Ireland’s major road and rail network, making the city accessible from Dublin in just over two hours.