Belfast in Northern Ireland is sure to become a tourist hot spot in 2012 after being named by various travel publications as one of the world’s must-visit locations for this year, as well as with its grand opening of the hotly anticipated Belfast Titanic center.
Here are ten spots in Belfast to check out:
1. Northern Ireland War Memorial, Belfast
This Memorial, housed at the former site of Memorial House, which is situated on Waring Street on a site which was bombed during the Blitz in 1941, pays homage to those who fell in battle during both WWI and WWII. Offering free admissions and access to educational programs and documentary materials, this is a great spot for any war-buff.
2. The Ulster Museum, Belfast
This Northern Irish museum houses treasures from all around the world, and promises to entertain both the simply curious and the historical enthusiast.
3. The Queen’s Welcome Centre at Queen’s University, Belfast
Dating back nearly two centuries, this University in Northern Ireland has seen major parts of history unfold. The Welcome Centre at the University, which opened in 1995, hosts a regular program of exhibitions and serves as an information point for visitors and tourists.
4. The Belfast Botanic Gardens and Palm House
Described as “an important part of Belfast’s Victorian heritage,” the Botanic Gardens is a popular meeting spot for both tourists and locals. It offers a children's playground, beautiful walks around the grounds and a bowling green. The Botanic Gardens is often used for events, such as Garden Gourmet, as well as band recitals, concerts, and opera performances.
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5. Lawrence Street Workshops
This bustling haven for local artists is located within a century-old stables courtyard right in the heart of South Belfast's University area. The Workshops were informally established in 1989 by local artists and crafts people with creative business ideas to provide themselves with affordable workspaces in their own vicinity. Today, workshops and exhibitions attract locals and tourists alike.
6. Robinson’s Bar
Hosting four different venues under one roof, Robinson’s is the number one spot to hit for a night out on the town. It is also one of Belfast’s longest established bars.
7. The Belfast Barge
The Belfast Barge is the city's latest maritime themed visitor attraction, located beside Belfast Waterfront and minutes from the city centre. This 600 ton barge, moored on the river Lagan at Lanyon Quay, houses a vibrant interactive museum which tells the story of Belfast's extensive maritime history.
8. The Oh Yeah Music Centre
With Belfast being a provider of both musicians and important musical events over history, this centre is “a welcoming place for the music fan who wants to explore the story of music from this prolific part of the world.”
9. Belfast Exposed
This photo gallery focusing on social commentary is a perfect stop for anyone wishing to peer further into Belfast’s troubled past, as well as to take photographic training courses.
10. St. George’s Market
With weekly markets dating all the way back to 1604, St. George’s Market is a necessary stop for anyone visiting Belfast as it is one of the most popular destinations for visitors.
Here's a short tourism promos for Belfast to give you a taste: