The collaborating destination for AEPC 2023, Belfast is a bustling city that’s certainly worth exploring for both its history and culture. Here are a few must-see spots to inspire your trip to the capital of Northern Ireland.
Hands-down the most popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland (NI), Titanic Belfast commemorates the historic RMS Titanic, which hit an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic Ocean during its maiden voyage in 1912. The Titanic Belfast building was erected on the site of the shipyard where the RMS Titanic was originally built. Since its opening in 2012, Titanic Belfast has welcomed visitors from all around the world, giving them a chance to explore the Titanic’s history through both relics and replicas.
A nod to the city’s politically turbulent past, Belfast’s peace lines were erected after 1969, when The Troubles began as riots broke out between Loyalist and Nationalist forces. The walls were originally intended to section off neighbourhoods as a way to reduce tensions between the different factions. The Northern Ireland Executive has been committed to removing the peace walls for the past decade, yet some still remain as tourist attractions and a physical reminder of the effects of war. The most famous of these walls stretches between The Falls Road and The Shankill Road in West Belfast.
The largest museum in NI, the Ulster Museum is located in the Botanic Gardens of Belfast. With around 8,000 square metres of public display space, the museum is home to a vast collection that aims to bridge the past, present and future of NI through art, archaeology, ethnography, botany, zoology and geology.
CS Lewis Square
Narnia fans will love this one! Named after the Belfast-born author of The Chronicles of Narnia, the CS Lewis Square is a public square is located at the intersection of the Connswater and Comber Greenways, right beside the EastSide Visitor Centre. Here, you’ll find sculptures of characters from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The park is open round the clock, and visitors can also enjoy a cuppa joe at JACK Coffee Bar—whose name is a nod to the famous author’s moniker.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986, the Giant’s Causeway is a natural wonder comprised of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, which were formed by a fissure volcano during the Paleocene Epoch some 50 to 60 million years ago. The site is located about an hour and a half outside of Belfast by car, but archaeology buffs will certainly tell you that seeing the Giant’s Causeway is worth the trip!
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