Better Belfast: Belfast Tourist Information

Belfast is a gorgeous coastal city that is the capital of Northern Ireland. With its deep and long natural harbor, Belfast has an extensive history with shipbuilding and rope making. Today, Belfast is a city bursting with classy restaurants, top-notch hotels, and funky bars and nightclubs.

When planning your travels to Belfast it should be noted that the prevailing languages are English and Irish. The currency is the British Pound, and the overall atmosphere is much more British than you would expect to find in Dublin. Perhaps at first you might find them a bit off-ish, abrupt, or even suspicious.

With that being said, the people of Northern Ireland are indeed quite friendly and helpful. You will find that polite, courteous behavior will be returned two-fold as the residents are becoming more at ease with the influx of tourists. There are many places to visit on your own or with a tour, and regardless of how long you stay, you will never forget the experience.

Keep in mind that the climate in Northern Ireland can be a bit unpredictable, so check the weather for the area before heading out. July is a very warm and rainy season in Belfast, and while cold, January is a bright and sunny month for a holiday. Average daytime summer temperatures range in the 60s° F for the most part, and the mid 40s° F in the winter. Overall, the climate in Northern Ireland is temperate.

The city council of Belfast has established several quarters as a way to promote specific areas since tourism has been increasing over the last ten or so years. The Cathedral Quarter hosts many festivals and is a key cultural locale in the city. The Gaeltacht Quarter promotes the Irish language, and the Queen's Quarter has a large population of students in the area. Each autumn the Belfast Festival at Queen is held there.

Titanic Quarter is an area formerly known as Queen's Island. This area is a planned development that will transform the former shipyard into a major waterfront development, which will include apartments, entertainment, and a museum devoted to the RMS Titanic.

An Ulster Fry is the best way to start your day. A "full Irish" breakfast that includes eggs, bacon, mushrooms, sausage, grilled tomatoes, and black and white pudding are served with fadge cake. The fadge cake is made of potatoes, milk, and butter, coated in flour, and fried. They taste a bit like hash browns, only better.

There are several locations in Belfast that must be experienced, such as the home of the famous shipbuilders who created the RMS Titanic, Harland and Wolff, which is still housed along the shoreline of Belfast Lough.

The city of Belfast is bordered by hills to the northwest, which include an area called Cave Hill. This country park boasts breathtaking views of the city as well as the lough when you walk to the top of the hill. If you make it far enough up, you will even be rewarded with a view of the Scottish coastline.