This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Belfast. To help you make friends with Belfast before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom and it's where you'll find the most hostels of any city in the country. It is still a small city, where it is possible to see the sights by walking around the city centre. Must-sees in the city centre include the magnificent Town Hall (tours are available), the Titanic Quarter (a museum dedicated to the building and history of the Titanic), and the (free!) Ulster Museum of Natural History.
Many tourists visit Belfast for the history of the Titanic, and for the history of the IRA (Irish Republican Army) troubles between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The troubled history is clear in Belfast, with murals depicting the violence and bombings that occurred during this difficult time. There are many tours dedicated to the murals and their history, as well as general walking tours of the city, its history, and architecture.
Many visitors also come to Belfast to head to the northern coast to see the famed Giant's Causeway. The Giant's Causeway is a natural phenomenon caused by ancient volcanic activity. It is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is often featured on places-you-must-see lists.
The vistas are incredible, as are the mythological stories that explain the Causeway. According to the Gaelic myth, the columns are the remains of a causeway built by the giant Fionn MacCool. He built the causeway to connect Northern Ireland through the North Channel to Scotland, so that the two giants could meet and fight. There are conflicting stories about who did win that fight. Also worth visiting is the Carrick-a-Rede bridge, a precarious rope bridge that connects the mainland to the minuscule island of Carrick-a-Rede. You don't need a car to reach the Giant's Causeway, as there are many day-long and half-day bus tours that operate from the city centre.
There are many Belfast hostels located in the city centre. It is very easy to get around the city centre -- it is easy to walk and there are frequent buses that can take you to your Belfast hostel of choice. It is also easy to link to the city centre from the Belfast Airport, and there are direct buses and affordable taxis. Be sure to research ahead of time to be sure your arrival is smooth. Belfast is a popular tourist locale, so be sure to book early to avoid disappointment!
Written by local enthusiast for Belfast hostelsShannon Neuber