Belfast, Great Britain Northern Ireland

Belfast, Great Britain Northern Ireland (6/17-18/2016)

City Hall Belfast Northern Ireland Great Britain
City Hall - Belfast, Northern Ireland
Tourism is starting to come back to Belfast.

We came to Belfast for a short visit to learn more about the recent conflicts and to see how this part of Ireland is doing. If you have similar interests, a visit to Belfast will prove very interesting and Belfast has some other attractions.

Map of Belfast Northern Ireland Great Britain
Map of Belfast - Northern Ireland, Great Britain
Some historic background: 

After Ireland’s civil war, the partition of Ireland in 1920 made Belfast the capital of Northern Ireland that stayed in Great Britain.

Wayne Pat Dunlap Commerical Court Cathedral Quarter Belfast Northern Ireland Great Britain
Wayne & Pat - 
Pictureque Commerical Court 
Cathedral Quarter Belfast
Unfortunately, Belfast became well know around the world with the outbreak of The Troubles in 1969 between followers of the Catholic Republicans (those who want to be independent of Great Britain) and Protestant Loyalist (those who want to stay in). The news images were alarming showing violence, bombings, sectarian murders, and brutality from security forces. This happened when religion, politics and centuries of resentment and poverty are all rolled into one.

Bobby Sands Mural Belfast Northern Ireland
Bobby Sands Mural - Belfast
The 1998 Good Friday Agreement laid the groundwork for a power-sharing government and the situation has steadily improved. Tension today is much reduced and Belfast is now safe to visit. During the conflict, Belfast became known for its murals done by people who wanted to express their heartfelt feelings (see photo).

Peace Wall Belfest Northern Ireland Great Britain
Peace Wall - 
Belfest, Ireland
You can learn about The Troubles and see the murals with a tour of West Belfast by taking a black taxi tour, open top Belfast City Sightseeing bus, or CitySightSeeing Belfast Hop on Hop Off bus. Alternatively, you can walk there in about 20 minutes from city center. Shankill Road is in the Protestant area and Falls Road is Loyalist. The Peace Wall (see photo) was constructed between them and still stands today where people come to sign their names.

Titanic Belfast Northern Ireland Great Britain
Titanic Belfast
Belfast spent a lot of money to develop the interesting Titanic Belfast attraction (see photo) where the Titanic was built. It is now Northern Ireland’s most popular attraction. Nine self-guided galleries take you through the history of Belfast, it’s shipbuilding history, and the building and sinking of the Titanic with real historic images, sounds, and animated projections. There is even a ride.

Duke of York Belfast Northern Ireland
Duke of York
Northern Ireland
Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter has some interesting things to see and do. We liked our evening visit to the atmospheric Duke of York pub (see photo) on Commercial Court, a picturesque cobbled alleyway.

Crown Liquor Saloon Belfast Northern Ireland Great Britain
Crown Liquor Saloon
We enjoyed our visit to the famous Crown Liquor Saloon on Great Victoria Street (see photo). It isn’t often that you can have a drink in a city’s major attraction. We also like listening to traditional Irish music next door at Fibbers McGees (accessed through Robinsons) – get there before they stop the music at 10PM. We had a nice dinner at Deanes on Howard Street, near the Crown Liquor Saloon.

Beer drinkers: It is not a myth that Guinness beer tastes better in Ireland. It most certainly does! Although a wonderful beer anywhere in the world, a slightly different process is done for the beer made for export. So, drink up and enjoy.

Beautiful Irish Countryside Ireland
Beautiful Irish Countryside!
Travel advise about visiting Ireland: While visiting Ireland, we learned a few important lessons. The beauty of our Ireland experience was more about the genuine Irish people and beauty of the countryside and less so about how many important sites and buildings there are to visit. We found the best pub experience in the world in Ireland. So, slow down, enjoy the vibrantly green countryside, the Irish people, and visit a pub or two when you ‘fancy a pint’.

See our other 9 travel blog posts on Ireland:

Dublin, Republic of Ireland (capital) Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

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