Visiting Belfast - Is It Safe?

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Visiting Belfast - Is It Safe?


Belfast City Northern Ireland

I have been asked by many different people from different countries is it really safe to visit Belfast?

Belfast has changed in quite an unimaginable way over the last ten years. It has gone from a city that was torn apart by troubles and strife into a vibrant and changed city. The city is now rich with hotels, bars and restaurants and any visitor is guaranteed a hearty and warm welcome. These along with the rich history of Belfast makes the city an ideal place to visit. There is something here for everyone to see and do.

There are literally over a hundred hotels in Belfast that will suit all pockets. Prices range from as cheap as £39 for a room right up to the best five star hotels so again something to suit everyone. For eating there are small well priced cafes right up to Michelin Star restaurants and all tastes are catered for including French, Italian, Chinese, Indian and traditional Irish restaurants.

During the day there are many attractions to see and include:

  1. The Ulster Museum (free admittance)
  2. Queen's University
  3. Botanic Gardens
  4. Titanic Quarter
  5. Cathedral Quarter
  6. Crown Bar
  7. Belfast City Hall
  8. Linen Hall Library
  9. Saint Anne's Cathedral
  10. The Odyssey

These are only some of the attractions and there are also many tours including a Titanic Tour, the main Belfast City tour including a view of the famous Belfast Murals and Troubled areas, Ghost tours, tours of The Lagan, Pub Tours and many many more.

When visiting Belfast it doesn't take long to begin to understand the history of its troubled past and I know you will find a warm and welcoming people. I have no doubt that you may have seen the bad side of Belfast on the new's stations throughout the years. If that is all you have ever seen I can clearly understand why anyone would be afraid to come and visit our city. It has changed now and thankfully changed for the better. Today it is safe to walk around Belfast and then go out at night for a meal and a few drinks.

I have met many people from England, Scotland, Europe and Canada and they have been amazed when they actually come here and saw what Belfast is really like. They could not believe just how small the city was and most importantly how friendly the people were. You will not be able to sit in a bar in Belfast without getting into a conversation about something. That is the way we are! We love to see people visit our city and we do like to talk!

The Troubles as they were known are now behind us it seems. It took many years to leave that past behind us but once that happened, then Belfast quickly changed. It is alive now and the city has gone through a massive regeneration. Many of the old historic sites in the city have been refurbished, the Lagan River has been fully cleaned and is now a joy and there is now a great buzz in the city. Coffee shops, major stores, new shopping centres have all developed and grown in the last ten years and there is now a full city experience.

The city is surrounded by mountains and sits on Belfast Lough which then reaches out to the Irish Sea. In two hours you can be in Dublin and in less than an hour you can be at the Giant's Causeway, so Belfast is a great place to make your holiday base. Public transport is good and Belfast is serviced by two airports and a Ferry port giving easy access to Scotland, England and Wales.

The currency used in Belfast is the £ sterling. In Dublin it is the Euro so you will need to change some money when visiting the Irish Republic. A typical lunch in Belfast will cost around £4-7 depending on what you need. A cup of coffee costs around £1.25 with tea being slightly cheaper. An evening meal with a bottle of wine averages out around £40-50 but does depend on what you want. A pint of Guinness costs about £3.50 and will be one of the best you have ever tasted. I know that from all the practise that I get!

There are some cracking golf courses with the average green fees around £30. Courses like Royal Portrush and Royal Belfast will of course be more expensive at around £100 a round.

You can also do river and sea fishing, surfing, hiking, horse riding and there are some fabulous beaches. I can not however guarantee the weather as it rains a lot. The best times for weather are usually May to September but even then it rains a lot. That is why we have an old Belfast saying that states, "It doesn't rain in the pubs."

Other sites to visit that are within an hour's drive or train or bus journey are:

  1. The Marble Arch Caves
  2. Derry's famous City Walls
  3. Carrick-A-Rede Ropebridge
  4. Giant's Causeway
  5. Green Glens of Antrim
  6. Ulster Folk and Transport Museum
  7. American Folk Park
  8. Portaferry Aquarium
  9. Armagh Planetarium
  10. Bushmill's Distillery

You will never be stuck for something to do and your schedule can be as relaxed or as busy as you chose it to be. I trust this article has given you a good insight into Belfast as it is today and not as it has been portrayed on the news for many years.


Hi, I am Enda and have lived in Ireland for all of my life some 52 years. I have travelled the length and breadth of this island and know and love it. Over those years I have met many visitors to our country and have produced this article to try and make their arrival easier, and when they are here to make their stay more enjoyable. I hope I have achieved this and that we see many more visitors to our beautiful island. For a deeper insight why not take a look at my Belfast Blog []

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