Belfast, and all of Northern Ireland, are great solo travel destinations. But you don't need a connection with Northern Ireland to fall in love with it. From Belfast to Derry, from the loughs (lakes or bays) to the glens, from fables to festivals, there is a lot to do, see, and enjoy in Northern Ireland. Here are my tips. Many of them work for the budget traveler.
Belfast's murals and street art. Street art and murals are a passive way to demonstrate the politics of a people. This is certainly the case in Belfast. The Peace Walls and many buildings are covered with important art often produced by very skilled artists. There are some great walking tours of the city's street art to take in. The Black Cab Tours are famous for showing off the murals.
Belfast City Hall. In the center of Belfast is the grand city hall. They run free tours seven days a week, three times each day, four on Saturday and Sunday.
Experience the Titanic. The Titanic sailed from Southampton but was built in Belfast. Outside Belfast City Hall is the Titanic Memorial Garden. Within walking distance, on the waterfront is the Titanic Museum.
Linen Hall Library. Across from Belfast City Hall is the Linen Hall Library that dates back to 1788 and is the oldest library in Belfast. It's known for its historical collection including a comprehensive archive of the Troubles. Look for the wall along the staircase near the back for a fabulous display of political posters from the last quarter of the 20th century.
Ulster Museum. Located in the Botanic Gardens of Belfast, the Ulster Museum is home to a rich collection of art, historical artifacts, and natural science exhibits. It's free to all visitors.
St. George's Market. This is a great indoor market in Belfast, open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday offering local produce and crafts. Try a Belfast Bap, which is just about every kind of fried meat you can think of on a bun.
This route covers 120 miles along the coast from Belfast Lough to Lough Foyle – basically, Belfast to Derry. There are some inland deviation routes to explore the Glens of Antrim which will take your breath away. A few of the route’s highlights have a fee but a National Trust Card will help with some of them. The top highlights are the Giant’s Causeway and The Gobbins.