This article about the 10 best free things to do in Belfast was published by the Great British Mag content team on 5 December, 2019.
Belfast has hundreds of attractions but read our guide to the 10 best FREE things to do.
Where: Cupar Way
The Peace Walls (or Peace Lines) are a series of barriers that separate predominantly Republican and Nationalist Catholic neighbourhoods from Loyalist and Unionist Protestant neighbourhoods. It was set up to reduce the violence between the different communities but has since been used for elaborate murals and street art. You couldn’t miss it.
Where: College Park, Botanic Avenue
Occupying 28 hectares across South Belfast, the Botanic Gardens are a must-visit for nature lovers. Opened in 1828, it was later opened to the public from 1895, when it became a public park. Check out the Palm House conservatory or the Tropical Ravine glasshouse for some beautiful plant species.
Where: Royal Avenue
Price: Free (unless you buy something the shops or restaurants)
The Cathedral Quarter gets its name from St Anne’s Cathedral, which lies at its heart. It’s an area full of arts and culture, including murals and graffiti. One of the most recognisable art pieces is a series of open umbrellas hanging from the ceiling. Have a walk around and explore the streets.
Where: All across Belfast
Price: Free (with an optional donation)
In recent years, free walking tours have taken over the way tourists explore major cities across the world and Belfast is no different. There are general tours run by local experts, who can guide you through the hidden gems of the city, but there are also tours that specialise in things like graffiti or the Titanic (which was built in Belfast). So what are you waiting for?
Where: Antrim Plateau
Cave Hill (or sometimes spelled Cavehill) is a basaltic hill overlooking the city of Belfast. Once you climb the 368 meters to the top of the hill, you can see all of Belfast. One clear and sunny days, you can also see the neighbouring Isle of Man and Scotland. It lies just a few miles from Belfast’s city centre.
Where: Queen’s Rd, Titanic Quarter
The Titanic Slipways are where the iconic Titanic and Olympic ships were built and launched over 100 years ago. There’s also the Titanic Belfast museum (which is not free) but is the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience. Who wouldn’t want to see where the Titanic all began?
John Hewitt Bar
Where: Cathedral Quarter
Price: Free (unless you buy food or drink)
The bar first opened its doors in 1999 and has remained a popular live music venue ever since. Showcasing Belfast’s thriving music scene, the bar it offers vibrant, buzzy and traditional Irish music in a fun setting. It’s named after the late poet and socialist, John Hewitt.
The Linen Hall Library
Where: Donegall Square North
The Linen Hall Library is the oldest library in Belfast and celebrates the city’s rich history with making linen. When you walk into the library, you can read a 316 year-old book or study a 1725 city map. Soak in the library’s rich history as you marvel at the stunning architecture of the old building.
Where: Cavehill Country Park
Built in the late 12th century, Belfast Castle stands tall at over 120 meters and offers unobstructed views of the city of Belfast and Belfast Lough. The building that stands there today is not the original castle, after it burned down in 1708. It boasts an antiques shop, a restaurant and visitors centre.
Where: West Belfast
Black Mountain towers over the city and stands tall at almost 400 meters high. It also boasts a well-known field called Hatchet Field, which is in the shape of an old-fashioned hatchet. Marvel at the old monuments on top of the hill, then turn your attention to the spectacular views of Belfast.
Images courtesy of Tourism Northern Ireland