Welcome to Belfast
Belfast is in many ways a brand-new city. Once lumped with Beirut, Baghdad and Bosnia as one of the four 'Bs' for travellers to avoid, in recent years it has pulled off a remarkable transformation from bombs-and-bullets pariah to a hip-hotels-and-hedonism party town.The old shipyards on the Lagan continue to give way to the luxury apartments of the Titanic Quarter, whose centrepiece, the stunning, star-shaped... Read More
Top experiences in Belfast
Sights in BelfastSee all sights
Northern Ireland Highlights Day Trip from Dublin
In the early morning, your guide will pick you up from selected centrally located pickup points and then drive you north out of the city by luxury coach. After a journey of roughly two hours, arrive in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, in time for your black cab tour.On a route around the city, listen to your guide talk through the highs and lows of Belfast’s fascinating political history. Hear of its industrial roots, the past four decades of civil unrest, and of its current regeneration; many say the city’s heyday is still to come.Look out for several of the top Belfast attractions, like the Harland and Wolff shipyard, where the Titanic was built, and Belfast Docks, where numerous ships were made in the city's industrial days. See political murals as you pass through the Falls and Shankill neighborhoods where Belfast’s Unionist and Nationalist cultures live on opposing sides of the divide. Pull over for a closer look at several key locations, including the Peace Wall, where you can sign your name next to legendary peacemakers, such as Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton.After a break to take refreshments in the city (own expense), leave Belfast behind and hit the road to the Northern Irish coast. Following a route known as the Antrim Coastal Drive, pass spectacular scenery including stony shores, densely wooded glens and picture-perfect harbors. Pause to marvel at Dunluce Castle, a medieval ruin perched precariously atop a bluff on the coast. Fans of hit TV show Game of Thrones may recognize it as the setting for the House of Greyjoy.After driving for roughly two hours, arrive at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Giant’s Causeway, where you’ll have two hours to explore at leisure. Created more than 60 million years ago after a series of volcanic eruptions, the causeway is best known for its distinctive rock formations that span nearly 18 miles (29 km) of coastline. Continue on to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, which links the mainland to Carrick-a-Rede Island. Steel yourself for a heart-stopping walk across the swaying bridge, as the Atlantic Ocean waves pound into the cliffs below. The surrounding headlands were also used for filming several Game of Thrones scenes. On the journey back to Dublin take a brief stop in the pretty town of Castlebelingham to stretch your legs, before arriving back to central Dublin in the evening.
Giant's Causeway Day Trip from Dublin
Your day trip to Giant's Causeway will set off from Dublin in the early morning to make good use of the quiet roads. There will be a brief coffee stop as you enter Northern Ireland, before continuing north to the picturesque Dark hedges. This magical road is straight from a story book. The Dark Hedges represents the King’s Road in the famous television series “Game of Thrones”. The avenue is made up of beech trees that were planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century to impress visitors as they approached the Gracehill House. You will have time to have a brief walk around and snap some photos before returning to the bus to continue the journey to the Giant's Causeway. The Giant's Causeway area is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and bearing testament to this status, you'll find the Causeway coast to be an area of unsurpassed natural beauty. As you travel, pass romantic towns and quaint villages, surrounded by isolated ruins, rocky shores and green glens. Unsurprisingly, the Causeway coastal road is often referred to as one of the world's greatest road journeys, so sit back and enjoy the ride!Your route back from Northern Ireland to Dublin follows the Giant's Causeway south, so you'll have further time to take in the amazing views and spot coastal wildlife. There will be a stop in Belfast on the return journey and you’ll have chance to stretch your legs and have a look around the capital city, which has undergone extensive regeneration work in recent years. Your day trip arrives back in Dublin in the early evening, after an exhilarating day at Northern Ireland's most spectacular location.
Northern Ireland including Giant's Causeway Rail Tour from Dublin
Departing from Dublin Connolly Station you'll travel by train to Belfast (light breakfast available onboard). Upon arrival in Belfast, your coach tour will head to the famous Antrim Coast Road, crossing the lovely Glens of Antrim en route to Ballycastle and the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge. From here, you can glimpse the Scottish coast on a clear day. Note that the bridge is open from March to October only and there's a small local charge if you cross the bridge.Next, you'll continue to the stunning Giant's Causeway, renowned for its polygonal basalt columns. It's fun to walk around, so be sure to wear good walking shoes!After making a photo stop at historic Dunluce Castle, it's time to return to Belfast to catch your train to Dublin Connolly Station (snacks available)
Giant’s Causeway Day Trip from Belfast
Leave central Belfast in the morning and head to the first stop is Carrickfergus Castle -- a striking Norman castle that’s said to be one of the best preserved in Northern Ireland. Enjoy a photo stop here, and hear from your guide how it was built in the 12th century to guard the approach to Belfast Lough. Head northeast along the Antrim Coast by luxury coach. To the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, an exhilarating crossing that connects the mainland to Carrick-a-Rede Island. Feeling brave? Take a walk across it (own expense) and try hard not to look down at the 100-foot (30-meter) drop! If you prefer to keep your feet firmly on dry land, your guide will point you in the right direction for a bracing walk along the magnificent headland.Hop back on board your bus and continue to the Old Bushmills Distillery, where the famous Bushmills Irish whiskey is produced. After lunch in the distillery’s bar (own expense), browse tempting wares in the gift shop and then head off to see the incredible Giant’s Causeway!As Northern Ireland’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Giant’s Causeway is sure to impress! The fascinating natural wonder consists of hexagonal rock columns that somehow fit together like a baffling puzzle. Climb the ancient stones that line the coastline, and hear the myths surrounding their appearance from a professional National Trust guide. A popular tale is that the rocks were created as giant stepping stones for the fabled Irish giant Finn Mac Cool, so that he could cross the sea to Scotland.After enjoying Giant’s Causeway, board your coach and travel south, stopping to admire the ancient ruins of Dunluce Castle, a once-important medieval stronghold. After a short walk around, return to central Belfast where your tour ends.
'Game of Thrones' and Giant's Causeway Day Tour
Hop aboard your coach at your central Belfast hotel, and travel along the scenic Causeway Coastal Route. As you travel north, your guide will talk to you about the popular Game of Thrones TV series, adapted from George Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels. Stop in the town of Cushendun and walk to the caves where Melisandre of Asshai gave birth to her ‘shadow baby’ who went on to slay Renly Baratheon. Hear tales of the power struggles, battles and trysts between the noble families of Westeros, and learn all about the exploits of King Joffrey Baratheon.Travel by coach to Ballycastle to see where Varys was born as a slave in the Free Cities, and after stretching your legs on a stroll, travel to the Dark Hedges road. With its natural archway of intertwined trees, the road is one of Northern Ireland’s most photographed locations and the place where Arya Stark dressed as a boy to escape from King’s Landing. Pose for pictures, and then continue your journey north.The next destination is larrybane Quarry right next to the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge – an iconic crossing that connects the mainland to Carrick-a-Rede Island. While not used in Game of Thrones, the bridge is framed by magnificent headland that provided a backdrop for several scenes. After a quick photo stop, continue to the fishing village of Ballintoy for lunch (own expense), and then travel to the UNESCO-listed Giant’s Causeway,While the location hasn’t been used in Game of Thrones, the site is the Causeway Coast’s showpiece, and it’s well worth visiting while in the area. Walk around admiring the hexagonal rock columns and gaze out at the crashing waves along the dramatic coastline.Board your coach and travel back to Belfast, your tour then finishes in the early evening in the center of Belfast.
Belfast Day Trip from Dublin
Starting from a central Dublin location, your day trip departs early to beat the traffic on the drive north to Belfast. In the mid-morning, you’ll enter Northern Ireland and reach Belfast, the country’s capital city. Here you will have a guided coach tour of Belfast City, where you'll be shown the Belfast peace walls that act as peace lines between the Catholic and Protestant communities. Look out for the wall murals that tell stories of community disputes from both sides of the fence.After a light-hearted introduction into the perils of Belfast politics, you’ll have approximately two hours to spend at leisure, and your guide will happily offer directions to recommended lunch spots. Suggested Belfast attractions for you to see include Belfast Cathedral (also known as St Anne’s Cathedral), or the landmark site of Belfast City Hall on Donegal Square. Continue your tour to East Belfast, where you’ll visit the Harland and Wolff dry docks. It was here that the doomed Titanic ship was designed and built. Following this, you will begin your drive back towards Dublin, stopping in Downpatrick to visit the Saint Patrick Centre and take a short walk to the Down Cathedral to learn about the patron saint of Ireland. Your Belfast Day trip will continue south through County Down. You will stop at Dundrum where you will have a chance to visit the ruins of the famous Norman castle and admire the views. Following this, you will pass through the Mourne Mountains, an area of outstanding natural beauty, where you will have views of Slieve Donard, the highest peak in Northern Ireland. You will also have a chance to experience gravity hill, where vehicles appear to roll uphill due to an optical illusion created by the surrounding landscape. From here you will continue back to Dublin where your tour concludes.