500px Photo ID: 105147659 - Giraffe enclosure at Belfast Zoo, in the shadow of Cavehill

Jason McCabe / 500px

Belfast Zoo


Home to 120 species, Belfast Zoo has spacious enclosures set on an attractive, sloping site; the sea lion and penguin pool with its underwater viewing is particularly good. Some of the more unusual animals include golden lion tamarins, Malayan sun bears and red pandas, but the biggest attractions are the ultracute meerkats, the colony of ring-tailed lemurs and the herd of Rothschild's giraffes.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Belfast attractions

1. Cave Hill Country Park

0.65 MILES

The view from the summit of Cave Hill (368m) takes in the whole sprawl of the city, the docks, Belfast Lough and the Mourne Mountains – on a clear day you…

2. Belfast Castle

0.92 MILES

Built in 1870 for the third Marquess of Donegall, in the Scottish Baronial style made fashionable by Queen Victoria's Balmoral, multiturreted Belfast…

3. Crumlin Road Gaol

3.24 MILES

Guided tours of Belfast's notorious Crumlin Road Gaol take you from the tunnel beneath Crumlin Rd, built in 1850 to convey prisoners from the courthouse…

4. Titanic's Dock & Pump House


At the far end of Queen's Rd is an impressive monument to the days of the great liners – the vast Thompson Dry Dock where the Titanic was fitted out.

5. HMS Caroline

3.34 MILES

The UK's last surviving WWI Royal Navy cruiser has been converted into a floating museum, docked in Titanic Quarter. Audio tours take in the captain's…

6. Great Light

3.34 MILES

This light is one of the largest optics of its kind. It was used in Tory Island lighthouse from 1887 to 1924 and then on Mew Island until 2014. It is…

7. Clifton House

3.44 MILES

Belfast's finest surviving Georgian building is Clifton House, built in 1774 by Robert Joy (Henry Joy McCracken’s uncle) as a poorhouse. It is now used as…

8. Titanic Studios

3.46 MILES

Just northeast of Titanic Belfast you'll see the huge paint hall where ship component parts were painted in a climate-controlled environment. Today it's…