As its leafy parks and avenues put on a glorious display of golden browns, reds, oranges and yellows, the autumn is one of the loveliest times of the year to explore the delights of buzzing Belfast.
Compact enough to cover in a few days and nights, Northern Ireland’s capital is full of top-class attractions, culture, a fantastic foodie scene, great nightlife, lively pubs, clubs, all kinds of tours, shopping and loads of surprises for couples and friends alike.
Adventure into the trendy Titanic Quarter to uncover the unmissable story of RMS Titanic. The incredible Titanic Belfast exhibition tells the story of the world’s most famous ship right at the place where she was launched over 100 years ago.
Dive deeper into the history-laden quays, docks and riverside of the Titanic Quarter’s Maritime Mile and you will find the Titanic Pump House and Dock, the floating museums of SS Nomadic, which ferried passengers to Titanic, and the amazing HMS Caroline, the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland in World War I.
Game of Thrones fans will love the Glass of Thrones Trail along the Maritime Mile. Created to celebrate 10 years of filming in Belfast, the six huge stained-glass windows on this self-guided walking trail depict the most famous families, characters and scenes from the show, ending with the iconic ‘Iron Throne’.
Take trips to the excellent Ulster Museum and the green-domed City Hall, see the sights in style with a Black Taxi tour of the city’s edgy murals, or experience what life was like behind bars at the notorious Crumlin Road Gaol. Then take a stroll through St George’s Market, one of the best covered markets in the UK and Ireland and thrumming with food, craft and entertainment.
Walking tours around Belfast include anything from sightseeing, history, arts and of course music, with the Belfast Traditional Music Trail a unique way to experience the city. Foodies will also love getting ‘off the eaten track’ down quiet streets and into hidden corners to meet locals making world-beating products with Taste and Tour NI.
At night, the cobbled courtyards, Michelin-starred restaurants, smart cocktail lounges and exclusive rooftop bars, theatres, and art spaces of the Cathedral Quarter light up. Time your trip to coincide with Belfast International Arts Festival, which returns from 6 October to 7 November with an extensive programme of theatre, dance and music performances, and this area of the city will be alive with culture and the famous Belfast banter.
Wandering around Belfast in the autumn is a treat no matter what you fancy, but if you have time head into the surrounding hills to get back to gold-carpeted nature, enjoy spectacular walks and take in the panoramic views of Belfast Lough and the city below.
It’s also easy to hire a car or take a coach tour to discover the likes of the Giant’s Causeway and the Old Bushmills Distillery and the many Game of Thrones filming locations on the celebrated Causeway Coastal Route.