Top 6 free things to do in Belfast

Looking for cheap things to do in Belfast?  Here are 6 fantastic attractions and best of all, they are FREE!

Botanic gardens and palm house

The botanic gardens and palm house were established in 1928 and are a pleasant way to while away a afternoon.  Established in 1828, the gardens have been enjoyed as a public park by the people of Belfast since 1895. Why not pick up a picnic en-route and join the students and locals who meet up in the gardens.  There is a Tesco Express on the Dublin road with a good selection of pre-packed salads and sandwiches and from there it is a mere 10 minute stroll to the Belfast botanic gardens

Ulster Museum

The Ulster museum is conveniently located in the botanic gardens.  It’s a brilliant free museum where you can come face to face with dinosaurs, Egyptian mummies and as well as learning about local history, including the troubles, there are art and natural science exhibits.  Well worth spending a few hours here.

Opening hours are: Tuesday – Sunday: 10.00 – 17.00

Lagan towpath

After visiting the Ulster Museum, why not head on down the road and take a walk along the delightful Lagan towpath.  From the museum,  head to Stranmills by turning left out of the gates and onto Malone road.  Here are the Google map directions for you.

The Towpath winds along the river and canal system taking in a  variety of wildlife, wetlands, woodlands and riverside meadows. The canal system dates back to the late 18th century and many features give an insight into the majestic era of the lighter – which was the name given to the boats that originally travelled on the Lagan Canal. For detailed information about the towpath and walks, you can check out the official website right here.

If after your walk you have worked up an appetite or thirst, the Cutters wharf is a popular bar with riverfront tables and an upstairs restaurant serving a varied, modern menu. The bar and restaurant overlook the canal and you will have walked past it on your way to the towpath.

Belfast city hall tour

Belfast city hall, home of Belfast city council is located in Donegall Square, right in the heart of Belfast city centre.  Plans for the City Hall began in 1888 when Belfast was awarded city status by Queen Victoria. Construction began in 1898 under the supervision of architect Sir Alfred Brumwell Thomas and was completed in 1906 at a cost of £369,000.

The guided tour is free and lasts about 45 minutes. You will have the chance to see some of the building’s finest features and various rooms including the Council Chamber, Robing Room, Reception Hall, Banqueting Hall and The Great Hall. Simply sign in at the main reception before the tour starts.  I popped in one morning and booked a place for one of the afternoon tours.

The Titanic Memorial Garden is situated on the east side of Belfast City Hall.

Check here for more information and tour times 

St Georges market

St George’s Market is one of Belfast’s oldest attractions having been built between 1890-1896. The undercover market is less than a 5 minute walk from city hall. It’s a buzzing market and as well as the stalls, you may well get to see some local bands playing live..

The variety market takes place every Friday between 6.00am -3.00pm.

On Saturdays there is the city food and craft market offering a huge range of local, continental and specialty foods including meat and fish, cheese, coffee beans, tapas and organic products. Opening hours are 9.00am-3.00pm

Taking place on Sundays is the aptly names Sunday market.  This market is a mixture of the Friday and Saturday markets with a special emphasis on local arts and crafts, offering more local craftspeople the opportunity to show off their talents.

St Georges market is a  lovely spot and definitely worth a visit.

The Dome at Victoria Square

The Dome offers panoramic views that stretch for miles across Belfast city, the iconic Dome is a must do and it’s a great place to take some stunning photographs. Climb to the top using the stairs or lift.

 

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