Belfast is the birthplace of the iconic Titanic ship, where it was conceived and constructed. The ship set sail on 2nd April 1912 and the rest, as they say, is history. To mark 100 years of the Titanic, a 90ft building was built which celebrates the life and history of the famous ship. Titanic Belfast opened to a great welcome, with over 100, 000 tickets sold before the doors even opened. The experience stands proud on the banks of the River Lagan and is one of Belfast’s most visited tourist attractions.
Titanic Belfast was designed by Civic Arts, in conjunction with Todd Architects, on the land of the Harland and Wolff Shipyard, where the ship was built. The futuristic design mimic the bow of the boat and is a shining example of Belfast’s wish to mix modernity with tradition, when it come to tourism. 9 interactive galleries cover 6 floors of the centre, where you can learn how the ship was built and what Belfast was like at the time. There is a virtual tour of the Titanic to imagine life on the ship and there is also a replica of the grand staircase, that people will know about from the Hollywood film about the ship. Titanic Dock and Pump house is the 8 acre space where the biggest ship (at the time) was built and is open for tourists to look around.
To explore history outside of the experience centre, you can take a Titanic Boat Tour, the world’s only Titanic tour, which leaves from Donegal Quay and lasts for 1 hour. The tour takes in around Belfast Harbour, including the famous pump house and Harland and Wolff ship yard. You can visit the dry land where the Titanic was built and learn all about the history of the ship. It is also worth visiting SS Nomadic, another famous ship built by Harland and Wolff and families will love a trip to the Ocean Exploration Centre.Once you have finished your tour, head to the Titanic Pub and Kitchen, where you can enjoy traditional Irish food and raise a glass to the most famous ship in history.
Whilst Titanic Belfast is a mesmerising experience, make sure you save time explore the rest of the wonderful city of Belfast. The city has many museums, galleries and historical sites to keep tourist busy for the weekend and there are great hotels and B&B’s to suit all budgets, with great value for money accommodation situated in the University Quarter. Above all, the best thing about a visit to Belfast is the people, who are always warm and welcoming and will definitely give you a laugh or two.