United Kingdom
Belfast City Centre

Here you’ll find travel reports about Belfast City Centre. Discover travel destinations in the United Kingdom of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

40 travelers at this place:

  • Day10

    Belfast

    September 12, 2016 in the United Kingdom

    It didn't occur to us how Belfast in Northern Ireland was a city with such recent history that is still evident in everyday life. Northern Ireland which is its own country is full of modern day religious/political tension dividing the city of Belfast between the Protestants who support British rule and the Catholics who support the traditional Irish culture. We took a black cab taxi tour to the various parts of town and saw murals that depicted the history and even saw the gates that are still closed every night between the two parts of town. The craziest thing for us was to learn that not many people are religious anymore but still practice this hatred for each other. Almost 90% of schools there are still segregated in 2016!

    Our favorite quote from our taxi driver was "these Protestants are more British than the Brits!" He did a great job giving us insight into the traditions still held including the annual bonfires by the Protestants which are quite massive and held right in the center of town and showed us the steel walls put up to divide the two sides which now a days has messages of peace and love written on it from tourists, as well as dents from rocks and burn marks from molotov cocktails. We got to leave our little mark as well!
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  • Day58

    Day trip to Belfast

    August 26 in the United Kingdom

    Today we hopped the train from Newry to Belfast. In Belfast we caught the Hop-on Hop-off bus tour around the city. It was rainy and wet, but we made the best of it. At one of our stops the boys signed the 'Peace Wall' which was erected in the mid-70s to segregate Protestants from Catholics. After the tour we visited White's Tavern, the oldest tavern in Belfast for some lunch. Back in Newry we visited Ashling and Stephen’s house for some evening fun.Read more

  • Day38

    Politics and a dinsoaur

    October 11 in the United Kingdom

    Today was mostly about politics and the conflict in Northern Ireland. I started out with a black taxi tour. It was educational, interesting, eye opening and sobering. My driver Kevin was 9 when the Troubles started and he’s lived in Belfast all his life.
    His insight was interesting and I saw much more than I did yesterday on the hop on hop off bus. He took me to the IRA museum. That was sobering, especially to think that this happened during my lifetime.
    One thing that did make me laugh was one of the rules at the Armagh Women’s prison.
    “Letters may not be smuggled in or out of the prison unless permission has been given beforehand”
    I saw rubber and plastic bullets that were used, they are huge. I had just assumed they were normal bullet sized.
    Part of the peace wall is covered in messages and graffiti. Bill Clinton was the first to write on the wall. I also wrote a message.

    At the end of the tour Kevin dropped me off at the City Hall. They have a comprehensive exhibition on the history of Belfast. Again it was interesting.

    From there I went to the Ulster Museum. They have “Dippy”the diplodocus carnegii dinosaur on display at the moment. He used to be in the foyer of the natural history museum so while I missed him in London I saw him here. To be honest I’m not that excited by dinosaurs but the rest of the exhibition that looked at the various differences in animal species in Ireland and the UK.
    They also had a special exhibition on the events of 1968.

    From the museum I caught the hop on hop off bus again. I wanted to hear what they had to say again. This time the tour guide was an older guy compared to the younger woman yesterday. They seemed to have quite different perspectives. He was not that optimistic about the removal of the peace walls. The guide yesterday tended to view it more as history, which to her it probably was.
    The bus was the last one of the day so I finished up in the city. I took a walk to find Vistoria Square, a shopping centre with a dome on top that gives views of the city.
    From there I got some dinner and headed back to the hotel. My phone battery was very low so I tried to find my way back using the street signs but was having no luck. Fortunately my battery lasted until I got back here.
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  • Day13

    Belfast, Northern Ireland

    September 1, 2017 in the United Kingdom

    Today we went on the Hop On Hop off Bus tour of Belfast, it was wonderful to hear the Northern Irish Brogue and their craic about Belfast. Things like their famous 24 hour Tesco store that advertises it's open 24 hours a day but shuts at 9.00pm every night.

    An important part of Belfast is the Queen's Island area that has the twin yellow shipbuilding gantry cranes, Samson and Goliath, which are prominent on the city skyline. This shipyard is where Titanic was built. Although ships are no longer built here the yards are still used for the maintenance of ships and the building of the giant wind turbines that are dotted throughout the country. Also situated on Queen's Island is the studio for Game of Thrones.

    We continued onto Stormont Parliament Building which is the seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly. To camouflage the building during World War II, the building's stone was painted with supposedly removable "paint" made of bitumen and cow manure. However, after the war, removing the paint proved an enormous difficulty and still stains the stone. Now they say there is shit both inside and outside the building. Some more Irish craic.

    We toured both the Unionist and the Republican sides of the city. Belfast you have come a long way in working towards peace but still to see the physical divide of a Peace Wall that is closed off at night and on weekends is saddening. The Peace Wall is used to minimise inter-communal violence between Catholics (most of whom are nationalists who self-identify as Irish) and Protestants (most of whom are unionists who self-identify as British). One mural in particular speaks of what, I hope, will be the future. The mural is based on the poem No More and is designed to send a message to those who wish to continue violence that the next generation wants no part of it.
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  • Day133

    Day 133: Across the Sea

    June 28, 2017 in the United Kingdom

    Exciting times - leaving the mainland UK for the first time on our trip (aside from Anglesey and Orkney I guess). Packed up and left our flat at the usual time, and started driving south. We actually didn't have much to do today either other than drive about two hours south of Glasgow to Cairnryan, where the ferry stop was.

    We basically just drove in one hit, minus a brief stop to pick up a couple of takeaway sandwiches for lunch which we ate in the car. Arrived at the ferry wharf well in advance of our sailing (departure time was 3:30pm, last call at 3pm, we arrived at 1pm). Took up our spot in the queue and then just sat around waiting outside the terminal building as Schnitzel wasn't allowed in.

    Finally we boarded, found our car space and headed upstairs. Schnitzel came too but had to stay in his carrier, thankfully he's fairly happy doing that. Boat was very large, carrying probably 50-60 trucks as well as lots of cars, caravans and foot traffic. Passenger decks very comfortable, with armchairs, tables, a restaurant, cafes, TVs, a couple of Playstations and of course a spa centre! We just grabbed a table near the window and settled in.

    The crossing was mercifully brief and uneventful - about 2.5 hours and you'd barely even notice the boat was moving. No rolling or pitching up and down thankfully! Arrived right on time into Belfast at 6pm, where we fumbled our way across the city (confusing maze of streets!!) to our accommodation. We're staying in a large terraced house along with the owner and a couple of other people. They weren't home so we let ourselves in with the keys from a lockbox nearby. Even though we've done it a bunch of times now, it still feels really strange to let yourself into a total stranger's house!

    Went out to grab some dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant. We're staying just near the uni so there's loads of cheap and tasty places nearby. Lots of food fairly cheap, especially considering it's a city, though the medium-heat sauce was pretty mild by my reckoning. Back home to bed for an early night, as I think it's going to be a busy one tomorrow!
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  • Day52

    Ships and Walls, Prisons and Castles

    August 24, 2017 in the United Kingdom

    Snapshot
    Where - Belfast, Capital of Northern Ireland
    Weather - fine
    Steps - 12700 or 8km and 11 floors

    We did not know very much about Belfast but after our visit we found out some rather surprising things. We knew the Titanic was built in Belfast and consequently they built a whole exhibition around it which really draws in the crowds. It is a rather impressive building and the display was quite good.

    We took a Black Taxi tour around the Belfast murals. We were aware of the "troubles " that existed in Northern Ireland and particularly Belfast in the past but did not realise that there still exists a wall that separates the Loyalists (those that support the British flag - Protestant), from the Catholics , and the gates are locked every day at 7.30pm (3.30pm on Sunday). It is this wall that has murals on it that are ever changing depending on what they want to emphasise at the time. For example there is a mural depicting Civil Rights leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King.
    The troubles still exist, although not in the sense of the IRA (Catholics) killing Loyalists (Protestants) and vice versa; but more in gangs and drug related problems.

    The next day we visited Crumlin Road Gaol which was still in operation up until about 20 years ago and it was a very interesting tour about what it would have been like to be imprisoned here. When it went out of service as a prison, it was reopened as a tourist attraction by some former inmates (one of whom was the First Minister - like a Premier).

    We had time to look around the gardens of Belfast Castle before catching the ferry back to Scotland and onto the southern area of the UK.
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  • Day8

    Enough of this for now

    June 8 in the United Kingdom

    4 Strecken und zu 60% bis 70% laufen, aufgrund von beschissenen und unmöglichen Straßenverhältnissen und das auf teilweise sehr gefährlichen Straßen, haben mich zu dem Schluß gebracht, dass ich vorübergehend mit den Öffentlichen weiterfahre bis die Straßen wieder besser werden, wann immer das sein mag. Die Sehenswürdigkeiten hier in Belfast sind teilweise mit übelsten Preisen verbunden. Ich habe mir das angeschaut was für Lau war, da ich diese Preise nicht bezahlen will. Titanic Experience für 18 Pfund ist etwas übertrieben. Ein Blick auf den Hafen und das Palm House. Morgen werde ich zum Belfast Castle hinaufsteigen.Read more

  • Day2

    2018 Wander

    August 19 in the United Kingdom

    A family dinner at Daphna's house. Great fun, food, conversations and loads of laughs. Walked home at 1.00 am. I have not been out that late for years.
    We went to eat h the crowds going in f
    or the All Ireland hurling final. Limerick won a thriller.
    Nice day, warm and sunny.

  • Day5

    An hour in Belfast

    October 2, 2017 in the United Kingdom

    We just spent a very pleasant hour in a bar in Belfast sampling the Guinness and Jameson's.
    No complaints. Now we go back to Dublin. It's been a really good day!

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Belfast City Centre

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