Belfast: From The Titanic to "GOT," Northern Ireland's Hottest Spot
The Titanic's Legacy Gets A Modern Revival and Belfast's Newest Hotels
By Jackie Cohen
With a newly revamped tourism scene, Belfast, Northern Ireland was voted Lonely Planet's #1 Best in Travel Region of 2018.
Sprinkled with hip neighborhoods filled with cafés and bars, Belfast is attracting a new demographic of young tourists. Highlighted by its rocky waterways, Belfast's famous Causeway Coast is a wonderful spot for sunrise before a day of golf and a night of Irish whiskey.
Belfast's Hotel Room Boom
Newly built hotels have popped up throughout the city; this expansion includes the opening of Bullitt, Titanic Hotel Belfast, and multiple Marriotts, Hiltons, and Maldron hotels. The demand for more hotel rooms has been driven by this burst of touristic interest.
In Belfast's city center, the new state-of-the-art Bullitt hotel wraps around Victoria and Ann street. A project of the Beannchor Group, a development company who's responsible for much of the city's recent revamps, including a multitude of hotels and over 40 pubs across the nation, the Bullitt hotel opened for business in October of last year.
This creative new space offers 43 uniquely designed guest rooms with eccentric spirit and design. The hotel is complete with three bars of different themes, a botanical garden in the courtyard, an espresso bar, and fine dining restaurant.
A Titanic Resurgence
Known as the "Titanic city", the world's most famous ship was built in Belfast.
The Titanic Quarter of the city offers visitors their chance to unlock their own voyage of maritime discovery. Built in the former Harland & Wolff shipyard where the RMS Titanic was constructed, the Titanic Belfast Museum is a visitor's attraction reciting the story of the ill-fated ship whose maiden voyage came to a grueling demise after colliding with an iceberg.
After your day at the museum, settle into a night at the Titanic Hotel of Belfast, celebrating the city's claims to fame as the birthplace of the infamous RMS Titanic.
This luxury hotel is also new to town, opening this past fall in the city center. The 119-room hotel is located at a historic address, the former headquarters of Harland & Wolff.
The accommodation is perfect for history buffs and glamorous travelers alike, in the heart of the Titanic Quarter.
The old offices of the company date back to the late 19th century and the architecture and design of the new hotel reflects those influences.
If you're in the market for a less gloomy remainder of the past, eating is always a great option.
Hundreds of widely acclaimed eateries have begun to pop up around the city. Hungry tourists should make their way to Belfast, with Michelin star restaurants to Victorian covered markets, enjoy your local beer, gin, or whiskey with a fabulous meal.
Check out Echlinville Distillery, Northern Ireland's first licensed distillery in over 125 years. After pouring their first distilled spirit in 2013, Echlinville made a name for themselves as an industry leader in fine whiskey, as they were awarded a gold medal at the World Whiskey Awards and Irish Whiskey Awards in the first years of their existence.
After the success of their whiskey product, they began gin production in the same distillery. Situated in between rugged ocean coastline in County Down, the incredible view tops off a perfect visit to the distillery.
Westeros and Winterfell
Still, need more convincing to book your flight? Join "Game of Thrones" fanatics who are making their way to Belfast to see the set of the widely acclaimed HBO series.
Shot at Belfast's Titanic Studios, the fantasy worlds of Westeros and Winterfell have spread knowledge of the rocky coastline to viewers around the world.
The 820-acre estate of Castle Ward, County Down in the series has made the city recognizable to a worldwide network of dedicated viewers.
New airfare routes from international airports around the world are heading to Northern Ireland's capital making it accessible now than ever before to tourists. With direct flights from over 150 worldwide cities, the time to visit the Titanic City is now.
The land of green awaits!
Find out more about Belfast at their official tourism website.
Jackie Cohen is an avid globetrotter, in constant search for new obscure destinations and adventures. With a special interest in sustainable tourism practices, she’s traveled around the world to North and East Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, Southeast Asia, and across Europe-always looking for local cuisine, hidden surprises, and lessons in different cultures. She’s from Beverly, MA.