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Top 10 Museums

Discover our history and culture at one of Northern Ireland's top museums. Explore a treasure trove of the past and present in Belfast and beyond.


Ulster Museum

Open: Tuesday - Sunday, 10am - 5pm
Price: Free

As Northern Ireland's treasure house of the past and the present, the Ulster Museum is home to a rich collection of art, history and natural sciences and is free to all visitors. The museum tells the story of the people of the north of Ireland from earliest times to the present day. Impressive galleries and interactive discovery zones bring history, science and art collections to life for visitors of all ages. Read more >>

Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

Open: Tuesday - Sunday, 11am - 4pm
Price: Adult £11, child £6, under 5 free

Step back in time in and uncover a way of life from 100 years ago. Discover cottages, farms, schools and shops as you wander through the beautiful parkland of the Folk Museum chatting to costumed visitor guides demonstrating traditional crafts. Climb on and off majestic steam locomotives or experience the sensation of flight in the Transport Museum bursting with horse drawn carriages, electric trams, motorbikes, fire-engines and vintage cars. Read more >>

HMS Caroline

10am - 5pm Daily
Price: £12

HMS Caroline has undergone extensive restoration and visitors can now discover a range of historic spaces including the Captain Crookes Cabin, Royal Marines Mess, Seamen's Wash, engine room, sick bay and galley kitchen. Explore the importance of the Battle of Jutland and discover what life was like at sea for over three hundred crew who served on board. In the Torpedo School, visitors can learn about the role of naval weaponry and design a 'Dazzle' paint scheme for their ship, explore the insides of a torpedo and learn about the various roles of crew when in battle. Read more >>

North Down Museum

Open: Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 4.30pm, Sunday 12 - 4.30pm
Price: Free

North Down Museum tells the story of the North Down area from the Bronze Age to the present day through a series of rooms, each dedicated to a particular era of history. Key artifacts on display include the Bronze Age Ballycroghan Swords, the Bangor Bell from the hugely important Bangor Abbey settlement, and the Raven Maps, the only complete folio of Plantation era maps in Ireland. Read more >>

Irish Linen Centre

Open: Monday - Saturday, 9am - 5.30pm
Prices: Free
Explore Ireland’s industrial heritage in the museum’s award-winning exhibition ‘Flax to Fabric: The Story of Irish Linen’. Trace the history of linen production in Ulster, from the earliest times to the present day, and see live spinning and weaving demonstrations. The Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum’s galleries also feature a range of temporary and visiting exhibitions, featuring the history of Lisburn and its people, local artists, textile and linen industry and local poets and writers. Read more >>

Ulster American Folk Park

October to February: Tuesday - Friday 10am - 4pm, Saturday & Sunday 11am - 4pm and March - September: Tuesday - Sunday 10am - 5pm
Prices: Adults £9, Child £5.50, Under 5s free

The indoor exhibition at the Ulster American Folk Park examines life in Ulster in the 18th and 19th centuries and shows how the settlers adapted to the new and unfamiliar environment in America. The outdoor museum brings to life people's daily routines and activities in both the Old and New Worlds and is the ultimate in living history. An Ulster street, complete with original shop fronts, and an American street have been reconstructed alongside a full-scale dockside galley and ship, the Brig Union. Together they recreate the conditions that many thousands of emigrants experienced before, during and after the arduous Atlantic crossing. Read more >>

Discover Ulster Scots

Open daily
Price: Free
The Discover Ulster-Scots Centre is situated on the ground floor of the Corn Exchange Building and contains information displays, free educational literature, a presentation space and a book and gift shop. Find out which heritage trails will lead you down the path to your ancestors. Read more >>

Down County Museum

Open: Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm, Saturday & Sunday 1pm - 5pm
Price: Free

The museum collects, conserves and exhibits artefacts relating to the history of County Down from the earliest times to the present day. The Museum is located in the historic buildings of the 18th century Gaol of County Down, which was opened in 1796 and, until its closure in 1830, housed many thousands of prisoners. See how the prisoners were kept, visit restored cells and stroll through the courtyards where lively events and re-enactments can been seen. The Museum's permanent exhibitions include Down Through Time which explores 9,000 years of human history in County Down. Read more >>

Museum of Orange Heritage

Open: Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm (open late on Thursdays until 8pm)
Price: Adults £4.50, children £2, under 10s free

The Museum of Orange Heritage, Schomberg House, focuses on the history and traditions of the Orange Institution, beginning with the Glorious Revolution, and travels right through until the present day. There is a strong focus on Orangeism around the world with a fascinating and exciting collection of artefacts to enhance the story of the Institution. You can experience the Orange story through new audio visual technologies and interactive facilities, and view the stunning artefacts, dating from 1689. Read more >>

War Memorial Gallery

Open: Monday to Friday, 10.30am - 4.30pm
Price: Free
The war memorial gallery is a must-see attraction for visitors with an interest in the Home Front and US Forces in Northern Ireland during the Second World War. The activities of the local people on the Home Front and the US Forces are displayed in life size dioramas. The fallen are remembered in a magnificent stained glass window, a commemorative wall in black Belgian marble and a granite plinth containing Books of Remembrance from both world wars. The Belfast blitz of 1941 is recalled with an iconic memorial by the distinguished Irish sculptress, Carolyn Mulholland. Read more >>