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Top 10 Free Things To Do In Belfast

You don't have to break the bank to enjoy Belfast. Here are our top 10 fantastic free activities and attractions for you and your family to enjoy. View our Things To Do section for more attractions.

1. Ulster Museum

Come face to face with dinosaurs, meet an Ancient Egyptian Mummy and see modern masterpieces with a visit to the Ulster Museum. As Northern Ireland's treasure house of the past and present, the museum is home to a rich collection of art, history and natural sciences and free to all visitors. Read more >>

2. Belfast City Hall

Take a free tour of Belfast City Hall (Monday - Friday 11am, 2pm and 3pm, Saturday and Sunday 12pm, 2pm and 3pm) and uncover its history and stunning architecture. Led by an experienced guide, the tour lasts around one hour and you can also visit the Titanic Memorial Garden, exhibitions and the Bobbin Coffee Shop, located in the east wing. The grounds feature a number of monuments and memorials. Tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis (no booking needed) and leave from the reception area inside Belfast City Hall. Read more >>

3. Stormont Parliament Building

Take a free tour of Stormont Parliament Buildings, home to the Northern Ireland Assembly, the legislative body for Northern Ireland. See first-hand the building and beautiful surroundings of the Stormont Estate. The tour provide information on Parliament Buildings, past and present, as well as the architecture of the building and Stormont Estate. Read more >> 

4. Gruffalo Trail at Colin Glen Forest

Colin Glen Forest Park is home to an amazing 8 foot tall Gruffalo, complete with knobbly knees, turned out toes and a poisonous wart on the end of his nose, and all his famous forest friends. Each character has been magically recreated by sculptor Andrew McIntyre and set against the backdrop of a stunning forest park this is one of the best family attractions in Belfast. From entering through the Gruffalo Archway, through the forest park to a beautiful Gruffalo themed seating area next to the cascading Colin river, your children will be completely amazed at meeting their favourite Gruffalo characters, whilst getting out in the fresh air! Read more >>

5. Belfast Castle Estate and Cave Hill Country Park

Belfast Castle's spectacular location and imposing architecture boast hours of family fun. Discover the nine cats hidden within the garden, and take in the spectacular views of the city. For the adventurous, stretch your legs and gain some of the best sights of Belfast from Cave Hill. The landmark Napoleon’s Nose is said to have inspired Jonathan Swift's novel, Gulliver’s Travels and there are walks and trails for all abilities. Cave Hill Visitor Centre is located in the basement of Belfast Castle. This fascinating and intriguing museum is free entry. Read more >>

6. Divis and Black Mountain

The new 4.2 mile Ridge Trail on Divis and Black Mountain has extensive views of the city, Mourne Mountains, Scotland and Isle of Man. For 50 years Divis was inaccessible to the general public but in 200, the National Trust took over the management of Divis and Black Mountain and have increasingly opened it up for the enjoyment and recreation of locals and visitors. Read more >>

7. Linen Hall Library

The Linen Hall Library is the oldest library in Belfast and the last subscribing library in Ireland. Over 225 years old, the library has one of the largest  Robert Burns’ collections outside of Scotland as well as early Belfast and Ulster printed books. With an exciting calendar of events and exhibitions it is well worth a visit. Read more >>

8. Enjoy our Parks and Gardens

Botanic Gardens
Botanic Gardens was established in 1828 by the Belfast Botanic and Horticultural Society, in response to public interest in horticulture and botany. Originally known as the Belfast Botanic Garden, the site contained exotic tree species and impressive plant collections from the southern hemisphere, many of which can still be seen in the park. It's also home to the Palm House and the Tropical Ravine. Read more >>

Barnett Demesne
Enjoy outstanding beauty within easy reach of Belfast city centre at Barnett Demesne, located next to Malone House. The park features an arboretum, daffodil garden, ecotrail, orienteering routes and children's playground (near Shaw's Bridge). For those looking for a little bit more adventure, try the bike trails and jump parks. Read more >>

9. Belfast Art Galleries

Belfast has a range of art galleries including the Golden Thread Gallery, which displays art by local and international artists. Catch a free exhibition at the Higgin Gallery at Malone House of Belfast's finest amateur and professional artists and look out for the public art sculpture pieces throughout the impressive gardens. The Naughton Gallery at Queen's University has a vibrant rolling programme of works from the university's own collections, found on the first floor of the iconic Lanyon building. At Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, the Gerard Dillon art gallery hosts an inspiring programme of high quality visual arts exhibitions in the Gaeltacht quarter. Space Craft is a hidden gem in Fountain Centre where the shop/gallery assistants are the Artist/Designer/Makers themselves which gives you a special insight into the work on display and the people who make it.

10. Oh Yeah Music Centre

A dedicated music centre in the heart of Belfast, the Oh Yeah Centre is a must see for any music fan wanting to explore the story of music from this prolific part of the world. The exhibition consists of four elements including a series of storyboards plotting the history of Northern Ireland music from folk to Snow Patrol and audio visual displays showing the likes of Them, The Undertones, Stiff Little Fingers and Gary Moore. Read more >>


Free Things To Do Outside of Belfast

North Down Museum

Discover the area’s fascinating history in Northern Ireland’s most visited small museum, located amid the wooded nature trails of Castle Park in Bangor. The displays reflect the pivotal role nearby Bangor Abbey held in early Christian Ireland and throughout Europe. Discover how the monks met their fate at the hands of the Vikings and visitor’s will love the full-size Monk’s Cell and Viking Long-house. Read more >>

Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum

This award-winning museum is based in Lisburn’s oldest building, the 17th century Market House, in the centre of the city. It brings to life the history of the Irish linen industry and its importance to Lisburn. Visitors can see the heritage of craft skills in the daily demonstrations of hand-spinning and hand loom-weaving and admire the treasured collection of damask linen and costumes. Read more >>

Find more things to do beyond Belfast >>