northern ireland’s best old pub & 10 things to do in belfast

Belfast is the proud capital of Northern Ireland and takes a spot on the podium as the second biggest city in Ireland after Dublin. There’s plenty to see, do, and eat, so you’re going to want to start ticking off your travel to-do list as soon as your plane or ferry hits land.

That’s where our Ultimate City Guide comes into play, giving you 10 of the best things to do in Belfast before welcoming you to our historic Belfast pub, The Crown Liquor Saloon, for a chilled cask ale and a classic pub lunch.

1. Visit the Titanic Belfast

Explore the interactive Titanic-themed museum, located at the historic shipyard where the Titanic was built and wander through the nine interactive galleries as they take you through a retelling of the drama and disaster that unfolded.

Get directions to Titanic Belfast.

2. Explore the Giant's Causeway

Marvel at the unique natural wonder of hexagonal basalt columns on the Northern Ireland coast, a mysterious geological formation that’s effortlessly mind-blowing...

Find out more about the Giant’s Causeway.

3. Wander around the Belfast City Hall

In the heart of the city, Belfast City Hall is famous for its stunning architecture, but that’s not all… This breathtaking 1906 building also has a café, public art, and a Titanic garden that just makes sense to visit since you’ll have been to the Titanic Museum.

Get directions to Belfast City Hall.

4. meander through the Ulster Museum

Ulster Museum houses much of Northern Ireland's rich history, art, and science through memorable exhibits you may not have seen anywhere else. You never know what you might be asked at your next pub quiz, so maybe take a notebook?

Get directions to the Ulster Museum.

5. marvel at the Belfast Botanic gardens

The Belfast Botanic Gardens have planted quite the history on their own in this city, featuring public gardens that date back to 1828. Take a walk through their glasshouses, sculptures, and diverse plant life.

Get directions to the Belfast Botanic Gardens.

6. Take a Black Taxi Tour of Belfast

One of the most fun – and relaxing – ways to explore Belfast's complex history is with a guided black taxi tour through its neighbourhoods and landmarks. Sit back, catch your breath, and watch the beauty of Belfast pass you by through the window.

7. Visit the Crumlin Road Gaol

Join a guided tour through the Crumlin Road Gaol – Gaelic for “jail” – and peek into the past of this fascinating Irish jail, closed in 1996. You could even catch live music and paranormal investigation events if you visit at the right time.

Get directions to the Crumlin Road Gaol (Jail).

8. Shop at St. George's Market

From Friday to Sunday every week, stop by Belfast's oldest market – delighting visitors since the 19th century – and browse the local produce, fashion, and crafts. It’s an ideal spot for picking up a few souvenirs for people back home!

Get directions to St. George’s Market.

9. see the views from Cave Hill Country Park

You’ll need to jump in a car or train to get there, but the panoramic views of Belfast from Cave Hill Country Park are so worth it. The walking trails here not only take you past Belfast Castle, but also alongside an ancient fort and several caves, hence the name!

Get directions to Cave Hill Country Park.

10. stroll along the PEACE WALL Belfast

Although Peace Wall was once built to quell the Northern Irish conflict, it’s now the home of local art, murals, and graffiti, reminding us that things can always get better.

Get directions to the Peace Wall Belfast.

Best pub for ALL these attractions: THE CROWN LIQUOR SALOON

Dating back to the 1880s, The Crown Liquor Saloon is a gem of the Victorian era, still retaining many of its original features as a National Trust-owned Grade A listed building – despite several refurbishments over the years.

After you’ve been welcomed with open arms, take in the historic pub décor, including our red granite-topped altar-style bar, mosaic tiled floor, decorative carved ceiling, and stained-glass windows that were once designed to protect Victorian drinkers from prying eyes.

These days, all eyes are on our extensive and eclectic range of cask ales, diverse gins, and fine wines – not to mention our specialty of hand-crafted pies. After all that walking around Belfast, it sounds like you need it!

If all that reading about the best attractions in Belfast – and our warm, welcoming, historic pub – has you feeling thirsty, why not take a break?

Find your nearest Nicholson’s pub and take a load off, treating yourself to a couple of cask ales, and perhaps a classic pub lunch, before getting back to your journey through the best cities in the UK.