Enjoying Belfast, Northern Ireland, Even on a Budget

Visiting any city while on a tight budget can be challenging, visiting an international city, even more so. You’ll have to expect to spend a fair amount of money, but if you’re tight on cash, you can still enjoy yourself when visiting Belfast, in Northern Ireland.

Staying somewhere central is a good idea as being able to walk to a lot of attractions, obviously, saves transport money. I would suggest the Belfast Holiday Inn on Ormeau Ave., or, to save even more, Belfast International Youth Hostel on Donegall Rd. is a real money saver. Both are blocks away from the city center and Belfast City Hall, which you can tour. The City Center is also where you can find the Metro city bus hub and the Belfast Welcome Center. The Welcome Center, located on Donegall Place, is a must-visit, for finding things to do in Belfast and all of Northern Ireland. It also has an internet café, so you can keep in touch with home.

From the City Center, you can also walk towards the river Lagan, visiting Victoria Square Shopping Center and the tilting Albert Memorial Clock on the way. Once at the river check out the “Big Fish” near the river’s edge. You can then stroll along the river or stop at Lagan Weir Lookout where you can book seasonal boat trips.

On the way back, loop north and visit St. Anne’s Cathedral where you’ll see Irelands largest Celtic cross. Then stop at Crown Liquor Saloon on Great Victoria St. for a pint. Decorated in mosaic tiles inside and out, it makes for a grand pub experience.

Interested in Belfast’s troubled history? I would recommend taking a Belfast City Sightseeing Bus Tour. You can catch this open top bus not far from the City Center on Castle Place. This tour visits the Titanic Quarter, Stormont Parliament Buildings, and Shankill and Falls Roads where you’ll get a glimpse of the Peace Walls. These walls were built to separate Nationalist and Loyalist communities. These walls boast not-to-be missed murals, but are best seen from the bus.

Another must see in Northern Ireland is Giants Causeway. Located in the northern part of the country I would recommend a bus tour to get there. I used McComb’s Executive Travel and Tours, minicoachni.co.uk. On their Giant’s Causeway tour you can also see the ancient ruins of Dunluce Castle, brave the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, and visit Carrickfergus Castle. Originally used as a prison, Carrickfergus has served as a magazine and armory. It’s also reasonably priced, more so if you book online.

In 2012 Belfast will be commemorating 100 years since the sinking of the HMS Titanic. The Titanic was built in Belfast and many Belfast lads perished, working in the belly of the ship, when it sank in April 1912. The six story Titanic Belfast visitor attraction will open in April 2012. For more information visit titanicbelfast.com.

Visit gotobelfast.com for more information on visiting the city and surrounding country. This website even has a section for “budget travelers”. Plan ahead and your trip on a budget can be very enjoyable. Still need help planning your trip? Visit johannestravel.net and talk to an Ireland specialist.



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