"Belfast - no more a Troubled City?" Top 5 Page for this destination Belfast by St_Vincent
Belfast Travel Guide: 456 reviews and 1,027 photos
In looking to get away for a few days I thought of Dublin as I had never been there before and whilst checking for flights I noticed Belfast and thought I’d take a look at that as well. When thinking of taking a trip to Ireland it is most probably the likes of Galway, Waterford, Dublin or Cork in the Republic of Ireland (Southern Ireland) that come to mind first. However Northern Ireland should not be dismissed as it has some interesting places to visit and a number of attractive coastal towns.
Then of course we have the capital Belfast, for so long the main focus of “the Troubles” where there was conflict between the Catholic population (Nationalists/Republicans wishing to be part of the Republic) and the Protestants (Unionists/Loyalists believing the Country should be aligned to the UK). The situation was markedly improved when the Good Friday Agreement was signed in Belfast on 10th April 1998 (Good Friday). It was signed the British and Irish governments and endorsed by most of Northern Ireland’s political parties. It was a major breakthrough in the Northern Ireland peace process which had been ongoing since the late 1980’s and the terms allowed negotiations to continue towards lasting peace. It is generally acknowledged that the peace process and the Troubles came to an end with the signing of the St Andrews Agreement in 2006 which devolved power to a new Northern Ireland Assembly and led to power sharing agreements between Unionists and Nationalists.
Please note that this is a very general overview of the complex situation in Ireland but is probably about as far as you can go without getting into political debate which a) I don‘t want to do and b) I‘m not qualified to do.
So what of current day Belfast, has it thrown off the shackles of the past and has it reinvented itself as a tourist destination worthy of visits by VT members. Well if a commercial tourist destination is judged by the presence of low cost airlines, a designated Welcome Centre, a Hop-on Hop-off sightseeing bus and a Ferris Wheel giving wonderful views of the city then the answer certainly is yes. There is still an underlying uneasiness about political tensions but this should neither worry nor deter any prospective visitors, although it is perhaps advisable not to start a discussion about the topic. You will however undoubtedly find yourself in conversation with the locals as people in Belfast are some of the most friendly and engaging I have encountered - I guess this is all part of the famous Irish craic.
As any regular reader of my pages will know, no report from me is complete without mention of pubs and bars so here is my “best for” list,
Ornate interior - The Crown Liquor Saloon
Attractive exterior - The Duke of York
Irish Stew - Bittles Bar
Real Ale - The Crown or The John Hewitt
Friendly old landlord - The Front Page
Craic - Whites Tavern/Kelly’s Cellars
Hyperactive landlord - Bittles Bar
Quiet contemplation - The John Hewitt
Guinness - Anywhere and everywhere
Further details on some of these can be found in my tips.
The original Grand Opera House was designed by Frank Matcham and was opened in 1895. It was a great success and hosted... more travel advice
Bittles is a traditional laid back Irish bar and on reflection one of my favourites in Belfast. It’s very small being at... more travel advice
St_Vincent's Related Pages
Belfast Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Quick Trip To Belfast"
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- "Belfast - no more a Troubled City?"
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- "A real gem in the Emerald Isle"
- "Belfast ~ An Impressive Emergence"
- "Much more interesting than I expected......"
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- Things to Do in Belfast
- Hotels in Belfast
- Transportation in Belfast
- Nightlife in Belfast
- Restaurants in Belfast
- Shopping in Belfast
- Warnings and Dangers in Belfast
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Badges & Stats in Belfast
- 22 Reviews
- 45 Photos
- 1 Forum posts
- 9 Comments
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Latest Activity in Belfast
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