Historic Belfast Tour

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Basic Information
Total time
2 hours
Language
English (check the booking calendar for availability)
Price
„Pay what you wish” tours do not have a fixed price. It is up to you to evaluate your guide’s work and reward it. Some people give 10€, others 50€ depending on their satisfaction and abilities.
Meeting point
In front of the City Hall, opposite "Visit Belfast" Tourist Office - look for a yellow umbrella.Go to map
This tour is provided by our partner

About

A city shaped by the industrial revolution and inner tensions. A place where the troubled past is vividly remembered and painfully evident in the form of “peace walls” that still divide the Catholic and Protestant neighbourhoods. A city that has undergone a tremendous transformation within the past decades, attracting a young and international community. Meet Belfast – full of life and character! 


Historically, things started to spin faster for the small town of Belfast in the 17th century. The British Empire, colonising the area, started sending Scots, French Huguenots and English here, and eventually it became the most pro-British city in all Ireland. It flourished being a trading post, goods were shipped in and out and local linen production started to grow. Soon the industrial revolution has accelerated everything that has been crawling here so far and Belfast became the biggest producer of linen in the entire world, gaining the nickname “Linenopolis”. Together with the growing shipbuilding industry, the booming metropolis offered job opportunities for the impoverished masses that suffered from the Great Famine. This is where, in the Harland and Wolff firm, back then the biggest shipyard in the world, the most famous shipwreck in human history was built – the Titanic. With the fortunes made almost overnight, the city started to grow more elegant than ever. But most of its citizens did not follow suit. The fate of workers, especially women employed in linen factories, was dreadful, which at times led them to overcome religious barriers and fight together the exploitation of factory owners. But the history of industrial Belfast was almost completely overshadowed by the events that took place here not so long ago, events that have made the city a symbol of a bloody religious and national conflict. After the Irish War of Independence in the 1920s a controversial peace treaty was signed which carved out a small piece of the island and created Northern Ireland, a section which remained part of the United Kingdom. Belfast, its capital, became a battleground for acrimonious conflict between pro-British Protestants and Irish nationalists, mainly Catholics, whose desire was to unite the province with the independent Republic of Ireland. The conflict escalated during the period known as the Troubles, between 1968 and 1998. Time when the streets of Belfast have repeatedly flowed with blood and witnessed a number of bombings, assassinations and violence in which many civilians lost their lives. Since those days the city has come a long way trying to find peace with its past.


Join us on a walk through the streets of Belfast to understand its complicated history and mentality of its people, known for their gallows wit. During the tour, we will see the most important city landmarks. We will visit the place where the Titanic was built and see the City Court, whose staircase became an inspiration for the famous ship’s interior. We will walk together to the Europa Hotel, the world’s most bombed hotel, attacked almost 40 times during the Troubles. We will pass through the Cathedral Quarter, taking the name from St. Anne’s Cathedral, now a popular district for pubs and street art. We will see the docks, now a hip and trendy area, adorned with a “Salmon of Knowledge” or the Big Fish sculpture which became the symbol of the city. On the way, we will see some of the city’s beautiful, traditional 19th century pubs that you can enjoy after the tour.


Discover with us the city that gave the world Titanic and Game of Thrones, learn about its troubled past but also about the new, young energy and creativity that transformed it into hipsters paradise, famous for exciting nightlife and amazing street art! 


During this 2,5 hour tour, you will see and experience:



  • The Docklands & The Lagan River 

  • The Cathedral Quarter 

  • The Albert Clock 

  • The Big Fish 

  • Belfast City Hall 

  • City Laneways


Meeting Point
In front of the City Hall, opposite "Visit Belfast" Tourist Office - look for a yellow umbrella.

BOOKING RULES
Booking is obligatory. Our pay as you wish tours are designed for individual travellers and small groups. We don’t accept parties of more than 6 people on them. If you travel in a party of 7 or more (school groups, bigger groups of friends etc.), please choose a paid option, if it's available, or book a Private Tour. For more information on the latter, please contact us.


Great tour with Barbara

Rated 5.0 out of 5
3 weeks ago

Informative and friendly guided tour with local guide Barbara. Lots of history and good stories told with humor and knowledge. All questions answered as well in a welcoming and friendly manner. Well wort your time.

Soren Laursen

Not to be missed

Rated 5.0 out of 5
7 months ago

We had a great tour and Barbara was amazing. She was knowledgeable, very personable, enthusiastic to show us her city, and you could see she really loves Belfast! Definitely recommend it.

Georgiana

Must do tour!

Rated 5.0 out of 5
8 months ago

Brian W was our guide for this walking tour on August 21st, 2023 and he was excellent. You could tell he loves his city and he really knows the history, even offering personal anecdotes to complement the information he was giving us. Brian W has a good sense of humour, and really managed well with an exceptionally large group (there were easily more than 25 people) He also made an effort to be inclusive by asking fellow Irish on the tour for their thoughts on things. Highly recommend this tour! You’ll learn a lot about the city in a way that makes it come to life.

Kathy

Brian W is brilliant!

Rated 5.0 out of 5
8 months ago

Had such a great time walking around and hearing stories from a man who lived through and experienced the Belfast history of which he was telling.

Plus the headsets made things so much more efficient and enjoyable!

Meg

Terrific tour with Barbara

Rated 5.0 out of 5
8 months ago

This was the highlight of our visit to Belfast! Barbara was great, showed us the sights and shared the history with us in a really engaging way. It was the last day of our visit and we wished we had gone on this tour at the start of our stay to set the scene and put everything in context. Thank you – we would love to come back and learn some more about your fabulous city!

Maria


This tour is also available as
a Private Tour.

Private tour