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Belfast free stuff and guideFacts, Figures & Free stuff!

Attractions and Venues

The Odyssey Arena

Shortlisted for International Large Venue of the Year (2005), making it one of the leading major concert venues on the planet, the Odyssey is a giant among men and main player on the country's entertainment scene. The Waterfront venue welcomes the crowds year in year out as headlining acts from across the world take to its stages. Recent and forthcoming events include; WWE Smackdown!, freestyle Motocross, Russell Howard, John Bishop, Calvin Harris, Black Sabbath...

The Waterfront Complex

The multi-entertainment centre opened its doors in '97 and has since seen 5 million visitors, 3,000 shows, 2,000 conferences, a whole stream of national and international performers and a top nod to its prowess on the global stage when it was voted 2nd best conference complex in the world. Recent and forthcoming acts include Al Murray, Jimmy Carr, Foreigner and The Overtones.

The Royal Botanic Gardens

Located in the Queen's Quarter the gardens encompass 28 acres, welcome over 700,000 guests per year and play host to some of the biggest events on Belfast's calendar, with the Mela, Ulster Bank Festival and everyone from Franz Ferdinand, and Snow Patrol to Kings of Leon, Kaiser Chiefs and U2 having played to the crowds on the Embankment.

Titanic Belfast ('She was fine when she left here'!)

A truly spectacular tribute to perhaps the most famous maiden ever to leave Belfast's shores, the stunning £100 million visitor centre takes you on a celebratory journey through the history of all things Titanic, with 800,000 visitors soaking up the history in its first year of opening. Incidentally chaps, construction of the centre itself broke records, with the largest ever single pouring of concrete being used to lay its foundations (4300 cubic metres in case you were wondering...??)

Festivals

A few to mention:

Belfast Mela (Aug)

A key highlight of the festival season the Mela proudly lays claim to being the biggest multi-cultural event in Ireland, with a massive 200,000 visitors taking in the fantastic showings of live music, dance, carnivals, circuses and international menus on offer. It's a huge event on the festival calendar, and an unmissable opportunity to see the Botanic Gardens and Belfast's partying crowds at their absolute finest.

Belsonic (Aug)

Custom House Square provides the backdrop to the outdoor music extravaganza and with recent headlining acts including Basement Jaxx, The Lumineers, David Guetta and Madness, it's not surprising the flans flock in their thousands to revel in the party atmosphere each year.

Belfast Festival at Queen's (Oct)

Around 60,000 fans descend from all corners of the globe to celebrate art and culture on an epic scale when the UK's second biggest arts festival lands in the capital each October. The event has been putting venues across Belfast into the limelight for over 50 years as the Botanic Gardens, Lyric and Waterfront (to name but a few) have played host to some of the biggest names in the world, with a roll-call as diverse as the city itself including the legendary Laurence Olivier, Jimi Hendrix and...er... Mr Bean.

Calendar Highlights

Mar/Apr - Belfast Film Festival
May - Belfast Marathon
Jun - Belfast City Carnival
Aug - Belsonicl
Aug - Belfast Mela
Oct - Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen's
Oct - Belfast restaurant Week
Nov - Belfast Music Week
Dec - Christmas Continental Market

Sport

Football:
  • Linfield FC
  • Cliftonville FC
Rugby:
  • Ulster
  • Belfast Harlequins
Ice Hockey:
  • belfast Giants

Venues

  • Casement Park
  • Windsor Park
  • Ravenhill
  • Stormont
  • Odyssey Arena

Getting there

By Air

Belfast is served by two major airports with budget flights available from across the UK. London to Belfast takes an hour on average, with flights departing roughly 8-14 times a day.

George Best Belfast City Airport
  • A few miles from the city centre
  • Regular bus services link the airport and city centre, running at 20 minute intervals Mon-Fri.
  • A shuttle bus connects the airport to nearby Sydenham Station, with trains running to the centre at half hourly intervals.
Belfast International Airport
  • 30 minute drive from the city centre (via the M2)
  • Linked by a 24hr express bus service (every 15 mins Mon-Fri, 20-30 mins Sat/Sun)
  • Taxis are available on site

By Sea

A number of ferries operate from the UK (Northwest) with a sail time from around 2 hours 15 minutes.

  • RailSail

Tickets combine your train journey to the docks, plus ferry fare to Belfast in one easy go. Great value and hassle free travel!

By Rail

Belfast is served by two main stations:

  • Great Victoria Street Station
  • Belfast Central Stations

And the Enterprise service provides regular daily links between Dublin-Belfast, with an average journey time of 2 hours.

By Road

Average car journeys:

  • Cork - 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Derry - 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Dublin - 2 hours
  • Galway - 4 hours


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