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Belfast City Tour | Short Tour for Seniors

Explore the city of Belfast on a short small group tour with Odyssey Traveller.

Belfast, capital city of Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom, takes its name from the Gaelic Béal Feirste ("mouth of the sandbank"). The city has seen human settlement since the Stone Age, but its modern history began when Baron Arthur Chichester built a castle in 1611 and encouraged the growth of the town. Belfast received its charter of incorporation in 1613, and it blossomed into an important commercial and industrial centre in the 17th century. It was home to a busy port and shipyard and became one of the greatest linen production centres in the world. Since the Industrial Revolution, Belfast's chief shipbuilding firm has been Harland and Wolff, which built the ill-fated Titanic. The issue of home rule divided the city, turning Belfast into the site of intense riots in the 19th century and the violence of "The Troubles" during the late 20th century. The three-decade conflict between nationalists and unionists led to bombings and street riots, giving Belfast the reputation as a dangerous city in the 1970s and 80s. After the peace accord (Good Friday Agreement of 1998), Belfast transformed to regain its place as an economic and cultural powerhouse in Northern Ireland, welcoming visitors interested to learn more about its rich history and see its main sights.

This small group tour is offered to travellers who are seeking a five-day extension in the city as part of an Odyssey Traveller escorted small group tour.

The tour stays in a centrally located hotel in Belfast. Each day we set out to explore various parts of the city, typically using public transport, taxis and the rail network to reach the destinations selected, taking in 2-3 key features or attractions of the city. We will be aided by knowledgeable, local guides who share the ancient, classical, and recent history of the city with the group as we explore.

Typical Highlights of the Belfast Short Tour:

  • Titanic Belfast is the world's largest Titanic visitor experience, an award-winning attraction located at the very place where the RMS Titanic was designed, built, and launched in 1912. This attraction, using special effects and full-scale reconstructions, tells the story of Belfast's shipbuilding industry and the tragic maiden voyage of the great ship.
  • Located on the east side of Belfast City Hall is the Titanic Memorial Garden, commemorating the 1,512 people who perished in the Titanic tragedy. The city hall itself is an iconic building, which offers one-hour tours. The Belfast City Hall is illuminated at night in a variety of colours and combinations of lights.
  • The Linen Hall Library is the oldest library in Belfast, renowned for its Irish and Local Studies Collection with a definitive archive of "The Troubles". The library is housed in a Victorian-era linen warehouse.
  • Learn more about Northern Ireland by exploring the Ulster Museum.
  • One of the city's oldest attraction is the St. George Market. Though completed in 1896, there has been a Friday market at this site since 1604. Go shopping for fresh fish and sample the variety of produce on display.
  • Go on a guided campus tour of Queen's University, founded in 1845.
  • View the Romanesque Belfast Cathedral.
  • Stroll through the 17th century Antrim Castle Gardens. 
  • To travellers who want to go on a longer walk, there is the Stormont Estate with its woodland park dotted with historic buildings and memorials.
  • Climb up to the Dome at Victoria Square for a stunning view of the Belfast skyline.

Odyssey has published the following articles

To assist you with your planning and touring around Ireland and Northern Ireland, then the following articles may be of interest.

Articles of interest from external sites

The following links to External sites provide some good history and an understanding of the city of Belfast.

Odyssey has more information about Northern Ireland to read.

Frequently Asked Questions about Belfast

This is a very important question to understand before making a trip to Belfast. In some instances, Ireland refers to the entire geographical mass of the whole island. Within the island of Ireland, there are two distinct countries with their own governments. Most of of the island is under the authority of the government of the Republic of Ireland. Confusingly, the Republic’s official name is simply Ireland, but it is still one of two countries on the landmass. The Republic of Ireland is not part of the United Kingdom, but is a full member of the European Union.

Up in the northeastern corner sits the country of Northern Ireland, which has its own government. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, alongside England, Wales and Scotland. Belfast is the largest city and capital of Northern Ireland.

The history of the two countries is long, turbulent and violent, stretching back several hundred years. However, peace has ruled over both countries for the past two decades, as much of the earlier violence ended with the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

Belfast attracted global attention during the 1970s and 1980s for the riots, bombings and violence on its streets, in a period called ‘The Troubles’.

However, a decade long peace process starting in the early 1990s force through one of the most remarkable conflict resolutions in recent history.  As a result, Belfast has become a bubbling metropolis with a safe and welcoming atmosphere. Of course, as with every major city, you should remain cautious, but Belfast poses no reason for extra concern.

Belfast, as the capital of Northern Ireland, is part of the UK. Therefore, the currency used is Great British Pounds (GBR). It is important to note that the currency used in the Republic of Ireland is euros. However, most businesses will offer a reasonable exchange rate.


PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

What’s included in our Tour

  • 5 nights of hotel accommodation.
  • 5 breakfasts and 2 dinners.
  • All entry fees and services of local expert/guide where relevant.
  • Services of a Tour Leader for the duration of tour.
  • Gratuities and necessary tips.
  • Detailed preparatory information.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Return economy class international airfare and departure taxes.
  • Items of a personal nature, such as telephone calls and laundry.
  • Porterage.
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Belfast City Hall Belfast, Northern Ireland
Belfast Cathedral Belfast, Northern Ireland