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Belfast city hall, tours and exhibition, accessibility at city hall, opening hours, toilets and changing places facility.

Belfast City Hall is Belfast City Council's civic building. It is in Donegall Square, in the heart of Belfast city centre. It first opened its doors on 1 August 1906.

The grounds at Belfast City Hall  have memorials to the history, people and events associated with the city. The grounds comprise two lawns, the Titanic Memorial Garden, The Cenotaph and Garden of Remembrance.

  • Opening times may change during public and bank holidays

Water refill station

There is a free water refill station in City Hall. The water refill station is on the left of the entrance from Donegall Square East.

Guided tours

There are guided tours in City Hall daily. A tour lasts for an hour and gives an extraordinary glimpse into areas not usually accessible to the public

Find out more about our guided public tours

Visitor exhibition

The visitor exhibition offers a self-guided journey from Belfast’s past to present, showing the vibrancy and diversity of the city across six themed zones.

Find out more about our visitor exhibition

Belfast City Hall Donegall Square Belfast BT1 5GS 

Translink provides regular train services to and from Belfast City Centre. For up-to-date information on timetables, visit  www.translink.co.uk . Lanyon Place Station and Great Victoria Street Station are both within walking distance to City Hall.

Translink operates transport services to Belfast City Centre. For up-to-date information on timetables, visit  www.translink.co.uk

George Best Belfast City Airport is a 10 to 15-minute drive to City Hall, with regular bus links and taxi or car hire available at the airport. For full details visit  www.belfastcityairport.com .

Belfast International Airport is a 20 to 30-minute drive to City Hall with regular bus links and taxi or car hire available at the airport. For full details, visit  www.belfastairport.com .

Toilet facilities

Toilets can be found in the east foyer of City Hall on the ground floor which include unisex, fully accessible facilities.

You can buy souvenirs at our gift shop in the main reception area, including pens, pencils, magnets, books, keyrings, toys and ceramics.

Family facilities

A family room can be found in the east foyer of City Hall on the ground floor which includes baby changing facilities.

We also welcome breastfeeding in Belfast City Hall

  • Find out more about the scheme

Guide and assistance dogs facilities

A dog spend area for guide and other assistance dogs is available just inside the gates located at the south-east of the building.  The facility is available for use during City Hall opening hours.

Belfast City Hall has public toilets on the ground floor in the east of the building. This includes a parent room and a fully accessible toilet. 

City Hall has a Changing Places facility available to the public. It is open:

  • Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 5pm
  • Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm 

For access, you should ask at reception in City Hall.

When City Hall is closed, these access arrangements apply:

Equipment in the Changing Places facility includes:

  • height-adjustable, adult-sized changing bench 
  • hoist 
  • centrally-placed toilet with space either side 
  • accessible shower 
  • non-slip floor 
  • privacy screen

Find other Changing Places facilities in Belfast  (link opens in new window)

BelfastWiFi

Free Wi-Fi is available at this venue.

  • Read our terms and conditions

There are disabled parking bays within the central courtyard for those attending an event or meeting in City Hall. You need to book spaces prior to the event. You can do this by speaking to the event or meeting organiser who can make the necessary arrangements with City Hall staff. Event organisers will be briefed on accessible parking when booking an event.

  • The reception desk located on the main marble has lowered counters.
  • There is lift access to all floors.
  • A limited number of wheelchairs and scooters can be borrowed during your visit. You can speak with reception staff to access these.
  • Guide dogs are welcome on site.
  • We are a breastfeeding-friendly venue.
  • Accessible toilets are available on all floors of the building. All accessible toilets have emergency alarms and communication points which go back to a 24 hour-manned security room.
  • Hearing loops are positioned in reception and all functions rooms. Portable hearing loops can be accessed at reception. The audio headsets that can be bought for the exhibition also are compatible with hearing aids. 

Car parking spaces in Belfast

There is no public parking at City Hall. There are free and charged car parking spaces in Belfast. To find car parking, go to Car parks in Belfast . To find free and charged disabled parking spaces, go to Accessible parking .

Contact City Hall

For more information and advice, get in touch.

[email protected]

028 9032 0202

Belfast City Hall, Donegall Square, Belfast, BT1 5GS,

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Day Tours From Belfast

Yellow umbrella tours.

Group of Tourist posing in front of the Big Fish sculpture

Belfast Free Walking Tour

Tour departs from City Hall, Opposite "Visit Belfast" Tourist Office   Every day at 11 am & 2.30 pm 

We at Belfast Free Walking Tour are delighted to welcome you to the capital of Northern Ireland. we invite you to join us to explore the city with us during your stay.   What better way to understand the history, the people, and the stories that helped shape this city, from the early days of the Norman Conquest, through the arrival of the English and the Industrial Revolution to modern-day Belfast with one of our passionate and entertaining local guides who will weave stories that will make you laugh and maybe even bring a tear to your eye. The highest quality is guaranteed on this tour because it is entirely tips-based. Your guide does not get paid by the city or any business to deliver your tour but will accept a donation at the end if you wish to leave one. Please feel free to tip your guide according to your budget and how much you enjoyed the tour.  Unfortunately, we can not take groups of 7 or more on this tour, if you are traveling with a group of eight or more please contact us, and will endeavor to arrange a private tou r for you.

On this tour, we will explore the history of the city and the people

The sign above the door of the Crown Saloon in Belfast

We'll visit famous places such as:

• the docklands & the lagan river, • cathedral quarter, • belfast city hall, • belfast entries, • albert clock  , • the big fish .

Travelling with a group? Book a private tour here

  • GAME OF THRONES TOUR

THINGS TO DO IN BELFAST

Belfast bus tours.

belfast city hall free tour

Belfast City Hall

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Inside Belfast City Hall

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Belfast City Hall Tours

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Belfast City Council

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City Hall Exhibition

Belfast city hall exhibition.

Belfast City Hall’s east wing on the ground floor has been completely overhauled to offer the new tourist attraction, which has its own dedicated reception. It offers a journey from the city’s present to the past, showing the diversity and vibrancy of Belfast City Hall across all six themed zones below.

CITY HALL EXHIBITION ZONES

  • Edward Carson - Signing Ulster Covenant
  • The City - Governance and Growth - Council Chambers
  • City Speech and City Streets
  • The City at Work and Play
  • The Reflection Space
  • The City Commemorates ( World Wars )
  • The Cities Celebrates - past & present

The exhibition stretches over 16 separate rooms, all presented within the original stunning architecture of City Hall - Finished off in the highest class of marble and craftmanship - designed by Alfred Brumwell Thomas in the 1890s. The exhibition is free for individuals. We have headphones for hire for a small concession £3.50 you can be fully guided by the audio tour, in a range of languages. You can also buy a commemorative booklet for just £1. After soaking up the history and displays in the various rooms, you can take time out for refreshments or lunch in the coffee shop, The Bobbin. Being in Belfast you will also have an array of eateries on the door step of the City Hall and will be spoiled for choice. For Sightseeing in Belfast and getting around from attractions we recommend the daily Belfast Hop on Hop off tour it has over 19 stops to visit, the City Hall is one of many places to be explored.

PUBLIC TOUR TIMES ?

1st october - 31st may.

  • Monday - Fri 11am-2pm-3pm
  • Sat-Sun 12-2pm-3pm

1st June - 30th September

  • Sat-Sun 12-2pm-3pm-4pm

HOW TO BOOK TOUR ?

You can book in person at the new visitor exhibition and reception desk in City Hall. Call us on 028 9027 0456 or email [email protected] Visitor exhibition time slots are offered every 15 minutes and maximum of 30 people on each slot.

CITY HALL OPENING TIMES

Opening hours.

  • Monday-Fri 9.30am - 5pm - last admission 4.30pm
  • Sat-Sun -10am - 5pm - last admission 4.30pm

BELFAST CITY HALL FACTS

The Belfast City Hall site was once the home of the White Linen Hall, an important international Linen Exchange. The street that runs from the back door of City Hall is Linen Hall Street - formely the Linen Quarter. Plans for Belfast City Hall began in 1888 when Belfast was awarded city status by Queen Victoria. This was in recognition of Belfast's rapid expansion and thriving shipbuilding and engineering industries, linen, rope-making. During this period in history Belfast briefly overtook Dublin as the most populated city in Ireland. Belfast Corporation, now the council, used their profits from the gas industry to pay for the construction of the Belfast City Hall. Local firms WH Stephens and H&J Martin were them main companies involved in the construction. Construction began in 1898 under the watchful eye of architect Sir Alfred Brumwell Thomas. The total cost was £369,000 to construct and work was fully complete 8 years later in 1906. The city hall in Durban, South Africa is almost an exact replica of Belfast's City Hall. Inspired by the Belfast design Stanley G. Hudson built the City hall in Durban in 1910, The Port of Liverpool Building, designed by Arnold Thornley and completed in 1913, is another very close relative. August 1st 2006 the City Hall celebrated its centenary year with a "Century of Memories" exhibition and family picnic day. Since 1906, the flag has been flown every day of the year from the front of the City hall. On 3 December 2012, the City Council voted to limit the days that the Union Flag flies from City Hall to no more than 18 designated days. This was opposed by the unionist Councillors, but supported by the council's nationalist representatives and the Alliance party. The unionists had enjoyed a majority on the council until the Northern Ireland local elections of 2011. On the night of the vote, unionist and loyalist protesters tried to storm the City Hall. They held protests throughout Northern Ireland, some of which became violent. For more information on the City Hall please refer to Wikipedia > Things to do in Belfast >

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Belfast City Hall

Belfast City Hall is located in the heart of Belfast city centre in Donegall Square. It’s one of Belfast’s most iconic buildings, first opening its doors on the 1st August 1906. Belfast City Hall grounds and memorials are open for the public to walk around and enjoy. If you have time there’s a coffee shop located inside Belfast City Hall called The Bobbin Café, it’s definitely worth a look inside the building while grabbing a coffee in the coffee shop. There are also free tours of the building for the public to find out about the history and see inside. The tours are led by an experienced guide and last around an hour. It runs on a first-come, first-served basis and you normally should register about 10-15 mins before the tour starts to get a spot. Tour Times

  • Monday to Friday: 11am, 2pm and 3pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 12pm, 2pm and 3pm

Contact Information

Donegall Square Belfast Antrim BT1 5GS

+44 28 9027 0456

[email protected]

www.belfastcity.gov.uk/tours

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  • Attractions , Bus Stops , Things to do in Belfast

Belfast City Hall, Donegal Square West.

Belfast City Hall, standing tall and proud in the heart of Belfast, is a symbol of the city’s history and resilience. This magnificent architectural masterpiece, with its elegant Baroque Revival style, is much more than a civic building. It’s a historical icon that bears witness to the tumultuous history of the city. This article aims to shed light on how this phenomenal structure became an emblem of Belfast’s past, present, and future.

Belfast ascended to city status in 1888, a commendation bestowed by Queen Victoria herself, in recognition of its remarkable expansion, particularly in the linen, rope-making and shipbuilding sectors. To commemorate this monumental moment in the city’s history, the city council set out to construct an impressive city hall.

Esteemed architect Alfred Brumwell Thomas claimed victory in the design competition, establishing the blueprint for the city’s future architectural symbol. His winning design sowed the seed for what was to become the city’s historical icon.

Belfast City Hall’s journey from conception to reality began in earnest in 1898, within the confines of the erstwhile Linen Hall. Over the next eight years, meticulous planning, unwavering dedication, and an impressive budget of £369,000 transformed the architect’s blueprint into a tangible marvel. Every brick was carefully laid and each detail meticulously sculpted, until at last, the doors swung open on 1st August 1906.

Belfast had been bestowed with a new civic pride, a living monument built from Portland stone that would forever encapsulate the spirit and resilience of the city. Today, it stands, not merely as a remnant of the past but as an enduring symbol of Belfast’s unique journey through time.

Belfast City Hall is a treasure trove of awe-inspiring features that add to its historical charm. Step inside, and you’re met with an array of opulent details: sweeping marble staircases and stunning mosaic tiling that narrate the city’s story. Its majestic stained-glass windows are true works of art, each pane shedding light on a different chapter of Belfast’s past.

Outside, the architectural gem is crowned with a copper-domed clock tower, standing as a timeless sentinel over the city. Sprinkled around the grounds, you’ll find a collection of ornate sculptures and poignant memorials, with the Titanic Memorial Garden being the most renowned. Each feature of the City Hall contributes to the narrative tapestry of Belfast, enriching its compelling history.

City Hall has stood steadfast through Belfast’s turbulent times, absorbing the impact of historical events. In the throes of World War II, it became an indispensable nucleus for civil defence, standing as a beacon of resilience amidst the chaos. The Troubles, a particularly tumultuous era in Belfast’s past, saw the city hall morph into a stage for numerous demonstrations and political rallies. Regardless of the unrest that swirled outside its doors, the City Hall stood strong, its stoic silhouette a reassuring sight in uncertain times. This unyielding strength is a testament to the City Hall’s unique role in Belfast’s history – not just as a silent observer, but as an enduring symbol of the city’s invincible spirit.

Currently, Belfast City Hall remains a vibrant heart of the city. It pulsates with life as it hosts council meetings and a myriad of civic events. Beyond its function as a government hub, it welcomes visitors into its exhibition halls, where tales of Belfast’s journey are revealed. Stepping into its confines is akin to stepping into a live history book, a chance to absorb the city’s narrative first-hand.

Its splendid gardens are a treasured oasis for city dwellers and travellers alike, a verdant sanctuary adorned with statues, memorials and the famous Titanic Memorial Garden. As the present unfolds, Belfast City Hall continues to stand strong, mirroring the city’s evolving story whilst keeping its historical heart beating.

Belfast City Hall is also our starting point for the Belfast City Sightseeing tour!

We can be contacted by email at [email protected] or through our tour office on +44 (0)28 90 321321 . We look forward to seeing you soon!

City Sightseeing Belfast Hop-on Hop-off Open-top Bus Tour

Couple walking around the Queens University Belfast Lanyon Building

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Belfast Free Walking Tour

  • 9.30 / 10 2,507 reviews | 23,689 travellers Our guide Clara made it very enjoyable. The truth is that it falls short because there is a lot of story to tell. Totally recommended 10 Carolina
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Enjoy a walk through the historic centre of Belfast with this guided tour that will reveal all the hidden gems of the Northern Irish capital.

Belfast Harbour

We'll begin our tour in front of Belfast City Hall , one of the city's most iconic buildings . Construction on this  Edwardian-style civic building began at the end of the 19th century when Queen Victoria awarded Belfast "city status".

The next stop on our free tour is the Albert Memorial Clock . This clock tower will inevitably remind us of London's Big Ben, although as we look around we'll notice the differences between the two. After learning about the history of this monument we'll head to Belfast Harbour , located at the mouth of the River Lagan - home to the old shipyards where one of the most famous transatlantic ships in the history of sailing was built: the RMS Titanic.

Following this, we'll visit the Big Fish sculpture , created by local artist John Kindness. The sculpture hides many meanings which we'll tell you all about. After that, the last part of the tour will be spent discovering the  St Anne's Cathedral area. This is a very special cathedral, as it represents a symbol of peace for both Catholics and Protestants.

The free tour will then end at our original starting point.

Important information

  • It's not possible to do this free tour if you're a group of more than 6 people. If you're a larger group, you must book our private tour of Belfast.
  • Maximum of 3 minors per responsible adult.
  • We won't be entering any of the monuments, we'll just admire them from the outside.

More Information

The activity takes place with a guide that speaks in English.

Guide specialised in the history of Belfast.

When to book?

You can book up to the start time, as long as there are places remaining. Book now to guarantee your spot.

Type of voucher

Electronic. Show the voucher on your phone.

Accessibility

Wheelchair accessible. This must be indicated in the reservation. Accessible toilets.

Sustainability

All services published on Civitatis are carried out in accordance with our Sustainability Code .

Our providers commit to:

  • Provide a safe and satisfying experience.
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle.
  • Incorporate eco-conscious technologies.
  • Uphold fair employment standards.
  • Foster the growth of local communities.
  • Preserve the integrity of local culture.
  • Safeguard both cultural and environmental heritage.
  • Ensure ethical treatment of animals.
  • Operate with honesty and transparency.
  • Encourage sustainable behaviors among customers and staff.

This particular activity contributes as follows:

  • Printed material is avoided.
  • No single-use plastics are used.
  • The activity helps the dissemination of local cultural heritage.
  • The activity helps to promote peace.
  • The activity promotes local production.
  • No printing of documentation required.
  • Promotes local employment.
  • Has a gender equality policy.
  • Has a carbon footprint offset policy.

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Corporate name: Irish Tourism NI Ltd

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Q - Why do this activity with Civitatis?

A - At Civitatis we guarantee the best quality and prices, click here if you want to know how we select our activities .

Q - How to book?

A - To reserve the activity, choose the date and complete the form on this page. You will receive your confirmation immediately.

Q - Is a minimum number of participants required?

A - This activity requires a minimum of 4 participants. Should this number not be reached, we'll get in touch with you to offer alternatives.

If you have any other questions please contact us.

Free cancellation

Meeting point.

Belfast City Hall

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Best of Belfast walking tour with local guide

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Book your hop-on hop-off bus tour of Belfast, explore the 23 stops available on the tour, and see the most important points of interest in the city

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The inside story

Statues, monuments and memorials – along with the breathtaking Renaissance-style architecture and its iconic green domes – makes Belfast City Hall a top attraction to tick off your list when visiting the city. Built in 1906 by Alfred Brumwell Thomas, the City Hall is situated right in the heart of Belfast and will take you on a journey discovering the city’s history.

Inside the City Hall, admire the opulence of the Grand Staircase, Banquet Hall, lavish corridors with marble and Reception Room. Don’t miss the beautiful stained glass windows that tell stories of the past. There is a free exhibition which allows visitors to enjoy a self-guided journey of Belfast’s history, from the past to the present day. You'll also be able to find a cafe onsite for refreshments.

Nature lovers will be impressed by the City Hall’s gardens with its selection of plants and flowers. Here is where you can find a selection of memorials and statues dedicated to events and people associated with Belfast’s history – such as the famous Titanic Memorial and Queen Victoria statue. The City Hall really comes alive in winter as it hosts a Christmas Market. It will definitely get you feeling festive with its stalls, food and drink, and activities to enjoy.

belfast city hall free tour

How to get there

belfast city hall free tour

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Share my guruwalk

The original free walking tour of belfast.

belfast city hall free tour

It all started with the exciting idea of sharing the stories of this interesting city. After several conversations in the Kelly's Cellar pub, the Free Tour of Belfast in Spanish was born. We are delighted to welcome you to this city. We invite you to join us in exploring “the wee city”. What better way to understand the history, the people and the stories that helped shape this city, from the early days of the Norman Conquest, through the arrival of the English and the industrialization revolution to Belfast today with one of our passionate Guides.

  • Free booking and cancellation Free payment tour, no set price, booking and cancellation are free
  • Accepts electronic payment This tour allows payment by electronic means or credit card

Tour description

The best opportunity to discover Belfast, with the best guides in the city. In this Free walking tour of Belfast you will get to know famous and essential places such as:  • The Docklands & The Lagan River  • Cathedral Quarter  • Albert Clock  • The Big Fish  • Belfast City Hall  • City Laneways

What will we visit on this tour?

In front of City Hall Gates holding a big bright yellow umbrella

  • 1 Outside visit Europe Hotel
  • 2 Outside visit The Crown Liquor Saloon
  • 3 Outside visit Grand Central Hotel Belfast Show 13 more stops
  • 4 Outside visit Ulster Hall
  • 5 Outside visit Custom House Square
  • 6 Outside visit The Jailhouse
  • 7 Outside visit Albert Memorial Clock
  • 8 Outside visit Big Fish - Charles St South, Charles Street South
  • 9 Outside visit Assembly Buildings Conference Center
  • 10 Outside visit Parish Church of St George
  • 11 Outside visit Grand Opera House
  • 12 Outside visit Linen Quarter BID
  • 13 Outside visit McHughs Bar and Restaurant
  • 14 Outside visit City Hall
  • 15 Outside visit Joy's Entry
  • 16 Outside visit Cathedral Quarter

belfast city hall free tour

How much does this tour cost?

Free tours do not have a set price , instead, each person gives the guru at the end of the tour the amount that he or she considers appropriate (these usually range from €10 to $50 depending on satisfaction with the tour).

Tour opinions

belfast city hall free tour

Tour opinions (1147)

Excelente tour. Nos tocó un día complicado por los desfiles y tambores, pero la guía logró salvar la situación muy bien. Además respondió todas nuestras preguntas, y nos dio datos extras. También nos dio excelentes recomendaciones de sitios para comer y beber e información sobre otros tours que podríamos tomar. Es de los mejores que he hecho en esta plataforma, aprendí muchísimo. 10/10.

Nos ha encantado!

Barbara was friendly, professional and informative - she managed to keep us going even though it was cold and wet! Great to learn so much about our home city.

Who is this tour for?

What should you know, others tours from this guru, others cities to visit after belfast, where are you traveling to.

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Free tours in Belfast

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Belfast Free Walking Tour Provided by Irish Tourism (NI) Ltd

Discover the Enchantment and Heritage of Belfast

Are you planning your next holiday in Belfast? This is a great solution - Belfast is a city that captures its unique combination of history, culture and modern energy. We are pleased to announce that you can easily book free tours of Belfast on our website and explore every corner of this incredible city with our professional guides.

Discover the historic heart of Belfast

Belfast is famous for its rich history and incredible sights. Our free walking tour in Belfast will immerse you in the city's past and present. With our enthusiastic guides, you'll feel the spirit of Belfast, from historic landmarks to busy streets. Fascinating photos, exploring hidden corners, and savoring local dishes—all this awaits you!

Attractions that you will see during a tour of Belfast:

- Town Hall: This majestic Baroque Renaissance building is the pride of Belfast and provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about the city's history.

- Titanic Quarter: Visit the birthplace of the famous RMS Titanic liner and immerse yourself in the Titanic Belfast Interactive Museum.

- Crumlin Road Prison: Learn about the history of this historic prison that has seen more than 150 years of events.

- St George's Market: One of Belfast's oldest markets, you'll find a variety of local produce, crafts, and live music.

- Cathedral Quarter: Stroll through Belfast's cultural centre, famous for its art galleries, pubs, and street art. 

Practical information: tour schedule, meeting places and booking details

All our Belfast walking tours last from 2 to 10 hours, depending on the route chosen. Be sure to plan your time in the city in advance. Excursions are available in two languages—English and Spanish. You can select the language when booking on our website. Each Belfast city tour has different meeting places, so check the tour description to find the exact gathering place.

Our tours are free, but you can always tip our guides if you like a free tour in Belfast. It's a great way to express your appreciation.

Book your free tour of Belfast today!

Ready for an unforgettable adventure in Northern Ireland? Let our experienced guides guide you to the most exciting places in Belfast. Discover the city, learn about its long history and find the best places to buy souvenirs and delicious food. Book free tours of Belfast today and create memories that will stay with you for a long time.

How to get to Belfast

The nearest airport is George Best Belfast City Airport, which is just a few kilometers from the city center and provides a convenient and quick arrival. The airport serves domestic and international flights, making it an ideal choice for travelers. In addition, Belfast's main railway station, Belfast Central, offers easy access to all the city's main attractions. The station is easily accessible to any part of Belfast thanks to a convenient transport network, including buses and taxis.

Join us for a free walking tour of Belfast and discover its beauty and history. Our guides take you through the city's most famous places and hidden gems, making your trip unforgettable. Visit Belfast and turn your trip into an extraordinary adventure filled with exciting discoveries and vivid impressions.

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Belfast Walking Tours

This post lists the best walking tours you can take for free in Belfast, including self-guided tours and small group tours.

  • Overview and Calendar
  • City Centre Tours
  • History Tours
  • Self-Guided
  • Free Tours in Dublin
  • Free Tours in Galway
  • Free Tours in Cork

OVERVIEW AND SCHEDULE

Free walking tours are name-your-own-price tours. There is a small booking fee to make an advanced reservation, though the tours allow you to pay what you think your walk with the local guide was worth.

The tour listed below is operated through us. The calendar below lists additional options.

Searching Availability...

According to online reviews, €5 to €15 is the amount that most people claim to pay per adult if they enjoyed the tour.

These best free tours generally cover the historic center of the city.

Additional Tour Options

For themed tours, such as those dealing with the troubles, street art, food, or Game of Thrones, you are likely going to have to pay upfront for a tour.

Likewise, keep in mind that these free walking tours are popular due to their reputation and affordability. 

This means you might have over 30 guests per guide on any given tour time, particularly in the high tourist seasons.

If you want to avoid a crowded tour, or you would like a themed tour, you might want to consider a small-group walking tour with the best guides.

Here are just a few.

We offer tours globally . Check out our other Irish and U.K. cities.

Is Belfast a walkable city?

Yes, Belfast, Northern Ireland's capital, is a walkable city with attractions like the Albert Memorial Clock, docklands, and the big fish sculpture easily accessible for tourists.

How long is a free Belfast walking tour?

A typical free Belfast walking tour lasts around two to three hours, offering an immersive experience of city highlights such as the peace walls, clock tower, and the historic shipbuilding area.

What is the best time to take a walking tour in Belfast?

The best time to take a walking tour in Belfast would be during the morning hours when you can experience the city at your own pace, taking in the industrial revolution history and the waterfront views.

FREE CITY CENTRE WALKING TOURS OF BELFAST

Below are the best pay-what-you-like walking tours of Belfast city centre.

We will also list companies offering paid tours, as there aren't many free options available just yet.

Belfast Free Walking Tour

Belfast Free Walking Tour offers tours daily, most of which are for English-speaking travelers, some for Spanish-speaking travelers.

Belfast Free Walking Tour

You’ll get to see the most famous landmarks of the city on your walk, including the Cathedral Quarter, Albert Clock, the Big Fish, Belfast City Hall, and City Laneways.

You can book their tours here .

You can also find paid cab tours and other themed tours that center on Belfast’s history or culture.

This company currently offers an outing they call the "Best of Belfast Walking Tour."

This service of course covers some of the most notable sites in the city centre. They also provide a few historical details about the area.

You can take this tour almost every day at 10:00 am and it runs for approximately 2 hours. Tickets are £18 per person.

Purchase tickets or learn more .

Belfastology

If you're looking for a different experience of the city, this company claims to offer an eclectic Belfast walking tour.

In addition to seeing the sites, you'll also hear about the interesting history of this part of Ireland.

This tour is offered almost every day at 10:00 am, 14:00 (2:00 pm), and 16:00 (4:00 pm).

The outing lasts for around 2 hours and 30 minutes. Tickets are £18 per person.

BELFAST HISTORY WALKING TOURS

This section will cover some of the best historical walking tours in Belfast.

These outings usually provide detail about the political history of the city.

Most of these options will be paid tours, but we will include pay-what-you-wish services when and if they become available in the future.

Belfast Free Walking Tours

Aside from their one pay-what-you-wish tour, this company also offers an outing covering the political conflicts of Belfast.

You'll explore the neighbourhoods that were affected and hear about the history from both Republicans and Loyalist ex-political prisoners.

This tour runs almost every day at 14:30 (2:30 pm) and it runs for 3 hours. Tickets are £23 per person.

In addition to their city centre tour, this company also provides a service covering the history of the Troubles.

Learn about the historical significance of this event and how it impacted Belfast.

You can take this tour daily at 10:30 am. The outing is approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes long, and tickets are just £18 per person.

SELF-GUIDED TOURS

If you'd rather be in complete control of your walkthrough in Belfast, a self-guided tour is a great option for you.

Self-Guided Art Walk

If you're fascinated by street art, take the Bumbling Tourist's self-guided art tour .

There is an accompanying Youtube video if you'd like a preview, as well as photos and an interactive map to help you find all the murals around the city.

There is also a guided tour of street art that you might consider.

Free City Highlights

You can walk around the city with this Ireland.com list of the best free spots to explore.

From catching traditional music to finding a market, you'll find it in this guide.

And much, much more

North america, united kingdom & ireland, middle east & india, asia & oceania.

The Irish Road Trip

A Perfect One Day in Belfast Itinerary With Map

By Author Keith O'Hara

Posted on Last updated: July 11, 2024

A Perfect One Day in Belfast Itinerary With Map

This one day in Belfast itinerary is perfect for first-time visitors seeking a logical , tried-and-tested route to follow.

Thousands of visitors to Northern Ireland’s capital have used this itinerary over the last 6 years, and it has consistently received positive feedback.

While most people listed the mini pub-crawl at the end as the highlight, the logical flow of the itinerary ensures you hit the main Belfast attractions in one clean swoop.

This 24 hours in Belfast itinerary will suit those of you:

  • Looking to explore Belfast in a day
  • Looking to see the main attractions in an unhurried manner
  • Who want to follow a tried-and-tested itinerary

The perfect one day in Belfast itinerary

A map showing what to do in belfast for a day

Click to enlarge

Take 20 seconds to look over the map above – it’ll show you the route you’ll follow during your 24 hours in Belfast.

Note that if you book at tour via a link below we may make a commission that will help keep The Irish Road Trip running (cheers!).

Here’s a quick overview of what to do in Belfast for a day:

  • Activity 1: The unmissable Black Cab Tour
  • Activity 2: Admire City Hall and the Opera House from the outside
  • Activity 3: Crumlin Road Gaol, do the tour and get lunch inside
  • Activity 4: Titanic Belfast tour
  • Activity 5: The Cathedral Quarter

Plan how you’ll get around Belfast in a day  first

Belfast Bus Tour

Photos by Chris Hill via Tourism Ireland

Before looking at the itinerary, it is  absolutely key  that you think about how you’ll get around Belfast, as many of the attractions are spread out.

As you are squeezing quite a bit into a short period of time, walking between each isn’t the best option.

Here are 2 options worth considering:

  • Option 1: Get the hop-on-hop-off bus (it’s around €24 and you can get on/off at each of the stops below)
  • Option 2: Use a combination of buses and taxis/Uber (the best option, in my opinion, as you have more freedom)

1. The Black Cab Tour

belfast black cab tour

Photos by Tony Pleavin via Ireland’s Content Pool

I’ve done the Black Cab tour three times over the years and I can say, without a doubt, that it is the most memorable of the many things to do in Belfast .

You’ll join the Belfast Political Taxi Tour and be given an insight into the city’s dark past from the perspective of a local taxi driver.

You’ll hear about the period known as ‘ the Troubles ‘, discover stories that often go unheard, and you’ll see the murals on  The Falls Road and The Shankill Road , two communities still separated by the Peace Wall . 

The drivers are committed to providing an unbiased account, allowing you to form your own opinions about the city’s divisions. If there’s one thing you do during your one day in Belfast, it should be this.

  • Starts/ends : Jury’s Inn, Great Victoria St.
  • Price : From €82.90 per group up to 2
  • Duration : 1 hour
  • Reviews : 4.8/5 2,467+ reviews
  • Tickets: Book your ticket here

2. The Grand Opera House

Tourism Northern Ireland

Photos of Grand Opera House via Tourism Northern Ireland

The Political Taxi Tour will drop you off on Great Victoria St. From there, it’s a 2-minute walk to the magnificent Grand Opera House .

Now, even if you have zero interest in opera, this building is worth seeing.

The Opera House, which opened in 1895, has survived numerous challenging events, including World War II and The Troubles.

Designed by architect Frank Matcham, the building is one of the most impressive in the city.

As you’re exploring Belfast in a day and time is tight, I’d recommend admiring the Opera House from the outside before moving on.

3. Belfast City Hall

Belfast City Hall

Photos via Shutterstock

Belfast City Hall is a 5-minute stroll from the Opera House and you’ll be going from one impressive pile of bricks to another.

Boasting a Baroque Revival design, primarily constructed with Portland stone, City Hall was officially opened in 1906.

The grounds are dotted with numerous statues and memorials, including tributes to various Lord Mayors of Belfast and a statue of Queen Victoria.

If you were spending a weekend in Belfast, I’d recommend taking the tour.

However, since you’re exploring Belfast in a day, I’d suggest rambling around its grounds and admiring it from the outside.

4. Bus from City Hall to Crumlin Road Gaol

getting the bus in belfast

Photos via Google Maps

The next stop in this Belfast in one day itinerary is Crumlin Road Gaol. Now, you have three options to get there:

  • Walk: Will take 30 minutes
  • The Bus: Best option (I’ll outline below)
  • Taxi/Uber: Will cost around £10

The bus is very handy. You take it from near City Hall,  here on May St. They take contactless payment and the journey lasts just 9 minutes.

You can check the times of the buses here and grab a ticket online, if you like!

Related read: Looking to stay in the city? See my guide on where to stay in Belfast (with map of the areas)

5. Crumlin Road Gaol tour and lunch

tipping in ireland tour guide

When you hop off the bus, you’re a short walk from Crumlin Road Gaol where you can take a guided or self-guided tour (book tickets in advance!).

You’ll want to allow for around 1.5 hours here.

Operating for 150 years, it is the only remaining Victorian-era prison in Northern Ireland and it has housed a diverse array of inmates during its time.

Crumlin Road Gaol was built between between 1843 and 1846 and it replaced the old county jail in nearby Carrickfergus.

On the tour, you’ll walk along the tunnel that connects the gaol to the courthouse and hear the tales from its  very dark  past.

When you finish the tour, head into the on-site Cuffs Bar & Grill for lunch!

6. Titanic Belfast

Titanic Experience

The next stop on this one day in Belfast itinerary takes you across the water to Titanic Belfast .

It’s about a 45-minute walk so I’d recommend getting a taxi/Uber across (takes about 10 minutes and it’ll cost around £10).

It’s at Titanic Belfast that you’ll be immersed in the world of Titanic, just feet from where it was built.

The interactive museum can be explored on a guided (around 1 hour) or self-guided tour (around 1.5 hours) .

7. Taxi or the Glider to the Cathedral Quarter

Anne’s Cathedral

So, depending on what you fancy, you can either walk from Titanic to the Cathedral Quarter or you can take a taxi/Uber.

You can also take the G2 Glider which connects the city centre to the Titanic Quarter (you need to buy tickets before hand).

Regardless of what you do, aim for the Merchant (one of the most impressive hotels in Belfast ), first.

Built during the 19th century and used as the Ulster Bank headquarters, The Merchant was designed by James Hamilton and completed in 1860.

It features an Italianate exterior that barely prepares you for its time-transporting interior.

Then take the 5-minute walk to St. Anne’s Cathedral . Located on Donegall St., this Church of Ireland cathedral boasts Romanesque Revival architecture.

Its foundation stone laid on September 6th, 1899, and was built around an older church dating back to 1776, taking over 80 years to complete in stages.

8. Pub crawl and dinner

Madden's Bar

Photos via Madden’s Bar on FB

So, I’m going to give you a mini itinerary to round off your 24 hours in Belfast that includes trad pubs, great food and live music.

  • Stop 1: The Duke of York (2 minutes from St. Annes and one of the most famous pubs in Belfast located in the colourful Commercial Court)
  • Stop 2: Whites Tavern (4 minutes from the Duke – an ancient heritage pub that was granted Belfast’s first ‘Tavern License’
  • Stop 3: Bank Square Brasserie (6 minutes from Whites – top notch food in a casual setting)
  • Stop 4: Kelly’s Cellars (1 minute from the restaurant – an old-school Irish pub with a unique interior)
  • Stop 5: Madden’s (2 minutes from Kelly’s – the best pub with live music in Belfast and also Belfast’s best pint of Guinness!)

Still struggling to decide what to do in Belfast for a day? Feel free to ask questions in the comments below!

belfast city hall free tour

Keith O’Hara has lived in Ireland for 35 years and has spent most of the last 10 creating what is now The Irish Road Trip guide. Over the years, the website has published thousands of meticulously researched Ireland travel guides, welcoming 30 million+ visitors along the way. In 2022, the Irish Road Trip team published the world’s largest collection of Irish Road Trip itineraries . Keith lives in Dublin with his dog Toby and finds writing in the 3rd person minus craic altogether.

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Belfast Orangefest

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There will be inclusive family-friendly activities for spectators at the annual Twelfth of July celebrations.

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COMMENTS

  1. Belfast City Hall

    We organise daily guided tours at Belfast City Hall. The tour includes viewing the Lord Mayors' portraits, visiting the Robing Room and Council Chamber, and seeing the magnificent function rooms. ... an adult ticket (18 years and over) costs £6. Children can enter for free, but they need a valid ticket. Guided tours for commercial tour operators.

  2. Belfast City Hall

    George Best Belfast City Airport is a 10 to 15-minute drive to City Hall, with regular bus links and taxi or car hire available at the airport. For full details visit www.belfastcityairport.com. Belfast International Airport is a 20 to 30-minute drive to City Hall with regular bus links and taxi or car hire available at the airport.

  3. Belfast City Hall

    These public tours of Belfast City Hall are £6 for adults (over 18) and children (under 18) are free to join the tour. Public guided tours are available: Monday - Friday at 11am, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm; ... The exhibition is free for individuals (there's a charge for commercial groups), but for £3.50 you can hire headphones and listen to an ...

  4. Belfast City Hall: The 2023 Guide

    The tour. The Belfast City Hall tours take about an hour and are led by an experienced guide who explains the interesting history of the building and grounds. There is also an audio guide that you can use for the visitor exhibition. Tours are free but donations are welcome. 4. The Bobbin Coffee Shop.

  5. Belfast Free Walking Tour

    Tour departs from City Hall, Opposite "Visit Belfast" Tourist OfficeEvery day at 11 am & 2.30 pm. We at Belfast Free Walking Tour are delighted to welcome you to the capital of Northern Ireland. we invite you to join us to explore the city with us during your stay. What better way to understand the history, the people, and the stories that ...

  6. Belfast Free Walking Tour

    Participate in a free tour every day at 11am, or 2.30pm on Friday and Saturday, , leaving from the meeting point of Belfast City Hall, facing the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre. This is the only local, independent free tour company in Belfast, and all of the guides love to share their city and its stories with visitors.

  7. Belfast City Hall

    The exhibition stretches over 16 separate rooms, all presented within the original stunning architecture of City Hall - Finished off in the highest class of marble and craftmanship - designed by Alfred Brumwell Thomas in the 1890s. The exhibition is free for individuals. We have headphones for hire for a small concession £3.50 you can be fully ...

  8. Belfast City Hall: History, facts & visit info

    IB4UD's top tips for visiting Belfast City Hall: Free public tours are offered every day three times a day. While these tours are free, donations are welcomed. The tours run at 11 am, 2 pm, and 3 pm Monday to Friday and 12 pm, 2 pm, and 3 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Visitors must register 10 minutes before guided tours begin.

  9. Belfast City Hall Tour

    Contact details as follows: Email: [email protected]. Telephone: +44 (0)28 9027 0456. Website: www.belfastcity.gov.uk. We can be contacted by email at [email protected] or through our tour office on +44 (0)28 90 321321. We look forward to seeing you soon!

  10. Belfast City Hall

    Belfast City Hall is located in the heart of Belfast city centre in Donegall Square. ... There are also free tours of the building for the public to find out about the history and see inside. ... first-served basis and you normally should register about 10-15 mins before the tour starts to get a spot. Tour Times. Monday to Friday: 11am, 2pm and ...

  11. Belfast City Hall

    Belfast City Hall is also our starting point for the Belfast City Sightseeing tour! We can be contacted by email at [email protected] or through our tour office on +44 (0)28 90 321321. We look forward to seeing you soon!

  12. Free Things To Do in Belfast

    Belfast Free Walking Tours run every day at 11am and 2.30pm leaving from Belfast City Hall. This local, independent free tour company offers a glimpse into Belfast's history, languages, culture, legends, folklore and more. ... Belfast City Hall, Stormont Buildings and Cave Hill. An in-house guide is on hand to point out local attractions and ...

  13. Belfast City Free Tour. Top-Rated!

    The Free Tour of Belfast is the ideal way to immerse yourself in this captivating city. Our goal is to make you feel like an old friend is guiding you through the streets. ... Since 2005, a transformative wave, starting from City Hall, has been reshaping Belfast, building by building, transforming it into what it is today: a city full of contrasts.

  14. The BEST Belfast City Hall Tours 2023

    This tour, specially created for cruise ship passengers, will cover some of the area's best sites, including Belfast City Hall and the International Peace Wall. Heading up inland, visit the Dark Hedges made famous by Game of Thrones TV Series, which is a romantic, atmospheric, tunnel-like avenue of intertwined beech trees planted in the 18th ...

  15. Belfast Free Walking Tour

    Belfast Free Walking Tour. We'll begin our tour in front of Belfast City Hall, one of the city's most iconic buildings.Construction on this Edwardian-style civic building began at the end of the 19th century when Queen Victoria awarded Belfast "city status".. The next stop on our free tour is the Albert Memorial Clock.This clock tower will inevitably remind us of London's Big Ben, although as ...

  16. Belfast Free Walking Tour

    Overview of the tour in Belfast. From the early days of the Norman Conquest, through the arrival of the English and the Industrial Revolution to modern-day Belfast, discover it all with the most experienced, entertaining and charismatic walking tour guides Belfast has to offer We will weave stories that will make you laugh, and maybe even bring ...

  17. Belfast City Hall Tours & Tickets

    The History of the Troubles walking tour of Belfast. Join the tour, visit Belfast and get one of the most unbiased, engaging and accessible insights into the Troubles conflict. free cancellation. Available in: en. 4.8 /5. (5) from: £22.00.

  18. The BEST Belfast City Hall Tours 2024

    Then you'll make your way back into the city center to visit the political areas of the Shankhill Road as well as the political Wall Murals and peace lines at Falls Road. The tour then makes its way through the Queens University area back to the city center. Tour Stops: 1. Belfast City Hall 2. SSE Arena 3. Titanic Quarter 4. HMS Caroline 5.

  19. The Original Free Walking Tour of Belfast

    Tour description. The best opportunity to discover Belfast, with the best guides in the city. In this Free walking tour of Belfast you will get to know famous and essential places such as: • The Docklands & The Lagan River. • Cathedral Quarter. • Albert Clock. • The Big Fish. • Belfast City Hall. • City Laneways.

  20. Free tours in Belfast: discover the heart of Northern Ireland

    Belfast Political Walking Tour. Provided by Tours Belfast. Rating: 9.5. (Reviews: 204) from €20. Familiarize yourself with both sides of the story of Northern Irish conflict. Understand the causes, and visit the murals with local heroes depicted by people who viewed them as heroes. Languages. Spanish.

  21. Free Tour Belfast

    The Free Tour of Belfast takes you on a fascinating journey through the city's rich history, cultural landmarks, and distinctive architecture. Key highlights of the tour include the iconic Albert Memorial Clock, a symbol of Belfast's heritage, and the legendary RMS Titanic Factory, where the famous ship was built.

  22. Free Walking Tours in Belfast

    Belfast Free Walking Tour offers tours daily, most of which are for English-speaking travelers, some for Spanish-speaking travelers. You'll get to see the most famous landmarks of the city on your walk, including the Cathedral Quarter, Albert Clock, the Big Fish, Belfast City Hall, and City Laneways. You can book their tours here.

  23. 19 TOP Things to Do in Belfast (Free & Paid Activities)

    The Belfast City Hall is home to the Belfast city council, a Titanic memorial garden, and a coffee shop. Anyone can visit the building by joining one of the free public tours of city hall. The tours are offered daily - you can check the time here and get the free tickets at the reception desk on the day of the tour.

  24. A Locals One Day in Belfast Itinerary (With Map)

    Belfast City Hall is a 5-minute stroll from the Opera House and you'll be going from one impressive pile of bricks to another.. Boasting a Baroque Revival design, primarily constructed with Portland stone, City Hall was officially opened in 1906. The grounds are dotted with numerous statues and memorials, including tributes to various Lord Mayors of Belfast and a statue of Queen Victoria.

  25. Belfast Orangefest

    Family Friendly Belfast; Free Things To Do in Belfast; Game of Thrones; Titanic & Maritime; ... A food market on the west lawn at City Hall. For event updates, go to Belfast Orangefest on ... Best of Belfast City Centre Walking Tour. Sightseeing Tour

  26. The Twelfth 2024: Full details of parades across Northern Ireland

    This year's march will leave Belfast Orange Hall, at Carlisle Circus, at 10am. A wreath laying ceremony will take place at the Cenotaph in the grounds of the City Hall shortly before 10.30am and ...