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A Perfect One Day in Belfast Itinerary With Map

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


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.

Key info:

  • 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

Photos via Shutterstock

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

Photos by Chris Hill via Tourism Ireland

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

Photos via Shutterstock

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 – it leaves from here).

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!


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