Which museums can I visit in Belfast?

Which museums can I visit in Belfast?

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You’re in luck – Belfast is a city that boasts excellent museums, many of which are free to enter. Not only that, but there’s a real variety of museums and galleries on offer in this vibrant city, from big, blockbuster sights to fabulous arts centres. Here’s some to get you started… 

Belfast’s history reaches back to Neolithic times, but one of the most famous moments in its past was the building of the Titanic, an event that is remembered at Titanic Belfast. Located right at the place where the Ship of Dreams was built and launched, this excellent museum features over nine different galleries with rides, reconstructions and interactive features. You also have the opportunity to learn about the ongoing progress of exploring the shipwreck. The museum itself is in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast, which is part of the Maritime Mile – an area of Belfast filled with attractions dedicated to the city’s seafaring history. Titanic Belfast has seasonal opening hours, and group bookings are available for groups of 15 people or more. 

Buy a Titanic Experience ticket at the Titanic Museum and you’ll be able to visit the SS Nomadic situated further along the Maritime Mile. This steamship was built to transfer passengers and mail to and from the RMS Olympic and RMS Titanic, and it played a huge role in both world wars. Throughout The Nomadic Experience, you will learn the story of the SS Nomadic as you explore the grandeur of the 1911 restored ship. There are interactive elements throughout the experience for both the young and the young at heart. 

The Ulster Museum is located in the city’s Botanic Gardens in Belfast, and admission is free. This museum uses an array of art, natural science and history to take visitors on a journey through the past, present and future. Meet dinosaurs, Egyptian mummies and Spanish sailors all in one building! The museum strives to create a space for diverse voices and new perspectives. The George and Angela Moore Gallery in the museum is a great place to see Irish materials such as the Belleek Pottery and Irish ceramics, Irish glass and Irish silver. The museum is closed on Mondays but opens the rest of the week from 10 am to 5 pm. 

The MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre) can be found in the heart of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. This glorious space hosts performances such as dance, comedy, talks, live theatre and a variety of workshops. Before your visit, have a look at their current art exhibition too. The MAC is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm (later on show nights), and galleries are open from 11 am to 5 pm. There’s so much to see and do that you could spend a long time in this arts centre, so luckily they have a café and bar with tasty snacks, coffees and sweet treats available to keep you going. 

Just outside of Belfast, you’ll find the Ulster Folk Museum. This museum is a great place to learn about generations of skills, customs and traditions which have been passed down throughout the Ulster community. Cúl Trá-il is the name of the museum’s self-guided tour where through stories of places and people, you’ll learn the history of the Irish language. A variety of events are also hosted here, such as the Kitchen Garden workshop which teaches how vegetable gardens sustained Ulster residents. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. 

The final museum on our list is the Crumlin Road Gaol, a fascinating Victorian-era prison, which only closed in 1996. Step through the doors here and you can take a guided or self-guided tour, which reveals the prison’s history, what life was like here, and why it eventually closed. Guided tours of Crumlin Road Gaol take approximately 90 minutes, and you can purchase tickets for admission on the day, but you are recommended to pre-book.

Has our community visited any of these museums before?

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