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Sightseeing Tour of Belfast

American student Sami took a sightseeing tour around Belfast, here are some of her favorite sights and some interesting facts she discovered...

Commercial Court Umbrellas at night
Commercial Court, Belfast

Despite living in Belfast since September, I can honestly say that I’ve seen about one square mile of Belfast. This isn’t anyone’s fault but my own, because except for the walk to university and walking into the city center, I haven’t seen as much of Belfast as I would have liked.

See more of the city with Queen's Accommodation tours

Luckily for me, Queen's accommodation offers a range of field trips and this weekend they were offering a sightseeing tour around the city of Belfast. For just a mere £3, I booked a spot on a 1.5-hour tour.

Belfast city sightseeing tour bus
Hop on Hop off bus

At noon, the bus pulled up in front of my accommodation and I and the other participants boarded the bus. The bus was a City Tours Belfast hop-on hop-off bus. Typically, the hop-on bus costs around £18 for a 24-hour session, so £3 was quite a steal to get the same experience without the hopping off portion (it was Baltic, so I was happy staying on the bus).

The route for the day...

The bus took us around the city to many stops including: Titanic corner, St. George's market, Falls and Shankill Road, the Peace Walls, Crumlin Road Gaol, and more! 

I can’t write down everything that I learned on the tour, but below are five of my favorite facts that I discovered on the tour.

The Belfast Giants

The Belfast Giants ice hockey team were named after Finn McCool/Mac Cumhaill, the legend Giant, who created the causeway. You can read about my trip to the Causeway here.

Giants poster at the Oddyssey Arena
Make sure you catch a Giant's game when you're in Belfast!

The Albert Clock

If you think the picture above, Albert Memorial Clock, leans, you’re not mistaken. Due to the clock being built on a hill, it is often referred to as Belfast’s own Tower of Pisa.

Albert Clock Belfast
The Albert Clock

The Harland and Wolff Cranes

An iconic sight in Belfast are two yellow gantry cranes on a dry dock. Nicknamed Sampson and Goliath, the cranes are city landmarks. The H and W stands for the founders of the company, Harland and Wolff, but also doubles for the phrase ‘hello and welcome.’

Crumlin Road Gaol
Crumlin Road Gaol

Crumlin Road Goal

The Crumlin Road Gaol has an underground tunnel that leads to the city courthouse. Although the jail is no longer in use and is now a visitor attraction and museum, you can enter the underground tunnel and observe how it used to transport people to and from the jail to their court hearings.

Stormont Parliament building

Stormont Estate

The Stormont Estate is home to the Parliament Buildings and the Northern Ireland Assembly. The six columns and six floors on the building stand for the six counties of Northern Ireland: Antrim, Armagh, Derry/Londonderry, Down, Tyrone and Fermanagh.

The tour was extremely informative, and I left feeling like I knew a lot more about the city that I’ve called home for the past half of a year! I can’t wait for more accommodation trips throughout the semester.

Find out more

More blogs about life in Belfast and Northern Ireland

WATCH: Darshana's Sightseeing Bus Tour

Queen's Accommodation

Sami Koitz

Conflict Transformation & Social Justice | Postgraduate Student | Maryland USA

I've always been interested in the Middle East, specifically the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and non-profits that work towards building bridges between divided societies.

I am from Maryland, USA (about a nine-hour flight from Queens) and graduated in 2022 from Susquehanna University with a double major in Communication Studies & International Studies.

Outside of academics, I am a member of the equestrian team, Jewish Society, and wakeboarding club. I love meeting new people and I look forward to chatting with you.

Sami Koitz