While Belfast has some titanic offerings, not everyone can afford to enjoy the best and most lavish attractions every day. Luckily, it is a simple and humble town that doesn't require travellers to have five-star budget to enjoy its best attractions. Those looking to visit Belfast on a budget can find plenty to occupy their time for little cost. Here are our favourite ways for Penny Pinchers to enjoy the town without breaking the bank...
Food on the Cheap? Eat at a Pub
Everyone knows that to get a real taste of the UK and Ireland, a visit to the local pub is a must. Not only do they serve up some of the best local beer and food, but they also do it in an affordable way. A good filling meal and a pint or two will only cost visitors about $14 compared to the five star gourmet restaurants that run $25 per meal, at minimum. Aside from good food and good beer, pubs are great sources for entertainment and a place to meet amazing people. When in Belfast be sure to pay a visit to The ornate Crown Liquor Saloon at the centre of town or the Kitchen Bar just a few metres away.
Soak up the Seaside
Creativecommons.org/ Jennifer Morrow
The green cliffs and roaring seas of Ireland have always been something of idyllic imagery to foreigners, so the seaside town of Belfast is as good a place as any to soak in the scenery. Visitors can walk the perfectly manicured paths along Ireland's largest marina or stroll to the Sunken Gardens to see the McKee Clock and Bregenz House. However, for the most stunning seaside stroll, head down the North Down Coastal Path to experience the most varied shoreline in the country. While these walks are all for free, those who want to cross the nearby geological phenomenon that is the Giant's Causeway will cost around $10. However, that ten dollars does buy eternal bragging rights for crossing what is the most rickety looking bridge in the country, if not the world.
Free Politically Motivated Art
Creativecommons.org/ Jennifer Morrow
West Belfast is known throughout the world as a hotbed for political invention and a platform for social progress. While it is unlikely that visitors will witness any political rallies while in the city, they can see it come to life through artwork in the city. In between Clonard Monastery and it's many cemeteries, visitors strolling down the street can stop to admire the political murals on previously barren wall space that challenge the ideals and leaders from throughout history. Multiple visitors to Belfast will want to revisit this area frequently as the murals are constantly being painted over. However, new murals pop up as the silent protests from local citizens.
Glimpse Belfast Castle
Creativecommons.org/ Abel Pardo López
The Belfast Castle costs a pretty penny to enter, but the exterior is so much grander than the interior and it is free to take in. Visitors to Belfast can tour the beautiful grounds completely free of charge, but the major attraction of the castle's exterior is Cave Hill. The castle is built on Cave Hill, but wandering to the top will net spectacular views down over Belfast and the Mourne Mountains. On clear days, those who stand atop Cave Hill may even be able to spot Scotland in the distance.
Mourn the Titanic
Creativecommons.org/ Nico Kaiser
Belfast's crowning achievement was being where the Titanic was built. Visitors will find references to it everywhere, but visiting the shipyard that built it is a must. It is not every day that most visitors get to visit a shipyard, so that is a treat in and of itself. However, the Belfast Shipyard also houses a monument to the fallen ship that traces the ship from its birth in the city all the way to the ocean floor through its free exhibit. Visitors can also board the impressive SS Nomadic and look around. The SS Nomadic, built in 1911, carried the surviving passengers of the Titanic to the French port of Cherbourg.
Learn at the Ulster Museum
Creativecommons.org/ Vincent Li
For a free museum treat in Belfast, visitors should be sure to pay a visit to the Ulster Museum, a component of the National Museums of Northern Ireland. Here visitors can view a variety of material from Irish archeology, ethnography, zoology and geology. They also host a fine collection of Irish art within their walls. While most of the museum is free, some exhibits, like the dinosaur exhibit costs a small fee to enter.
Stroll Through the Park
Creativecommons.org/ Son of Groucho
Belfast is full of lush green parks and no one can charge to soak in their natural beauty. For those that need a splash of colour in their park visit, head to the Belfast Lagan Meadows to see a variety of native wildflowers grown all over the meadows. However, the beautiful Shaftsbury Park or Bashfordsland Wood host excellent manicured flower displays and fine walking paths to enjoy them. Even visitors from foreign lands can appreciate a well planned and beautiful park. All of these parks are perfect for a picnic packed with some local Irish fare.