Titanic ; A weekend in Belfast

by Veronica

The beautiful city of Belfast is recovering from its troubled past. It is now developing its tourist industry, largely with help of the doomed ship "Titanic". I went recently.

Belfast means mouth of the sandbanks and it is the capital city of Northern Ireland. It stands on the tranquil River Lagan and became a city in 1888 during the reign of Queen Victoria, who said she disliked the city. There are several references to Queen Victoria in the city.

Belfast was known for its linen, tobacco processing, rope-making and shipbuilding. RMS Titanic was built here in 1911 at Harland and Wolff. Belfast is sensibly using this link to Titanic to rebuild the city's fortunes and future.

The city suffered during the "The Troubles", but recently has lived in peace away from violence which had stunted economic growth. Belfast now is developing its tourism and what a great job it is doing of it.

I went for a weekend last month with some old school friends and had a wonderful time. We stayed at Europa Hotel, the most bombed in Europe during "The Troubles".

Don't let the troubled reputation put you off visiting Belfast. It is a beautiful, gentle, quiet city with so much to see and do.

Titanic, Belfast
Titanic, Belfast

Titanic Museum, Belfast

The Titanic Museum, Belfast  was built in the old dockyard and stands on the slip way from where Belfast-built Titanic was launched.  The Museum has put new life into Belfast and people come from all over the world now to visit Titanic; Belfast. Opened in 2012 to mark the centenary of the Titanic disaster , the managers were hoping to get 250,000 visitors a year. They reached this target in only 12 weeks.

It is built in the shape of a star and ship because the Titanic was owned by The White Star Line. Titanic Museum. Belfast is one of the best museums I have ever visited in the whole world.

White Star posters and adverts

White Star Line exhibit
White Star Line exhibit
Liners, docklands and mountains. A view from inside Titanic Belfast.
Liners, docklands and mountains. A view from inside Titanic Belfast.

The Nomadic


When RMS Titanic picked up passengers at Cherbourg, France, The Nomadic was the little ship that brought the passengers from the harbour dockside over to Titanic itself. This little boat is now placed in Belfast Titanic quarter and is open to visitors. Except ...on the day I flew over and visited. I missed it! ,It was booked out for the day. But we did see the outside of it.

HMS Caroline, Titanic Quarter

HMS Caroline
HMS Caroline

Another feature of the Titanic quarter is the newly opened HMS Caroline. This war ship saw action at the WW1 Battle of Jutland in 1916 and is now a floating WW1 in the Titanic quarter of Belfast harbour.

Open top tour bus

Stormont Palace, The Government building
Stormont Palace, The Government building

The best way to see Belfast is on the open top tour bus. This tour in lovely September sunshine took us on a long tour around the city including beautiful Stormont building and park, The University quarter and the troubled area where a traditional Nationalist march was taking place.

University quarter
University quarter
Troubled area
Troubled area
Updated: 10/03/2016, Veronica
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Veronica on 06/23/2022

The Nomadic was kept docked in Cherbourg harbour docks. The Titanic was too large to enter the harbour.

DerdriuMarriner on 06/23/2022

Is it known what the Nomadic did and where it stayed when it didn't pick up passengers from Cherbourg? It looks like it has aged nicely.

Veronica on 04/18/2017

Yes ! You are strange ! But kid sisters are allowed to say that. Thanks; I never knew that about the channels. It does explain why the Irish Sea is so bad.

Veronica on 04/18/2017

No none what so ever. It is stunning inside, beautifully rebuilt. Great question.

frankbeswick on 04/18/2017

Am I strange in loving the ferry crossing over the Irish Sea, or am I just lucky? The trouble with the crossing is that the currents go North to South, as water sluices through the narrow St George's Channel between Ireland and Scotland, but the ferry has to go across the currents,which makes the route choppy.

DerdriuMarriner on 04/17/2017

Veronica, Is there any remaining evidence of Europa Hotel being so bombarded during "The Troubles"?

Veronica on 02/02/2017

Northern Ireland has much to offer. Derry City. Giant's Causeway, Strangford Lough, Mount Stewart, Mountains of Mourne , Bushmills Irish whisky distillery, Lakes of Fermanagh, Belfast city and more ...

... but I would strongly recommend a 30 minutes flight to Belfast City Airport as opposed to th boat across the Irish Sea.

Veronica on 02/02/2017


The Irish Sea can be very very wild indeed ! :(

Veronica on 02/02/2017

Yuk ..... The Irish Sea .... by ferry.... is not for the weak stomached.

frankbeswick on 02/02/2017

Birkenhead, which is opposite Liverpool on the south bank of the Mersey, to Belfast is the ferry route. Another route runs from Cairnryan, near Stranraer in Scotland to Larne,north of Belfast. That is the shortest route, but there is a journey to Belfast to make.

But if you go to Northern Ireland, try to see some of the other sites. When I Iived on the border for a year I came to see that Northern Ireland is a beautiful country. The Fermanagh lake country is a lovely place, but that is some distance from Belfast.

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