A Guide to Belfast -Game of Thrones and More!

Tripoto
20th Jul 2017
Photo of A Guide to Belfast -Game of Thrones and More! by Nishad Kulkarni

Having just attended my graduation ceremony in Cardiff, I was to fly out to Northern Ireland the next morning. Thankfully there are a lot of direct flights from Cardiff to Belfast and I took the earliest one. It was still at noon, but waking up in the morning was hard after a long night.

Belfast is a growing city. Much of the city center is under refurbishment and a lot of construction sites dot the landscape. The bus from the airport left me at the main bus station, and I walked from there to the hostel I was staying at.

Photo of A Guide to Belfast -Game of Thrones and More! 1/1 by Nishad Kulkarni
In the outskirts of Belfast
Day 1

As I reached the hostel, which was in the university district of the town, I saw much of the city center and its attractions. The best way to see the main city is just to walk through its streets. You’ll be done in a few hours and then it’s time to enjoy a pint of Guinness at one of the city’s countless pubs. This is all I did on the first day and went out with people from the hostel, to the local Irish Pub where a band was playing some good old Irish music.

Day 2

The ideal thing to do is to take a city tour bus around the outskirts of the city. You can buy a ticket almost anywhere in the city center from the people with the city tout logo on them. The guided tour bus takes around the parliament house, the giant cranes Samson and Goliath, the harbor where the Titanic was made and some of the more local sites. There is a museum dedicated to the Titanic in the harbor which is also a must see in the area.

Photo of A Guide to Belfast -Game of Thrones and More! by Nishad Kulkarni

The Peace line

Photo of A Guide to Belfast -Game of Thrones and More! by Nishad Kulkarni

One of the highlights of the bus is the peace lines. They are huge lines much akin to the Berlin wall, but they are still in place. Built during the period known as the Troubles, where tensions between the Catholics and Protestants were high, they still divide the city’s religious groups. Also noteworthy in Belfast is the amount of art graffiti on its walls and buildings. Belfast is very similar to Berlin in these ways.

Being an immense Game of Thrones, and Northern Ireland being a filming location, it was but natural for me to go on the Game of Thrones locations tour. They picked me up from my hostel and within minutes we were out of the city heading out to the coast to see the locations.

Day 3

Seated next to me was a guy who hadn’t watched Game of Thrones but was still on the trip. Amr was an engineer from Jordan and had come on the tour to see the Northern Irish countryside, so when the tour guide kept on saying GoT references, he sure was surprised. As we got to talking, it turned out that some of his friends from back in Jordan were people I knew in Cardiff. It was one of those coincidences that I keep on having throughout the world. It reinforced my six degrees theory again.

Near the Causeway

Photo of A Guide to Belfast -Game of Thrones and More! by Nishad Kulkarni

Throughout the trip, we became good friends and I must thank him for taking some good pictures of me on the Giants Causeway. The causeway is a cliff and shore with thousands of black rock formations.

Giants Causway

Photo of A Guide to Belfast -Game of Thrones and More! by Nishad Kulkarni

We also went to the famous Kingsroad from GoT and took a lot of pictures. On the bus itself, we met an old Romanian professor who had settled with her family in Canada. Not being a fan of the show, she was still enjoying the amazing natural beauty that Northern Ireland has to offer. We had lunch with her in one of the pubs in the countryside.

Photo of A Guide to Belfast -Game of Thrones and More! by Nishad Kulkarni

The Kingsroad

Photo of A Guide to Belfast -Game of Thrones and More! by Nishad Kulkarni

What is unique about the pub, is that its door is made from the Kingsroad trees and it features a GoT house emblem on it. There were seven such doors made from the trees which fell on the Kingsroad. A nice tribute to the show I must say.

After the day ended and we were back in Belfast, it was time to say goodbye and I was to leave to Dublin the next day.

Best Time to Visit - May to September

Budget - INR 3000-4000 per day.

Photo of A Guide to Belfast -Game of Thrones and More! by Nishad Kulkarni
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