Belfast takes its name from the Irish 'Beal Feirste', which means the "mouth of the sandbanks". It is the capital city of Northern Ireland and although Dublin in Ireland is nearly twice its size the city has an impressive array of things to see and do.
Known historically as Linenopolis due to its linen industry, the city is also famous for its shipbuilding. The shipyward of Harland and Wolff which built the Titanic now rely on ship and oil rig repairs as well as being involved in the renewable energy sector of industry.
Any visitor to Belfast must visit the Titanic Experience. With its modern ship like building the history of the worlds most famous ship and how it was built is documented here along with interactive tours and realistic rides through a virtual shipyard.
Although Titanic might be the most famous ship to come from Belfast there were two almost identical ships that went into service called the Olympic and the Britannic.
For all its past troubles a visitor gets the impression that Belfast is very much an up and coming city looking forward to its future. The Europa Hotel once the most bombed hotel in Europe and the famous Crown Bar over the road now restored by the National Trust are just two examples of how things have changed.
The barricades still exist and some police stations look more like heavily protected army bases and the legacy of the troubles can be seen in many murials and banners across the city but finally it looks like the city has a future to look forward to. As with any city it is often the people that make it what it is and the hospitality and friendly nature of the Irish makes Belfast a welcoming place for the visitor.
The best way to see Belfast is to get a day or weekend ticket on one of the tour buses. These guided tours tell you all about the history of the city and the tour guides are humerous and entertaining.
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