10 things Belfast didn’t have ten years ago that make a massive difference

Are you surprised by these things Belfast didn’t have ten years ago?

10 things Belfast didn't have ten years ago that make a massive difference.

Over the years, Belfast has grown in many ways. The city has become more inclusive and worked toward a better future for the environment. There are more resources than ever to make life easier for those who live in Belfast and also for those that are visiting.

Even just in the past decade, Belfast has changed in ways that couldn’t have been imagined or predicted. Out of all the things Belfast didn’t have ten years ago, we have listed the most significant changes.

10. Growth of Pride and Belfast Mela ‒ two fantastic festivals

Belfast Pride and Mela has grown massively over the past decade.
Credit: Tourism Northern Ireland

Both of these events were established more than ten years ago, but these inclusive events run by and for diverse communities have grown and developed in huge ways from where they were just ten years ago.

Pride features a parade and music event within the city, which draws in queer people and allies from all across the UK and Ireland.

The Belfast Mela features diverse food and cultural expressions from around the world, especially Asian cultures. The event is usually held in Belfast’s Botanic Gardens with music and performances.

9. Balmoral Show Expansion ‒ a hugely popular event

The expansion of the Balmoral Show is one of the things Belfast didn't have ten years ago.
Credit: Facebook / @Balmoralshow.ni

The agricultural show has been a staple of the Belfast calendar for much longer than ten years. However, the Balmoral Show’s 2018 move to Lisburn has only increased interest in the event.

The show is now more accessible to those travelling from outside of the city, and the location is better suited for an agricultural show. Its close proximity to Belfast continues to draw in tourists during event days.

8. Entertainment and leisure activities ‒ perfect for all ages

Belfast has plenty of new entertainment and leisure activities.
Credit: Facebook / @letsgohydro

There’s always something to do in the city, but when considering things Belfast didn’t have ten years ago, we think of Let’s Go Hydro, the aqua park located at the Knockbracken Reservoir in Carryduff.

There are always new and exciting things to do around the city, but this is the most different and exhilarating.

7. Pedestrianisation ‒ making Belfast a safer city

Widespread pedestrianisation is one of the things Belfast didn't have ten years ago.
Credit: Tourism Northern Ireland

There have been moves over recent years to pedestrianise the city centre of Belfast.

Traffic through the main shopping areas has been becoming increasingly restricted and limited in a move to encourage people to shop off the high street, making the area safer and helping limit pollution throughout Belfast.

6. International food outlets ‒ more options for everyone

Belfast has plenty of new international food outlets.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

When considering things Belfast didn’t have ten years ago, our minds went right to food. Yes, Belfast has offered a range of options for a while.

Still, in recent years, the city has seen a surge in authentic and inspired international offerings. There are more vegan and dietary-friendly restaurants, also.

5. Film and TV tourism ‒ drawing movie lovers from all over the world

Film and TV Tourism is one of the things Belfast didn't have ten years ago.
Credit: Tourism Northern Ireland

Game of Thrones began airing in 2011, and since then, Belfast and Northern Ireland have become famous for their role in the film and TV industry.

More and more shows and movies are being filmed in the area, including the Oscar-nominated film Belfast (2021). Never thought we’d be saying this is one of the things Belfast didn’t have ten years ago.

4. Ulster University’s Belfast Campus ‒ a modern hub of learning

Ulster University's Belfast Campus is a new addition to the city.
Credit: Flickr / William Murphy

The university has been developing its Belfast campus and bringing more students and staff into the city centre. This has centralised the further education resources offered in Northern Ireland and increased Belfast’s student population.

More international students will consider the university for its prime location, which in turn lends a bonus to tourism.

3. Student accommodation ‒ for a growing student population

The rise in student accommodation is one of the things Belfast didn't have ten years ago.
Credit: Pexels / Vlada Karpovich

With more students being drawn into the city, more accommodations are on offer than before.

The locations are closer to the city centre than the previous university-offered halls. So, more students and staff will be investing in the city’s economy through shopping, eating out, and drinking.

2. Glider ‒ one of the major things Belfast didn’t have ten years ago

Who remembers Belfast before the Glider?
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

These new bus services have helped public transport offerings around the city. Many locals had issues with the availability and regularity of bus transport offered to those not directly in the city centre.

Now those on the outskirts have a reliable and simple way to access Belfast city centre. This bus service also decreases the number of cars on the road, especially within the city, which helps traffic and the environment.

1. Belfast Bikes ‒ our favourite mode of transportation

Belfast Bikes are one of the things Belfast didn't have ten years ago.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

These bicycles have changed how many people traverse the streets of Belfast. Living in a city, many residents may not have a suitable location to store a bike.

Thus, these affordable, publicly available bikes, located in many places throughout the city, offer everyone the chance to commute by bike. They encourage locals and visitors to get more active while decreasing the traffic with fewer cars on the roads.

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