Learn all about the infamous unsinkable ship in the world’s largest Titanic museum, right where the ship was designed and built. Here’s all you need to know about Titanic Belfast.
As you leave Northern Ireland’s capital city Belfast, going eastward across the M3, you are flanked on either side by some of the city’s finest buildings, and a highlight amongst them all is the state-of-the-art Titanic Belfast building, which is one of the most incredible architectural structures in Ireland and should be added to your Ireland itinerary, tucked behind the SSE Arena and overlooking the Belfast Lough.
One hundred years after the Titanic first sailed, the Titanic Belfast, which is one of the best museums in Ireland, opened its doors for the first time in 2012 and has become Belfast’s number one tourist and visitor attraction since, with 841,563 visitors in 2018 alone.
The magnificent modern building is emblematic of the changing face of Belfast and is a must on your Ireland Road Trip Itinerary. It expertly recounts the historic tales of the Titanic ship and her sister ships RMS Olympic and RMS Britannic. If you’re interested in facts about the Titanic, keep reading!
Origins of the museum
Titanic Belfast is located on Queen’s Island directly next to the Titanic Slipways, which was formerly derelict land. It was reclaimed in 2001 and renamed as the ‘Titanic Quarter’, and earmarked for regeneration.
Plans were made in 2005 to build a museum dedicated to the ship, which was constructed in Belfast from 1910 to 1912 at the neighbouring Harland & Wolff cranes.
The total cost of the building reached £101 million; 50% provided by the NI Executive through the NI Tourist Board and the other 50% provided by Titanic Quarter Ltd, a sister company of Harcourt Developments, who bought over and developed the lands where the museum rests.
What can you do there?
As the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience, discover all about the infamous ‘unsinkable ship’ with the Titanic Experience, which has over nine interactive galleries bringing together special effects, dark rides and full-scale reconstructions to provide you with an original, in-depth experience of this historic ship.
Dive into the ‘Ship Fact Files’ to learn all about the ships built at Harland & Wolff, while the ‘Titanic Stories’ provide an authentic collection of contemporary experiences of the Titanic Ship from those who boarded it.
Take the one-hour long Discovery Tour, an award-winning walking tour of the museum which delves into the history of the Harland & Wolff drawing offices where Titanic was designed, while your personal walking guide enlightens you with fascinating facts about the ships built here.
What’s more, you walk the docks and explore the SS Nomadic ship, the world’s largest remaining White Star vessel and the Titanic’s original tender ship.
Marvel at some of the original Titanic and SS Nomadic artefacts that line the museum, and cap off a memorable day with a meal at the Bistro 401 Restaurant.
How to get to Titanic Belfast
The Titanic Belfast is easily accessible from all locations in Belfast. It is around a 30-minute walk from the City Centre, while public transport brings you directly to the site courtesy of the new Glider service.
For those travelling to Ireland’s second city by plane, Titanic Belfast is only a 5-10-minute car journey from the City Airport and 30 mins from Belfast International Airport, making it a very accessible and suitable attraction for tourists and inhabitants alike.
The Titanic Belfast visitor attraction operates under a seasonal timetable and is open year-round with the exception of the 24th to 26th of December.
The museum opens from 10 am to 5 pm from January to March, 9 am to 6 pm in April and May, and 8.30 am to 7 pm in June. The summer months are kind to the public, with opening times in July and August 8.30 am to 7 pm Monday to Thursday, and until 8 pm on Friday and Saturday.
The Titanic Belfast opens its doors from 8.30 am to 6 pm in September, 10 am to 5 pm in October on Monday to Thursday, and to 6 pm at the weekend, while in the years’ closing months you can visit the museum from 10 am to 5 pm.
As the Christmas spirit starts to wear thin and New Year approaches, why not visit the Titanic Belfast during its extended opening hours over the festive period? From Friday 27 December to Tuesday 31 December, Titanic Belfast will be open daily from 10 am to 6 pm.
The Standard Titanic Experience Admission costs £19 per adult, £8.50 for a child aged between 5 and 16 while children under the age of 5 enter free of charge – so be sure to factor these into your trip costs before you visit.
Students and senior visitors can gain access for £15.50, while you can obtain a family pass for only £46.50, catering for two adults and two children.
If you are late visiting and only have an hour to explore, the Titanic Belfast can offer you a Life Saver ticket at a discounted price of £11.50 for adults and £8.50 for children aged between 5 and 16.
If you want a bit extra, you can purchase the White Star Premium Pass, £30 for adults and £20 for children, which confers access to The Titanic Experience, a Souvenir Photo, Discovery Tour and the SS Nomadic.