Top 10 things Belfast is famous for, ranked

You may know the city of Belfast well. You may have visited it, and you may even be a resident. But why is it so well-known? Here are the top ten things Belfast is famous for, ranked.

Belfast is Ireland’s second city. The Dublin vs Belfast comparison is ongoing, however, Belfast is a fantastic city. As a result, it has a reputation and status that transcends the bounds, not only of the city itself, but of the world.

And there are many reasons for this. Belfast owes its fame to a range of fields, from its former prowess in linen and shipbuilding, to its famous figures, and to its most recent history, among other important time periods.

Here are the top ten things Belfast is famous for, ranked.

10. Casement Park – future home of Ulster GAA                                         

Casement Park is known in the GAA world.
Credit: Twitter / @CasementPark

One of the top things Belfast is famous for is Casement Park, primarily so amongst the GAA circles across the Emerald Isle.

It has perhaps been known for bad reasons this past decade, as the iconic stadium has lain dormant since 2013 as a result of a delayed redevelopment.

However, with the latest legal challenge failing, it is now due to host games again in 2025. Its renovation will put Belfast at the centre of the GAA map.

Casement Park was built in 1953 and has witnessed some memorable and historic games. Chief among them would be Derry v Antrim in the 2000 Ulster Championship semi-final or when Down beat Tyrone in 1999.

Address: Belfast BT11 9BD

9. The markets – a unique blend of local and international crafts and products

The markets are one of the things Belfast is famous for.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

Around Christmas time, thousands of people flock to the city centre to visit the Christmas Markets that are held on the grounds of the City Hall.

The markets offer a range of international food and products, with bars as well for drink and craic. Furthermore, every weekend, St George’s Market in the city centre opens it doors.

Again, this indoor market plays host to a range of different foods and crafts, touching on all kinds of designs and abilities.

8. Tallest building in Ireland – standing tall in Belfast

Obel Tower in Belfast is the tallest building in Ireland.
Credit: Flickr/ William Murphy

One of the things that Belfast is famous for is that it is home to the tallest building in Ireland, the Obel Tower, which dominates Belfast’s skyline.

Completed in 2010, it rises to a height of 85 metres (279ft). The second tallest building can be found in Dublin. This is the Capital Dock, which stands at 79 metres (259ft).

Address: Belfast BT1 3NL

7. Ulster Rugby – home stadium in Belfast

Ulster rugby is one of the things Belfast is famous for.
Credit: ©INPHO / Bryan Keane

The city of Belfast is also famous for being the home of Ulster Rugby. The classy Ravenhill Stadium was redeveloped in 2014 and is one of the best stadiums in Ireland.

Belfast regularly welcomes over 18,000 people to the city. They watched their side finish third in this year’s United Rugby Championship.

Address: 134 Mount Merrion Ave, Belfast BT6 0FT

6. Queen’s University – a bastion of education

Queens is a prestigious university.

The Queen’s University building on University Road is one of the standout buildings in the entire city and has become a bastion of education across Europe.

It was founded in 1845 and is now a prestigious Russell Group University, attracting students from across the world. This is one of the best things Belfast is famous for.

Address: University Rd, Belfast BT7 1NN

5. George Best – one of the greats of the game

George Best is one of the things Belfast is famous for.

George Best is widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of his generation. The former Manchester United star was born in east Belfast and easily claims a spot in the top ten things Belfast is famous for.

Best was a popular character on and off the field and became one of the most iconic players in the history of the sport.

He scored 179 goals in 470 games for The Red Devils. He is definitely one of the most famous people from Belfast, if not the most.

4. Former linen capital – one of the top things Belfast is known for

Belfast was a former linen capital.
Credit: Flickr / National Library of Ireland on The Commons

One of the top things that Belfast is famous for is that it used to be a titan of linen production and indeed was known as ‘Linenopolis’ in the 19th century.

By the beginning of the 20th century, Belfast had eclipsed Dublin to become Ireland’s largest city and was the linen capital of the world.

3. Harland and Wolff – Belfast’s famous cranes

Harland and Wolff are one of the things Belfast is famous for.
Credit: Flickr/ William Murphy

Harland and Wolff’s shipyard has become synonymous with Belfast, as its domineering yellow cranes can be seen from almost any vantage point in the city.

At its peak, the Harland and Wolff shipyard was one of the biggest shipbuilders in the world. The Samson and Goliath cranes were completed by 1974 and have enjoyed prestige as one of Belfast’s finest structures since.

Address: Queen’s Island, Belfast BT3 9EU

2. History – a troubled but deep past

Belfast's troubled history is known around the world.
Credit: Flickr/ Kaspar C

Perhaps one of the most important things Belfast is famous for is its rich history, perhaps most recently. Murals and paintings adorn walls across the city and attract tourists in their droves and these can be explored on a history of Belfast walking tour.

This relates mainly to the conflict of 1969 to 1998, but other snippets of history include the establishment of the United Irishmen at Cave Hill, for example.

1. Titanic – building the world’s most famous ship

Titanic is one of the things Belfast is famous for.

Topping our list of things Belfast is famous for is the Titanic, the “unsinkable ship” that left the city shores in 1912 and never returned.

The city now commemorates its role in this famous story with the stunning Titanic Museum. You can learn all about the maritime history of the city here and see why Belfast is so famous for constructing one of history’s most enigmatic ships.

Address: 1 Olympic Way, Queen’s Road, Belfast BT3 9EP

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