Museums and Galleries Walking Tour (Self Guided), Belfast

While in Belfast, don't miss the opportunity to discover some of the best museums in Northern Ireland. Take this tour and visit the most-known museums and galleries that exhibit impressive works of history, contemporary art, photography, and many more.
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Museums and Galleries Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Museums and Galleries Walking Tour
Guide Location: Ireland » Belfast (See other walking tours in Belfast)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Author: DanaU
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Ulster Museum
  • Naughton Gallery at Queen's
  • The Crescent Arts Centre
  • Townhouse Gallery
  • Old Museum Arts Centre
  • Royal Ulster Rifles Museum
  • Northern Ireland War Memorial
Ulster Museum

1) Ulster Museum (must see)

The Ulster Museum, located in the Botanic Gardens in Belfast, has around 8,000 square metres of public display space, featuring material from the collections of fine art and applied art, archaeology, ethnography, treasures from the Spanish Armada, local history, numismatics, industrial archaeology, botany, zoology and geology. It is the largest museum in Northern Ireland, and one of the components of National Museums Northern Ireland. The Ulster Museum was closed for nearly three years (2006 to October 2009) while it was under renovation. It re-opened to the public on 22 October 2009, on its 80th anniversary. The renovation work was supported by the National Lottery and the Northern Ireland Executive's Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

The Ulster Museum was founded as the Belfast Natural History Society in 1821 and began exhibiting in 1833. It has included an art gallery since 1890. Originally called the Belfast Municipal Museum and Art Gallery, in 1929, it moved to its present location in Stranmillis. The new building was designed by James Cumming Wynne. In 1962, courtesy of the Museum Act (Northern Ireland) 1961, it was renamed as the Ulster Museum and was formally recognised as a national museum. A major extension constructed by McLaughlin & Harvey Ltd to designs by Francis Pym was begun in 1962 and opened in 1964. It is in the Brutalist style, praised by David Evans for the "almost barbaric power of its great cubic projections and cantilevers brooding over the conifers of the botanic gardens like a mastodon".

The Ulster Museum contains important collections of Irish birds, mammals, insects, molluscs, marine invertebrates, flowering plants, algae and lichens, as well as an archive of books and manuscripts relating to Irish natural history. The museum also maintains a natural history website named Habitas. In the late 1980s and the early 1990s it had a permanent exhibition ondinosaurs which has since been scaled back considerably. There is also a collection of rocks, minerals and fossils.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Naughton Gallery at Queen's

2) Naughton Gallery at Queen's

The Naughton Gallery at Queen's is an art gallery and museum at Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Opened in 2001, the gallery is named after its benefactors Martin and Carmel Naughton, who donated £500,000 to the university in 2002. Along with the Queen's Film Theatre and the annual Belfast Festival, the gallery forms part of the university's Culture and Arts Division. The curator is Shan McAnena. The gallery hosts up to six exhibitions per year and is visited by around 16,000 people annually. As well as visiting exhibitions, the Naughton Gallery at Queen's displays the University's collection of artwork and other items, in particular silverware, dating back to its establishment in 1845.
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Crescent Arts Centre

3) The Crescent Arts Centre

The Crescent Arts Centre is an arts centre based in a Victorian-era listed building in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It was founded in 1980, and the building was extensively refurbished between 2008 and 2010. The Centre hosts a wide range of arts and entertainment events, as well as classes in dance, music, verbal and visual arts, and community outreach programmes. The patron of the Centre is Paul Muldoon. The Centre also organises two major annual events; a dance festival in June (City Dance) and a literary festival (The Belfast Book Festival, formerly Between the Lines) in March/April.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Townhouse Gallery

4) Townhouse Gallery

Located at Great Victoria Street, the Townhouse Gallery is a place to visit for lovers of modern art. Among its impressive items, you will find stunning collections of picture frames, surrealist and minimalist works, framed textile collages, and a lot of other interesting things. Most items being offered for sale at reasonable prices.

Opening Hours: Tuesday - Friday: 9:30 am - 5 pm; Saturday: 9:30 am - 1 pm; Sunday - by appointment
Old Museum Arts Centre

5) Old Museum Arts Centre

Established in 1990, the Old Museum Arts Centre is dedicated to modern art, theatre and dance, visual art, and music. It has a well-earned reputation as one of Northern Ireland ’s best places that offer a varied, innovative, entertaining and high quality programme throughout the year.

In 2011, OMAC created a new concept called The MAC in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast. It is a six storey building with two performance spaces, two rehearsal rooms, a space for visual art, and more.
Royal Ulster Rifles Museum

6) Royal Ulster Rifles Museum (must see)

Located at Waring Street, close to the city centre, the Royal Ulster Rifles Museum is a place where you can find stunning collections of items covering the history of the Regiment since its formation. You can find uniforms, medals, pictures, drums and other regimental memorabilia. Some of the items date back to 1850, while the uniform of Colonel Tim Collins, recently brought from Iraq, dates to 2003.

Operation Hours: Tuesday - Thursday: 10 am - 4 pm.
Northern Ireland War Memorial

7) Northern Ireland War Memorial

The Northern Ireland War Memorial, also called NI War Memorial and War Memorial, was opened in 2007 in Talbot Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland. It replaced an earlier building called Memorial House which was located in Waring Street on a site which was bombed during the Blitz in 1941. It contains the Home Front Exhibition and the first national memorial to the hundreds killed in the Belfast blitz. The aim and purpose of the War Memorial is to be an enduring memorial to those who fell in World War I and World War II; provide offices for the Royal British Legion and other ex-service charities, commemorate the association of the USA Armed Forces with Northern Ireland in World War II.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Belfast, Ireland

Create Your Own Walk in Belfast

Create Your Own Walk in Belfast

Creating your own self-guided walk in Belfast is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Belfast Introduction Walk

Belfast Introduction Walk

Being the second-largest city in Northern Ireland, Belfast is full of 19th-century buildings, 20th-century architecture, ancient sites, beautiful landscapes, and many more. It is a city that offers plenty of excellent spots for tourists from all over the world. The City Hall, Saint Anne's Cathedral, The Waterfront Hall, just to name a few, form the grand centerpiece of the city and the...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 Km or 3 Miles
Belfast Architecture Jewels

Belfast Architecture Jewels

Belfast's architectural style ranges from Edwardian, like the City Hall, to modern style. Many of the city's Victorian landmarks, including the main Lanyon Building at Queen's University Belfast and the Linenhall Library, were designed by Sir Charles Lanyon. Among the city's grandest buildings are two former banks: Ulster Bank and Northern Bank. Take this tour to see the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Historical Churches

Historical Churches

Belfast is a city that takes religion quite seriously, it is in fact one of the most religious cities in the UK, thus it has plenty of places of worship to offer its visitors. While in Belfast, don't miss the opportunity to admire the most noteworthy of these places. Take this self-guided walking tour to discover the most interesting religious buildings in Belfast.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles