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Belfast Castle

With views across the city and centuries of history, this classical sandstone building is one of the most popular free attractions in Belfast.

Belfast Castle is a symbol of the city and can be seen from across town. A visit to the castle is a must for history enthusiasts and those wanting to appreciate the best views of the city. Admire the romantic-looking Scottish baronial architecture, wander the castle’s expansive grounds, have a traditional Irish meal in its cellar, or hike Cave Hill.

Over the centuries, there have been three Belfast Castles. The first was a Norman 12th-century structure in what is now the city center. It was replaced by a stone and timber castle in 1611. Nearly a century later it burned down and the 3rd Marquess of Donegall chose to build a whole new castle on the slopes of Cave Hill in 1862. It was donated to the City of Belfast in 1934 and renovated from 1978 to 1988.

See if you can find the Donegall coat-of-arms over the front door and then enter to explore the castle’s permanent exhibits. Learn about the families who lived here and their importance to Belfast.
 
Walk the castle grounds to discover the native flora and fauna of the area. For a more rugged experience, visit the adjacent Cave Hill County Park, which has excellent hiking trails.

Take in the views of Belfast from the castle, or hike to the summit of Cave Hill to view the castle from above. There is also a playground for children in the castle grounds.

Enjoy local food in the Victorian-style cellar during a unique lunch or dining experience. At night, the lit-up castle acts as a beacon to people looking for traditional Irish fun. Hear local music at the Castle Tavern on a Friday or Saturday night.

Belfast Castle is located on Antrim Road, on the edge of Belfast, a 10-minute drive from downtown. Parking and admission is free. The castle is also served by bus; however, it’s a 15-minute walk from the castle gates to the actual building. Belfast Castle is open daily, but the tavern and restaurant close on Sunday and Monday nights.


Guide to Exploring around Belfast Castle


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Belfast Castle

See all 442 Properties near Belfast Castle
Hampton by Hilton Belfast City Centre $69
Hampton by Hilton Belfast City Centre

Hampton by Hilton Belfast City Centre

Hope Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Belfast City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Grand Opera House, Ulster Hall, and Belfast City Hall. Queen's University of Belfast and St. George's Market are also within 15 minutes. Belfast Central Station is 16 minutes by foot.

    The Lansdowne Hotel $78
    The Lansdowne Hotel

    The Lansdowne Hotel

    657 Antrim Rd, Belfast, Northern Ireland
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Belfast, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Fortwilliam Golf Club and Belfast Castle. St. Anne's Cathedral and Crumlin Road Jail are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Somerton House $72
      Somerton House

      Somerton House

      22 Lansdowne Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Belfast, this guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of Fortwilliam Golf Club and Belfast Castle. St. Anne's Cathedral and Belfast City Hall are also within 3 mi (5 km).

        Somerton House
        Somerton House

        Somerton House

        Lansdowne Road,22, Belfast, Northern Ireland
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Belfast, this bed & breakfast is within 1 mi (2 km) of Fortwilliam Golf Club and Belfast Castle. St. Anne's Cathedral and Belfast City Hall are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Loughview Apartments
          Loughview Apartments

          Loughview Apartments

          Apartment 18, 2 Northview, Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Newtownabbey, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Fortwilliam Golf Club and Belfast Castle. Cave Hill Country Park and Belfast Zoo are also within 1 mi (2 km).

            AC Hotels by Marriott Belfast $83
            AC Hotels by Marriott Belfast

            AC Hotels by Marriott Belfast

            Donegall Quay, Belfast Harbour, Belfast, Northern Ireland
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in the heart of Belfast, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Sinclair Seamen's Church, St. Anne's Cathedral, and Waterfront Hall. SSE Arena (Titanic Quarter) and St. George's Market are also within 15 minutes. Belfast Central Station is 15 minutes by foot.

              Gullivers Gem
              Gullivers Gem

              Gullivers Gem

              Apt 3, The Horizon Buildings, 670-678 Shore Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Belfast, this apartment building is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) from Fortwilliam Golf Club and within 3 mi (5 km) of Belfast Castle and St. Anne's Cathedral. Crumlin Road Jail is 3.1 mi (4.9 km) away.

                Titanic Hotel Belfast $96
                Titanic Hotel Belfast

                Titanic Hotel Belfast

                Queen's Road, Titanic Quarter, Belfast, Northern Ireland
                   
                  4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Titanic Quarter, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Titanic Belfast and SSE Arena (Titanic Quarter). Waterfront Hall and St. George's Market are also within 1 mi (2 km). Belfast Central Station is 24 minutes by foot.