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Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland which is one of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom. Its name means mouth of the sandbars in Irish Gaelic and has been historically a centre for the Irish linen industry, tobacco, shipbuilding and rope making.

Iconic shipbuilder, Harland and Wolff, was the largest in the world in the early 20th century and was the builder of the Titanic. Belfast played a major role in the Industrial Revolution and by the turn of the 20th Century was the largest and most prosperous city in Ireland a reason cited by Ulster Unionists against Home Rule why Ireland should reject devolved power and remain part of the union with Great Britain.

This legacy was one of the reasons why Belfast would suffer so badly during the Troubles, a period of time which was characterised by civil unrest and conflict. Nowadays the city is still a centre of industry, the arts and the political and economic hub of Northern Ireland but has been free of the former strife for a number of years and has consequently seen much growth, expansion and redevelopment especially in and around Victoria Square.

How to Get There

Belfast is served by two airports (Belfast International and George Best Belfast City Airport) and enjoys direct sea crossings from Scotland and England. As well as this there are direct rail links with Dublin. Belfast can be accessed directly from over twenty European cities as well as a number of North American locations.

How to Get Around

The centre of Belfast benefits from having great public transport links and so is not somewhere that one needs a car. The centre itself is compact, full of characterful alleyways and is eminently walkable. Indeed this is one of the best ways to take in the history and atmosphere of the city.

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