In the United Kingdom there are many beautiful cities. Every city has its unique history. Belfast (Beal Feirste in Irish) is not an exception. It is capital of both Northern Ireland and Ulster and the second largest city on the island of Ireland. The city became famous thanks to the shipping trade.
At the south-western end of Belfast Lough and near the mouth of the River Lagan situated the Greater Belfast area where live upwards of 750,000 people. This place was idyllic for development of the shipping industry.
The name Belfast originates from the Irish Beal Feirste, or the mouth of the Farset (feirste is the genitive of the word fearsaid, "a spindle"), the river on which the city was built. Now the River Lagan is more important than Farset. And only Bridge Street indicates where there was originally a bridge across the Farset.
In Belfast, as in the most of big cities all over the world, much of the city centre has now been pedestrianised. Belfast has two airports: Belfast City Airport adjacent to Belfast Lough and Belfast International Airport which is near Lough Neagh.
The way you will come to Belfast is your own choice. The city is easily accessed by sea crossing from both Scotland and England with new routes continuing to develop. Travel by high-speed catamaran or by traditional ferry with impressive journey times from just 90 minutes.
In case, you don't want to use water transport, you may choose airplane. Many airline companies offer flights to Belfast. There are many daily flights to Belfast's two airports from the four London airports - Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted. Daily scheduled flights also operate from most British regional airports and from Amsterdam.
Belfast City Airport is situated just three miles from the city centre. There is a rail link to Great Victoria Street Station in the city centre. A regular Airlink bus service operates into the city centre.
Belfast International Airport at Aldergrove is 40 minutes drive via the M2 motorway. A regular Airbus service operates into the city centre. This airport in Belfast offers great number of facilities for his passengers. Facilities for departing passengers include postal services, cash machines, currency exchange, airport information, Business Lounge, baby change facilities and an excellent range of shops and restaurants.
A visitor information desk is located in the arrivals hall for all domestic and international arriving passengers, providing information on visitor attractions, onward travel and accommodation.
It is interesting to know that the passenger terminal at BIA is located on two floors - the upper floor for departing passengers and the ground floor for arriving passengers.
International Airport in Belfast has its own website. The information displayed there is the same as that which is displayed on real flight information screens in the Airport itself. Things are updated every few minutes, making sure you have the most up to date information. But it is strongly recommended to come to the airport for the exact details.
Among the places of interest in Belfast there are many exuberant Victorian and Edwardian buildings with elaborate sculptures over doors and windows. It may be stone-carved heads of gods and poets, scientists, kings and queens.
A large number of sculptures display The City Hall, dating from 1906, and Queen's University, Belfast (1849). Among the grandest buildings are two former banks: Ulster Bank (1860), in Waring Street and Northern Bank (1769), in nearby Donegall Street. Also notable is the Linenhall Library (1788), in Donegall Square North.
Murals in Belfast reflect the political and religious allegiances of the two communities. They add popularity to this city.
But the most incredible thing one would find in Belfast is the world's largest dry dock, which located in the city. The giant cranes (Samson and Goliath) of the Harland and Wolff shipyard, builders of the Titanic, can be seen from afar. I think everyone has heard about Titanic. And even only because of this fact Belfast is worth visiting.