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Shutterstock Albert Memorial Clock Belfast Northern Ireland

14 Fascinating Things You Didn’t Know About Belfast

Written by on 20th March 2020
Category: City guides

A city full of character, wit and charm, Belfast is widely becoming one of the UK’s most popular tourist hotspots. A key factor behind this is the plethora of intriguing and captivating parts of Belfast, that many only discover when they first step foot into Northern Ireland’s capital. Planning on conducting business in Belfast soon? Get up to scratch with 15 fascinating things you didn’t know about Belfast!

1. 51% of all tourists visit because of business!

According to NItravelnews.com, 51% of all tourists in the city arrive to conduct business in Belfast. Having had an increasing amount of investment poured into the area, this number is expected to grow. This is one of the reasons why we, as the world’s largest corporate serviced apartment provider, have stepped up our efforts to find more property partners in the city. If you are interested in finding out more about the apartments we offer for business in Belfast, head over to ‘The Leading Apartments in Belfast for Business Travel’.

George Best Belfast City Airport
The entrance to the George Best Belfast City Airport

2. It is the city where Game of Thrones was filmed!

If you haven’t heard of Game of Thrones and the drama that ensued from its average at the best finale, then where have you been hiding for the past few years! One of the things that you didn’t know about Belfast is that they used a total of 63 locations to film the series and each and every one of these was within an hour and a half from Belfast. It is possible that whilst on business in Belfast, you can visit the most impressive locations on a tour which many companies in the area offer.

A tree covered road, resembling a path from Game of Thrones
A gorgeous tree-covered road in Belfast: Dark Hedges

3. It is where C.S. Lewis was born!

Following on from fictional stories, the author of one of the UK’s best-loved books was born and raised in Belfast. C.S. Lewis, the author of The Chronicles of Narnia is believed to have drawn his vivid inspiration from the countryside of Belfast from when he grew up there as a child. The recognition of this author is commemorated throughout the city with CS Lewis Square and a CS Lewis statue that you may encounter when on business in Belfast.

The impressive statue in CS Lewis Square
One of the many Narnia inspired sculptures that reside in CS Lewis Square

4. Linenopolis

Back in the 19th century, Belfast was considered a powerhouse for producing linen, an incredibly sought-after commodity at that time. However, as commonly known a fact as this is, one of the things that you didn’t know about Belfast is that it had taken the reigns from America, due to the American Civil War happening at the time. With America being the largest exporter of cotton in the world at the time, Irish linen was used as a substitute for many European countries.

5. The River Lagan is home to seals, otter and salmon!

The River Lagan used to be like any other river flowing through a capital city: dirty, full of litter and a sewage pit. However, this has changed in recent times due to mass improvements to the sewage systems and dredging of the river. What many don’t realise is that because of this river transformation, it is now home to much more wildlife including seals, otters and salmon! This is fantastic positive knowledge you can use to impress those you are visiting when on business in Belfast.

The River Lagan in Belfast
The River Lagan can provide stunning views during sunset

6. Leaning tower of… Albert Clock?

Belfast’s very own leaning tower of Pisa, the Albert Clock leans four feet off the perpendicular. Belfast rumour has it that the clock tower leans because of the prostitutes that used to occupy the building. They would lean on the walls waiting for their next customer. Yet, it must be said that this is a myth and has no scientific backing, but it’s still almost certainly one of the things you didn’t know about Belfast.

The Albert Memorial Clock
The famous leaning Albert Memorial Clock in Belfast

7. Belfast has four main quarters

One thing that is important to know when travelling on business in Belfast, is that the city is comprised of four quarters. The Cathedral Quarter, Titanic Quarter, Queen’s Quarter and the Gaeltacht Quarter. The Cathedral Quarter is situated around the city’s cathedral, the Titanic Quarter is based around Belfast harbour, the Queen’s Quarter’s main landmark is the Queen’s University and finally, the Gaeltacht Quarter is from the city centre to western parts of Belfast.

Belfast Cathedral in the Cathedral Quarter
Belfast’s wonderful cathedral, situated in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter

8. The Troubles

Although ‘The Troubles’ is one of the most common events to have happened in Northern Ireland and in particular Belfast, one of the things you don’t know about Belfast and The Troubles is that there were at least 10,000 bomb attacks during the 40-year period. This a remarkable number and something that you should take into consideration when on a business trip to the now beautiful city.

Urban artwork of The Troubles in Belfast
A piece of artwork dedicated to a regiment that fought in The Troubles

9. Belfast is where the Good Friday Agreement was signed

In order to end ‘The Troubles’, there was an agreement between several of the country’s parties and this was called the Good Friday Agreement. A thing you might not know about Belfast – is that this agreement was signed in the city itself. Considering this conflict went on for just shy of 40 years, it is a remarkable achievement to have resolved the situation in the manner that they did.

10. Where Titanic was built!

A large part of Belfast’s culture and history is based around its wonderful harbour. Along with being called Linenopolis, Belfast was known for its talent in building some of the world’s best ships – none more famous than the Titanic. Belfast has also been the birthplace of ships such as the Olympic and Oceanic. Although the Titanic’s first journey did not end how most would’ve liked, it is still impressive that a city like Belfast in the 19th century could produce ships like this. One of the key points of the history of business in Belfast, it is important to understand this fundamental layer of the city’s history.

Titanic Memorial Museum in Belfast
The wonderful architecture of the Titanic Museum in Belfast

11. Samson and Goliath

Belfast could not be an expert on shipbuilding if it didn’t have a little help from Samson and Goliath. One of the prominent features of the city, these two cranes have helped construct plenty of ships throughout their years. With the industry declining over the years, these cranes are still worshipped by the Belfast population, even though they are not as old as some of the other landmarks. If you are visiting for the first time, then one of the things you don’t know about Belfast is the importance of its shipbuilding heritage.

Samson & Goliath shipbuilding in Belfast
It is easy to see why these cranes tower over the city of Belfast

12. Home to the first-ever mobile defibrillator!

The first-ever mobile defibrillator was installed into an ambulance in Belfast, marking the start of a worldwide effort to bring a portable defibrillator into mass production. Frank Pantridge who attended the Queen’s University of Belfast, created the device in 1965 and has gone on to save hundreds of thousands of lives ever since. One of the things you don’t know about Belfast and this fact, in particular, is that he managed to reduce the weight of the defibrillator from 70kg to 3kg over the period of 3 years!

13. Belfast is home to a Russell Group university

Queen’s University Belfast is one of the most recognised universities in the UK and has had alumni such as Frank Partridge and Liam Neeson. Although most of its students are from Northern Ireland, Queen’s University Belfast also has a large amount of students from England and Scotland, thus showing its reputation and attraction to the whole of the UK. Part of the 24 Russell Group universities in the UK, Queen’s University Belfast is consistently ranked as one of the UK’s top universities, a useful thing to know whilst on business in Belfast.

The wonderful facade of Queen's University Belfast
The glorious facade of Queen’s University Belfast

14. Booming service sector!

Out of 224,000 jobs in the city, 206,000 of these are all based in the service sector. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that 51% of all tourists arrive because of business in Belfast. With the service sector set to grow worldwide, this number is likely to continually grow, which is why it is key we keep up our supply of corporate apartments in Belfast.

If you found these facts about Belfast insightful and need some of the most reliable and verified corporate accommodation for your next business trip to Belfast,  head over to our website and browse through our extensive portfolio of serviced apartments in Belfast.