Belfast Museums

(Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK)

Picture of the exterior of the Ulster MuseumOriginally founded almost 200 years ago as the Belfast Natural History Society, the Ulster Museum gained its current name in 1962 and has grown to become the biggest museum in the whole of Northern Ireland. The Ulster houses many important national collections, the most notable of which include themes such as applied art and fine art, archaeology, fossils, geology, history, plant life and world cultures. Visiting children will particularly enjoy the dinosaur section and its famous triceratops skeleton.

Also extremely popular with families is the Whowhatwherewhenwhy (W5) museum attraction on the Queen's Quay, next to the River Lagan. This Northern Ireland Millennium Landmark Project is just a stroll away from central Belfast and is brimming with hands-on activities, where you can build towers, operate robots, make magnets, fly planes, try your hand at tug or war, and even created your very own animation movie. For military memorabilia in Belfast, be sure to check out the Royal Ulster Rifles Museum on Waring Street, which stands close to the Oasis Amusement Center, the Castle Court Shopping Center and the cathedral.

Further view of the Ulster Museum

Ulster Museum

Address: Botanic Avenue, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Tel: +44 (0)845 608 0000
The Ulster Museum is one of the oldest museums in not only just the city, but also the whole of Ireland, dating back to 1821. Housing many historic artefacts from around the area, this attraction was closed between 2006 and 2009 for extensive redevelopment and refurbishment, at the cost of almost £20 million. Exhibits cover many different themes and include botany, ethnography, local history, Spanish Armada relics and zoology, as well as Irish fine art.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 10:00 to 17:00, Saturday - 13:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 14:00 to 17:00
Admission: free

Photo of Fernhill House

Fernhill House - The People's Museum

Address: Glencairn Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Tel: +44 (0)28 9071 5599
The Fernhill House Museum stands within Glencairn Park and celebrates the lives of those from around the Shankill district, with a number of authentic recreations. Attractions include a large collection of local military memorabilia, as well as artefacts relating to past industries, the Irish Red Cross, local soccer heroes and World War II. Also onsite is a library with study area, a theatre and a gift shop selling books about the history of Northern Ireland and the Shankill area in particular. Many visitors come to Fernhill House to take part in its 'Ghostwatch', looking out for its reported supernatural residents.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 10:00 to 16:00, Sunday - 13:00 to 16:00
Admission: children, discounts for seniors, students, families and children

Whowhatwherewhenwhy - W5

Address: 2 Queen's Quay, The Odyssey, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Tel: +44 (0)28 9046 7700
The Whowhatwherewhenwhy attraction is better known as simply W5 and contains almost 200 interactive, exciting exhibits, appealing to all the family. Children will always enjoy being a car mechanic, playing in the music studio and watching their actual skeleton riding a bicycle. Particularly popular are the live science demonstrations and the ever changing exhibitions, as well as the onsite gift shop, where various science-related toys and gadgets are for sale. A cafe is on hand, together with picnic areas, should you wish to bring your own refreshments.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 10:00 to 17:00, Saturday - 10:00 to 18:00, Sunday - 12:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for children and families

Royal Ulster Rifles Museum

Address: 9-13 Waring Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Tel: +44 (0)28 9032 0392
The Regimental Museum of Royal Ulster Rifles dates back to 1935 and contains a vast and extremely important weaponry collection, together with a library, photographs and a multitude of historic journals. Close by is the Donegall Arcade, which is just a short stroll away and comes with a small selection of shops.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: free

Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) Museum

Address: 65 Knock Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Tel: +44 (0)28 9065 0222
Located just a short distance from the Shandon Park Golf Club, the Royal Ulster Constabulary Museum was founded in the 1920s. The exhibits include a wealth of photographs, equipment, uniforms and general historic artefacts relating to the Irish Constabulary, which was formed as long as 1822.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:30 to 16:30
Admission: charge