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Ulster Museum, Belfast

4.5
#2 of 24 in Museums in Belfast
The clean, crisp interior of Ulster Museum is contained within an elegant building close to Belfast’s city center. Highlights of the extensive collection here include relics from the Spanish Armada, nearly three dozen Sir John Lavery paintings that the famed Irish portraitist donated himself, and works from maritime painter Kenneth Shoesmith. You'll also find archaeological items dating to the Stone Age, militaria, and items from world cultures across the globe such as samurai armor and war canoes from the Solomon Islands. Check out the exhibits telling the natural history of the island of Ireland through taxidermied mammals, wildlife, and 100,000 preserved plants and fungi including mosses, ferns, and lichens. In addition to free admission, the museum offers a free daily welcome tour (except Saturdays). Check the website for a schedule. Plan a Belfast trip in moments using our itinerary builder.
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Ulster Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
2,605 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Great Museum lots to see and well laid out . If you are a tourist and you are interested in local history you will find some great facts about the Island of Ireland and N.Ireland.  more »
  • Decided to bring the kids to museum for a day out. Very clean museum in lovely setting of botanical gardens which are also worth a walk around. Museum offered 3 floors of artefacts. One area really se...  more »
  • Actually it comes to several museums in one, who have no link between them and we go from one to the other without warning, which may surprise. Free Museum, closed on Monday. The most interesting parts are those devoted to disorders and history. The art isn't bad either. Good restaurant.
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  • The largest museum in Northern Ireland located in the Botanic Gardens in Belfast. Includes 3 floors featuring collections of fine art, applied art, archaeology, treasures from the Spanish Armada, local history, botany, zoology and geology. A very educational experience. I especially found the material from the 'Troubles' era very compelling. This amazing museum is free of charge. Anyone can make a monetary donation, but with no pressure...strictly voluntary. I gladly donated and my overall experience was stellar. Very nice staff as well.
  • Great day out, lots of interesting things to see and they even have a few different activity rooms so the kids can be creative. Not bad for being free in all you do is stick a few quid in ad a donation..nice place to go on a sunday afternoon.
  • Probably one of the best museums I have visited in recent years: fascinating collections, well planned and so immersive: whether you're into science, nature, history (one floor for each) or art (two floors), you will definitely find something for yourself there. Your kids will love it too. Please secure good few hours if you want to see all the exhibitions: I think I've spent over 3 hours there and had to miss the whole history section (bummer!) as I ran out of time. Will definitely be coming back though.
  • I recall going here with the entire family. There are interesting items and knowledge to hold children's attention. An amazing museum to go to, it holds the themes to all sorts of topics and never ceases surprise a younger brother or sister.
  • A very well laid out and very extensive museum. Covering the history of the area from the earliest day and to the present. Also an exhibition of a mummy, dinosaur skeletons, extinct animals and a lot more. Use a day or more here. Situated in the botanical gardens, which also deserves a visit.

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Where to stay in Belfast

Belfast's tourist-friendly and conveniently pedestrianized city center is filled with hotels for a range of budgets. From here, you can easily explore most tourist sites on foot or by bicycle. For an authentic Belfast experience, consider booking a room at a B&B, hostel, or guesthouse. Alternatively, international brand names and boutique one-offs offer top-notch amenities. The city center also houses nightclubs and pubs, where you can enjoy an ice-cold pint and mingle with the locals.
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