Go List 201221 Places to Go in 2012

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On the Titanic's 100-year anniversary, embark on an adventure in the city's new Titanic Quarter

Word of Mouth"Once you get to Belfast, I recommend visiting the Crown Bar and taking the hop on/hop off bus tour to see the city sights," suggests Fodorite longhorn55. "Rent a car or take a tour along the Antrim Coast to the Giant's Causeway, Carrick-a-rede bridge and Dunluce Castle."

Why Go Now2012 marks a century since the Titanic embarked from Ireland only to founder south of Newfoundland. Belfast, the city in which the ship was built, is commemorating the 100th anniversary with the new Titanic Belfast Museum, the highlight of Titanic Quarter, the city’s massive harbor redevelopment project. A two-month long festival (April-May), which includes an MTV music event, will coincide with the opening.

Where to StayThe six-year-old Merchant Hotel delivers the city’s finest overnight. In seaside Newcastle, Slieve Donard Resort & Spa is a gorgeous turn-of-the-century resort with 184 rooms, many overlooking the water. See more Belfast hotel reviews.

Insider TipThe Belfast Festival at Queen's University (October 19-November 3) is one of Ireland’s biggest fêtes with music, dance, and art shows.

When to GoTravel May to September for warmer weather.

Plan Your TripVisit Fodor's Belfast Guide for the latest hotel, restaurant, and shopping reviews. Also, learn more about Belfast's 2012 Titanic events.

Photo: Belfast Visitor & Convention Bureau (BVCB)

Member Comments (47)  Post a Comment

  • kvoigt33 on Jul 11, 12 at 01:40 PM

    If you do not beleive the Belfast City Council is evil and crazy and happy over the killing of a innocent animal (Lennox) Call up there right now and ask about him. They are making pig noises and sheep noises. The animal loving world is mourning over this 2 year battle and they are making pig noises to keep from talking to people. THIS TOPS - BELFAST AND NORTHERN IRELAND ARE COMPLETE BOYCOTTED BY ME.

  • kvoigt33 on Jul 11, 12 at 12:39 PM

    I emailed my corporate Travel agency and they agreed and will no longer be recommending Belfast / Northern Ireland as a travel destination for vacation. I love it when corporations stand up too.

  • kvoigt33 on Jul 11, 12 at 12:34 PM

    Please remember Belfast is northern Ireland, part of UK.
    Southern Ireland is a whole other state/country that is animal friendly and handicap friendly. Southern Ireland also stood up for the injustices of the Belfast corruption/Dog theft/and condeming a dog to death based soley on looks and has never done harm. They were will to rehome him there, However, Belfast would not allow it. Belfats also had the opportunity to rehome to the US at no expense to them. Andy why wouldn't Belfast Council and dog wardens allow the owners to see the dog for 2 years, or let them see him one more time before death, or even after death. The City Council only told the owners they would get a few ashes in the mail. This is a government that has no concern for citizen welfare (oh they may act like for the sake of re election), for animal welfare, and are hardend to all citizens world wide calling for saving this animal at the other countries expense and BCC would still choose to kill say its too dangerous. How come BCC (Belfast City council and Lord Mayer Gavin Robinson) where the only ones to think this dog is dangerous. He never bit anyone either inside his captivity or out. BCC stormed this dogs home, retrieved and the owners never saw him again soley because he had a broad head and chest. This type of blindness and cruelty to one of there citizens is not what I condone. The world has beautiful peacefull places with wonderful wildlife, government who cares. Spend your money there. But if you choose Belfast, go at your own risk and leave do not take your pet. Any animal lovers are asked to support the boycott of visiting Belfast. There are many other countries that would welcome your visit and welcome your pet, any breed.

  • kvoigt33 on Jul 11, 12 at 11:34 AM

    Government corruption, city officials have very little compassion for animals and disabled. Please, do not bring your pet to this city. Do not visit this City-spend your money in Southern Ireland if you must go to Ireland, they are a peace place and appreciate tourism so much more.

  • kvoigt33 on Jul 11, 12 at 11:30 AM

    Do not visit this country. Belfast has a corrupt City Council, Judge and Mayor. This is not animal friendly city. They discriminate. Never ever going back there. This world has far too many other places that welcomes pets. A place that welcomes pets is a far more compassionate place on all levels.

  • Kevin_Jeffries on Jun 18, 12 at 07:16 AM

    Dog stories aside... when you do come to Belfast to experience the UK's best kept secret and yes Northern Ireland is in the UK and yes we do use pounds sterling here! Check out my new tour company which offers tours with tuition. Learn how to take better photographs on a tour with me, Belfast Photographic Tours. Check out www.belfastphototours.co.uk Thanks

  • TThomasT on Jun 12, 12 at 07:44 PM

    Like I said before neither I or my wife will be taking a holiday to Belfast, how can you trust their government as well as their police department when they have no regard for a childs innocent pet? I have heard they sentenced Lennox to death and will not even allow the family to say their proper goodbyes? And to add to that I heard the Titanic was a failure...again...PLEASE BOYCOTT BELFAST IN THE NAME OF LENNOX AND BSL

  • Sheila_McGorman on Jun 12, 12 at 06:02 PM

    My great-great grandfather was from Belfast. I have always wanted to visit Belfast. I understand my great- great grandfather was a rope maker. His father was sexton of St. Mary's church. But now that I see how Belfast treats it's citizens, especially little disabled girls, & their dogs. I won't be visiting your country. Lennox is an innocent, helpless dog, who did nothing wrong. I am boycotting Belfast, & all of Northern Ireland & it's products, until justice is given to Lennox, and all the animals of Northern Ireland. Until such time, I will be sure to let everyone I know, know just how Belfast treats it's citizens & animals: TERRIBLY!

  • SuziPhoto on May 11, 12 at 01:05 AM

    Read and weep!
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joan-k-smith/an-outrage-in-belfast-the_b_1504739.html

  • Cissy_Mills on May 2, 12 at 10:38 AM

    I tend to gag on the suggestion that I visit a city that gleefully kills family pets even though their own laws do not support their actions. Belfast can sit and spin on their own bad karma until kingdom comes! FREE LENNOX!!!

  • Jacqueline123 on May 2, 12 at 09:25 AM

    I think this article speaks for itself as to why animal lovers wont visit Belfast regardless of how many £100million extravaganzas it creates http://ctechwebhosting.co.uk/savelennox/wordpress/victoria-stilwell-shocked-at-lennox-health-condition/ that is enough for most people to not want to spend their money there!

  • SuziPhoto on May 2, 12 at 01:20 AM

    http://www.savelennox.co.uk/

    When there is injustice, you MUST use your voice, your vote, or your money to stand up for what's right. Belfast is not on my travel list, and NEVER will be if they kill Lennox.

  • Guapetonah on Mar 28, 12 at 05:21 PM

    This is insane. I am a huge dog lover and don't condone injustice toward them, but relax people, seriously. There are much bigger fish to fry in our world these days, and to ban all travel from a city over an animal is ridiculous. Try looking up some of the inhumane conflicts and pain happening in other places around the globe. Just because people aren't always as cute as animals doesn't mean they should be ignored.

    I think Belfast sounds charming and hope to visit someday.

  • itsonlymark on Mar 24, 12 at 06:12 AM

    Just to try and shed some light on those comments that are saying Belfast 'discriminates against the disabled and animals'. The Pit-Bull Terrier is an animal which is illegal in the UK, under the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991), after many brutal attacks carried out by this breed of dog; some resulting in death and major disfigurement to the victims.

    With regard to animal care in Belfast, the fact that it has received such a negative and unwarranted reputation in the comments below seems to be completely ridiculous. There are many animal sanctuaries in the city: Dog shelters, Cats' Protection and even a care home for hedgehogs!

    As for discrimination against disabled people, I am unsure why this has been mentioned. Belfast is a relatively low-lying city, largely adapted for wheelchair use in most areas, and a local population that will be very willing to help anyone who may have difficulty.

    So, now that these issues have been clarified, take a look at what's going on in Belfast. There are great things happening in Belfast this year; the Titanic celebrations and MTV music festival have really taken over the city and created a major buzz in recent months - paving the way for many new developments and tourist attractions. Come and see for yourself!

  • Riesa_Larson on Feb 13, 12 at 11:10 PM

    PLEASE DO NOT VISIT IRELAND. THEY HAVE HELD POOR LENNOX AS A PRISONER FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS NOW. THIS DOG HAS DONE NOTHING WRONG AND IS BEING HELD UNJUSTILY.. THEY ARE CRUEL AND HEARTLESS WHEN ALL WE WANT IS FOR THEM TO ALLOW LENNOX TO GO HOME WITH HIS FAMILY. A DOG AGES 7 YEARS TO OUR ONE YEAR. LENNOX HAS LOST ALMOST 14 YEARS OF HIS LIFE. MAY 2012 WILL BE TWO YEARS HE HAS BEEN BELFAST'S PRISONER BECAUSE OF HOW HE LOOKS. GOD IS GOING TO HAVE HIS REVENGE ON BELFAST IRELAND. LET LENNOX GO HOME WITH HIS FAMILY. THIS IS COMPLETELY RIDUCLOUS AND CRUEL.. I WILL NEVER VISIT IRELAND. NEVER!!!

  • Socaldsrt on Jan 30, 12 at 11:34 AM

    Belfast is NOT the place to visit in '12 or ever. Not after the way they have treated the Barnes family and sweet, innocent Lennox. NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS WILL I EVER VISIT BELFAST. SHAME ON BELFAST!

  • Andreaphillips6 on Jan 30, 12 at 06:23 AM

    my daughter due to go to university in belfast this year,will definately not be going now if this is how they treat the innocent,yes innocent .H e was taken illegally in the first place and this should have been thrown out of court and the dog returned straight away.Lennox is innocent of everything,the dogwardens lied and admitted this,thought that was called perjury and a jailable offense.The so-called ex police dog handler should know better than to lie too! Iknow many a dog handler and police and i can categoriacaly say Lennox is IN NO WAY a dangerous dog,he has never been,has never done anything never been complained about EVER. He is being kept in very inadequite conditions and this is animal cruelty beyond any scale i've ever seen.As its not only physical but MENTAL cruelty too! I'm not sure why,the judge keeps saying no new point of law has been shown..Yes it has,DNA proves he is not what they say he is,he is not a danger and has not done anthing to the wardens photos etc,prove this and the wardens lied under oath! What more proof is needed??? This is just cruel beyond belief...Why are the authorities choosing to ignore everything that WORLD EXPERTS are saying to them... Also HOW IS LENNOX NOW? as no updates of pictures,vet records etc....Strange..... Please Judge release this poor INNOCENT LENNOX now.He has suffered immensley and needs to be returned to his family for the love he deserves and for their daughter,she needs her therapy dog back.Be a man and admit you are wrong,any real man/woman would. please free lennox.

  • Deborah_Stewart on Jan 30, 12 at 06:20 AM

    Belfast treats it's own citizens with total disregard. Nabbing dogs and KILLING them without cause based solely on looks and destroying happy families. If they will do that to their own just imagine what they would do to visitors they took a disliking to. No one is truly safe in Belfast. Stay away... far, far away.

  • Tilly_Mint on Jan 30, 12 at 06:19 AM

    Sadly, the people below want you to boycott a city where the family of Lennox live. They want you to believe their lies that the whole of Belfast is involved is some big conspiracy to have a dog PTS. This is not the truth. If any acts of perjury were committed, would their own legal time and all the media be all over it? You know how they love a story of corruption!

  • stotties on Jan 30, 12 at 05:09 AM

    England also has BSL so if anyones thinking of going to the Olympics they wants to boycott London as well. There are dogs being held now for being the wrong colour.

  • Rebecca_Roper on Jan 30, 12 at 04:32 AM

    I have always dreamed of going to Ireland. A warm people, a place steeped in culture. I no longer feel that way. Killing innocent dogs such as Lennox, simply because of his looks, is a culture I can go the rest of my life without experiencing. Equally disgusting is the fact that this sweet dog is a companion dog to a disabled child. Imagine being a child and having your best friend hauled away for no reason whatsoever, wondering if he is scared and missing you as much as you miss him, wondering each and every day if he will be executed. A country without compassion is how I now see you. Shame on you Belfast!! Release Lennox to his family where he belongs!

  • Janice_Holladay on Jan 30, 12 at 03:12 AM

    I sooo want to go to Belfast this year. My favorite band, Blaggards, is going on a tour with their fans that includes Belfast. I had planned on going on their tour this year. They have just gone to Ireland in this past, but are going to both this year. However, I am currently boycotting Belfast due to their treatment of Lennox and his family.

    Lennox is a dog that has been seized through no fault of his own, taken from his family including a child for whom he has been a support and service dog. He has been held for 2 years while the Belfast City Council, the Dog Wardens, the judges have truly acted in their own best interests. Officials have lied and been caught in lies. It is a long, horrid story, and others who commented included links explaining the story.

    I have nightmares because of what has happened and what might yet happen to this dog.

    Belfast is NOT animal friendly and has a cruel, unjust, and corrupt city government. I hope and pray for a change of heart, for a miracle.

    Boycott Belfast because of Lennox and BSL.

    Free Lennox!

  • Teresa_Malone on Jan 29, 12 at 10:04 PM

    BELFAST THE WORLD IS WATCHING!!!!!!!RIGHT THE WRONG THAT YOU HAVE DONE AND BE A BETTER PLACE FOR IT......BE REMEMBERED FOR THE GOOD ...NOT THE MURDER OF A BELOVED FAMILY PET!!!.....LENNOX AND THE LITTLE GIRL THAT CRYS FOR HIS SAFE RETURN ARE WAITING AND PRAYING....BELFAST YOU MUST DO WHATS RIGHT.....SEND LENNOX HOME WHERE HE BELONG'S!!!!!

  • Sam_Mahler on Jan 29, 12 at 09:15 PM

    Belfast doesn't deserve any mention. the city took an innocent dog from his family, and kept him in horrific conditions for over TWO years, and wants to kill him. for what??? because he looks like a pitbull, even tho he is NOT. they refuse to even release him to be put in a sanctuary to live out his life. they are determined to take his life, no matter how many other humane options are offered them. Belfast sucks, and i would never EVER go there.

  • Pa_Licetti on Jan 29, 12 at 07:28 PM

    Belfast is the last place I will go to, until they release LENNOX.... a beloved family pet whose only crime is the way he looks. He has never bitten anyone. I guess Belfast will be famous for death - with the Titanic sinking and with the killing of dogs. Please Take Belfast Off Your List of Places to Go. There has to be a better - pet friendly city you could promote.

  • fpsrescue on Jan 29, 12 at 07:25 PM

    Im sure Belfast sent in a hefty sum of money to the publishers of Random House for inclusion, you know this tourism thing they have and all...Sad fact is Belfast is still a backward city that supports animal cruelty of unimaginable porportions. I can't imagine anyone actually would want to go to a marginal country such as Northern Ireland.

  • nwlacairn on Jan 29, 12 at 07:02 PM

    BOYCOTT BELFAST! THEY HAVE HELD LENNOX CAPTIVE FOR 2 YEARS BECAUSE OF HOW HE LOOKS & WHAT HE "MIGHT" DO. HE IS A LITTLE GIRL'S SERVICE DOG. HE HAS DONE NOTHING WRONG! LENNOX SHOULD BE FREED IMMEDIATELY! FREE LENNOX! FREE LENNOX! BOYCOTT BELFAST! BOYCOTT BELFAST! FREE LENNOX!

  • Lael_Lewand on Jan 29, 12 at 06:46 PM

    when you say that Belfast is one place to visit did you happen to mention that they have no qualms about killing innocent family dogs? how can you say a city like that deserves that honor bestowed upon it. you may as well come out and say that you endorse this. no body should give that city a cent of their money for the horrors that go on within it's city limits. as for you as a company I will never trust anyplace you recommend to go if this is what you recommend. SAVE LENNOX.......HE DESERVES TO GO BACK TO HIS FAMILY THAT MISSES HIM!!!!

  • Meghan_Beyer on Jan 29, 12 at 06:39 PM

    I use to be proud to be Irish and wished so badly to visit Ireland, now that fact about myself is an embarrassment which I will be keeping private. LET LENNOX GO !!!!! I and everyone I can convince will be BOYCOTTING BELFAST .

  • Alexandra3 on Jan 29, 12 at 06:34 PM

    Hello-I am a U.S. senior citizen and belong to many senior travel groups. Please consider revising your recommendation of Belfast as a travel destination. Until Belfast adopts a more humane, compassionate, and rational policy toward all animals, I will not contribute one travel or tourist dollar to that city, or to Ireland. To confiscate a dog--and imprison him for two years, now threatening to euthanize him--simply because "he looks like he could be dangerous" is not only ignorant, but despicable. Lennox is a Labrador/Pit mix. He's never been aggressive or shown bad behavior. I am telling everyone I know--including strangers on buses etc--not to go to Belfast until they change this abominable policy and release this dog to his family. Furthermore, if Fodor's continues to endorse this city and inherently also this deplorable policy, I will suggest that no one I know uses or subscribes to your services.

  • moonphaz on Jan 29, 12 at 06:34 PM

    Belfast should not be listed as one of the 21 places to go in 2012 or in any year. They are the center of a horrendous crime against a family pet. They have labeled a family dog as a banned breed, after they licensed it initially years before because they took a tape measure and Lennox, the dog, was the right height and length to be considered the banned breed. This dog is NOT a banned breed, but they will not do a DNA test to prove it. The dog has NEVER acted aggressively and this dog is a THERAPY dog to it's 13 year old owner. The dog has been tossed into a cage for over 600 days and treated deplorably while his owners have fought through the court system to save him. Over close to 200k people have signed a petition asking he be saved. Rescue groups have even offered to take him out of Belfast and even take him to another country to prevent him from being killed just because of the way he looks and Belfast Courts will not listen and will not release him. Their pride is standing in the way of doing the humane thing. This is horrible and goes to the very heart of the city. DO NOT VISIT BELFAST ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE A DOG OR YOURS MAY BE CONFISCATED ILLEGALLY TOO! For more information just read all the expert reports on-line who have said Lennox is not the banned breed and is not aggressive. Go to the "Save Lennox" facebook page, sign the petition to bring him home and go to the "Free Lennox - No Olympic Torch for Belfast" facebook page and sign that petition also.

  • Larisa_Scharikin on Jan 29, 12 at 06:07 PM

    Boycott starting against Belfast hosting the Olympic Torch AND against The Titanic Festivals. The Belfast City Council has held the dog Lennox for two years now away from the little disabled girl who counted on him ..ALL BECAUSE HE LOOKS LIKE A PIT BULL..HE IS NOT A PIT BULL.. BELFAST RELEASE LENNOX NOW..

  • Fitchin27 on Jan 29, 12 at 05:51 PM

    Please Boycott Belfast until they do the right thing and FREE LENNOX.
    Lennox is a 6 year old American Bull cross who has been taken from his loving family by Belfast City Council and locked up for over TWO years because of how he looks, He as never done anything wrong. Please hear his voice!

    https://www.facebook.com/FreeLennoxNoOlympicTorchforBelfast

  • Josie_Colon on Jan 29, 12 at 05:34 PM

    NOOOO THANK YOU! My dogs are my family. This is not a dog friendly place. FREE LENNOX!!!!!

  • Anthony_Conforti on Jan 29, 12 at 05:24 PM

    Free Lennox!

  • Bobbi_Soriano on Jan 29, 12 at 02:46 PM

    http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2012/01/petition-for-lennox-no-olympic-torch-for-belfast/

    Belfast is no place I would want to visit. They don't even know how to treat there own citizens with respect. FREE LENNOX

  • Joe_DaFreak on Jan 28, 12 at 10:51 PM

    Don't go to Belfast. Crooked judiciary and lying city government workers. You can't trust the courts there. Why take a chance? Just ask Lennox.

  • Mary_Clark on Jan 28, 12 at 08:46 PM

    Although traveling with your dog to Northern Ireland is possible, please make sure your animal LOOKS nothing like a pit. Pits are banned in Northern Ireland and they KILL any dog fitting their idea of what is a pit!!!
    Don't believe me? Just Google "free Lennox" for the whole unbelievable story. After all the "troubles", you would think by now Belfast would have learned their lesson about needless killing.

  • ILoveLuna on Jan 28, 12 at 08:04 PM

    Boycott Belfast. Their government is corrupt. The city counsel members feel that they can do as they please and the people will just put up with it. Let's show them that we wont. Boycott Belfast.

  • MariaU on Jan 28, 12 at 06:19 PM

    I have been following a story about a family from Belfast whose dog Lennox, a five year old American Bulldog / Labrador cross, a disabled girl’s companion dog, was wrongfully seized by Belfast City Council Dog Wardens from his family home. Lennox committed no crime nor did any member of the public complain about him. However, for almost two years this helpless dog has been sitting on death row, in isolation. The family has been fighting to get him back but they had no success.

    This is an awful story that has to be heard all over the world! They neither care about animals nor do they care about the fact that the disabled girl is devastated to lose her dog! This is just unbelievable!

    Please do not visit this city until this dog is returned to his family!

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/FreeLennoxNoOlympicTorchforBelfast

  • Tamara_Barnes on Jan 28, 12 at 06:18 PM

    People need to know that Belfast discriminates against the disabled and their service dogs.
    No honors of any kind for a city that treats the disabled and animals so poorly! Free Lennox!
    https://www.facebook.com/FreeLennoxNoOlympicTorchforBelfast

  • Tanne on Jan 28, 12 at 06:11 PM

    The fight for Lennox

    http://www.youtube.com/​watch?v=DU1eKiJZM4k



    The fight for Lennox
    www.youtube.com

    On 29th March 2011 family pet Lennox was ordered to die by lethal injection beca...See More..

  • Tanne on Jan 28, 12 at 05:56 PM

    Please Boycott Belfast until they do the right thing and FREE LENNOX.
    Lennox is a 6 year old American Bull cross who has been taken from his loving family by Belfast City Council and locked up for over TWO years because of how he looks, He as never done anything wrong. Please hear his voice!

    https://www.facebook.com/FreeLennoxNoOlympicTorchforBelfast

  • Cissy_Mills on Jan 28, 12 at 05:51 PM

    Just don't take your INNOCENT family pet there, they'll kill it for sure!! Belfast deserves NO special mention on this list unless you are honoring a city council for being the lowest lying scum on the island. Belfast condones the MURDER of innocent family pets even when it has been proven the animal is innocent and the dog wardens are full of dirty lies. Belfast can roll in their own mess. SAVE LENNOX!!!!

  • StatueOfLiberty on Jan 28, 12 at 05:50 PM

    " INJUSTICE!!! THERE IS NO GREATER DISTANCE THAN THE LIMITS OF LOVE FOR GODS CREATIONS WHICH BARE AN IMPORTANT SIGNIFICANT IN OUR LIVES. WHETHER IT BE FROM ONE END OF THE GLOBE TO ANOTHER; THE LOVE OF A HUMAN BEINGS SHOULD BE AS EQUAL AS THE LOVE FOR GOD'S CREATIONS. THEREFORE; NOTHING IS INSIGNIFICANT SO WE ALL BARE THE BURDEN THAT LENNOX BARES. WE FEEL HIS PAIN AND SEEK OUT JUSTICE FOR SOMETHING INCAPABLE BUT YET SO INNOCENT ON HIS OWN. SO PLEASE UNDERSTAND THE REASONS FOR OUR CAUSE, THE CAUSE AS WE WOULD FOR A GUILTLESS MAN TO BE SENTENCED ON DEATH ROW FOR A CRIME HE DID NOT COMMIT. LET ALL LIVING THINGS BE CREATED EQUAL ON GODS GREEN EARTH. THANK YOU.." -Noelle Carmona

  • Tamara_Barnes on Jan 28, 12 at 05:34 PM

    No honors of any kind for a city that treats the disabled and animals so poorly! Free Lennox!
    https://www.facebook.com/FreeLennoxNoOlympicTorchforBelfast

  • Paul_Ferguson on Jan 25, 12 at 10:15 AM

    Hi there

    Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau have released an iPhone app that recommends things to do around the city.

    It's free and worth downloading if you've got an iPhone:
    http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/gotobelfast/id405725557?mt=8

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