Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful formal gardens in the world, the Belfast
Botanic Gardens occupy a large green swath about 2 miles south of the city center. Its ex-
terior gardens are sublimely designed with winding paths and a bewildering variety of plant
life. It's the in-terior gardens of the Palm House , though, that attract the most visitors. The
house is climate controlled at all seasons, allowing visitors to enjoy tropical plants that
would otherwise never survive here.
Right on the edge of the Botanic Gardens is the Ulster Museum, a free museum covering
history, archaeology, art, and natural history all under one roof. It's a must-see for anyone
interested in learning about Ulster. It has an especially compelling visit on The Troubles,
which covers the conflict in a balanced and compassionate way, with the focus on the hu-
man experience of communal violence rather than on any one political perspective.
(Photo credit: Man Vyi via Wikimedia Commons)
They can be extremely intense and often a little unsettling, but the murals around Belfast
are an authentic expression of what it feels like to grow up in a warzone, and they express
the city's history better than any book or documentary. The majority of murals are located
around Falls Road and Shankill Road, but they're scattered around the city. Getting a Mur-