Ulster Museum
Ulster Museum
4.5
Natural History MuseumsArt MuseumsHistory Museums
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Housed in an iconic building in the beautiful surroundings of Belfast's Botanic Gardens, the Ulster Museum is a place of awe and wonder; a place with open doors for open minds. Uniquely, it is a resource that locates Ulster's shared and contested past within the broader context of the museum's multidisciplinary Art, History and Natural Sciences collections; offering new perspectives and complementary prisms on the wider world. Free to enter, the museum is a welcoming and inspiring destination for locals and tourists alike.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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The area
Address
How to get there
  • Botanic • 9 min walk
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See what travelers are saying
  • Hei2005
    Yorkshire, United Kingdom186 contributions
    A great range of culture
    We visited Belfast for a few days and this was one of the places we wanted to visit and we were not disappointed. There are 5 floors of Art, History and Science, and while the layout is highly accessible we got the the bottom and looked up and realized, due to the layout, we had missed bits out. No worries we went back up! Definitely recommend a visit
    Visited February 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 3, 2023
  • Samuel D
    St. Andrews, United Kingdom12 contributions
    Clean, Modern, Well Presented
    I came to the Ulster Museum for their Troubles exhibition. It was moving and highly informative. Furthermore, the rest of the museum was interesting, including large exhibition galleries displaying important artefacts across Ulster.
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 6, 2023
  • Jeffry b
    Essendon, Australia14,038 contributions
    Ulster's contribution to Ireland
    Ulster is not defined by merely a line in the map. Ulster is a unique civilization. The Ulster Museum has many artifacts, dating back to the dawn of time. Now that the horrors of the Troubles seem to be behind us, it's time to celebrate Ulster's contribution to Irish culture.
    Visited January 2023
    Written March 17, 2023
  • Roi G
    Tel Aviv, Israel150 contributions
    A Truly Great Museum
    This museum is free (!!!), and is one of the most informative, multi-subject, and interesting museums I have had the pleasure of visiting! There is something for everyone - art in all its forms, natural history, zoology, ecology, geometry, and history. A must in Belfast!
    Visited June 2022
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 27, 2023
  • ClitanaStranocum
    Helen's Bay, United Kingdom10 contributions
    Nice
    I love this museum deeply. In my life I have spent 100s of hours in it (yes, I counted it up) and I have been coming since early 1980s. It's just lovely and you must go. I cannot refrain from stating my strong feelings about the building work that was carried out. The extension to the museum is a classic of brutalist architecture and the interior was just as special. It should have been preserved, and the work that was carried out was, in my view, quite criminal. I hope that the original plans were kept and that one day (in the far, far distant future) the original design will be restored once again.
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 28, 2023
  • Mateusz S
    Reading, United Kingdom388 contributions
    I've experienced more than expected
    We have experienced from this place more than we had expected but also spent much more time. We thought it will take around up to 2 hours to spend inside but the two hours extended to almost five. The only missing thing is a map or sign posting system which would show where to start the visit.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 5, 2023
  • Ian L
    Glasgow, United Kingdom12 contributions
    Something For Everyone
    This museum was very good. There was something for everyone’s interests. Easily accessible and well situated within walking distance of other places if interest. Staff were very friendly. The museum was very clean. There was no clear system around the museum which could lead you miss some things but staff are on hand to help guide you. Well worth a visit.
    Visited February 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 3, 2023
  • Darcy L
    Leamington Spa, United Kingdom37 contributions
    Brilliant Museum
    This museum is brilliant. We couldn’t believe it was free! The exhibits are varied and extensive. We were particularly impressed by the exhibit focusing on The Troubles. I would definitely recommend a visit if you’re looking for something interesting and free to do in Belfast
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 1, 2023
  • HAH20072015
    Herefordshire, United Kingdom25 contributions
    Very interesting museum
    Excellent museum which fronts the botanic gardens. Good example of how a museum can be updated to make it more interesting to young audiences. Very good section devoted to the Troubles. Splendid basketry dragons hang over the central concourse. Also great to see examples of contemporary work. Nice big airy cafe.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written June 2, 2023
  • CharlieV2011
    Chicago, Illinois1,616 contributions
    Great History Museum
    This museum is a great way to spend an hour or two learning about the history of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The museum is free, but there is a suggested donation at the entrance. The museum starts with genetics, followed by the Ice Age and the various patterns of temperature change that impacted Ireland. Followed by the Ice Age, you will see exhibits that go into present day that include the troubles, Spanish armada, COVID, world wars, and a limited amount of pop culture. I had a great experience learning about history!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written July 16, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
3,755 reviews
Excellent
2,429
Very good
1,047
Average
216
Poor
43
Terrible
20

Heathsr11
67 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
We enjoyed visiting this museum and although we didn’t explore everything it covered The Troubles which was something we wanted to learn more about. A balanced exhibition covering key events.
Other things we visited was the 1920s fashion (only a small room on the top floor). More impressive was the exhibition on La Girona which was a boat from the Spanish Armada that sunk off of Giants Causeway. It was interesting reading about this and also seeing a coin depicting Mary I and Philip II of Spain.
The museum is free to enter and also has a cafe on the ground floor. We had a snack and tea. It has easy bus links to the centre of Belfast and we’d recommend especially if you have a rainy afternoon!
Written February 22, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rtdood
Manchester, UK202 contributions
Jan 2024 • Solo
Visited on a early Sunday afternoon, free entry lots of kids about the place! They had some interesting exhibition areas, although was a bit confusing to work out where to go and what places were situated where given how open planned the museum is to begin with. I particularly liked the troubles exhibition which can be explored chronologically with relevant artefacts in different display cases, there were also a couple of interactives.

Also good was the exhibition area on ancient Egypt although this was very popular section of the museum for families to visit, especially kids visiting the mummies. There was lots of space to move round, and it explained quite a lot about the ancient Egyptian civilisation from its geography, religion, beliefs and history during its period. Information texts was easy to read.

They also had 'Discovery' spaces for more hands on activities for the kids such as using microscopes to view tiny creatures and opportunities to create art.

I did want to see the planetary section on the upper floor, but this was incredibly crowded with families waiting to go in so had to give this a miss. Again, probably better to visit during the week or first thing in the morning than on a busy Saturday afternoon when there is less children running about and no queuing.
Written January 20, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grace N
2 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
Great experience has a bit of everything. From the troubles history and of northern Ireland to animal life
Written November 28, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alison B
2 contributions
Nov 2023 • Family
Had a lovely visit to the Museum yesterday. Girl as we entered was really welcoming and helpful. My grandchildren really enjoyed the activities on the 5th floor. The art on show was really interesting especially
Colin Middletons work.
However was not impressed with the cafe. Actually witnessed a member of the cafe staff throwing perfectly good sandwiches into a bin. Surely these could have been reduced/sold or else distributed to the homeless.
Written November 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DMorgs71
243 contributions
Oct 2023 • Solo
Lots of lovely exhibits covering art, nature and history. Worth seeing - it’s free and a jewel in Belfast’s crown. Dinosaur bones, a mummy, and an honest history of the Troubles, including stories from both sides. A prefect place to head to for a few hours if it’s raining!!
Written October 23, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Eithne R
Manchester, UK9 contributions
Oct 2023 • Friends
The museum has many good points: it is very accessible by public transport, and has free admission. There is a great variety of exhibitions, and good children’s activities, such as an art workshop. It is great for a family outing, so much to do and see. We loved the Colin Middleton exhibition on the 5th floor, and the fashion and contemporary art and ceramics. However, signage is needed badly! You have no idea what is there, and we had to search for the Middleton exhibition. More signage and information in the entrance and on reaching a different floor is needed. The shop is very good, with helpful assistance.
Sadly the cafe is poor, and cash only was acceptable on our two visits. Needs to step up big time,
Otherwise, the Museum itself and gardens are definitely worth a visit.
Written October 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Friarygirl1974
Bedford, UK38 contributions
Oct 2023 • Friends
We really enjoyed looking round this modern museum. The displays were well laid out and interesting; plenty of variety. The section on the history of the Troubles was very informative and easy to follow.
The restaurant was mainly baguettes, sandwiches and croissants which is difficult for someone on a low carb diet, but I managed to find a ham and cheese croissant which was very nice. My friend was able to find a gluten and dairy free option too.
Written October 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Travel 360
86 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
Free, on bus line 8a and 8d (maybe others, too) great variety: Nature, Art, History, 1920’s fashion, and more on 5 floors. Super friendly docents! We arrived by hop on hop off and a docent explained how to get a city bus back to the city center. Great for kids… activities area on every floor.
Written October 6, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rover42
19 contributions
Sep 2023 • Solo
An excellent museum full of interest , helpful and friendly staff , lots to enjoy . Decent cafe , decent service , and it’s free !
Written October 4, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Summerasalifestyle
Malibu, CA2,958 contributions
Sep 2023 • Solo
Ulster museum
Free and ya gotta love that…But give a donation!
Fantastic exhibit on the troubles…fairly sure it’s permanent. The photo exhibit on fourth floor is so cool. Sixties to the millennium.
Yes yes yes
Written October 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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