If you grew up in the 90’s then you heard My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion on repeat. Titanic is one of my mom’s favorite movies ever. I have seen it more times than I can count and as I became older, I was fascinated by the history. Knowing it was a real event blew my mind and when I heard the world’s largest Titanic Museum was in Belfast, I knew I had to go!
Titanic Belfast is the largest Titanic experience in the world and it sits in the shipyard where Titanic was actually built. I would say you want at least four hours here to really absorb everything. There are nine exhibits, a ride and you can add on afternoon tea.
Tip: Book in advance and combine your experiences for the best price
Now that I have you convinced you must go let’s get into the review!
If you are staying in Belfast the museum is only 1.5 miles away from the City Centre. You can easily walk or take the tram and exit at the Titanic Quarter Station stop. If you are staying farther outside of the city you can drive or get an Uber. I took an Uber going because I had a specific time to get there for the afternoon tea. Coming back, I was easily able to take the train and get back to the City Centre.
When you first arrive it’s a little overwhelming with the amount of people and the size of the place. I would take some time to admire the actual construction of the building. It is such a unique design, and this is a great time to get a few photos. It stands 126 feet tall which is the height of the original Titanic’s hull.
When you check in, they will offer you the ability to purchase a handheld multimedia guide. I opted for one and was really happy I did. (Bonus it only cost me £4!) It offers so much information and I really learned so much.
This part of the exhibits showcases the economic boom that Belfast experienced. With the shipyards increasing for the rise of new ships being built it positively impacted their economy. Harland and Wolff is the shipyard that built Titanic and you get to see their old advertising signs which was so cool!
Next you pass through to the shipyard and omg this was so freaking cool! It seriously felt like I was walking through the old shipyard. They really made this feel authentic and the best part is the ride! Yeah, you read that right, there is an actual ride in this thing.
It’s a six-seater cart that takes you through the day in the life of working in the shipyard. You are on an extended arm, so you go up and down with huge screens. You even can feel the “fire” of the work rooms. Don’t pass on this it’s one of the most unique things I have ever seen in a museum before.
At this point you get to watch the launch of the RMS Titanic. It was first launched into water on May 31, 1911. You can stand at the giant window overlooking where the actual launch happened. There is so much original memorabilia from this time, it’s unbelievably impressive. Make sure to slow down and take time to read the old advisements.
I really enjoyed this section as it shows you the three types of classes available on the Titanic. You can see the old White Star plates that would have been used for the first-class passengers. There is a full 3D tour, and it has so many unique details such as the fabrics of the cabins.
Here you can “walk the deck” and see the activities that were available on board. It’s so impressive to see and to think that was the largest cruise ship of its time.
I won’t lie at this point I did tear up a little bit. I can’t even imagine what it was like being there when the ship was sinking. To know that there were not enough boats to get you and your family off and if you were poor, there was almost no chance!
The Titanic hit the iceberg on 11:40pm April 14th, 1912.
You can even hear and read the Morse code messages. The ship was trying to reach anyone, and the messages were heartbreaking. With all of the confusion on board it made their help distress that much harder to understand. Some of the messages read ” We are putting the women off in boats” and “Cannot last much longer”.
Here you see a full-size replica of the lifeboats, and I have to say they are so much SMALLER than I imagined. When comparing them with today’s lifeboats, their boats were just pieces of wood glued together. You can also see the passenger list of those who made and those who didn’t. It’s a touch screen so you can spend some time going through the list. It also shows those onboard who made an impact such as Margaret Brown. She was known for getting women of the lifeboats and being a reassuring presence during the chaos – she was nicknamed “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”. In the movie she was portrayed by Kathy Bates.
This part of the museum works to dispel the myths that surround the Titanic. This part of the exhibit is so important because many people have incorrect facts on the actually sinking. As a historian I love that they took the time to focus on education but again in such an interactive way.
The really interesting part of this exhibit is you have the chance to see actual footage of the Titanic as it sits on the seabed in 1985. When you get to theater the show runs for about 20 minutes and shows the deep dives to discover the wreckage. You can then go out and see more of what had been recovered.
Any good museum must have a souvenir shop and I am a sucker for a good souvenir! I was able to pick up a replica of the ship. They also had tons of books on accounts from passengers on their experience. I bought one for my mom and she loved it!
I hope you decide to visit I promise it’s amazing and if you do drop a comment below and let me know how your experience was!