Daily Destination: Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast—the new sleek, modern, tourist-pleasing Belfast—has a great deal to be proud of. It survived the Troubles, when the whole world knew that Protestants and Catholics were clearly on less than friendly terms. It made the shift from gritty industrial city to a major tourist destination, boasting some truly world-class visitor sites (think Titanic and more), great hotels and top-notch restaurants.

And it now displays its powerful commitments to being a united city, to the city’s lively arts scene, and to the good old-fashioned Northern Ireland love of partying. That all comes together in Culture Night Belfast on Friday, September 20, with events throughout the city.

More than 30,000 party-loving folks gather in Cathedral Square to choose among an amazing 200 free events, ranging from country music to traditional Irish harp to art shows. Some come dressed in serious costumes, others just sport street clothes. Nobody cares. It’s all in fun. Venues extend into Folktown and into West and East Belfast.

Enjoy the party, but stay a bit longer to see the reborn Belfast’s major tourist sites including Titanic Belfast, a new state-of-the-art museum constructed on the site where the ship was built.