Paddy Campbell's Belfast Famous Black Cab Tours
- See all photos
PADDY CAMPBELL'S BELFAST FAMOUS BLACK CAB TOURS - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)
Black Cab Tour Belfast: Everything You Need To Know
By Author Keith O'Hara
Posted on Last updated: May 31, 2023
A Black Cab Tour of Belfast is, in my opinion, the best way of getting an insight into the city’s past.
Now, don’t get me wrong – there’s plenty of things to do in Belfast that immerse you in the city’s history, but none compare to a Black Taxi Tour of Belfast.
These driving excursions take you across the city to the murals and peace wall to uncover the city’s turbulent history.
Below, you’ll find everything from what to expect on a Belfast Taxi Tour along with which ones we’d recommend checking out.
Table of Contents
Some quick need-to-knows before taking a Black Cab Tour of Belfast
Click to enlarge map
Although a Black Taxi Tour of Belfast is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
1. What are they
Belfast Black Cab Tours are given by drivers who lived through the many years of unrest in Northern Ireland. The tours offer a unique understanding of the city’s troubled past and offer an insight into how Belfast has changed over the last decades.
2. Where you’ll visit
Although the itineraries of a Black Cab Tour of Belfast will change depending on the driver, you’ll more than likely see The Shankill Road , The Falls Road , the Belfast Peace Wall , the highlights of the city and the better-known Belfast murals .
3. Are they worth doing
A Black Cab Tour of Belfast is a unique way to discover the city’s past through stories told by someone that lived through The Troubles . These tours are widely regarded as one of the best ways to learn about the city’s history.
What to expect from a Belfast Black Taxi Tour
Photos by Tony Pleavin via Ireland’s Content Pool
If you’ve never heard of the Black Cab Tours of Belfast, I’ll break down what you can expect from them in the section below.
Again, it’s worth noting that there are several tour providers operating in the city, so what each offers may differ slightly.
1. A unique experience
A Black Taxi Tour is one of the most unique things to do in Northern Ireland . It’ll give you a window into the city’s past that you won’t get from any guidebook.
And it’ll treat you to a style of storytelling that’ll captivate you from beginning to end. You’ll also be taken to what are often regarded as no-go areas of Belfast that you arguably wouldn’t want to be visiting solo.
2. An unbiased insight into the Troubles
The tours provide an unbiased view of The Troubles , offering an insight into the tragedies experienced by both communities in Belfast.
You’ll also hear what it was like to live through The Troubles from a person that experienced the good and bad of the last 40 or so years.
3. A look at Belfast’s Murals
Perhaps the most unlikely attraction to come from the Troubles, was the murals that can now be found dotted around Belfast.
Some of the common themes and depictions include of Bobby Sands, Frederick Douglass, the Red Hand of Ulster and Jackie Coulter, amongst many others.
Three Belfast Taxi Tours well worth doing
Photos via Shutterstock
OK, so, you’ve decided that you fancy heading off on one of the Belfast Black Cab Tours – you’re in for a treat!
Below, you’ll find some of the different tours on offer. Note: if you book a tour through a of the links below we may make a tiny commission that helps us keep this site going.
1. The political Belfast Black Cab Tours
The Belfast Political Taxi Tour showcases the history of the Troubles with a visit to the murals around the city, including on The Falls Road and The Shankill Road , two communities still separated by the peace wall.
Your driver will be a taxi driver who lived through the Troubles, so you’ll be able to get a real insight into the history and ask whatever questions you want to know about this dark period in time.
The drivers are all dedicated to providing an unbiased account, so you can make your own mind up about the city’s divisions at the end of the hour-long drive.
- Price : From £64/€75 per group up to 2
- Duration : 1 hour
- Reviews : 4.8/5 from 1,000+ reviews
- Tickets: Book your ticket here
2. Belfast Taxi Tours of the city’s murals and more
The Belfast Taxi Mural Tour is also conducted by drivers that lived during the Troubles. This means that you’ll be able to get a really personal insight into the ups and downs of Belfast’s history.
The tour takes you to the Peace Wall at The Falls and Shankill Roads to see the famous murals, where the driver will be able to explain the meanings behind the depictions on both sides.
You’ll also be able to find out the local secrets around the city including the best restaurants, with a driver who knows the ins and outs of the city.
- Price : From £79/€92 per group up to 2
- Duration : 75 minutes
- Reviews : 4.9/5 from 370+ reviews
3. Political Wall Murals and Peacewall
With this slightly longer tour option , you’ll be able to stop for plenty of photos and chat away with your informative driver. All the guides on this tour grew up through the Troubles and are able to give a personal insight of life during the conflict.
The tour also takes you to the peace wall and past all the famous murals (not to be confused with the newer Belfast street art ), where you’ll get the chance of signing your own name on the wall that has divided the city for over 45 years.
You can also be conveniently picked up from wherever you’re staying in the city centre and taken to all the must-see places around town.
- Price : £99/€115 per group up to 2
- Duration 90 minutes
- Reviews : 4.9/5 from 100+ reviews
Black Cab Tour Belfast FAQs
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is a Black Cab Tour of Belfast worth it?’ to ‘Which Belfast Black Cab Tours are best?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Are the Belfast Black Cab Tours really worth doing?
Yes – 100%! The Belfast Taxi Tours offer a first-hand insight into the city’s past that you won’t find elsewhere and, as you’ll discover from online reviews, they are very well received.
How long is the Black Cab Tour Belfast?
Tours differ depending on the provider, but they generally last around an hour (make sure to check this in advance).
What do you see on a Black Cab Tour of Belfast?
You’ll see the city’s murals, the peace wall, The Falls and Shankill Roads and corners of the city that saw extensive unrest.
Keith O’Hara has lived in Ireland for 34 years and has spent most of the last 10 years creating what is now The Irish Road Trip guide. Over the years, the website has published thousands of meticulously researched Ireland travel guides, welcoming 30 million+ visitors along the way. In 2022, the Irish Road Trip team published the world’s largest collection of Irish Road Trip itineraries. Keith lives in Dublin with his dog Toby and finds writing in the 3rd person minus craic altogether.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .
Sunday 26th of March 2023
Well worth doing , our driver was from the republican side . And he told us about his experiences and life during the troubles .he was also very fair , in seeing it from the other sides aspect .( the common man’s side not the establishments) . Belfast is clearly a better place now . I can genuinely say I fell in love with all the people and places I saw . Peace and prosperity to you all
Sunday 8th of January 2023
Are there any Black Cab Tours that can take two couples?
Monday 16th of January 2023
Hey - I'm pretty sure many of them do. You can select a group of four when booking.
Sunday 3rd of October 2021
Hi we arrive on a Sunday and leave on a Wednesday , when would the best time to take the tour please ? Gareth
Unforgettable: Black Cab Tour of Belfast
A black cab tour of belfast is a must for any student of history or person seeking a better understanding of “the troubles”..
Earlier today I wrote about the 20 th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement , which marked the beginning of the end of conflict in Northern Ireland.
Even so, bitter division remains and the scars of the conflict are still undeniably visible.
In Belfast, taxis can be hired not only for transport, but for tourism. Near our guest house, we found a taxi office offering this service. There, we hired Paddy to take us around town.
Paddy was proudly a Republican (he wished to see Northern Ireland become part of Ireland) and quite keen to show us the city from his perspective.
Our tour included both Republican and Loyalist (those who wished to remain part of the United Kingdom) neighborhoods. We stopped at many sites of conflict and viewed many murals.
But what struck me most about this tour is how many “peace lines” remain, dividing Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods.
Although both sides have agreed on the need to have their own “tear down this wall” moment, almost 100 walls remain. Some of these walls stretch more than 20 feet high.
Doesn’t this street have an eerie resemblance of Berlin prior to the wall falling?
Even more sobering is that gates are still closed at night in many city neighborhoods. This is in the name of public safety, still 20 years after the Good Friday Agreement.
For more, read this excellent story in The Guardian .
Inside the Clonard Monastery, Paddy made a confession to us. He was an IRA member. He and other Republicans plotted in this very sanctuary to kill Loyalist forces. While Paddy did not say directly if he had ever killed someone, the implication was clear.
We visited the monastery cemetery on our way out. He shed a tear for his comrades, many of them buried there.
Belfast has many attractions, including the Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, and Titanic Museum. But the black cab tour retracing the political history of Belfast was one of the most memorable tours of my life. I highly recommend it.
Matthew is an avid traveler who calls Los Angeles home. Each year he travels more than 200,000 miles by air and has visited more than 135 countries. Working both in the aviation industry and as a travel consultant, Matthew has been featured in major media outlets around the world and uses his Live and Let's Fly blog to share the latest news in the airline industry, commentary on frequent flyer programs, and detailed reports of his worldwide travel.
Live and Let’s Fly Weekend Digest: April 01, 2018
The Good Friday Agreement: 20 Years Later
I’ve done two black cab tours on two different trips to Belfast. Both were very different experiences, based on the driver and the route they chose, but both were memorable in their own ways. The one invariable seems to be that they stop at the peace wall and hand you a marker to write on it with, which I’m not a big fan of (it didn’t seem my place to do so, but I suppose you can decline).
I 100% agree that this is the must-do of Belfast.
Note about the mural with the masked unionist holding a rifle: it uses an optical illusion where the rifle is always pointed at you regardless of where you’re standing. Your pictures show this effect.
Interesting post, and very different. While there has certainly been plenty of blood and ink spilled about Belfast, I’m very curious if your tour covered some things that didn’t concern the conflict. You’ve made it clear that all is not fine and forgotten, but did you see much that was interesting and non partisan during your day tour?
What was the cost of This?
My first and only time in Northern Ireland was in 1988. There were sights I wanted to see (Giant’s Causeway, the Bushmill’s Distillery), so I went. I was young and naive, and assured my parents that I would be fine. Certainly I knew about “The Troubles,” but figured I’d be OK because, “Who cares about one American?” I flew from Glasgow to Belfast to begin my trip. This was before any sort of extra security at US airports, but all passengers traveling to Belfast had a long list of questions to answer. Then your checked luggage was x-rated, double zip-tied and secured before going into the plane.
Upon landing in Belfast I rented a car from Avis and toured myself through the country for 8 days. The first thing you noticed then were British tanks rolling through the city–many of them. Each had three uniformed soldiers at the ready, riding on top–with their hands on the trigger of their machine gun and eye through the sight. Every police station was also completely encased inside 2 storey steel walls. Small openings were at regular intervals for guns to poke through. There were cameras outside vestibuled entrances to let people in by buzzer once they were approved or deemed safe.
But the people I met in Belfast and the other counties were lovely, and at that time were also fed up with the killing and violence. Whether they were Loyalists or Republicans they told me they just wanted it to end. Entry into each larger city required road stops about 2K out to check ID’s and passports, and there was no parking within city limits on the streets after 5:00 pm (to limit car bombings). Everywhere I went they were shocked to hear my American accent and questioned WHY I was visiting. Along the highways there were several burnt out double decker busses. When I asked a local woman from my B & B why they didn’t get rid of them, she said they were kept to show the public what a waste was bring made of their taxes. There was a bus purchased for all to use, but now it’s gone: so they’d all have to walk because there was no money for a replacement.
It’s a beautiful part of the world that had seen terrible times. But it’s definitely a place worth visiting. Seeing this post makes me want to plan another trip. I’m sure I won’t find £8 /per night B & B’s or £30 five course dinners with wine like 30 years ago, but I’ll manage. 😉
So you’re now supporting terrorists?
- Pingback: Visiting Belfast - Titanic Belfast and Other Fun Sights – Middle Age Miles
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
- Things to Do
- Holiday Rentals
- Travel Stories
- Add a Place
- Travel Forum
- Travellers' Choice
- Help Centre
A day to remember.... - Paddy Campbell's Belfast Famous Black Cab Tours
- United Kingdom (UK)
- Northern Ireland
- Belfast - Things to Do
- Paddy Campbell's Belfast Famous Black Cab Tours
We had the pleasure of going on a political murals tour with "Gerry 2", but it was so much more... read more
We booked Paddy for transfers to and from Dublin airport to Belfast and it was fantastic. He was... read more
A day to remember....
Arranged a political murals tour for the 12th,picked up promptly at the booked time by Pat(with spiky hair!!!),absolutely brilliant, very informative, informal and relaxed,we both learnt a lot about Belfast,Pat is very professional and good at his job, would recommend without hesitation....
We booked Paddy for transfers to and from Dublin airport to Belfast and it was fantastic. He was there waiting for us, in a beautiful big 7 seater luxury vehicle. We had young children and lots of suitcases and we all fitted comfortable. He was lots of craic and had an immense local history that he shared with us on the drive up the road which he did safely and swiftly. I would highly recommend Paddy for journeys to and from the airport and it sounds like his Belfast history tours would be really good too!
What an incredible experience my partner and I had during our tour with "Gerry 2". We were totally gripped throughout with his amazing storytelling and first hand knowledge. We learned so much about the history Belfast and the troubles. He was such a lovely person, took time to answer all of our questions & went above and beyond to make us feel comfortable. We can't recommend this tour enough and feel very lucky to have had Gerry show us around before he enjoys his retirement! To anyone thinking of booking the tour, please do it you won't regret it.
I would 100% recommend this to anyone visiting Belfast! Fascinating tour of the city to learn more about the (very complex) history of Northern Ireland and the Troubles. It was my second time going on a Paddy Campbell Black Cab Tour and I'd happily do it a third time. Thank you so much Tom for your kindness and generous time!
Our driver Gerry (2) was amazing! He had so much knowledge and really went above and beyond to show us all the political sites in Belfast. He was key to making it something we’ll never forget. Don’t think I’ve learnt and understood so much in 2 hours.
We booked super last minute and we were given a tour with no issues straight away. We had our tour with Niall, he was fantastic throughout. It felt like we were under no time constraint, he had great knowledge on the history, he gave a very fair and honest tour, answered all our questions and had a very likeable personality . Couldn’t recommend him enough one of the best tours we’ve been on
Belfast Famous Black Taxi Tours
- See all photos