Things to do in London

Explore the legacy of HMS Belfast, from warship to museum

Last Updated:

Step aboard the HMS Belfast, where history comes alive with every creaking plank and echoing corridor. This majestic warship and museum, perched on the Thames River, beckons you on a captivating journey through its nine decks, unveiling tales of bravery, camaraderie and adventure. Immerse yourself in a bygone era and let the spirit of valor and triumph capture your imagination!

HMS Belfast in a Nutshell

HMS Belfast
HMS Belfast
HMS Belfast

Handy Information

⏰ Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours
☀️ Best Time to Visit:10 AM-11 AM
🎟️ HMS Belfast Ticket: £24.50
💜 HMS Belfast + Tower Bridge: £34.96

Must-see at HMS Belfast

    1. The Operations Room
    2. The Captain's Cabin
    3. The Engine Rooms

Getting There

The Queen's Walk, SE1 2JH
London, United Kingdom
Get Directions

Opening Hours

10 AM-6 PM
Last Entry: 5 PM

Why is HMS Belfast Worth Visiting?

  • Historical Significance: Explore one of only three surviving ships from the Royal Navy's WWII fleet and learn about its role in the D-Day landings, the Arctic Convoys, and the Korean War.
  • Interactive Exhibits: Step into the shoes of a sailor with immersive displays, historic footage, and hands-on activities like steering the ship.
  • Scenic Views: Climb the ship's decks for panoramic views of the River Thames and iconic London landmarks like Tower Bridge and The Shard.
  • Family Friendly: Experience the excitement of life aboard a battleship with family-friendly activities and learn about history while having fun.

Recommended HMS Belfast Tickets

HMS Belfast History

Step aboard the magnificent HMS Belfast and prepare to embark on a captivating journey through time. This historic naval warship, gracefully stationed on the River Thames in London, boasts a legacy that stretches far beyond its sturdy iron hull. HMS Belfast witnessed the epic struggles of World War II and beyond, leaving an indelible mark on history's grand stage. During the tumultuous years of World War II, this ship stood tall among the British naval fleet, fearlessly battling on treacherous seas. The Battle of North Cape, where HMS Belfast played a pivotal role in toppling the mighty German battleship Scharnhorst, forever altered the course of the war. And when the fateful day of the Normandy landings arrived, this resolute warship lent its thunderous firepower to support the courageous Allied forces storming the beaches on D-Day. HMS Belfast also continued to serve in post-WWII conflicts, including the Korean War. HMS Belfast is also significant for its role in Naval history, as it was one of the last British cruisers built before the onset of WWII. It is now preserved as a museum ship, allowing visitors to experience the living conditions and working life of sailors during wartime.

HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast Architecture

HMS Belfast is a marvel of ship design and engineering that will transport you to the heart of naval history. Built in 1938, this legendary vessel played a vital role in World War II, went on to retire in 1963 and later found a new purpose as a living museum in 1971, allowing visitors to delve into its rich past. Being an admiralty ship, the design of HMS Belfast was heavily influenced by the Royal Navy's long history of shipbuilding, with elements drawn from both traditional and modern ship design practices. The ship is a blend of steel and timber, with sleek lines and a functional design. Every detail, from the semi-open deck plan strategically optimized for wartime efficiency to the labyrinth of narrow corridors, spacious mess areas, and sprawling decks, tells a captivating tale. Visitors to HMS Belfast can explore the ship’s many compartments, including the engine room, captain’s quarters and the gun turrets.

Highlights of HMS Belfast

1Engine Room

HMS Belfast Engine Room

Step into the engine room, where the heart of HMS Belfast beats with power and purpose. Marvel at the intricate machinery and feel the hum of engines and appreciate the engineering prowess that fueled this iconic ship's epic voyages and wartime endeavors.

 HMS Belfast

2Captain's Quarters

HMS Belfast Captain's Quarters

Explore the captain's quarters, a sanctuary amidst the chaos of war. Imagine the weight of responsibility on the shoulders of those who commanded this warship and glimpse into the lives of the leaders who made pivotal decisions that shaped the course of history.

HMS Belfast

3Gun Turrets

HMS Belfast Gun Turrets

Ascend to the gun turrets and stand in awe of the sailors who manned these formidable weapons. Feel the echoes of war as you peer through the sights, realizing the courage and tenacity required to defend the ship and its crew against relentless enemy fire.

HMS Belfast

4Operations Room

HMS Belfast Operations Room

Step into the operations room of HMS Belfast and delve into the nerve center of strategic decision-making. Marvel at the wall-to-wall maps, radar screens, and communication systems that once buzzed with vital information. Experience the intensity of wartime operations and naval battles.

HMS Belfast

5Arctic Messdeck

HMS Belfast Arctic Messdeck

Step into the Arctic Messdeck and brace yourself for a chilling experience. Duck under rows of side-by-side hammocks and transport yourself to the freezing conditions of the Arctic Circle. Keep an eye out for the ship's cat, Frankenstein, who may be snoozing onboard!

HMS Belfast

Best Time to Visit HMS Belfast

The best time to visit HMS Belfast is during the spring and summer months when the weather is mild, and the skies are clear. It's best to avoid visiting during peak tourist season when crowds are high. If you're planning a visit, try to arrive early in the day before crowds become overwhelming. Plus, you'll have more time to explore the ship and fully immerse yourself in its rich history. Don't forget to check the weather forecast and dress accordingly to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit.

london bucket list

The Best Time to Visit London - The Ultimate Month on Month Guide

Trying to figure out when to visit London? Get a detailed look into the best time to visit and figure out when to plan your trip in a way that best suits your needs!

HMS Belfast Opening Hours

  • HMS Belfast is open from 10 AM to 6 PM
  • Last Entry: 5 PM

Getting There


The closest bus stops to HMS Belfast are Abbots Lane and Hay's Galleria. These stops are served by buses 47, 343 and 381.


The nearest train station to HMS Belfast is London Bridge. Thameslink, Southern Trains and South East Train services, as well as the Jubilee and Northern Underground lines serve here.


HMS Belfast does not provide on-site parking facilities. However, you can find private car parks as well as metered parking bays nearby. It is important to note that HMS Belfast is located within the Congestion Zone, so please consider this when planning your visit.

Insider Tips to Visit HMS Belfast

  • Arrive early to avoid crowds and have ample time to explore.
  • Consider purchasing tickets in advance to skip the ticketing queues and ensure a smooth entry.
  • Don't miss the interactive exhibits and activities that provide insights into the ship's history.
  • Wear comfortable shoes as there are multiple decks and narrow corridors to navigate.
  • After your visit, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Thames River, taking in the picturesque views of London's skyline.

HMS Belfast Facts

  • Commissioned into the Royal Navy, it became HMS – His Majesty's Ship – Belfast.
  • HMS Belfast was the first ship to open fire on D-Day, signaling the beginning of the Allied invasion of Normandy.
  • HMS Belfast was named in honor of the city of Belfast, Northern Ireland, to acknowledge its contributions to the British war effort during World War II.
  • The ship was equipped with nine 6-inch guns, twelve 4-inch guns, and a variety of anti-aircraft guns, making it a formidable force on the seas.
  • HMS Belfast's historic significance and remarkable preservation led to its designation as a protected monument in 1978.
  • The ship has been featured in several films and television shows, including "Now You See Me II" and "Dunkirk".

Restaurants Near HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast
Bill's Clink Street Restaurant

Indulge in a culinary journey at Bill's Clink Street Restaurant, a contemporary all-day European chain that invites you in with funky decor and a welcoming atmosphere. They have separate menus for breakfast, afternoon tea, lunch, and dinner.

HMS Belfast
Fenchurch Restaurant

Indulge in a luxurious dining experience at Fenchurch Restaurant, perched 37 floors up in the Sky Garden. This swanky establishment boasts a seafood-focused menu, offering exquisite high-end dishes and crafted drinks. Prepare to elevate your taste buds while enjoying stunning panoramic views from this elevated culinary haven.

HMS Belfast
LEON Cannon Street

Experience a taste of the Mediterranean at LEON Cannon Street, a health-conscious counter-serve outlet. Delight your palate with a diverse menu inspired by the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean region. Indulge in wholesome and delicious dishes that will transport your senses to sun-drenched shores.

HMS Belfast
Bolton's Restaurant

Indulge in the culinary delights of Bolton's Restaurant, an exquisite Italian dining experience where old-school charm meets refined elegance. Delight your palate with a home-style menu featuring high-end dishes, all served in a tastefully understated dining room. Prepare to savor the essence of fine Italian cuisine in every unforgettable bite.

Places to Stay Near HMS Belfast

Things to Do Near HMS Belfast


How old is HMS Belfast?

HMS Belfast was built in 1938, making it over 80 years old as of now.

Who built HMS Belfast?

HMS Belfast was built by Harland and Wolff, a shipbuilding company based in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

How big is HMS Belfast?

HMS Belfast measures approximately 187 meters (613 feet) in length.

What is the best mode of transport to reach HMS Belfast?

The best mode of transport to reach HMS Belfast is typically by public transportation. The nearest underground station is London Bridge, and the attraction is also easily accessible by bus, car, or even by foot if you are in the nearby area.

Are there any restaurants inside HMS Belfast?

Yes, the Café at HMS Belfast offers sandwiches, ice cream, hot and cold drinks and freshly-baked cakes and muffins.

Are there washrooms at HMS Belfast?

Yes, there are washroom facilities available for visitors inside HMS Belfast. You'll find conveniently located washrooms throughout the ship to cater to visitors' needs.

Is there a dress code to visit HMS Belfast?

There is no specific dress code to visit HMS Belfast. However, it is recommended to wear comfortable clothing and shoes, as there are multiple decks and narrow corridors to explore.

HMS Belfast Guide