Established in 2013, DC Tours is a Belfast based walking tour company. Focused on conveying Belfast’s history, culture and spirit in a neutral and unbiased way, we help people to fully understand our city, making their visit truly memorable and unique. Our tours rely on the power of the spoken word and our story-telling is carefully crafted to resonate deeply with our guests – creating powerful emotional reactions along with moments of humour and lightness to make a fully immersive experience. Our guides are carefully chosen to inspire and connect with our guests, weaving their own stories into their tours to make them authentic, relatable and real.
We’ve been the No.1 Belfast walking tour on TripAdvisor since 2014 and were named the #4 UK Experience at the 2019 Traveller’s Choice Awards. We’ve held TripAdvisor’s ‘Certificate of Excellence’ for 9 consecutive years and we maintain minimum 96% ‘Excellent’ reviews across ALL platforms. Our lead guide, Paul Donnelly, was named the ‘Top UK Tour Guide’ at the 2019 Wanderlust ‘World Guide Awards’. All our guides hold WorldHost Customer Excellence accreditation and we invest in ongoing sustainability, disability and diversity awareness training. We are graded ‘Outstanding’ (5 Stars) by TourismNI and achieved the Green Tourism ‘Silver Award’ in 2021 for our commitment to sustainability, and the InnovateNI ‘Gold Level Innovator’ award for our innovative approach to business development.
As well as introducing local visitors and international tourists to Belfast’s history, we run study tours for universities and colleges across the world, creating itineraries of up to five days of specialist, in depth educational experiences. Our guides are not just qualified tour guides, but politically neutral conflict historians – experts in their field who pride themselves on being able to answer practically any question asked of them. We also collaborate on cross community programmes, such as the Training for Women’s Network ‘Explor’ project, which saw us taking groups of women from Protestant and Catholic backgrounds on tours to places of worship across Northern Ireland, discussing similarities and differences, opening up conversations and laying the foundations for new friendships and greater understanding.
Our main tour, A History of Terror, deals with the history of the Troubles and the path to peace. Our West Belfast tour has a greater focus on the peacewalls and murals while our Best of Belfast tour looks at the wider history of the city.
History of Terror walking tour
The tour starts with a short introduction to Irish and British history and the background to the start of the ‘Troubles’ in the late 1960s. We then visit seven locations in the city centre where major events occurred between 1971 and 1976. We use the stories of these events to explain what happened and why, and how it affected nearly every part of our daily lives.
This tour explains how the Troubles began. We tell the stories of the people involved, their place in the conflict and the effect these attacks and incidents had on the city and its people. We do all this from an entirely neutral, civilian perspective. The tour also shows how far the city has come since the ceasefires and Peace Process.
It is suitable for anyone visiting Belfast, regardless of how much or little you already know of our troubled past. The tour is a way to get a real feel for our history and make a deeper emotional connection with the city.
The tour has a factual core script to ensure it is historically accurate, unbiased and non-partisan. But our guides are also encouraged to take ownership of their tour. They bring it to life by recounting their own personal experiences during the Troubles.
West Belfast walking tour
Our West Belfast walking tour visits the Catholic Falls Road and Protestant Shankill Road. It explains the Troubles and peace process with stops at the famous murals, memorial gardens and peacewalls between the two communities. Guests hear how the conflict we know as ‘the Troubles’ began, how it unfolded over the next 30 years and affected the two communities, what it was like to live here and how its legacy continues to affect the city and its people. The tour also explains the path to peace, and the challenges that still lie ahead of us.
The murals and peacewalls of West Belfast are a popular attraction but there is so much to discover about them. Our expert, award winning guides explain the history of the murals and peacewalls, their importance to their communities and why they are still here, 25 years after our peace agreement.
Best of Belfast walking tour
This tour starts and finishes at our iconic City Hall and is a great way to learn about and explore Belfast. It takes guests through the quarters in the heart of the city, where our team of passionate local guides introduce them to hidden history, fantastic street art, beautiful architecture and fascinating stories of Belfast’s citizens from the past and present.