Titanic Belfast is named Europe's top attraction, beating Eiffel Tower

It's the first time a Northern Irish attraction has won the award

Titanic Belfast is named Europe's top attraction, beating Eiffel Tower

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Titanic Belfast has been named Europe’s top tourist attraction, beating the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse, the Colosseum in Rome and London’s Buckingham Palace.

Judges at the World Travel Awards also placed it above the Acropolis in Athens, Barcelona's La Sagrada Familia and the Ribeira in Porto.

It is the first time a Northern Irish attraction has won the award at the 23-year-old competition. The Guinness Storehouse clinched the prize last year. 

The Titanic Belfast centre, which recounts the story of the ill-fated ship, as well as the city’s maritime history, last month welcomed its three millionth visitor since opening in 2012.

First Minister Arlene Foster said the attraction has "put Northern Ireland on the map for all the right reasons".

"This award is further proof that the investment and imagination that went into this attraction keeps paying dividends for the whole of Northern Ireland," she said.

Titanic Belfast's chief executive, Tim Husbands, said: "After only four years in operation, to be recognised and beat off stiff competition from Europe’s most iconic landmarks is a true honour.

"We know what we offer at Titanic Belfast is something our city and country can be proud of and we are so pleased that this has been recognised on an international level."

The centre is located on the site of the old Harland & Wolff shipyard where Titanic was designed, and close to where it was finally launched in May 1911.

It comprises nine interactive galleries and can hold some 3,547 visitors at any one time.

The prize for Europe’s leading destination went to Saint Petersburg, which beat Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, London, Edinburgh and Florence, among other cities.