In the early hours of 15th April, 1912, the luxury steamship RMS Titanic, crashed into a iceberg on its maiden voyage. It then sank in the North Atlantic, off the coast of Newfoundland – and, tragically, more than 1,500 of the total 2,240 passengers and crew on board lost their lives.
Ever since, the Titanic has inspired countless articles, books, and films, as people continue to be fascinated by the ship’s history.
Many places around the world have paid tribute to the Titanic with memorials and museums, which teach visitors more about the tragedy and what it would’ve been like to be on board.
With that said, here are 10 important Titanic sites that you can visit around the world.
1. Addergoole Titanic Memorial Park, Ireland
County Mayo’s parish of Addergoole is known as ‘Ireland’s Titanic Village’ due to the huge loss of life that it suffered in 1912 when the ship sank.
Of the more than 1,500 people who passed away, proportionately, no other location lost as much of its population as Addergoogle did.
A small, close-knit community of young men and women – known as the Addergoole 14 – left the parish, hoping to emigrate for a better, more prosperous life in America. Eleven of the group died in the disaster, while three survived. And it could’ve been even worse, as two more women were originally scheduled to board the ship here.
The loss had a significant impact on the tiny, impoverished community where farming work was key. And today, many people who live there still have ties to the victims.
To commemorate those who didn’t survive, a memorial park was built in 2012. This includes a large bronze replica of the ship’s prow, and a historic church bell is rung 14 times every year on 15th April.
2. Titanic Museum Attraction, Tennessee, America
If you’d like to explore a replica of the Titanic itself and touch a real iceberg, the Titanic Museum Attraction in Tennessee is the place to go.
As the world’s largest Titanic attraction, the museum is intended to celebrate the ship, its crew, and passengers by telling their stories.
Before entering the ship’s replica, each visitor receives a boarding pass of a real-life Titanic passenger or crew member – though only later do they find out their fate. On board, you can experience what it would’ve been like to walk the hallways, cabins, and parlours of the ship. And there’s also a magnificent $1 million replica of the Titanic’s Grand Staircase, which you may like to admire for a while.
An extensive collection of over 400 artefacts from the Titanic are also housed here; and there’s opportunity to hear true passenger stories, sit in a lifeboat, and experience the sloping decks of the ship’s stern as she sank.
3. Titanic Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Named the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the 2016 World Travel Awards, Titanic Belfast isn’t one to miss.
Designed to resemble the Titanic from the outside, the museum is close to being as magnificent as the ship itself. With nine different interactive galleries, visitors can get a taste of what life would’ve been like on board. Marvel at the ship’s interior, feel the heat pouring out of the engine room, and discover a full-sized replica of one of the lifeboats.
The museum has many artefacts related to the ship, including original promotional brochures and the final lunch menu that First Class passengers enjoyed on the day that the ship sank.
Rather fittingly, the museum is located in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter – one of Europe’s largest urban waterfront regeneration projects – which is the site where RMS Titanic was designed and built.
At Titanic Belfast you can also get on board the SS Nomadic, which is the world’s last remaining White Star Vessel, and tender to RMS Titanic. Visitors are free to hop on board the ship and explore its decks, which will take you on a journey through 100 years of maritime history.
If you’d like to explore further, there’s also the Titanic Memorial Garden nearby.
4. Titanic Bandsmen Memorial, New South Wales, Australia
We’ve all heard the story of the bandsmen who famously played as the Titanic sank.
The musicians courageously continued to play music for as long as they possibly could in an effort to help calm passengers. All eight musicians went down with the ship and have been recognised for their bravery and heroism ever since.
More than half a world away from where the ship sank, a memorial for the musicians stands in the city of Broken Hill, Australia.
While the city itself had no direct connection to the musicians who died on the Titanic, when news of the disaster reached Broken Hill in 1913, a group of local bandsmen erected the stone monument in solidarity.
5. SeaCity, Hampshire, England
Southampton will always be associated with RMS Titanic because it was from the city’s docks that the ship left on its fateful voyage.
Over 500 families in Southampton lost a loved one in the tragedy. As a result, there are a number of memorials in the city dedicated to those who lost their lives on board.
One of the most impressive of these is SeaCity; a permanent exhibition at Southampton’s leading interactive museum. Here, you can hear stories of survivors, view relics rescued from the sinking, and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the port city in 1912.
Some of the relics include a pocket watch, which was found on the body of a steward, stopped at the exact moment the ship sank.
6. Titanic Memorial Lighthouse, New York City, America
This 18-metre-high lighthouse, now located in Lower Manhattan, New York City, is a memorial for those who lost their lives in the Titanic.
It was built largely due to the actions of Margaret “Molly” Brown, who was one of the most famous Titanic survivors.
By the time Brown boarded the Titanic, aged 45, she’d already made a significant impact on the world. Margaret was one of the first women in America to run for political office, and ran for Senate eight years before women even had the right to vote.
As a first-class passenger, she escaped the sinking ship aboard lifeboat six – but not before helping to load others onto lifeboats. Following the tragedy, Margaret insisted that a lighthouse be built to commemorate those who didn’t make it.
Originally the lighthouse had a time ball at the top, which would descend each day to signal to ships in the harbour that it was noon. While the ball no longer works and the structure has been moved further inland, the memorial remains a sight to see – and a somewhat ironic beacon, designed to help ships avoid collisions.
7. Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Nova Scotia, Canada
The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Nova Scotia, Canada, has a Titanic exhibition which is home to some of the most poignant and moving pieces of the ship’s history.
Housed here is a small pair of children’s leather shoes, known as the ‘shoes of the unknown child’, which were recovered by the Mackay-Bennett – one of three ships launched from Nova Scotia to help the Titanic rescue mission.
The child’s identity was a mystery for decades, but in 2011, DNA testing revealed that the shoes had been worn by 19-month-old Sidney Leslie Goodwin. Sidney and his family were travelling from England to Niagara Falls for his father’s new job. The entire family lost their lives.
A mortuary bag, which once held the personal belongings of Edmund Stone – a steward on board the Titanic – can also be found here; as can a life-size replica of one of the ship’s lifeboats.
8. Titanic Experience, Cork, Ireland
The town of Cobh in Cork, Ireland, was the final destination that the Titanic picked up passengers from before heading on its journey to New York City.
Of the 123 passengers who boarded at Cobh (which was called Queenstown at the time), just 43 survived. The purpose of Titanic Experience is to tell the story of those 123 people.
Located in the very place where the Titanic’s last passengers climbed aboard, on a guided tour here, you’ll retrace their footsteps.
This immersive experience includes real life passenger stories, eyewitness accounts of the tragedy, and a recreation of the sinking itself. You can read more about what to expect during the experience on the Titanic Experience website.
9. Merseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool, England
Although the ship never visited Liverpool, it was registered here, and so carried the city’s name on its stern.
Titanic’s managing company, the White Star Line, had its head office in Liverpool, and at least 90 members of the Titanic’s crew (around one in 10) were either from Merseyside or had close links with the area.
Liverpool’s Maritime Museum’s permanent exhibition, Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story, offers a compelling insight into the key role that the city played in Titanic’s story. And there are a number of other events, including fashions and fortunes of the Titanic, where you can find out what people packed for the Titanic.
The museum also has a number of articles available to read online, some of which shed light on lesser known aspects of the disaster – including the stories of pets travelling on the Titanic.
10. The Titanic Museum, Massachusetts, America
The Titanic Museum, found in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, is the oldest Titanic museum in existence.
Housed inside is the world-famous collection of Titanic artefacts from the Titanic Historical Society – all donated by survivors of the tragedy. Though small in size, the museum houses many significant pieces.
This includes the lifejacket of socialist Madeleine Astor, an oak chair from the ship’s dining room, and perhaps most harrowingly of all – the wireless message warning the Titanic of an iceberg ahead that never made it to the ship’s commanding officers.
Probably the most famous ship in history, the Titanic continues to fascinate us today. Luckily, there are places all over the world that we can visit and get one step closer to understanding what life would’ve been like on board.
For more history-related content, head over to the art and culture section of our website. Here you’ll find everything from battlefield sites you can visit in the UK to unmissable history films and dark tourism spots to visit.
Have you visited any of the memorials on this list? Or would you like to recommend any that aren’t? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.