Belfast, a journey through sounds and colours

A trip to Belfast is a unique and unforgettable experience, a journey through the music, art, and history of this extraordinary city. With its lively music scene, vibrant street art, and iconic landmarks, Belfast welcomes visitors with its charm and hospitality. Prepare to be captivated by the rhythm of the music, enchanted by the colours of the street art, and fascinated by the history and culture of this charming city. Explore the history-laden alleys and soak up the lively atmosphere of traditional pubs, where live music fills the air and stories flow like Irish whiskey. Stroll along the River Lagan, admiring the modern architecture and ancient bridges connecting both sides of the city. Music, urban art, and history

Belfast, declared the music capital by UNESCO in 2021, is a city with many facets, a place where music resonates in the streets, street art colours hidden corners, and historic monuments tell tales of a tumultuous past. In this journey through its streets and squares, we’ll discover the vibrant soul of Belfast, letting ourselves be drawn in by its melodies, artworks, and iconic landmarks. A harmony that resonates everywhere

Music is an integral part of Belfast’s identity, a city that sings its history and spirit with passion and dedication. From legends like Van Morrison to today’s emerging artists, Belfast’s music scene is a vibrant mosaic of genres and styles reflecting the city’s diversity and vitality. Every street, every corner is filled with the sound of music, from the sweet notes of Irish folk to the pulsating rhythms of rock ‘n’ roll. From traditional pubs to modern nightclubs, there is always a concert to listen to or an artist to discover in Belfast. Moreover, festivals are frequent, offering a wide array of choices. Music is not just an experience to listen to but a total immersion into the city’s culture and soul. As Stuart Ballie said, “Belfast’s music scene has always been about resilience and creativity, a reflection of the city itself.”


The Colour of the Streets

But Belfast’s creativity does not end with music; it also finds expression through the street art decorating its streets and buildings. From historic murals commemorating the city’s tumultuous past to contemporary works celebrating peace and unity, Belfast’s street art is a visual journey through its history and culture. Along Falls Road and Shankill Road, visitors can admire murals narrating the story of conflicts and struggles for peace, while in trendier districts, emerging artists transform the city’s walls into modern and provocative artworks. Belfast’s street art is an expression of its constantly evolving identity, a reflection of the hopes, fears, and dreams of its people. Historical and Architectural Treasures


Historical and architectural monuments

Belfast is also a city rich in historical and architectural monuments worth exploring. The Titanic Belfast, iconic with its silvery colour and ship’s bow shape, is located on the site of the shipyard where the famous transatlantic ship was built, offering an immersive experience into the Titanic’s history and tragic sinking.

St. Anne’s Cathedral, with its Gothic towers and colourful stained glass, is an architectural masterpiece that enchants visitors with its beauty.

City Hall, with its white stone facades and elegant interiors, is a city icon and a must-see. These monuments are witnesses to Belfast’s glorious past and the challenges it has faced over the centuries, representing an essential part of its identity and cultural heritage. Other places to explore include the Ulster Museum, offering a vast collection ranging from art to natural sciences, and the Botanic Gardens, a green oasis in the city’s heart.

Finally, for a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, take some time to explore Belfast’s parks and the university library, where you can stroll through green lawns, tranquil ponds, and colourful flowers. Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of these green spaces in the city’s heart.


At the Table

To taste the authentic flavours of local cuisine, visit one of the many restaurants and pubs that dot the streets of Belfast, where traditional dishes like Irish stew and colcannon are prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients. For a beer, the Crown Liquor Saloon, a true historic gem, is a must. Known for its Victorian interiors, it features stained glass windows, intricate mosaics, and private booths. Founded in 1826, it offers a wide selection of craft beers and typical Irish dishes. It is the perfect place to immerse yourself in Belfast’s authentic atmosphere and enjoy an evening in good company. Frequented by both locals and tourists, the Crown is a symbol of Irish tradition and hospitality.

For a seafood dish and especially an unforgettable clam chowder, Fish City is a must-visit, where the fish is caught in the morning and the setting is characterised by a modern and welcoming design with decorations inspired by the marine theme. Hidden Corners to


Belfast, with its rich history, culture, and modern revival, offers several hidden gems away from the usual tourist paths. Here are some lesser-known spots that deserve a visit. Starting with St. George’s Market. Although not entirely unknown, many tourists tend to skip it. This historic market is a great opportunity to experience local produce, crafts, and live music, especially on weekends. Also, Cave Hill is unmissable: for a breathtaking view of Belfast and beyond, a hike to the top of Cave Hill is a must. Alongside the stunning scenery, you’ll also find the Cave Hill Cave and the ruins of McArt’s Fort, rich in local myths and history.

Also interesting is Crumlin Road Gaol: once a prison, now a tourist attraction, but still less visited than others. It offers a fascinating and sometimes eerie insight into Belfast’s history, with tours that tell stories of escapes, executions, and the daily lives of prisoners. Another distinctive feature is The Entries, narrow alleys between Belfast’s main streets, rich in history. Some of these passages, like Winecellar Entry, house historic pubs such as the famous White’s Tavern, dating back to 1630, offering a truly local experience.

Not to be missed is CS Lewis Square, a tribute to the Belfast-born writer C.S. Lewis, best known for “The Chronicles of Narnia”. The square features seven bronze sculptures depicting characters from his books. It is a charming place often overlooked by tourists.

Lastly, for those who love art and alternative culture, the Black Box in the Cathedral Quarter offers performances, live music, and artistic events that reflect Belfast’s contemporary scene.

Testo e foto di Graziella Leporati