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Belfast cultural attractions

Whether you prefer to visit a festival or a museum, we’ve captured Belfast’s best arts and culture destinations and here are some of the best venues. The city boasts a wonderful mix of festivals that crop up virtually all year round. They range from the Belfast International Arts Festival to the Belfast Nashville Songwriters’ Festival. At the Grand Opera House you’ll be entertained by a varied programme and at the Lyric Theatre you’ll find productions of Irish classics as well as new plays exploring Northern Irish identity.

The MAC building, a kind of arts factory that opened in 2012, provides cutting-edge music, visual art and theatre and lovers of classical music will want to catch a concert by the brilliant Ulster Orchestra, regulars on BBC Radio 3, whose home is the historic city centre Ulster Hall. They put on a programme of evening and lunchtime concerts here under dynamic chief conductor Rafael Payare among others.

Our picks

Lyric Theatre
Lyric Theatre

55 Ridgeway Street, Belfast BT9 5FB

Enjoy a world-class show at the Lyric Theatre, Northern Ireland’s only full-time producing theatre. Book a free guided tour and appreciate the award-winning dramatic architecture, ever-changing art exhibitions, and rich local history of this striking landmark newly rebuilt in 2011. You can also take in the stunning views of the winding River Lagan as you relax in the Café Bar. Visit website

Belfast Cathedral
Belfast Cathedral

Donegall Street, Belfast BT1 2HB

Pay a visit to this magnificent place of worship at the heart of Belfast’s thriving Cathedral Quarter, known locally as St Anne’s Cathedral – a treasure trove of art, culture and music. With highlights that include the tallest Celtic cross in Ireland and the striking ‘Spire of Hope’, Belfast Cathedral is an inspiring and memorable addition to any visit to the city. Visit website

Golden Thread Gallery
Art gallery

84-94 Great Patrick Street, Belfast BT1 2LU

Visit the Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast’s largest contemporary art gallery and a must see for art lovers. They invite you to pay them a visit and join the conversation, where a warm welcome awaits. The Golden Thread Gallery is a public gallery that loves to explore all the wonders of art, offering a family friendly atmosphere. Admission is free and the venue is fully accessible for wheelchair users. Visit website

Northern Ireland War Memorial Museum
Northern Ireland War Memorial

21 Talbot Street, Belfast BT1 2LD

The Northern Ireland War Memorial Museum is situated in the heart of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, it tells the story of Northern Ireland’s role in the Second World War and how local industries contributed to the war effort, the Belfast Blitz in 1941 and the impact of the American presence 1942–44. Visit website

The Museum of Orange Heritage
Children in museum

Castlereagh, Belfast BT6 9EY

The Museum of Orange Heritage seeks to educate, encourage understanding, address negative perceptions and build confidence with all those that come to visit. This site focuses on the history and traditions of the Loyal Orange Institution, beginning with the Glorious Revolution, and takes the visitor on a journey through 300 years of history to the present day. There is also a strong focus on Orangeism around the world with a fascinating and exciting collection of artefacts to enhance the story of the Institution. Visit website

Like these? Try these…

Belfast attractions

Belfast restaurants and cafes

Belfast shopping

Belfast nightlife venues

Image credits: ©Angelo D'Amico/Dariusz Oczkowicz/Monkey Business/Nathalie Diaz/; Chris Heaney/Lyric Theatre; Peter O'Hara Photography/Northern Ireland War Memorial

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