Arts and culture are at the heart of all we do at Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival. We take great pride in having witnessed first-hand the positive impact that arts and culture has had on Belfast. Since the festival’s inception in 2020 (born out of a desire to regenerate Belfast’s north city centre) Northern Ireland’s capital has been transformed into a vibrant hub of activity that inspires all Belfastians to always think bigger and better.
Against this backdrop, we urge you to get your head around Belfast’s art and culture scene that has changed the course of this city. Start by checking out our recommendations and catching up on Belfast’s scene by joining our tribe of CQAF festival goers:

  • Culture and arts centres
  • Galleries
  • Belfastian Tours
  • Visits
  • Architecture

Culture and Arts Centres

  • Duncairn Arts Centre

    Duncairn Avenue

    North Belfast City

    Housed within a beautiful 19th-centre High Victorian Gothic style building, the centre includes a theatre and performance space, resident artist studios, exhibition space and restaurant. Multiple workshops emphasise traditional heritage arts and crafts from fiddle-making, bog oak carving, willow craft to basket making, storytelling and singing. Located within a ten-minute walk of Cathedral Quarter.

  • Áras Mhic Reachtain

    283-289 Antrim Road

    North Belfast City

    A not-for-profit organisation that promotes and celebrates the Irish language through education, culture, and the arts. A dynamic programme facilitates music concerts, dramas, lectures, debates, book, and CD launches, singing and drama workshops, art workshops, youth training, Irish classes, and the McCracken Summer School – all through the Irish language. Located within a twenty-five -minute walk of Cathedral Quarter.

  • Saint Joseph’s Church

    Dock Street

    Titanic Quarter

    Known as the Chapel on the Quays, St. Joseph’s served the working-class communities of Sailortown and many foreign visitors dominating the docklands skyline since 1880. No longer operational as a church, St Joseph’s is now the focus of an inspirational people-led regeneration project to provide a welcoming space within its beautiful interiors to celebrates local culture and heritage.

Galleries

  • Sea Holly Gallery

    Hill Street

    Cathedral Quarter

    It’s beautiful. It’s peaceful. It’s calm. It’s full of light. A place that invites you to reflect on the past, live in the present and dream about the future. Thought provoking exhibitions from well – established artists as well as exhibitions by new and emerging artists.

  • Golden Thread Gallery

    Great Patrick Street

    Cathedral Quarter

    A contemporary, welcoming, inclusive art space in Belfast. Hosting contemporary visual art exhibitions and events by a mix of Northern Irish and international artists. From its beginnings in a former linen mill on a contested ‘peace line’ in North Belfast, the gallery has developed a reputation for its engagement with recent histories and re-imagined futures.

  • CS Lewis Square

    Newtownards Road

    Titanic Quarter

    Dedicated to the renowned Belfast-born author of The Chronicles of Narnia, this remarkable display of outdoor public art features seven bronze sculptures from “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe,” including Aslan, The White Witch, Mr Tumnus, The Beavers, The Robin, and The Stone Table in a fully illuminated square.

  • The MAC

    Exchange Street

    Cathedral Quarter

    A cultural hub with a dynamic programme of exhibitions, theatre performances, experimental works visual art, theatre, dance, and family workshops. A beacon for the ongoing regeneration of Belfast and an award-winning venue. The MAC café bar serves lunch, brunch coffee and treats.

Belfastian Tours

The following tours bring to life diverse aspects of Belfast social, art and culture scenes through animated experiences that reveal the people and stories behind this incredible city.

  • Sead Art Street Art Tour

    Cathedral Quarter

    Every Sunday at noon, join a gently paced, two-hour walk around the ever-changing face of Belfast. Including the Cathedral Quarter, explore the symbolism behind diverse street art and the shared spaces where people of all backgrounds co-exist in this vibrant city.

  • Taste & Tour

    Cathedral Quarter

    Leading guests to Belfast’s brightest and best flavours, a series of multi award winning food and drink tours showcase the people, history, and top tastes of the city. With an emphasis on discovery and pure fun, signature tours include Belfast Food Tour, Gin Jaunt and Belfast Bites Tour.

  • Black Taxi Tours

    Hear the real story behind Belfast city from its troubled past to its evolution into the vibrant city it has become today. Moving east to west and north to south, gain insights into Belfast’s communities, discover iconic landmarks and the rich tapestry of political murals that tell Northern Ireland’s story.

  • Belfast Pub Crawl

    Cathedral Quarter

    Starting at the heart of Belfast at The Albert Clock and incorporating Cathedral Quarter Arts pubs, these brilliantly crafted tours showcase Belfast’s vibrant pub scene. Hear about the story and people behind some of the city’s most iconic pubs and buildings. Mingle with locals and get stuck into the craic.

Visitor Attractions

Check out these visitor experiences that share insights into Belfast’s story of resilience, creativity and strength.

  • Ulster Museum

    Botanic Gardens

    Queen’s Quarter

    Featuring collections of fine art, applied art, archaeology, ethnography, Spanish Armada treasures, Belfast history, botany, zoology, and geology. A vast public display space of 90,000 sq. ft. (8,000 square metres) that is Northern Ireland’s largest museum.

  • Belfast City Hall

    Donegall Square

    Linen Quarter

    One of Belfast’s most iconic buildings, Belfast City Hall first opened its doors in 1906 and is the city’s civic building. Free public tours explore the history of the building. Home to the Titanic Memorial Gardens, the building is situated on extensive grounds (1.5-acre) that are ideal for a stroll or a picnic.

  • Crumlin Road Gaol

    Crumlin Road

    Gaeltacht Quarter

    A 19th-century Grad A listed jail that operates tours, concerts, and events. First opening its gates to prisoners in 1846, for 150 years until 31st March 1996 this was a fully operational prison. During that time, the gaol has witnessed escapes, executions, hunger-strikes and riots.

  • Belfast Circus School

    Gordon Street

    Cathedral Quarter

    Established in 1985 when there was a real need in Belfast for positive shared experiences for young people from different communities. Now a leading light in Northern Ireland and in the international world of social circus. On Wednesday evenings, see what it takes to be an acrobat, juggler, or tightrope walker.

  • Titanic Belfast

    Olympic Way, Queen’s Road

    Titanic Quarter

    A monument to Belfast’s maritime heritage on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard where the RMS Titanic was built and launched in 1912. Hear the story of the Titanic from the point of its conception right through to its maiden voyage and subsequent place in history.

Architecture

When strolling through Belfast, don’t forget to look up and around to admire the beauty of the many historic and contemporary buildings that define this centuries-old city. Some of the buildings we admire the most are:

  • St Anne’s Cathedral (Belfast Cathedral)

    Donegall Street

    Cathedral Quarter

    Officially known as Belfast Cathedral and locally as St Anne’s, this building has been the focal point of the Cathedral Quarter for more than 100 years. Romanesque in style, the 40-metre stainless steel spire of hope was added in 2007. A magnificent interior includes elaborately carved stonework and beautiful stained-glass windows.

  • Duncairn Arts Centre

    Duncairn Avenue

    North Belfast City

    A beautiful Grade B1 listed building. Originally built in 1860-1862 in the High Victorian Gothic style. The centre includes a theatre and performance space, resident artists studios, exhibition space and restaurant. Multiple workshops emphasise traditional heritage arts and crafts from fiddle-making, bog oak carving, willow craft to basket making, storytelling and singing.

  • Belfast City Hall

    Donegall Square

    Linen Quarter

    Designed by Sir Alfred Brumwell Thomas in the Baroque Revival Style in 1910. Built in Portland stone, this iconic landmark is the civic building of Belfast City Council.

  • Saint Joseph’s Church

    Princes Dock

    Titanic Quarter

    Known as the Chapel on the Quays, St. Joseph’s is one of Belfast’s oldest and best-known churches. Built in 1879, the building is an example of Romanesque style architecture with a four- bay nave. Considered and architectural masterpiece, of craftmanship with monumental sculptures and a 250-forr spire that can be seen from afar.

  • Ulster Museum

    Botanic Gardens

    Queen’s Quarter

    Designed in the Classical Revival style by James Cumming Wynnes and built in 1924-1929, the extension was later designed by Francis Pym and built in 1966-1972.