24 Hours in Belfast // Cathedral Quarter
February 7, 2017 Laura Caldwell 0 Comments
There’s no doubt about it, Belfast is finally cool! And after decades of waiting about and struggling to be heard, Belfast has finally got some real charisma and intrigue about it, and by the looks of things it’s here to stay. Just a few minutes jaunt from the City Centre, the cobbled streets of the Cathedral Quarter is the hipster hub of our wee city, and here’s what we would do if we had 24 hours amongst its coffee shops, theatres and bars (the Cathedral Quarter is our absolute favourite place to spend time in Belfast, so forgive us if this may take a little longer than 24 hours).
Named after St. Anne’s Cathedral, the oldest part of the city has evolved from Belfast’s old trade and warehousing district. Today it is home to fascinating architecture, narrow cobbled streets and alleyways to explore.
40a Church Lane
Belfast BT1 4QN
If you’re not a local and you’ve decided to explore Belfast’s coolest area, then you’re going to need somewhere to stay. Bullitt Hotel is Belfast’s newest and hippest hotel offering the perfect base for your city break, and a choice of Dinky, Comfy or Roomy rooms. Giving you a true taste of Northern Ireland’s signature tongue in cheek humour, this is not just a standard hotel. To find out more about Bullitt, check out our review here.
54 Hill Street
It doesn’t get much more hipster than our beloved Established Coffee, complete with concrete interior, stark surroundings, Edison bulbs and charging ports, this place just oozes cool. Whilst they are truly passionate about coffee and you can order everything from Chemex to Aeropress, Established also serve a mean dish. Simple, healthy and delicious, there’s always something interesting to be found on offer.
Muriel’s Cafe Bar
12-14 Church Lane
Belfast BT1 4QN
Breakfast doesn’t get much better than Muriel’s eggs benedict, Polish scrambled eggs, or even the humungous Muriel’s cure. Enjoy stunning food made with fresh ingredients and a little bit of attitude in the plush surroundings of this sultry cafe and bar. With a moody interior and the strings of bras hanging from the ceiling, this tells you everything you need to know about Muriel’s.
Seedhead Arts Street Art Walking Tour
Belfast is of course famous for its murals, but the ones seen on the Seedhead Arts Street Art Walking Tour are a very different kind of mural. Created and led by local artists, this 90 minute tour of the Cathedral Quarter’s most interesting street art offers a unique insight into this once-troubled city. Tours leave from outside the Dark Horse every Sunday at noon.
Escape Rooms Belfast
33 Church Lane,
Belfast BT1 4QN
If you’ve got an hour to spare and a penchant for puzzles, then the Cathedral Quarter’s Escape Rooms Belfast should provide you with the challenge you need. Escape rooms are the latest craze, and with four rooms to choose from, Belfast’s offering is pretty good! The aim is simple, solve the puzzles in the room to escape within the time limit and be victorious. These rooms fill up fast, so it’s definitely worth booking in advance.
Belfast’s Black Box is just that, a black box, and within that box magic tends to happen. A blank space for theatre, music, comedy, film, art and much more, there is always something wonderful happening in this versatile space. Check the listings and head on down for a matinee or evening of fun, no matter what you end up seeing or experiencing you won’t be disappointed. Pop into the adjoining Green Room for some hearty soup or stew for lunch to fill you up before an afternoon in the bustling Cathedral Quarter, or grab a slice of their famous pizza after 5.30pm.
36 – 39 Hill Street
The historic Dark Horse and Duke of York may be tourist hotspots when it comes to this part of town, but it’s their little brother, the Harp Bar that you should make a beeline for a pint or two. Offering independent draught beers, live music every single night and more whiskies you could shake a stick at, the branded mirrors and distillery memorabilia give a distinctly old school atmosphere that takes you back to Victorian Belfast. Plus from here you get a great view of Belfast’s most beautiful street, Commercial Court with its fairy lights, hanging baskets, cobbled alley and bustling atmosphere.
Saint Anne’s Square
Situated right next door to The MAC, it may not offer authentic Norn Iron cuisine, but instead, Coppi serves up classic Italian dishes comprised of the best of Northern Irish produce, and it’s a combination that works seamlessly. Surrounded by rustic decor and aged leather booths, there’s no doubt that you will leave Coppi full, satisfied and impressed every time.
10 Exchange Street
After a hard days sightseeing, it pays to take a visit to Belfast’s Metropolitan Arts Centre, the MAC for a cup of coffee, some upmarket grub at NATIVE by Yellow Door, and a visit to one of the art exhibitions on show. There’s loads to see and do here, and there’s usually an emphasis on child-friendly shows and workshops. You can also catch a theatre performance if you’re lucky. Again, I’ve never seen a bad show at the MAC. Top tip: there are lockers on the bottom floor here where you can safely store your stuff while you’re out for the day.