Categories: things to doBelfast

Like Eurovision's host city of Liverpool, Belfast is a UNESCO City of Music, and our “The Show Must Go On” themed itinerary below showcases many of the fabulous activities which tie-in with and celebrate the musical extravaganza. Let us know how many you tick off the list by using #MyGiantAdventure on social media.

Day 1

>>> Breakfast at St George’s Market

St George’s Market is one of Belfast’s oldest attractions and a definite "must see" attraction, located in the centre of the city. Built between 1890 and 1896, St George’s was named the UK's Best Large Indoor Market 2014 and continues to draw in the crowds every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with a huge range of local traders selling fresh local, continental and specialty foods including meat and fish, cheese, coffee beans, tapas and organic products. There's also live music all weekend, with a variety of talented musicians from across NI providing an ambient soundtrack to the bustling crowds as they shop, eat and peruse the stalls. St George’s Market is a short walk from many of the key tourist attractions in the city, with good transport links, including bus stops for many routes on its door step.

>>> Take a visit to the Oh Yeah! Music Centre

The Oh Yeah! Music Centre is an infamous musical hotspot in the city, with a performance space, rehearsal rooms, office units, a song writing room, exhibition, conference space and café open to the public. The centre aims to nuture local talent, promote local music, and providing a welcoming destination for music fans keen to explore this prolific part of the world, as well as hosting a range of gigs each month. On the third Saturday of every month the Oh Yeah! Music Centre runs the Belfast Music Bus Tour which takes music fans through the heart of this rock and roll city on a two hour across the city, with tales from Them & Van Morrison by way of talented guitar players, discussions on everything from traditional and folk to punk rock and Hollywood soundtracks, as well as a tour of musical memorabilia. It's a tour that was ranked 6th in the top 10 music tourism destinations in the UK.

>>> Explore nearby Banana Block

Banana Block is a living museum and events space set within a historic linen mill and inspired by the curious connections between Belfast and bananas. This unique space in eclectic East Belfast celebrates eccentric histories, and while they have no bananas, they do have a Record Store, ran by local DJ Marion Hawkes, resident DJ at the monthly queer club night, Ponyhawke, along with guesting at a range of club nights throughout the city. They also have the Hearty Growers mushroom farm, Velo Cheese/Indie Füde cheese makers, the viral popular Bodega Bagels pop up cafe, a Banana Ring, Banana beer and an incredible line up of local artists and producers. On the last Sunday of every month, they also host the East Block Bazaar -this monthly market is made up of local artisan producers, makers, growers, vintage, and curios.

>>> Enjoy dinner with a live soundtrack at Duad the Two

Fancy dining while a DJ spins the decks? Look no further than Duad The Two! This cosy restaurant, on the quirky Belmont Road, offers all day brunch, lunch and dinner menus featuring cocktails and natural wine with a local DJ playing vinyl only tracks as you tuck in, and - top tip - look out for their regular themed evenings which are dedicated to top artists (they recently held a Prince themed evening!) Plus the restaurant is also dog friendly.

>>> Head to a secret Jazz Club

Scott's Jazz Club is a unique setting within a cosy club for enjoying up-and-coming (and well renowned) Jazz acts every Friday night. Walking past this unassuming Working Mens Club in East Belfast you could be forgiven for not realizing the kind of magic that lies beyond its doors. Notes of Charlie Parker, Herbie Hancock and John Coltrane gently coax passers-by inside to discover world-class music played by top local musicians on the top floor of the building.

Day 2

>>> Take a dander with Seedhead Arts Street Art Walking Tour

On this gently paced, two-hour guided walking tour, you’ll discover the incredible street art adding visual delight to Belfast's city centre. The Seedhead Arts Street Art walking tour connects the dots between Belfast and its relationship with street art, with discussions and examples demonstrating the evolvement of the art form and highlighting how the narrative of the city is changing. As you stroll through the city streets, you’ll happen across world-class masterpieces in the most unexpected nooks and crannies, and learn a new appreciation for an artform so often overlooked. Experience first-hand the vibrancy of a Belfast which no longer speaks solely of past divisions through this interesting and visually rewarding tour.

>>> Treat your ears to a lively session with Belfast Traditional Music Trail

Enjoy live music on the Belfast Traditional Music Trail, a traditional Irish music tour which begins at the Second Fiddle, a live music venue favoured by keen music lovers and drinkers alike in this city. Gather at the back of the pub to meet your guides (who also happen to be Irish musicians), before embarking on a musical voyage. You’ll enjoy live music and a bit of craic, before heading off on a gentle walking tour, stopping to visit McHughs Bar along the way. This tour offers a chance to sit back and soak up the music, as well as getting involved. Whether it’s through tapping your feet, clapping your hands, singing along or even picking up an instrument, these sessions are convivial, intimate and animated. Everyone can join in, learning a new song or dance as a result, and you'll enjoy toasting the experience with a local beer, cider, whiskey or Guinness as you go!

>>> Uncover the best local food & drink producers with Taste & Tour

Discover Belfast through your tastebuds, one sip or bite at a time! Taste & Tour offer a range of tours to suit everyone’s palate from their Belfast Food Tour, to the Cocktail Circuit, to awakening your Senses with The Spirit Circle’s Sensorium. Their food tours combine an opportunity to get familiar the city with eating and drinking in some of the best local eateries, many of which are known only to the locals, and best of all they're all accessible on foot. Dietary requirements can be accommodated too, just let team know in advance.

>>> Stop for a cocktail in Angel & Two Bibles

This hidden speakeasy offers cocktails by the fire or rooftop drinks on the heated terrace. The menu at Angel & Two Bibles is split into "The Old Testament", which pays homage to the bartenders that started it all through a traditional selection of classic cocktails, and "The New Testament", honouring the rebels that broke the rules and brought us modern versions and new favourites. This is a busy spot so we recommend booking  ahead of time as it gets busy!

>>> Enjoy high energy entertainment at The Maverick Bar

Home of drag queen Blu Hydrangea who shot to fame in Ru Paul’s UK vs.The World Winner, The Maverick is a bar which has played a big part in drag race herstory! Offering a delicious range of cocktails and entertainment seven days a week, including a range of drag shows with an eclectic range of performers, this bar always entertains and is the perfect spot for high-camp entertainment! 

>>> Catch Good Vibrations live on stage

Treat yourselves to an evening of cultural significance at the Grand Opera House theatre, where Good Vibrations brings Belfast’s greatest punk story to the stage. The story, which charts the life of Belfast punk legend Terri Hooley, runs between 9 - 20 May 2023, and is directed by Des Kennedy (Piaf, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), and stars Glen Wallace (Hollyoaks, The Secret) as Terri, with Jayne Wisener (Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd) amongst others. Just a stone’s throw away from the site of the famous Good Vibrations record shop, this production features iconic punk anthems including Teenage Kicks, Just Another Teenage Rebel and Alternative Ulster.

Where to stay

Bullitt Hotel

Bullitt’s no-nonsense philosophy means they’ve ditched the expensive mini-bars, bellboys and butlers to focus on delivering a top-quality service with no hidden costs. The result is stylish, comfy rooms; fresh, local food; delicious drinks and an eclectic events calendar, all in the heart of Belfast city centre. Bootleggers (located next door) serves great food all day or try Tetto on the hotel's top floor for a fancy cocktail overlooking the hustle and bustle of the streets below.

The Merchant Hotel

For those seeking luxury, stay at the five-star Merchant Hotel. This centrally located accommodation offers a harmonious blend of Victorian grandeur and Art Deco inspired sleek modernity. Situated in the heart of Belfast's lively Cathedral Quarter, there’s plenty of live music nearby, lots of popular bars and nightclubs and don't miss the elegant Bert’s Jazz Bar, which is connected to the hotel. On site amenities include a stunning luxury spa and a rooftop gymnasium with panoramic city views.

Eurovision Events on Saturday 13th May

Watch Parties

St. George's Market
Covered Market/Market Hall
St. George's Market

St George’s Market one of Belfast’s oldest attractions and is one of the best markets in the UK and Ireland. It has been voted for numerous local and national awards for its fresh, local produce and great atmosphere.

The Oh Yeah Music Centre
Live Music
The Oh Yeah Music Centre

Oh Yeah Music Centre is a converted warehouse in the heart of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. In a short space of time it has become a focus for music making and music enterprise in Northern Ireland.

Banana Block
Event Venue
Banana Block Entrance and Exterior Mural

A space for celebrating eccentric histories and creating incredible futures.  We have no Bananas but. we have a Record Store, A mushroom Farm, Cheese Makers, A pop up cafe space, a Banana Ring, Banana beer and an incredible line up of local artists and producers.

Seedhead Arts Street Art Walking Tour
Walking Tour
Seedhead Arts Street Art Walking Tour

Explore a changing city through its ever-evolving street art. On this gently paced, two-hour guided street art walking tour, you’ll see the incredible street art currently adding to the atmosphere of Belfast city centre. The tour will help you understand Belfast’s relationship with street art and will show you how the narrative of the city is changing.

Belfast Traditional Music Trail
Belfast Traditional Music Trail musicians entertain guests

Belfast Traditional Music Trail is a unique way to experience Irish music. With two musicians as your guides, at each stop you will be treated to a performance of traditional tunes, songs and stories which make up your own personal ‘session’.

Taste and Tour NI
Food Tour
Visitors with tour guide, St. Georges Market,at fish stall sampling oysters

Enjoy the multi award-winning Belfast Food Tour or choose from a variety of other tours including Sensorium, an interactive sensory cocktail experience, as well as bespoke private tours and corporate experiences.

Good Vibrations
Good Vibrations

Returning by hugely popular demand, the Lyric Theatre’s sell-out production Good Vibrations débuts at the Grand Opera House. The story of Terri Hooley, the man who introduced Teenage Kicks to the world!

Bullitt Hotel
Bullitt Hotel

At Bullitt, our no-nonsense philosophy means we’ve ditched the expensive mini-bars, bellboys and butlers so that we can deliver a top-quality service with no hidden costs.

The Merchant Hotel
The Merchant Hotel's Victorian Facade

Situated in the heart of Belfast city centre's historic Cathedral Quarter, The award-winning 5 AA Red star Merchant Hotel is a harmonious blend of Victorian grandeur and Art Deco inspired sleek modernity with award-winning restaurants and cocktail bar, a tranquil spa and rooftop gym and hot tub.