Official tourism website for Northern Ireland

Belfast Traditional Music Trail

20 Cooke Street, Ormeau Road, Belfast, County Antrim, BT7 2EP

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The well-worn cobbles of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter have seen some wild nights in their time. Weaving through its narrow streets, music old and new pulsates from historic buildings. This is the beating heart of the city - there’s no finer place to soak up the traditional Irish music scene.

Join local musicians on a traditional music trail around Belfast, where you’ll visit bustling bars in some of the city’s oldest buildings.

In the true sense of an old Irish saying, “Bíonn Siúlach Scéalach”, these two really are full of great stories. At each stop, they share songs and stories, and perform traditional pieces using an array of instruments including evocative uilleann pipes (Irish bagpipes), tin whistles, and more.

You’ll learn about how the instruments work, the history of the trad scene here, and the tales behind some of its best-loved and most treasured compositions.

The tour begins at the brilliantly named Dirty Onion bar, an ‘authentic Irish pub with a modern twist’ built in the 18th century and previously used as a spirits warehouse. You gather around the cosy fireplace at the back of the pub to meet the guides and embark on your musical voyage.

Later, you’ll visit McHughs Bar on Queen’s Square, established in 1711. One of the oldest buildings in Belfast, it has been carefully restored over time and is full of interesting paintings and historical pieces.

Trad music is all about the taking part, whether it’s through tapping your feet, clapping your hands, singing along or picking up an instrument and giving it a go yourself. These sessions are convivial, intimate and animated. Everyone can join in, sharing the enthusiasm of the players, and learning a new song or dance. Better still, you can toast the experience with a local beer, cider, whiskey or Guinness as you go.

As the tour draws to a close the melodies, the stories behind them, and the people who played them so lovingly, will stay with you long after you have returned home.


Establishment Features

  • Groups catered for
  • Online Booking
  • Prior Booking Required
  • Toilets

Payment Methods

  • Euros accepted
Belfast Traditional Music Trail


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Tel+44 (0) 28 9028 8818

Map & Directions

Opening Times

* Every Saturday at 16:00 (meeting at The Dirty Onion)

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