Discover the hidden corners of Belfast, the city beyond the walls

“How many famous Irish people do you recognize?” Chris asks me.
“Er, let’s see. Is that Sinead O’Connor over there? Oh and Bono! And George Best, the famous Northern Irish football player, of course!”
“Yes, and have a look over here. See that plaque? That plaque shows you that this is one of the first pubs where Snow Patrol ever played”!

I am on a Belfast walking tour with “Belfast Hidden Tours” and my guides Chris and Simon have plenty of inside information to share! They show me this little courtyard depicting scenes of every day Belfast life, they point out pavement blocks that reveal some of Belfast’s history in mirror writing and we even come across portraits of Salvador Dali! Not a single stone of the artistic Cathedral Quarter stays unturned!

But Belfast Hidden Tours isn’t just about seeing the sights, it’s about meeting the locals too! We meet up with Gerard. Gerard and Anto Brennan are two of Belfast’s most renowned artists and sculptors. Have you ever seen a chess set depicting political personalities? Or how about satirical figurines representing the Irish counties? The gallery is a collection of politics, history, culture and everything in between!

Not really into art? No problem! The walk has you covered on history too! Armed with illustrations of what the city used to look like, we are off exploring the city’s past and present. From the linen industry to whiskey, from the United Irishmen to World War II: Simon and Chris paint a very clear picture of the amazing and diverse history of Belfast!

We also meet up with Raymond O’Regan, a local historian and author of several books about the city. He explains us the history of the First Presbyterian Church, Belfast’s oldest place of worship. So much better than reading it in a book!

Belfast walking tour

I have spent this last hour delving into Belfast’s history, discovering its hidden present and have left with big hopes for its future! There’s a new wind blowing over Belfast: initiatives like Belfast Hidden Tours want people to discover a Belfast beyond the murals, beyond its troubled past. They want to show a city that has potential, a city that has a vibrant cultural scene, a city that has decided to move forward! It’s an initiative that I can only applaud!

Belfast walking tour

Have you been on a walking tour that explores the hidden corners of a city?  Where was it?

This trip was sponsored by “Belfast Hidden Tours” All opinions are, as always, my own!
Belfast Hidden Tours offer tours several times a day, 7 days a week. Prices are £10. 
 For more information and bookings visit  Belfast Hidden Tours

 

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14 Replies to “Discover the hidden corners of Belfast, the city beyond the walls”

  1. Connie Reed

    I like to take tours that give you a little more insight to the city. I’ve even learned things that way about Chicago, and I’ve lived in the Chicago area all my life.

    Reply
    • Els Post author

      Yes, sometimes you need a fresh look of the city you live in, it’s great to do the occasional walking tour! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Amber

    Wow, you really seemed to learn a lot from your tour! I love the church, so much character! I myself have never been on a walking tour before, but I would certainly love to now!

    Reply
  3. Sue Reddel

    Looks like a very interesting tour. I haven’t been to Belfast but if I get there I’d love to experience the hidden tour. I’ve never been on a “hidden tour” before.

    Reply
  4. David

    This tour sounds like a great way to connect with a city, and some of its residents, on a much more intimate scale. While I haven’t been to Belfast (yet), I will add this to my list of things to do!

    Reply
    • Els Post author

      That’s exactly what it does indeed, David. It’s not your average walking tour, it really connects you with the city!

      Reply
  5. Jocleyn

    I was so mad that I didn’t get to go to Belfast when we were in Ireland! Did a wall tour in (London)Derry which was amazing but only had one night there. I might need to put Ireland back on my list for the future just to see Belfast 🙂

    Reply
  6. Tim

    Very cool. I did do one once in San Francisco to China Town. It was amazing the sights you see when you go down these little alleys and get a brief glimpse of how this section of the population actually operates. Seeing these out of the way “back door” type sights is usually very cool indeed.

    Reply
  7. Jenna

    Looks great, not really into art but love the idea of seeing something you wouldn’t be able to find on your own. I’ve been on a similar tour like this in Chicago.

    Reply

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