The Vibrant City of Belfast and Northern Ireland’s Coastal Wonderland

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Discover the vibrant city of Belfast and Northern Ireland’s Coastal wonderland

Antrim Coast--photo courtesy Maebeth Fenton

Text & Photos by Thomas Wilmer

One hundred years ago Belfast was on a roll. The robust and vibrant city touted the world’s largest shipyard along with dynamic linen and manufacturing industries. Today, numerous elegant Victorian and Edwardian edifices remain as mute testimonials to the city’s boom-times.

During the dark days of the “Troubles” life was drab in Belfast–real estate languished, industry was stagnant and when locals partied is was typically within private homes. Rosemary, a Belfast born and bred acquaintance, explained, “when I was a teenager, there were basically three or four restaurants in the city and one was a pizza place. And my dad forbid me from driving the family car in to the city in fear it would get blown up!’

Not anymore. Belfast today is an incredibly peaceful, pulsating place that has re-established itself as a prime destination for visitors from around the world. Belfast City Center abounds with cutting-edge eateries—trendsetters in the “farm to fork” movement, serving fresh, locally sourced foods. The town’s burgeoning nightlife absolutely rocks. For example Rihanna and Britney Spears both commenced their recent European tours in the city by the River Lagan.

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