In the heart of Belfast and surrounding the historic St. Anne’s Cathedral, the Cathedral Quarter has become the cultural hub of the city. Once the old merchant quarter and home to the city’s trade and manufacturing districts, it was first known for the shipbuilding and linen fabrics produced there. Today, dozens of artistic and cultural organizations call the narrow streets and modern spaces of the quarter home. With some of Belfast’s best pubs, restaurants, and public spaces, it is now a hip, lively neighborhood ripe for exploration.
Still known mostly as an up-and-coming area, the Cathedral Quarter frequently has new shops and shows pop up. The area has a literary history as well — once the home of Belfast poet John Hewitt, and now nearby to many of the city’s publishing and journalism offices. There is also the former “Little Italy” area of Little Patrick Street. The Cathedral Quarter is an excellent place to get a sense of both Belfast’s past and future.