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7 ways to explore the art of the city with a creative break in Belfast

With its wealth of arts venues and array of talent, Belfast’s creative offerings makes a great short break.

Enjoy a first-hand look at the city’s vibrant art scene where you’ll find top theatres, insightful street art and amazing food.

Here are 7 ways to explore the art of Belfast:

1. Situated in the picturesque, leafy Queen’s Quarter of south Belfast, the 4* Malone Lodge Hotel is the perfect base from which to explore the city. Soak up the luxurious surroundings when you arrive at the chic Victorian town-house and sink into deep cushioned sofas whilst enjoying a quiet afternoon tea or drink with friends.

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2. Take a 15 minute walk from the hotel to the Lyric Theatre and experience some of Northern Ireland’s top dramatics. If you’re interested in seeing a show, check out its website beforehand to see what’s on and check ticket availability.

Whilst there, undertake a behind-the-scenes tour of the award-winning theatre and visit its three distinct areas: Danske Bank Stage, Naughton Studio and the rehearsal room. Tours are generally held on a Friday or Sunday morning and are dependent on the performance schedule so make sure you check what events are running.

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3. To experience the burgeoning ‘sub-culture’ of Belfast, embark on the Belfast Street Art Walking Tour in the Cathedral Quarter. Belfast is now being mentioned in the same artistic breath as Berlin and Bethlehem, also famous for their walls, as a place where street art has thrived and where artists from around the world come to paint and get inspiration.

After booking your tour online, meet your guide and explore the flourishing and ever changing street art scene during this two-hour, gently paced tour which is devised and led by local artists.

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4. After two hours of perusing the city’s art, it’s time to sample its fine food with a visit to Made in Belfast. Immerse yourself in the unique restaurant décor which is constantly changing and typified with quirky antiques including old saucepans and pottery jars.

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Made In Belfast

5. When in the Cathedral Quarter, drop by Belfast Print Workshop to see how printmakers share facilities, materials and ideas with each other to express their art and view an integrated gallery full of top-class print work. The workshop also runs regular courses in printmaking techniques for all skill levels including absolute beginners.

6. Located 15 minutes outside of the city centre in East Belfast, ArtisAnn is a contemporary gallery featuring emerging and established artists working in a range of styles and mediums. Call in during January to see Hitchcock's 1964 masterpiece 'Marnie' come off the silver screen in a dynamic new exhibition by Rachel Lawell.

7. For artistic inspiration, get out of the city centre and into natural surroundings with a trip to Cave Hill Country Park. Take in the fabulous views over the city and Belfast Lough and if you’ve packed your canvas, have a go at sketching your interpretation of the scenery and your stay in the city.

For more short break ideas visit www.discovernorthernireland.com

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