Belfast is a strong and thriving city, with rising visitor numbers and a vibrant social and cultural life. This was recognised at the Guardian and Observer Travel Awards in 2016 when it was crowned 'Best City in the UK'.
Events and festivals in Belfast have developed as the city has. Belfast City Council has created an annual programme of events which has become firmly established within the fabric of the city. We also host over 75 festivals throughout the year and a number of large-scale events such as the annual St. Patrick's Day Celebrations, Halloween Monster Mash, the Christmas Light Switch on and Christmas Market, and the Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival.
In addition, Belfast has attracted a number of major international events in recent years, including the Women's World Cup Rugby 2017, the UEFA Women's U19 Championships 2017, the IIHF World Ice Hockey Championships 2017, Tall Ships events in 2009 and 2015, the Giro D'Italia Big Start in 2014, the European Pipe Band Championships in 2010, 2011, 2012 and the UK Pipe Band Championships in 2015-2017 and the 2013 World Police and Fire Games and the coveted MTV European Music Awards in 2011. A comprehensive programme of events took place in 2012 to celebrate the Titanic Centenary and the London Olympics.
Since it began in 1982, Belfast City Council has been a proud supporter and funder of the Belfast City Marathon (indeed, until 2008, the event was fully managed by Belfast City Council). We look forward to working alongside the marathon team and board of directors to deliver what can only be described as the city's most prestigious annual sporting event once again in 2020.