More than any district, Belize is buzzing with the energy of daily life. The city comes alive before eight in the morning with its bicycles, drivers, and pedestrian, and uniformed children, cheerfully on their way to work and school.
The former seat of Government, a major port, financial center, and nightlife hub, Belize City divides itself into many parts. It attracts visitors from across the country, and is also home to many ethnic groups and constituencies, as well as Belize’s current and former Prime Ministers.
From the Haulover Bridge at its Northern limit – where the Haulover Creek empties into the Belize River – to Port Loyola, Belize is a city surrounded by water. For years, the Swing Bridge, where Belize’s South Side and North Side meet, was the main overpass for boats that traveled regularly into the area of Front Street. Longtime residents will remember the daily swinging of the Swing Bridge at 5 pm to allow for boat traffic.
After the Baymen settled in Old Belize in the 18th century, the old Town also became home to thousands of African slaves who provided labor for mahogany production. Belize City still bears some of the remnants of its colonial past – the oldest cathedral in Central America – St. John’s; the wide verandas of the Supreme Court building; the Victorian architecture of Government House on Regent Street. You can make out these hallmarks of British rule on a short drive through downtown Belize.
But don’t try to drive around the city on your own. The narrow streets, pedestrians, and bicycles passing everywhere might leave you in a jam. Instead, take a slow taxi ride to see the sites, or visit old friends. Or take a detour to the River Valley where you will find relics of old Kriol life, and many old Scottish names, along the river.
Points of Interest in Belize City:
- Baron Bliss Lighthouse
- Belize Market
- Macy’s Restaurant
- Swing Bridge
- Novelo’s Bus Terminal
- Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts
- Image Factory Gallery
- Riverside Tavern Restaurant
- Central Bank Building
- Matalon Building
- Old Belize Museum and Marina
- Museum of Belize
- Kriol Museum
- Burrell Boom Village
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