We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Makes me Smile!”
Review of Big Fish

Big Fish
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Makes me Smile!”
Reviewed April 26, 2013

Walk past this going home from work most days! Makes me laugh every time! Defo worth a look to take a few pics!!!

Visited April 2013
Thank Julzlong83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

331 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Not just a fish”
Reviewed April 13, 2013 via mobile

Ok, maybe it is, but it is a fun sight and it has a historical background and it's nice to take pictures with!

Visited March 2013
Thank rbolio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carrickfergus, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
586 reviews
356 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,225 helpful votes
“Salmon salute”
Reviewed April 10, 2013

Everyone seems to call this "The Big Fish", but the artist names it Bigfish. You can see that on one of the tiles on it, where he includes his picture and a list of credits (see photo).

The 1999 piece of public sculpture celebrated the return of salmon to the river Lagan, a landmark victory in the effort to regenerate the waterway. The salmon is regarded as the "king of fish", and was even on 10p Irish coins, until they joined the Euro.

The nose of Bigfish points towards the Lagan Weir. The form consists of a ten metre long fish clad in ceramic tiles, with big bronze fins. The "skin" of tiles includes many with images in blue from Belfast newspapers, school children's drawings, and pictures from historical sources. The work is mostly shades of blue and white, with a few small splashes of pink. The eyes are golden, and contain images from photos looking out across the harbour from high up on the cranes at Harland and Wolff. On one side it seems that years of sunlight have cooked and spoiled the picture. In art college my ceramics tutor did claim that the Sun would fade the tiles eventually.

Somewhere inside the shell of the piece is a time capsule from the end of the last millennium. Quite when this will be fished out, I guess nobody knows.

As a public artwork, I really like Bigfish. The scale is big enough so your eye level is up with its back. It is clearly visible from the train as you cross the river. Some people insist on posing for photos, kissing its lips. I once saw one adventurous gal climb onto its back. The tiles, if you care to explore them, contain cartoons and shots of landmarks that are fun to browse.

John Kindness was the artist who made it. If you really love it, go to Great Victoria Street bus station where you can see his 1991 work Waterfall of Souvenirs. That has all sorts of rocks, broken crockery and kitch impressed ceramic ornaments among its tiles.

Lights set into the ground light up Bigfish at night. It is set on top of a series of steps, but one side is a ramp wheelchairs could use.

Visited February 2013
Thank Steveodo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“just a fish”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

as it says, its just a fish. If you are for some odd reason planning to spend time going to see this...don't. there are plenty of other and better things to do.
its just another "Belfast special"...
put it back in the lagan where it belongs.

Visited March 2013
Thank MattAB_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
116 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Big Fish, Belfast, March 2013.”
Reviewed March 8, 2013

Walking though Belfast and came across this fish. Had to get a photo next to it. Not sure what the significance of it is, or if it's just a piece of art, but a good thing to see.

Visited March 2013
Thank Gavin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Big Fish also viewed

Belfast, Northern Ireland
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Belfast, Northern Ireland

Been to Big Fish? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing