Belize City, Belize, Belize, Central America

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Swing Bridge

Top choice in Belize City

This heart and soul of Belize City life, crossed by just about everyone here just about every day, is said to be the only remaining manually operated bridge of its type in the world. The bridge, a product of Liverpool's ironworks, was installed in 1923, replacing an earlier bridge that had opened in 1897.

These days it is rarely opened except to allow tall boats to pass in advance of serious storms, but if you're lucky, you might get to watch the procedure that brings vehicles and pedestrians in the city center to a halt.

The Swing Bridge is a favorite hangout for hustlers looking to part tourists from their valuables. You are likely to be approached by seemingly friendly sorts with outstretched hands asking, 'Where you from?' Be advised that the chances of said encounter resulting in a mutually beneficial cultural exchange are slim to none. Downstream from the bridge, Haulover Creek is usually a pretty sight, with numerous small yachts and fishing boats riding at anchor.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Belize City attractions

1. Image Factory

0.07 MILES

The country's most innovative and exciting art gallery stages new exhibitions and hosts regular book launches, usually of work by Belizean artists…

2. Battlefield Park

0.09 MILES

Battlefield Park is on the right across from the Court House. It's always busy with vendors, loungers, con artists and other slice-of-life segments of…

3. Court House


You can’t miss the prominent Court House on Regent St, built in 1926 as the headquarters for Belize’s colonial administrators to replace an earlier wooden…

4. Hindu Temple

0.28 MILES

Right in downtown, this simple Hindu temple serves Belize's small but growing Indian community.

5. Museum of Belize

0.29 MILES

This modern museum in the Fort George District provides an excellent overview of the story of Belize, told through exhibits housed in the country's former…

6. Fort George Lighthouse

0.46 MILES

This diminutive lighthouse guides boats into Haulover Creek and was constructed with funds from the estate of Baron Bliss, who is buried at its foot.

7. Baron Bliss Tomb

0.46 MILES

At the tip of the Fort George peninsula lies the granite Baron Bliss Tomb, the final resting place of Belize's most famous benefactor, who never set foot…

8. St John's Cathedral

0.46 MILES

Immediately inland of Government House stands St John's Cathedral, the oldest Anglican church in Central America. It was built by slave labor between 1812…