The Belfast Wheel , the city’s answer to the London Eye, towers over the east end of City Hall. Originally intended as a temporary...
Linen Hall Library
Established in 1788 to 'improve the mind and excite a spirit of general inquiry', the Linen Hall Library was moved from its original...
Ulster Hall (built in 1862) is a popular venue for a range of events including rock concerts, lunchtime organ recitals, boxing bouts and...
Despite losing its Michelin star in 2011, the flagship of chef Michael Deane's restaurant fleet is still one of Northern Ireland's top...
City Hall information
Lonely Planet review
The Industrial Revolution transformed Belfast in the 19th century, and its rapid rise to muck-and-brass prosperity is manifested in the extravagance of City Hall. Built in classical Renaissance style in fine, white Portland stone, it was completed in 1906 and paid for from the profits of the gas supply company.
The hall is fronted by a statue of a rather dour 'we are not amused' Queen Victoria . The bronze figures on either side of her symbolise the textile and shipbuilding industries, while the child at the back represents education. At the northeastern corner of the grounds is a statue of Sir Edward Harland , the Yorkshire-born marine engineer who founded the Harland & Wolff shipyards and who served as mayor of Belfast from 1885 to 1886. To his south stands a memorial to the victims of the Titanic .
The highlights of the free, 45-minute guided tour of City Hall include the sumptuous, wedding-cake Italian marble and colourful stained glass of the entrance hall and rotunda; an opportunity to sit on the mayor's throne in the council chamber; and the idiosyncratic portraits of past lord mayors – each lord mayor is allowed to choose his or her own artist and the variations in personal style are intriguing.
The Bobbin Coffee Shop , in the southeast corner of City Hall, houses an exhibition of photographic portraits of Belfast's most famous citizens, from footballer George Best and musician Van Morrison to broadcaster Gloria Hunniford and president of Ireland Mary McAleese.