Grand Opera House

Top choice in Belfast

One of Belfast's great Victorian landmarks is the Grand Opera House. Opened in 1895 and completely refurbished in the 1970s, it sustained severe IRA-bomb damage in 1991 and 1993. The interior has been restored to its original, over-the-top Victorian pomp, with swirling wood and plasterwork, fancy gilt-work in abundance and carved elephant heads framing the private boxes in the auditorium. Check the website for details of upcoming hour-long backstage tours, during which you'll see the inner-workings of the theatre.

The Opera House is set to close for most of 2020 for renovations, which will include a new visitor exhibition.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Belfast attractions

1. Crown Liquor Saloon

0.04 MILES

There are not many historical monuments that you can enjoy while savouring a pint of Guinness, but the National Trust's Crown Liquor Saloon is one of them…

2. Linen Hall Library


Established in 1788 to 'improve the mind and excite a spirit of general inquiry', the Linen Hall Library houses some 260,000 books, more than half of…

3. City Hall

0.21 MILES

Belfast's classical Renaissance-style City Hall was built in fine, white Portland stone in 1906. Highlights of the free, 45-minute guided tour include the…

4. St Malachy's Church

0.31 MILES

Catholic St Malachy's was built between 1841 and 1844 by Thomas Jackson and extensively renovated in the past decade. Its exterior resembles a Tudor…

5. Entries

0.43 MILES

These narrow alleyways running between High St and Ann St were once bustling commercial and residential thoroughfares; Pottinger's Entry, for example, had…

6. Jaffe Memorial Fountain

0.48 MILES

At the Victoria St entrance to the Victoria Square shopping mall is the yellow and white Jaffe Memorial Fountain. The gilded, cast iron structure and…

7. St George's Market

0.51 MILES

Ireland's oldest continually operating market was built in 1896. This Victorian beauty hosts a Friday variety market (flowers, produce, meat, fish,…

8. Royal Courts of Justice

0.52 MILES

The 1933 neoclassical Royal Courts of Justice were bombed by the IRA in 1990 but are now freed of the massive security screens that once concealed them.