Fodor's Expert Review City Hall

Golden Mile Tour–Sight Fodor's Choice

Built of Portland stone between 1898 and 1906 and modeled on St. Paul's Cathedral in London, this Renaissance revival–style edifice—the cynosure of central Belfast—was designed by Brumwell Thomas (who was knighted but had to sue to get his fee). Before you enter, take a stroll around Donegall Square to see statues of Queen Victoria and a column honoring the U.S. Expeditionary Force, which landed in the city on January 26, 1942—the first contingent of the U.S. Army to arrive in Europe during World War II. A monument commemorating the Titanic stands in the grounds, and in 2012 a granite memorial was unveiled in a Titanic memorial garden opened for the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking. The memorial, on the east side of the grounds, lists the names of everyone who died in the tragedy. Enter the building under the porte cochere at the front. From the entrance hall (the base of which is a whispering gallery), the view up to the heights of the 173-foot-high Great... READ MORE

Built of Portland stone between 1898 and 1906 and modeled on St. Paul's Cathedral in London, this Renaissance revival–style edifice—the cynosure of central Belfast—was designed by Brumwell Thomas (who was knighted but had to sue to get his fee). Before you enter, take a stroll around Donegall Square to see statues of Queen Victoria and a column honoring the U.S. Expeditionary Force, which landed in the city on January 26, 1942—the first contingent of the U.S. Army to arrive in Europe during World War II. A monument commemorating the Titanic stands in the grounds, and in 2012 a granite memorial was unveiled in a Titanic memorial garden opened for the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking. The memorial, on the east side of the grounds, lists the names of everyone who died in the tragedy. Enter the building under the porte cochere at the front. From the entrance hall (the base of which is a whispering gallery), the view up to the heights of the 173-foot-high Great Dome is a feast for the eyes. With its complicated series of arches and openings, stained-glass windows, Italian-marble inlays, decorative plasterwork, and paintings, this is Belfast's most ornate public space—a veritable homage to the might of the British Empire. After an £11 million restoration, the modernized building has been brought into the 21st century and is home to the Bobbin café. A permanent self-guided interactive exhibition on the history of Belfast spanning 16 rooms covers six theme zones including cultural heritage, sporting celebrities, and laureates of the arts. Look out for the exhibit of ceremonial keys presented by visiting dignitaries from 10 U.S. towns and cities, reflecting the close ties between Northern Ireland and America. In the courtyard a 60-jet fountain has been dedicated to Belfast City Council members killed during the Troubles. Free, one-hour guided tours of the building are available or you can rent headphones for £3.50. Tours are held weekdays at 11, 2, and 3, and weekends at noon, 2, and 3.

READ LESS
Tour–Sight Fodor's Choice Silversea Cruise Historical

Quick Facts

Belfast, Co. Down  BT1 5GS, Northern Ireland

028-9027–0456

www.belfastcity.gov.uk

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Tours free

What’s Nearby

Book an Experience at Northern Ireland VIEW ALL

Around the Web