Belfast City Hall

Belfast City Hall Exhibition

Belfast City Hall’s east wing on the ground floor has been completely overhauled to offer the new tourist attraction, which has its own dedicated reception.

It offers a journey from the city’s present to the past, showing the diversity and vibrancy of Belfast City Hall across all six themed zones below.

  • Edward Carson - Signing Ulster Covenant
  • The City - Governance and Growth - Council Chambers
  • City Speech and City Streets
  • The City at Work and Play
  • The Reflection Space
  • The City Commemorates ( World Wars )
  • The Cities Celebrates - past & present

The exhibition stretches over 16 separate rooms, all presented within the original stunning architecture of City Hall - Finished off in the highest class of marble and craftmanship - designed by Alfred Brumwell Thomas in the 1890s. The exhibition is free for individuals. We have headphones for hire for a small concession £3.50 you can be fully guided by the audio tour, in a range of languages. You can also buy a commemorative booklet for just £1.

After soaking up the history and displays in the various rooms, you can take time out for refreshments or lunch in the coffee shop, The Bobbin.

Being in Belfast you will also have an array of eateries on the door step of the City Hall and will be spoiled for choice. For Sightseeing in Belfast and getting around from attractions we recommend the daily Belfast Hop on Hop off tour it has over 19 stops to visit, the City Hall is one of many places to be explored.

1st October - 31st May
  • Monday - Fri 11am-2pm-3pm
  • Sat-Sun 12-2pm-3pm
1st June - 30th September
  • Monday - Fri 11am-2pm-3pm
  • Sat-Sun 12-2pm-3pm-4pm

You can book in person at the new visitor exhibition and reception desk in City Hall. Call us on 028 9027 0456 or email Visitor exhibition time slots are offered every 15 minutes and maximum of 30 people on each slot.

Opening Hours

  • Monday-Fri 9.30am - 5pm - last admission 4.30pm
  • Sat-Sun -10am - 5pm - last admission 4.30pm

The Belfast City Hall site was once the home of the White Linen Hall, an important international Linen Exchange. The street that runs from the back door of City Hall is Linen Hall Street - formely the Linen Quarter.

Plans for Belfast City Hall began in 1888 when Belfast was awarded city status by Queen Victoria. This was in recognition of Belfast's rapid expansion and thriving shipbuilding and engineering industries, linen, rope-making. During this period in history Belfast briefly overtook Dublin as the most populated city in Ireland.

Belfast Corporation, now the council, used their profits from the gas industry to pay for the construction of the Belfast City Hall. Local firms WH Stephens and H&J Martin were them main companies involved in the construction.

Construction began in 1898 under the watchful eye of architect Sir Alfred Brumwell Thomas. The total cost was £369,000 to construct and work was fully complete 8 years later in 1906.

The city hall in Durban, South Africa is almost an exact replica of Belfast's City Hall. Inspired by the Belfast design Stanley G. Hudson built the City hall in Durban in 1910, The Port of Liverpool Building, designed by Arnold Thornley and completed in 1913, is another very close relative.

August 1st 2006 the City Hall celebrated its centenary year with a "Century of Memories" exhibition and family picnic day.

Since 1906, the flag has been flown every day of the year from the front of the City hall. On 3 December 2012, the City Council voted to limit the days that the Union Flag flies from City Hall to no more than 18 designated days. This was opposed by the unionist Councillors, but supported by the council's nationalist representatives and the Alliance party. The unionists had enjoyed a majority on the council until the Northern Ireland local elections of 2011. On the night of the vote, unionist and loyalist protesters tried to storm the City Hall. They held protests throughout Northern Ireland, some of which became violent.

For more information on the City Hall please refer to Wikipedia >
Things to do in Belfast >

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