The Crown Bar

View from one of the wooden snugs towards the bar at The Crown Bar, Great Victoria Street, Belfast

The Crown Bar is one of the most famous pubs in Belfast. Known as the Crown Liquor Saloon, it was originally a Victorian gin palace. Having been sympathetically restored by the National Trust, it remains an icon of Belfast.

When was The Crown Bar built?

Dating back to 1826, The Crown Bar on Great Victoria Street instantly draws the eye. The exterior of this listed building teases the delights to be found inside. With such an impressive façade, many pose for the obligatory photo outside. Stepping inside, and across a mosaic of a crown on the floor entrance, patrons will find a masterpiece in bar architecture.

The Crown Bar, Belfast is one of the city's most iconic pubs
The Crown Bar, Belfast is one of the city's most iconic pubs
The Crown Bar, Belfast is one of the city's most iconic pubs

Things to see inside


There is much to draw the eye inside, but the long red granite topped altar style bar serves as a centre piece. Divided by columns and with a heated footrest, it enjoys a backdrop of huge casks fitted with polished brass taps.


Sliding into one of the ten different sized snugs reveals the social history behind a Victorian Gin Palace. Places frequented by those who wanted to enjoy a drink unseen, the wooden boxes provided the perfect privacy.

Bell system

As part of the desire to have a drink unseen, the antique bell system inside the snug was a common feature in Victorian drinking houses. Using the bell system, drinkers could alert staff to their liquid needs.

Match Plates and Gas Lighting

Sitting inside a snug, visitors can spot gunmetal plates which were positioned for striking matches. The bar also still features its period gas lighting.

Stained glass windows

Fairies, pineapples, fleurs-de-lis and clowns are etched within the bar’s stained glass windows. Decorative and functional, these colourful decorative windows again afforded privacy as they shielded customers from inquisitive passers-by.

Ceiling and floor

The Crown Bar is impressive from floor to ceiling. The highly decorative carved ceiling in burnished primrose yellow, red and gold is as eye-catching as the myriad of mosaic tiles which fill the floor.

The Crown Bar remains an ageless and priceless gem. A must-see in Belfast city. The bar is rich in colour and with so much detail to admire, there’s something new to appreciate every time you visit.