Known for its neoclassic architecture and fine acoustics, the Victorian Customs House stands in central Belfast, and hosts regular outdoor musical events. The Italianate-style building boasts a traditionally ornamental facade, which contrasts with the modern city Belfast is today, providing excellent photo opportunities.
The Customs House steps and its adjacent square have long been popular spots for protests, public discussions, and speeches, ideas immortalized in the bronze statue of the “speaker.” Take advantage of a hop-on hop-off tour to take a stroll through the square, posing for snaps and exploring up close, or absorb wider panoramas of the iconic landmark aboard a river cruise.
Things to Know Before You Go
- You can only admire Belfast’s Customs House from the outside—the public isn’t allowed inside.
- The site can be very crowded whenever there’s a big event taking place.
- This is a must-see for architectural enthusiasts.
- Bring an umbrella during rainy months, as the steps and square are unsheltered.
- The paved square is accessible for wheelchair users.
How to Get There
Hop-on hop-off tours stop nearby, allowing easy transfer between central locations, and cruises along the River Lagan also provide impressive views of the landmark. The 505, 507, 512, and 600 buses serve Queens Square directly from Europa Bus Centre. Avoid driving if possible.
When to Get There
The steps and square are both accessible throughout the year, though summer tends to bring more music and live events, which offer an immersive way to experience the landmark away from the winter drizzle.
Charles Lanyon’s Belfast
The Customs House is the work of architect Charles Lanyon, but it’s not his only impact on the city. Belfast Castle and the main building of Queen's University, both his designs, are well worth a visit for insight into his signature style.