The Crown Bar in Belfast in my home country of Northern Ireland is a brilliant place. I LOVE it and I take my friends there any time I’m showing them round my country. I’m pretty surprised this is the first time I’ve written about it, but buzzing at the thought of helping promote Belfast and Northern Ireland again. Belfast by the way, is a city you should definitely check out!! Today’s Thirsty Thursdays takes us to the Crown Bar on Great Victoria Street in downtown Belfast, capital city of Northern Ireland.
OK so once you’re in Belfast you’ll want to do a load of sightseeing and this city has a lot to offer! There’s the Titanic Centre, the Parliament at Stormont, the Wall Murals, the Peace Line, the City Hall, the views from Victoria Square and Cavehill, the markets and guess what…the bars! This city’s people like a drink and goodness knows they deserve it. Even the street that the Crown Bar sits on is packed with other bars including the Beaten Docket, Robinsons and a bar in the Europa Hotel (once the “most bombed hotel in the world” you know…).
How to get to the Crown Bar in Belfast, Northern Ireland
It’s easy to find. Get off a train at Great Victoria Street Station and the Crown Bar sits opposite you. It’s on Great Victoria one of the main streets in Belfast, a few minutes walk from the city hall and the bus depot where you can also get buses to Dublin. The Crown’s address is: 46 Great Victoria Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT2 7BA. Telephone: 028 9024 3187 . If you really do get lost (which I know you won’t – Belfast city centre is tiny even compared with cities like Asuncion and Hobart!), ask the locals where “The Crown” is. Only “an eejit” will not know the answer, I assure you.
Why visit the Crown Bar in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Because it’s unique. For so many reasons. Here are my top 6 reasons to visit the Crown Bar (officially called the Crown Liquor Saloon by the way):
1. It’s owned by the National Trust of the UK (the building cannot be touched or modified – it’s stayed the same for generations)
2. It survived the entire bombings and troubles of Northern Ireland! (This bar is loved by Protestants and Catholics alike and wasn’t ever touched during the troubles – bombs went off across the road and round the corner but the Crown remained 😉 )
3. It was rumoured to be the first ever bar to have a live webstream on the internet. I never found out if this was true or not, or whether they still do it…
4. The Guinness is top notch. Absolutely fantastic.
5. The food is typical of an Irish pub. Great food.
6. The interior architecture and decor will have you staring at it for hours. It’s special and it really feels like a step back in time.
When to visit the Crown Bar in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Oh, anytime really! Though some tourists may wish to avoid Belfast around St. Patrick’s Day (17th March) as it gets busy and occassionally has rioting and the first couple of weeks in July is known as “Marching Season” to the locals and places get busy, there are public marches on the streets, some places close down and this is Belfast so don’t rule out a riot! However I assure you that Belfast is as safe a city as any to visit and you will love it.
What is it like inside the Crown Bar in Belfast, Northern Ireland?
The interior is stunning. Some tourists come in just to take photos and then walk back out (I actually don’t like them doing that – I want them to buy at least a drink and help the pub’s cause). That’s how good it is inside.
It’s like you are stepping back to Victorian times. You won’t see trendy modern posters, adverts or basic windows. The floors are marvellously tiled, the ceiling hosts glamorous chandelairs, the bar is so clean and perfect you struggle to believe it’s that old. The only advertising is on the pumps for the beers. Harp, Guinness and Smithwicks are all Irish beers served up to perfection!
If you’re ever in Belfast you must head to the Crown Bar. I could while away the hours in there. I couldn’t find the Crown Website online, seems they are now part of the Nicholson Group, so more information here: Crown Bar, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The only video I made in the Crown Bar:
Thirsty Thursdays is an ongoing regular feature on Don’t Stop Living – a lifestyle of travel. If you have a bar, pub, drink, restaurant, brand or idea that you would like featured on Thirsty Thursdays, please get in touch via my contacts page or my advertising page. I’d love to hear from you, and I’d also love a free tea or a beer! Cheers!