A brief overview of the ultra-relativistic heavy ion physics programme at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN will be given. Collisions of lead ions have been studied at a center-of-mass energy per nucleon of 2.76 TeV (run I), and, more recently, at 5.02 TeV (run II). The ultimate goal of heavy-ion collisions is the study of the properties of the deconfined and chirally restored state of matter known as the Quark-Gluon Plasma. Various probes are used to characterize the properties of the QGP - from collective effects and direct photons to heavy quarks and jets. Main highlights from run I and recent results from run II will be presented.