Getting Around, Belfast Travel, Transport and Car Rental
(Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK)
The city of Belfast is well served by the public transport system, which includes an excellent network of buses and trains, providing good connections throughout Northern Ireland. Belfast is located close to many other interesting towns, cities, tourist attractions and important landmarks, and many visitors also travel outside of the city, into the surrounding areas.
Renting a car is often the preferred method of transport for excursions from Belfast and it is relatively easy to travel around the region by car. There are a number of major roads situated on the outskirts, such as the M1, M2 and M5 motorways, as well as the A501 to Lisburn (south-west), the A26 to Ballymena (north-west) and the A7 to Downpatrick (south).
Airports / Arriving by Air
Belfast is served by two airports, the closest and most convenient of which is Belfast City Airport (BHD)
. The second of the airports is the Belfast International Airport (BFS)
, located 30 km / 18 miles from the city centre. Both are within easy travelling distance, by either train, coach or car.
Major airlines offer the greatest number of departures, whereas smaller airlines offer low-cost, no-frill airlines with a more limited number of flights arriving and departing from the airports.
Belfast International Airport (BFS) Guide
George Best Belfast City Airport (BHD) Guide
The city is served by a number of major roads and although the traffic can be heavy during peak commuting hours (07:30 to 10:00 and 16:00 to 18:00), driving in central Belfast is fairly easy. Several roads are one way only and part of the city centre is restricted to buses and taxis only. Many tourists staying in Belfast choose to rent cars and these are the best method of transport when travelling outside of the city, to explore the surrounding countryside and nearby towns. There are plenty of parking garages and off-street parking areas available, although many areas are restricted to residents only and parking permits are required.
Belfast is well pedestrianised and one of the best ways to travel around is simply on foot. This is an excellent way to see some of the numerous tourist attractions, museums, galleries and landmarks. Finding your way around central Belfast is very straightforward and many of the city's major sights and attractions are within easy strolling distance of each other.
Buses and Coaches
There are two main bus stations and buses travel to and from the west of the city, operating from the Europa Bus Station, which is located in Glengall Street. Many buses run to Dublin
at regular intervals throughout the week. Buses that travel to Northern Ireland's east coast depart from the Laganside Bus Station and connect many other towns and cities nearby. There are also bus stops throughout Belfast, with bus timetables and route information.
Tel: +44 (0)28 9089 9411
The Central Train Station is located in East Bridge Street and is the city's main train station, although a number of trains also stop at the Botanic Train Station on Botanic Avenue, and at Great Victoria Street Train Station. Except for the excellent Belfast to Dublin train route, trains can prove an expensive way to get around. There are three train routes that head out of Belfast, one travels north and then runs west along the coastline to Derry, another travels to the west of Belfast through Portadown and towards Dublin, and the third is a smaller train line that head east, to Bangor. The Central Train Station has regular trains that travel to Larne, Derry, Bangor, Portadown, Newry and Dublin, and Great Victoria Street Train Station has trains that run from Belfast to Lisburn, Bangor, Larne Harbour and Derry. There is also a free Citylink bus service that serves Central Train Station from Donegall Square.
Taxis in Belfast are one of the most convenient ways to travel around the city and are usually reasonably priced. They can be easily caught from the taxi rank outside the Europa bus station and Donegall Square, Smithfield Market and Bridge Street. Also in quieter areas, taxis can be ordered by telephone and there are a number of reputable taxi firms that your hotel can recommend. Additional taxi charges are often made for luggage, travel late at night, extra passengers and services on public holidays.
Bicycles are a popular way to travel around recreational areas of the city in particular and the Belfast Tourist Information office has details of a number of excellent cycle trails. There are also several popular bicycle rental shops available in the area.