Whether it’s your first time in Northern Ireland, or you’re a frequent visitor, the following should help get the most from your vacation in this beautiful part of the world.
ARRIVING BY PLANE
We can arrange airport, seaport, bus and train station transfers and you can either begin your tour from there or take you to your hotel.
GEORGE BEST BELFAST CITY AIRPORT
Named after the East Belfast-born footballing legend, this airport is just 3km east of the city centre, off the A2 Sydenham bypass.
BELFAST INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
The Belfast International Airport is situated 29km north of the city centre along the M2 motorway. There is no train connection to the airport. Enquire for pickup arrangements when booking your tour.
ARRIVING BY BOAT
Ferry terminals are a 5-10 minute drive north of the city centre, depending on traffic. Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (April-Sept): 3hr sailing to Douglas Quay. Scotland and Liverpool: Stena’s Superfast ferries sail to Cairnryan in 2 hours 15 minutes and Liverpool in 8 hours (overnight or daytime).
ARRIVING BY TRAIN
The Dublin to Belfast enterprise train arrives into Belfast Central Station. Your ticket allows you a free Translink shuttle bus into the city centre or its just a ten minute walk.
ARRIVING ACROSS THE BORDER
Northern Irelands border with the Republic of Ireland is 360kms long from Carlingford Lough in the south to Lough Foyle in the north. Non-EU drivers should hold an International Driving License. Drive on the left on both sides of the border, and look out for speed limit changes – marked in kph in the Republic of Ireland and mph in NI.
There are approx 1300 on-street parking spaces in Belfast city centre. Parking meters charge £1.20 per hour (free Sun and after 6pm) payable by coin, mobile or credit/debit card. These spaces however usually have a maximum stay of between 1 hour and 3 hours depending on the location. Privately operated car parks vary in price from the affordable to the eye-watering.
NI’s currency is Sterling (£), the same as the rest of the UK. While different in design to GB notes, they can be used across the UK.
Northern Ireland and Belfast is very safe for tourists. However, if you feel unsafe, freephone 999 or track down a police officer – usually found walking the city in pairs.
SMOKING & ALCOHOL
Smoking is illegal in enclosed and substantially enclosed workplaces and public places, including bars and restaurants, and in certain vehicles. The legal drinking age is 18.
TELEPHONE DIALLING CODES
From UK landlines or mobiles, add 028 before all eight digit NI numbers. The international dialling code is (+44)(0)28. If dialling from the Republic of Ireland you can also add the prefix 048.
Free WiFi is available on most of Translink’s bus and rail services as well as the majority of hotels, bars, restaurants and cafes throughout the city. And also new tech hubs dotted around the city that offer free wifi, heart defibrillators and telephone/emergency help.