Belfast Travel Tips. An article sharing travel tips about visiting Belfast. How to get there and more…
Welcome to Plus 1 travel, it’s great to have you here searching for Belfast travel tips. Let me walk you through this city filled with rich history and culture so that you can get the most out of your Belfast travel experience. Hang on!
The capital of Northern Ireland has traditionally been thought of a secondary holiday location to Dublin. However Belfast is quickly establishing itself as the place to visit for a truly authentic Irish experience. The history of Northern Ireland’s capital searches back to the Bronze Ages, and during the 19th century, the city began to flourish as a naval port and ship-building center, famously being the birthplace of the Titanic.
Perhaps the most famous period of Belfast’s history, however, is its most tragic – a period of political conflict spanning three decades. And the city still has plenty of reminders of the troubles, in particular the striking and sometimes intimidating murals depicting various events of the times. Belfast has plenty of traditional pubs where visitors can enjoy a pint with the locals, and there are dozens of historic buildings, hotels and old streets, most of which can be explored on foot.
Belfast Travel Tips – How To Get From The Airport To Belfast
Belfast is served by Belfast International Airport and is easily accessible by various means of transport when looking for Belfast travel tips. Located around 18 miles northwest of Belfast, is easily accessed via the major road and motorway network. There are two alternatives that are the best to get from the airport to Belfast, let’s walk through them now.
Translink are the public transport provider in Belfast and the rest of Northern Ireland. Regular bus and coach services
are available outside the arrivals hall building to Belfast city. All three bus terminals provide access to the wider Northern Ireland and intercountry public transport networks. The bus ride from the airport to Belfast costs £8 for a single ticket or £11.50 for a return and the ride takes around 40-45 minutes.
Taxis are easily accessible outside the arrivals hall of the airport. The 18 mile ride from the airport costs around £40 for a 5-person standard taxi and takes approximately 35 minutes.
Belfast Travel Tips – How To Get Around Belfast
When looking for Belfast travel tips and how to best get around the city, the capital of Northern Ireland is a relatively compact city that is easy to navigate by walking or riding a bicycle. For reaching those parts that are a bit too far to walk to, Belfast has a great public transport system that is operated by Translink. Let’s look into the different public transport options in detail.
The buses in Belfast are bright and pink colored with both single and double decker buses. The Metro buses in Belfast run regularly and the most central bus stops can be found at the Europa bus station. Buses in Belfast follow 12 different routes and on the Translink website there’s a great journey planner to help you out with the Belfast travel options. A single ticket costs £2.10, and there are travel passes available if you plan to take the Metro bus regularly during your time in Belfast.
There’s four types of taxis that operate in Belfast. All official taxis are clearly marked, and the best way to get a cab is to find a taxi rank or call a reputable company to reserve a taxi at a specific place and time. Be aware that many taxis are prohibited from stopping when hailed, though these rules are relaxed between the hours of midnight and 6 am.
Best Places To Stay In Belfast
When looking for Belfast travel tips this is an excellent city to explore. It has a compact city centre that is bursting with history and culture. Here you’ll find heritage landmarks nestled alongside lively bars, innovative restaurants, and charming museums. The city is divided into four main areas, six districts and hundreds of smaller neighbourhoods. This guide will highlight the best neighbourhoods in Belfast.
Central Belfast – for first timers
Central Belfast is the neighbourhood as it sounds is located in the heart of the city. A lively and vibrant area that welcomes travellers and tourists with its incredible architecture and rich history. Belfast city center brusts a great selection of traditional pubs, delicious restaurants, and charming attractions to enjoy. This is the best place to stay if you’re visiting Belfast for the first time.
This is a lively and vibrant district located south of the city centre. Queens Quarters is set around the hallowed grounds of Queens University and here you will find plenty of activities and attractions catering to students. The neighborhood is relaxed and here you’ll find the best selection of budget accommodation options in the city. It’s home to the majority of Belfast’s hostels as well as a vast array of affordable and good value hotels and short term rentals. That’s why it’s our pick for where to stay in Belfast if you’re on a tight budget.
One of the newest and most modern areas of Belfast is The Titanic Quarter. The neighbourhood is a former shipyard, that is best known for building the famous old cruise ship Titanic. Today the area is home to one of the most popular tourist attractions, the Titanic Museum. The quarter boasts a strong maritime theme, mixed with commercial and residential areas, as well as entertainment venues, cafes, and great museums. This is the best place to stay in Belfast for families.
Belfast perhaps isn’t the first city that comes to mind when thinking of great food, but don’t worry. When looking for Belfast travel tips and food in the city, it actually holds one of the cheapest and highest quality food in the UK. From fresh seafood straight from the Irish shores, to perfectly grilled steak and veg, Belfast has a great selection of restaurants and dining experiences to choose from. Here’s some of the best places to eat in Belfast.
Molly’s Yard is a restaurant that has a good reputation with full tables every night of the week. The menu is a bargain if you’re looking to try quality food on a budget. From seafood chowder, portobello mushrooms with blue cheese and walnut stuffing to a classic chutney garnished burger. Local flavours that are exciting and incorporating artisan fudge makers, bakers from the region, among many more. Located a stone’s throw away from Queen’s University on Botanic Avenue, this is a great place to get the most bang for the buck.
Made in Belfast offers an exciting menu such as fish is soaked in gin before being served and burgers are topped with Irish cheddar, in fresh Belfast baps. All meat and fish options are free-range and sustainable, sourced locally. Make sure to add to your meal an amazing drink from the cocktail menu, where Cosmopolitans come with a meringue topping and flaming fruits. Made in Belfast is one of Belfast’s most colourful and artsy restaurants.
Hadskis sits on the cobbled streets of Belfast’s headline district for pubs and nightlife. The nice menu includes a pea and pesto risotto, grilled picanha main and a rhubarb and honeycomb mesh which is a Northern Irish twist on the classic Eton mess. It’s a great way to introduce yourself to the crazy menu options in the city’s Cathedral Quarter, where you’ll find most of the popular food and bar restaurants.
Coco is located right beside City Hall, making it a popular place for office workers after weekday shifts. Coco’s menu has plenty of skill and expensive taste, although it’s surprisingly affordable. Seared scallops, venison and herb gnocchi, pork belly with a side of cauliflower Puree and pickled grape, or even a Jerusalem artichoke soup starter is great on the menu. Desert is even better, with a popular salted caramel pudding. The cocktail menu is great with anything from lychee martini to the blood orange gin cocktail and passionfruit cosmopolitans. This restaurant continues to be a local favourite and an absolute visit in Belfast.
Top 7 Experiences You MUST Have In Belfast
Titanic Belfast ticks a lot of boxes for tourists. It’s as much a hit with anyone genuinely interested in maritime and economic history as it is with anyone who ever watched the movie Titanic or like museums in general. This monumental museum and visitor centre dedicated to the Titanic and her sister ships built at the same shipyard. For additional
Titanic Museum Belfast
points, it’s also a stunning building located in a fascinating part of Belfast. Well worth a visit.
This big public garden stretches out behind the Ulster Museum near the Queen’s University. It’s a perfect place to grab a walk and for having lunch in or visiting the Victorian glasshouses.
The great thing about Botanic Gardens is that it’s conveniently located in the city, especially if you’re planning a trip to the Ulster Museum. Unlike most Botanic Gardens, the one in Belfast is now a public park used for concerts and other large scale events.
Game of Thrones tour
This tour is a must for all Game of Thrones fans especially and people who love great nature in general. This one day bus tour, leaving from Belfast will take you to the rural locations used in the filming of the HBO megahit series. You’ll love this if you’ve followed all the series, but if you’re only tagging along with a friend you won’t be disappointed, it’s a stunning collection of nature and rural buildings that are worth the while.
If you’re interested in the history and politics of Northern Ireland, there are numerous walking tours you can take around The Parliament Buildings of the Northern Ireland Assembly found on the Stormont Estate. Here’s also Stormont itself, home of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Architecturally alone, these buildings are worth the visit.
Parliament Buildings in Belfast
Hillsborough Castle is located about 35 minutes by bus from Belfast. Built in the 1770s by Wills Hill one of the largest landowners in Ireland, this is a splendid late Georgian ‘Big House’ with a fascinating history. From grand family home to charming royal residence, over three centuries Hillsborough Castle has welcomed the world and witnessed important chapters in British and Irish politics.
Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory
When you’re done exploring the city and have seen all the great historic buildings, it’s time for a treat. And what better way to treat yourself than at a candy factory? Aunt Sandra’s candy factory and shop is where you can buy enough boiled sweets, honeycomb, fudge, chocolate and other delights to fill a suitcase and collect a massive dentist bill… If you don’t want to eat sweets you can see how these sweet toothed favourites are made in the factory or enjoy some time in the newly opened cafe.
This is the most famous natural landmark in Northern Ireland. The swathe of dark, imposing basalt columns is a real sight to behold. This place is truly unique so take advantage and take it in on a day trip from Belfast. Giant’s Causeway is called so because of a Gaelic myth telling of an Irish giant who built the causeway across the North Channel so that he could fight a Scottish giant. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was created by a giant Volcanic eruption and is a really cool place to take a day trip away from town into nature near the sea for some peace of mind.