Travel Information

Belfast city hall in Summer

Travel Information

Travel Information

Belfast is easily accessible by land, sea and air

Belfast is served by two airports: George Best Belfast City (airport code BHD) and Belfast International (airport code BFS). George Best Belfast City Airport (airport code BHD) is the closest at 3 miles from the city centre, and is practically in sight of the Waterfront hall where this year’s conference will take place. For up to date information on transport from George Best Belfast City Airport to the city centre please go to http://www.belfastcityairport.com/To-From-the-Airport

Belfast International Airport is actually located near the town of Antrim, around 18 miles away to the north of the city. However there are excellent links with buses and taxis going straight to the city centre. For up to date information on transport from Belfast International Airport to the city centre please go to http://www.belfastairport.com/to-from.  

The official websites for these airports are:

George Best Belfast City Airport

Belfast International Airport

The information below is adapted from Tripadvisor and also provides some detail for people arriving to Dublin Airport.

For non EU delegates intending to travel via Dublin Airport please check visa requirements carefully. 

The most popular ways for travel from the airports to Belfast city centre are as follows:

BELFAST CITY AIRPORT

By Bus

Translink (Northern Ireland's public transport authority) runs a regular airport service between Belfast City Airport and Europa Bus Centre in Belfast city centre.  It is route number 600 and the airport stop is just outside the terminal doors.  At the time of writing the fare is currently £2.50 single or £3.80 return (valid for 1 month), but please check Translink's website for the most up-to-date information, timetables, etc.

Please note that day tickets for the Metro bus system are also valid for travel to/from Belfast City Airport on the 600 service, so if you will be taking another bus journey the same day it might be more economical to buy a Metro day ticket instead (currently £3.90 before 9.30am Monday to Saturday, or £3.40 after 9.30am Monday to Saturday and all day Sunday - further information is available on Translink's website).

By Train

Sydenham railway halt is close to Belfast City Airport across the Sydenham Bypass.  There is a footbridge about a 10 minute walk from the airport entrance but if you have mobility difficulties, a lot of luggage or are nervous about walking alongside fast-moving traffic, it's probably not the best way to get there.  A shuttle bus is also available between the airport and the railway halt.

The number 1 train line goes from Sydenham to the railway stations in the city centre (either Central Station or Great Victoria Street depending on your destination); trains come every 30 minutes - 1 hour depending on the day and time.  The fare from Sydenham to Belfast Central or Great Victoria Street is currently £1.80 single, but please check Translink's website for up-to-date information about fares, timetables, etc.  Promotional £2 day tickets may be available on some Saturdays.

Most people consider that the 600 bus service already discussed is the easier public transport method between the bus and train options.

By Car

Various car rental companies are available at Belfast City Airport.  Contact information can be found at the airport's website linked to above.  The journey by car from the International Airport to the city centre will usually take around 10-20 minutes depending on traffic.  This map shows the most direct route to the city centre.

The traffic system in the city centre can be a little complicated if you're not used to it (with several one-way streets and certain roads restricted to public transport only) so it is advisable to change the end point on the map to your intended destination for more specific directions.

By Taxi

Taxis are available outside the terminal at Belfast City Airport.  The current fare is around £10 to most locations in the city centre, although you can obtain a more specific quote at the official website.

Local taxi companies are also available and depending on your requirements you may wish to contact them for a quote.  Reliable companies include Value Cabs and Fonacab, although a quick search online will give you many more options.

Whilst it is not compulsory to tip your taxi driver, it is generally considered polite to do so; around 10% of the fare is usually about right.

 

BELFAST INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

By Bus

Translink runs a regular airport service between Belfast International and Europa Bus Centre in Belfast city centre.  It is route number 300 and the airport stop is just outside the terminal doors.  At the time of writing the fare is currently £7.50 single or £10.50 return (valid for 1 month), but please check Translink's website for the most up-to-date information, timetables, etc.

Belfast International Airport is unfortunately not served by a railway line, therefore direct travel to Belfast by train is not possible. 

By Car

Various car rental companies are available at Belfast International.  Contact information can be found at the airport's website linked to above.  The journey by car from the International Airport to the city centre will usually take around 30-45 minutes depending on traffic.  This map shows the most straightforward route to the city centre. Belfast International Airport has a number of official car parks surrounding the terminal. 

The traffic system in the city centre can be a little complicated if you're not used to it (with several one-way streets and certain roads restricted to public transport only) so it is advisable to change the end point on the map to your intended destination for more specific directions.

By Taxi

Taxis are available outside the terminal at Belfast International.  The current fare is around £30 to most locations in the city centre, although the tariff sheet at the official website provides more thorough information.

Local taxi companies are also available and depending on your requirements you may wish to contact them for a quote.  Reliable companies include Value Cabs and Fonacab, although a quick search online will give you many more options. 

Whilst it is not compulsory to tip your taxi driver, it is generally considered polite to do so; around 10% of the fare is usually about right.

 

OTHER AIRPORTS

Depending on costs and travel plans, some visitors might arrive or depart using airports other than those already discussed.  Two of the most frequently asked about are Dublin Airport (airport code DUB) and City of Derry Airport (LDY).  The official websites for these airports are:

Dublin Airport 

City of Derry Airport

Whilst not the most convenient airports for travel to/from Belfast, transport links do exist.  If you are driving you can use Google Maps to obtain directions similar to the maps linked to above.  Information on public transport options is as follows:

Dublin Airport

Two main bus services run between Dublin Airport and Belfast city centre: / Firstly, Translink and Bus Éireann jointly run a service known as the Goldline Express Service X1 - X2 when departing from Belfast Europa Bus Centre and the Bus Eireann Service X1 when departing from Dublin / Dublin Airport.  At the time of writing the fare is £13.50/€16.20 single and £19.50/€23.40 return (valid for 1 month), but please check Translink's website for the most up-to-date information, timetables, etc.  Promotional web fares may be available to purchase online in advance.

Please also read the notes at the bottom about the currency to pay in, so as to prevent confusion when purchasing your ticket.

Secondly, Aircoach runs a regular service between Glengall Street (just outside the Europa Bus Centre) in Belfast and Dublin Airport.  At the time of writing the fare is £13/€16 single and £19/€23 return (valid any date), but please check Aircoach's website for the most up-to-date information, timetables, etc.

You can purchase your Aircoach ticket online in advance or on the day from the driver or the Aircoach representative at Dublin Airport.

The Enterprise train service also runs between Dublin city centre (Connolly Station) and Belfast city centre (Central Station): further information including fares and timetables are available from Translink’s website.  However you must remember to consider how you will travel between Connolly Station and Dublin Airport.  The top questions on the Dublin Trip Advisor forum will help with this.

City of Derry Airport

There is no direct bus or train route straight from Belfast city centre to City of Derry Airport, although it's still pretty straightforward getting between the two.  Coming from Belfast, the easiest way is to take Translink's Goldline bus service 212 from the Europa Bus Centre to Foyle Street Bus Centre in Derry.  Then change to a 143 or a 234 service from Foyle St to City of Derry Airport.  The same is true in reverse if arriving at Derry Airport and travelling to Belfast.

There is also a direct train line between Belfast and Derry city centre (NI Railways' number 3 line) as an alternative to the 212 bus service, but you will still need to travel between the Derry Airport and Derry city centre.

Timetables for all bus and train services are available on Translink's website, or you can use the Journey Planner tool to see the specific options for your dates and times.  Translink do publish the NI Railways train fares on their website but they currently do not publish the standard fares for the bus routes mentioned; you should contact them using the details on their website to obtain accurate and up-to-date fare information if you need this.  However it is also worth checking the 'Offers' section of the website as promotional fares are often applied to the 212 bus route between Belfast and Derry.