Travelling to Belfast/Riddel Hall
Belfast International Airport is situated around 20 miles from Belfast city centre and Riddel Hall, and is the largest airport in Northern Ireland (see destination map). The Airport Express 300 service operates between the airport and Europa Buscentre, with buses departing every 15-30 minutes for 24 hours per day. Return trips to the airport leave Europa Buscentre between 4:00 and 3:20. The bus leaves from the bus stop located opposite the terminal exit. Approximate journey time 30-40 minuites, subject to traffic conditions. Bus tickets are £8.00 single and £11.00 return. A taxi to Riddel Hall and hotels in the Queen's Quarter will cost approximately £30.00-35.00.
George Best Belfast City Airport is situated approximately three miles from Belfast city centre. A taxi to Riddel Hall and hotels in the Queen's Quarter will cost approximately £10.00-15.00. The Airport Express 600 departs from outside the terminal building every 30 minutes and terminates at the Europa Buscentre in the city centre. The service operates between 5:15 and 21:45, and costs £2.50 single and £3.80 return.
Dublin Airport is approximately 100 miles from Riddel Hall and 10 km north of Dublin. There are direct buses from Dublin Airport to Belfast city centre every ~30 minutes. The bus ride takes 105-120 mins. There are two bus companies offering service between Dublin Airport and Belfast city centre: Aircoach and Translink Goldline. Aircoach bus route 705x connects Dublin city centre with Dublin Airport and Belfast Glengall Street (bus stop just outside of Europa Buscentre). Bus stops at Dublin Airport are outside Terminal 1 and 2 in the arrivals area. For taking a bus to Belfast, please board the bus outside Terminal 1. Buses run from Dublin Airport to Belfast once per hour at xx:00 between 4:00 and 0:00, with an additional service at 2:00. Buses from Belfast leave every hour at xx:30 between 0:30 and 22:30. Single adult tickets are €12.00/£10.00 and return tickets €24.00/£20.00; tickets can be bought online, on-board the bus in Belfast, or at the Aircoach counter at the bus stop at Dublin Airport Terminal 1. Translink Goldline bus lines X1 and X2 run between Belfast city centre and Dublin city centre, with a stop at Dublin Airport. Buses from Dublin Airport to Belfast Europa Buscentre run hourly at xx:35 between 7:35 and 22:35, with additional services at 1:35, 4:05 and 6:20. Buses from Belfast Europa Buscentre to Dublin Airport leave every hour at xx:45 between 6:45 and 19:45, with additional services at 0:00, 1:00, 3:00, 5:30, 8:15, 9:15, 10:15 and 22:00. Tickets for this service can be purchased online, at the counters at Belfast Europa Buscentre, or a ticket machine at the bus stop at Dublin Airport (bus stop located between Terminals 1 and 2). Online tickets can be bought up to one month prior to the desired journey date. Single adult tickets are £9.50, while return tickets are £17.
Stena Line Ferries connect Belfast directly with Liverpool Birkenhead and Cairnryan in southwest Scotland. Ferries between Belfast and Cairnryan run every ~4 hours and take 2-2.5 hours. Ferries between Belfast and Liverpool leave twice per day and take around 8 hours. Belfast Victoria Terminal 4, the terminus of the Cairnryan-Belfast ferry service, is located close to the city centre. Translink operates Metro service 96 that connects Victoria Terminal 4 with the city centre. Buses to the terminal leave from Upper Queen Street, near Belfast City Hall. Trips from the harbour drop you off at Donegall Square. A taxi-share scheme is in operation, offered by black public hire taxis just outside the terminal building. The taxis cover areas throughout the city. You may share a taxi or have sole occupancy from £9 per taxi to the city centre. Belfast Victoria Terminal 2, the terminus of the Liverpool-Belfast ferry service, is connected to the city centre through Translink Metro bus service 96 and taxi. Buses to the terminal leave from Upper Queen Street, near Belfast City Hall. Trips from the harbour drop you off at Donegall Square.
By long-distance bus:
Buses run between Dublin and Belfast city centres. Aircoach bus route 705x, Translink Goldline bus lines X1 and X2 and Dublin Coach M1 Express connect Dublin and Belfast. Bus journeys between the two cities are around 2-2.5 hours. From Dublin Airport and Dublin city centre, other buses provide services to all larger cities in the Republic of Ireland.
Aircoach bus route 705x leaves its Dublin city centre stop in O’Connell Street once per hour at xx:30 between 3:30 and 23:30, with an additional service at 1:30. Buses from Belfast leave every hour at xx:30 between 0:30 and 22:30. Single adult tickets are €12.00/£10.00 and return tickets €24.00/£20.00; tickets can be bought online or at the bus stop. Translink Goldline bus lines X1 and X2 run between Belfast Europa Buscentre and Dublin Busaras Bus Station, with a stop at Dublin Airport. Buses from Dublin Busaras to Belfast Europa Buscentre run every hour at xx:15 between 7:15 and 23:15, with additional services at 1:15, 3:45 and 6:00. Buses from Belfast Europa Buscentre to Dublin Airport and city centre leave every hour at xx:45 between 6:45 and 19:45, with additional services at 0:00, 1:00, 3:00, 5:30, 8:15, 9:15, 10:15 and 22:00. Online tickets can be bought up to one month prior to the desired journey date. Single adult tickets are £9.50, while return tickets are £17. Dublin Express bus line M1 Express connects Dublin and Belfast city centres without a stop at Dublin Airport. Buses run every day from 5:30 and 20:30 every hour at xx:30 in both directions. The bus stop in Dublin is located in Custom House Quay, while the Belfast bus stop is located in Glengall Street, just outside Europa Buscentre. Tickets are €10/£8 single and €20/£16 return. Tickets can be bought online and on-board the bus.
Long-distance express services from across Northern Ireland to Belfast Europa Buscentre are provided by Translink Ulsterbus.
Translink provides a train service from Dublin Connolly to Belfast Lanyon Place, located at the southeastern end of Belfast city centre. Trains run from Dublin Connolly every ~2 hours between 7:35 and 20:50 Mondays-Saturdays, and at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00 and 19:00 on Sundays. Trains from Belfast Lanyon Place leave every ~2 hours between 6:45 and 20:05 Mondays-Saturdays, and at 9:00, 11:05, 13:05, 16:05 and 19:05 on Sundays. Tickets can be purchased in the stations and online. The train ride takes around 2 hours. Single tickets cost £30.00, and return tickets £35.00 or £45.00. At Belfast Lanyon Place station, you can take Metro buses free of charge with your train ticket valid for the date of travel. The bus stop is located on the left at the front of the station building, and buses will leave you at Donegall Square in the city centre.
Translink also provides train services from all across Northern Ireland to Belfast. If possible, you should get off your train either at stations Botanic or Great Victoria Street. From Botanic train station, it is a ~10-20 minute walk to most hotels in the Queen's Quarter and 20-25 minutes to Riddel Hall. If you get off at Great Victoria Street station, follow the guidance how to reach Riddel Hall from Belfast city centre below.
Address of Riddel Hall is 185 Stranmillis Road, Belfast BT9 5EE - Google Maps.
Approaching from Belfast city centre via University Road, pass the Queen’s University main building, the Lanyon Building, and turn onto the Stranmillis Road at Botanic Gardens/Methodist College, pass the Ulster Museum on your left and continue past all the shops. You will pass Ridgeway Street on your left (Lyric Theatre) and almost immediately on the right you will see red brick gateposts and a gatelodge with black gates. This is the entrance to Riddel Hall.
Approaching from the River Lagan or Malone Road/Ulster Independent Clinic/Stranmillis Road (M1/Westlink) direction (coming from outside Belfast), you will come to a roundabout at Stranmillis College. Turn uphill (College to your left, car park to your right) towards the city centre. Riddel Hall will be the first entrance on your left.
On-site parking is available for visitors.
Public Transportation from city centre to Riddel Hall
Riddel Hall is on Metro bus routes 8A and 8D which depart from Donegall Square East beside the City Hall and run via Great Victoria Street, Bradbury Place, University Road and Stranmillis Road. Buses from Donegall Square East take around 10-15 minutes to Riddel Hall. Get off at bus stop Ridgeway Street for Riddel Hall - The bus stop is located just north of Riddel Hall on Stranmillis Road. Buses run every ~10-30 minutes from 6:35 until 22:15 during weekdays (last bus at 22:42 from Riddel Hall). Tickets can be bought from the bus driver using cash, and are currently around £2.00 single. See Metro bus map and journey planner for more information.
All buses of these lines stop near Europa Buscentre, Great Victoria Street train station and Glengall Street, where buses and trains from Belfast International and City Airports, other cities in Northern Ireland, Dublin Airport and Dublin city centre arrive. To access the Europa Buscentre, Great Victoria Street train station and Glengall Street from Riddel Hall, take the Metro bus to its last stop and walk to Glengall Street or the Europa Buscentre - This is a 5 minute walk. From Botanic train station, there is no bus connection to Riddel Hall. It is a 20-25 minute walk from the station, walking south from the station along Botanic Avenue, through the Botanic Gardens and south along Stranmillis Road.
There are also several non-expensive private 24-hour hire taxi firms in Belfast, and also black taxi ranks. Most common private hire taxi firms are:
Value Cabs +44 (0)28 9080 9080
fonaCAB +44 (0)28 9023 3333
All delegates must ensure that they have obtained any visa that may be required to visit the United Kingdom before travelling. If you intend to visit the Republic of Ireland during your stay or to transit through the Republic of Ireland en route to Belfast, you may require two visas, one for the United Kingdom and one for the Republic of Ireland. There are currently no immigration controls within the Common Travel Area (United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland), so those travelling to the Republic of Ireland before travelling to Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom should check requirements before travelling.
Belfast International and City Airports are located in the United Kingdom.
For definitive information on visa requirements for entry to the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, please refer to the website of the UK Borders Agency. For definitive information on visa requirements for entry to the Republic of Ireland, please refer to the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service. Further information is available from your local British and Irish Embassy or Consulate.
If you require visa supporting letters from the conference organiser, please email your request to email@example.com latest by 1st October 2019, stating your full name as in passport, address, country, passport number, nationality, travel dates and the date of the visa application. Visa supporting letters can only be sent to delegates after payment of the registration fee.
Tourism in Northern Ireland
Major sights in Belfast include:
- Queen’s University Belfast - Lanyon Building. The main building of Queen’s University Belfast, opened in 1849 and designed by Sir Charles Lanyon. Located on University Road to the south of Belfast city centre and to the north of Riddel Hall.
- Botanic Gardens. Located just next to Queen’s University Belfast. Free entrance to the gardens and Palm House. Opening hours to the gardens depending on sunrise and sunset, palm house is open from 10:00 to 17:00. Entrances are located at Colenso Parade, Stranmillis Embankment, Stranmillis Gardens, Stranmillis Road, Botanic Court and College Park East.
- Ulster Museum. Located in the Botanic Gardens, on Stranmillis Road. Opening hours 10:00-17:00 Tuesdays to Sundays, closed on Mondays. Entrance free. The museum has around 8,000 square metres of public display space, featuring material from the collections of fine art and applied art, archaeology, ethnography, treasures from the Spanish Armada, local history, numismatics, industrial archaeology, botany, zoology and geology. It is the largest museum in Northern Ireland.
- Belfast City Hall. Located on Donegall Square in Belfast city centre. Public tours are available at 11:00, 14:00 and 15:00 on Mondays-Fridays, and at 12:00, 14:00 and 15:00 on weekends.
- Grand Opera House. In the city centre close to Donegall Square and next to the world famous Europa Hotel (“The most bombed hotel in the world”) and Europa Buscentre. Opened in 1895 and designed by Frank Matcham. Operas, ballets and musicals are part of its programme.
- The Crown Bar. Located in the city centre on Great Victoria Street, opposite the Europa Hotel. The pub dates back to the 19th century and is an outstanding example of a Victorian gin palace.
- St. Anne’s Cathedral. Located on Donegall Street in the northern part of the city centre, and the focal point of the Cathedral Quarter, with a large number of good restaurants, bars and pubs. Open to the public Mondays to Saturdays 9:00-17:15 and Sundays 13:00-15:00. Adults £5.00 (including guide book or audio tour), students £4.00.
- St. George’s Market. Built between 1890 and 1896 and one of the best markets in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, with numerous local and national titles and awards for its fresh local products and great atmosphere. It holds a weekly Friday Variety Market, the City Food and Craft Market on Saturdays and the Sunday Market. Located on East Bridge Street in the southeastern end of the city centre.
- Crumlin Road Gaol. A former prison with a 150-year history. Located on Crumlin Road in North Belfast, close to the city centre. Open daily, with the first tour at 10:00 and the last tour at 16:30. Tour duration approximately 75 minutes. Adults £9.00 online (£12.00 at the door), students £8.00 online (£10.00 at the door).
- Titanic Belfast. The world’s largest Titanic visitor experience in the city where she was launched, exploring the Titanic story in a fresh and insightful way. Located in the heart of the Titanic Quarter, just a short walk, bus ride (Metro lines 26A-C and 600) or taxi ride from Belfast city centre. Opening hours 10:00-17:00 daily, last admission 105 minutes before closing time. Standard Titanic Experience Admission, including entrance to SS Nomadic, is £18.50 for adults and £15.00 for students.
- Titanic’s Dock & Pump House. Visit the dry dock of the Titanic. Located on Queens Road at the NI Science Park, close to Titanic Belfast. Opening hours 10:00-16:30. Adults £5.00/£7.00 guided.
- W5 Interactive Discovery Centre. W5 is Ireland’s award winning science and discovery centre at Odyssey in the Titanic Quarter, with over 250 interactive exhibits and a changing programme of events, shows and exhibitions. Opening hours 10:00-17:00 Mondays-Fridays, 10:00-18:00 Saturdays and 12:00-18:00 Sundays; last admission one hour before closing. Adults £9.80, students £8.10.
- Titanic Boat Tours. Take a boat tour through Belfast harbour and hear the story of Belfast’s rich maritime heritage and industry, including the Titanic. Tours leave from Donegall Quay (less than 100 metres down the harbour from the Big Fish Sculpture) at 12:30 and 14:00, and last 60 minutes. Adults £12.00.
- Stormont Estate and Castle. Located in East Belfast, Stormont Castle is used as the main meeting place of the Northern Ireland Executive. The current area of the estate is 407 acres and is open to the public 365 days a year. Opening times 7:30-20:00 Mondays-Fridays, 9:00-20:00 on weekends.
- Cave Hill Country Park and Belfast Castle. Located in North Belfast. Take a challenging walk beginning at Belfast Castle and following the green way marked arrows up Cave Hill, with fabulous views over the city and Belfast Lough. Metro bus service 1A-1H (Mondays-Saturdays), 1C-1E and 1H (Sundays) take you to Belfast Castle and Hazelwood entrance. The walk includes steep climbs and unsurfaced paths, so be prepared. Belfast Castle is open to the public, and the Cellar Restaurant offers a variety of menus from morning coffee to full meals. The second floor of the Castle hosts the Cave Hill Visitor Centre with displays on the history, folklore, wildlife and geology of Cave Hill Country Park and the story of Belfast Castle.
- Belfast City Sightseeing. Hop-on/hop-off tourist bus service with two routes. Tours operate seven days a week from 10:00 to 16:30. Tours depart from Castle Place which is just a two-minute walk from Belfast City Hall. Adults £12.50 (£11.50 online), students £10.50 (£9.50 online). Tickets are valid for hop-on hop-off for 48 hours.
Major sights close to Belfast include:
- Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. Comprises two separate museums, the Folk Museum and the Transport Museum. Located in Cultra, 11 km east of Belfast. Single Museum Ticket adults £9.00, students £7.00. Both Museums Ticket adults £11.00, students £8.50. Open Tuesdays to Sundays 10:00-17:00 (closed on Mondays). You can take the train from Belfast towards Bangor to Cultra Halt rail station, from where it is a 2-minute walk to the Transport Galleries, or an uphill walk of about 15 minutes to the Folk Museum.
- Carrickfergus Castle. Norman Irish castle built in 1177 and situated in the town of Carrickfergus on the northern shore of Belfast Lough. Opening times 10:00-16:00 (last entry 15:30), adults £5.50 and students £3.50. The castle is a short walk from Carrickfergus rail station, with direct connections to Belfast city centre.
- Giant’s Causeway. World famous basalt columns on the north coast of Northern Ireland, around 1.5 hours bus/car ride north of Belfast (~100 km). The coastline is open from dawn to dusk, while the visitor centre is open from 9:00 to 17:00 (last admission at 16:00). Adults £11.50. You can take regular trains from Belfast to Coleraine, then change to Ulsterbus Service 172. Most people book a day bus tour to the north coast and Giant’s Causeway from Belfast, including potential stops at Carrickfergus and Dunluce Castles, Causeway Coastal Route, Bushmills Distillery, Carrick-a-rede rope bridge and Dark Hedges. These tours are provided by a number of companies and agencies, including City Sightseeing Belfast, McComb's Coach Travel, Irish Tour Tickets, Allen's Belfast Bus Tours, Paddywagon Tours and Finn McCools Tours.
- Game of Thrones Tour. The HBO TV series Game of Thrones was partly produced in Northern Ireland, including Belfast. Multiple providers offer day filming location bus tours from Belfast, including tours to the Antrim coast and trips to filming locations in or around Belfast. Tour providers include City Sightseeing Belfast, Games of Thrones Tours, Game of Thrones Winterfell Tours, Game of Thrones Tours Ireland, Brit Movie Tours, Irish Tour Tickets and Finn McCools Tours.
- Northern Ireland Tourist Board. Travellers unfamiliar with the region may find the Common Questions section of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board website a useful source of information on a wide range of topics: Northern Ireland - Common Questions
- Visit Belfast.
- Belfast and Northern Ireland information from Geographia.