Belfast International Airport at Aldergove (BFS)
19 mi from Belfast (028/9442-2888)
Belfast’s principal air arrival point.
Belfast City Airport (BHD)
4 mi from Belfast
Receives flights from U.K. provincial airports, from London Gatwick and Heathrow, and from Stanstead and Luton (both near London). Flights take about 1 1/4 hours from London.
Operates a shuttle bus every half hour between the International Airport and Belfast city center.
Belfast has two airports: Belfast International and Belfast City: it also gets considerable sea traffic at Belfast Harbour and at Larne (30 min. from Belfast by train, bus, or car)north of the city. From Belfast City Airport, you can travel into Belfast by train from Sydenham Halt to Central Station (E. Bridge St.) or catch a taxi from the airport to your hotel.
Airbus limousine is a popular choice from either airport into the city center. It operates daily, leaves approximately twice an hour, and costs about £5 ($8.25) per person from BFS, less from BHD. A taxi costs considerably more.
The Republic’s Bus Éireann
Also runs direct services to and from Dublin. Buses arrive at and depart from Belfast’s Europa Buscentre (Glengall St., 028/9033-3000) and the ride takes three hours.
Buses to Belfast also run from London and from Birmingham, making the Stranraer ferry (01/776/7022) crossing.
Many roads from the Irish Republic into Northern Ireland were once closed for security reasons, but all are now reinstated, leaving drivers with a choice of legitimate crossing points. Army checkpoints at all approved frontier posts are rare, and few customs formalities are observed. The fast N1/A1 road connects Belfast to Dublin in 100 miles with an average driving time of just over two hours.
Norse Irish Ferries
Victoria Terminal 2, West Bank Rd.
Has 11-hour daytime or overnight car ferries that connect Belfast with the English west-coast port of Liverpool every other day.
P&O; European Ferries
Has a one-hour sailing to Larne from Cairnryan, Scotland; infrequent trains take passengers on to Belfast.
Both fast catamarans that carry cars and passengers from Stranraer directly into Belfast in just 11/2 hours.
The Argyll and Antrim Steam Packet Company
A three-hour car-ferry service on the MV Claymore linking Campbeltown in Scotland with Ballycastle in County Antrim; it runs July-October.
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
Runs summer services between the Isle of Man and Belfast.
The Dublin-Belfast Express train
Operated by both Northern Ireland Railways (028/9089-9411) and Iarnród Éireann (01/855-4477) Travels between the two cities in about two hours. Six trains run daily in both directions (three on Sunday) to and from Belfast’s Central Station (E. Bridge St., 028/9089-9411). Also, a free shuttle bus service will drop you off at City Hall or Ulsterbus’s city-center Europa Buscentre ( 028/9033-3000), or you can change trains for Great Victoria Street Station (Great Victoria St., 028/9043-4424), which is adjacent both to the Europa Buscentre and the Europa Hotel.
There are frequent and inexpensive Ulsterbus links between all Northern Ireland towns. The main bus stations in Belfast are the Europa Buscentre (Glengall St., 028/9033-3000), which is easiest to find using its Great Victoria Street entrance to the left of the Europa Hotel, and the Laganside Buscentre (Donegall Quay, 028/9033-3000), around the corner from the Albert Clock and about 1 km (1/2 mi) from Central Station.