Northern Ireland is well connected with the UK, Ireland and Europe. Belfast International Airport also has several European and international flight routes in case you're travelling from further afield. Northern Ireland is small, and once you arrive, it's easy to get around either by car or public transport.
Getting to Northern Ireland by air
If you’re travelling by air, the easiest airport to fly into is Belfast International Airport (BFS). There are flights to over 70 destinations in the UK, Ireland, Europe and North America. From the airport, you can take a Translink Airport Express 300 bus to the city centre. The journey takes around 30-40 minutes and tickets cost £8 one-way or £11.50 return. The Airport Express 300 runs seven days a week with services every 15 minutes.
You can also fly into George Belfast City Airport (BHD) which is only three miles from the city centre. There are flights to 18 destinations in the UK and Europe. From here, you can take the Translink Airport Express 600 bus, jump on a train, hop in a taxi or grab an Uber to the city.
Getting to Northern Ireland by ferry
Taking the ferry is a good option if you’re travelling from Britain and want to take your car. There are crossings from England and Scotland, and the high-speed ferry from Scotland takes just one hour. The main ferry companies operating services to Northern Ireland include:
P&O Cruises: from Cairnryan (Scotland)
Stena Line: from Liverpool (England) and Cairnryan
Kintyre Express: from Campbelltown (Scotland)
Steam Packet Company: from Douglas (Isle of Man)
If you’re coming from the Republic of Ireland, you can take a TransLink cross-border train from Dublin to Belfast Central Station. It stops at all major towns including Louth, Dundalk, Newry and Portadown. The journey takes about 2.5 hours.
Getting around Northern Ireland
Getting around Northern Ireland is no bother. It helps when it’s so compact! There’s a great public transport system, the roads are relatively easy to drive and it never takes too long to get from A to B.
Driving in Northern Ireland is an easy way to get around and explore at your own pace. You can take your car on the ferry or hire one at an airport or town. The roads in Northern Ireland, particularly in more remote areas, can be narrow in places, so just be mindful of this if you don't have much experience driving narrow country roads.
Translink is the main public transport operator in Northern Ireland. If you'll mostly be using the TransLink rail and bus networks to get around, you could benefit from buying a daily, weekly, monthly or multi-travel pass for cheaper travel rates.
When travelling in Belfast, you can buy a Belfast Visitor Pass for unlimited bus and rail travel for one, two or three consecutive days (note: this is only valid for travel within the Belfast Visitor Pass Zone).
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