Getting there & away
Belfast has two bus stations. The main Europa BusCentre (9066 6630) is behind the Europa Hotel and next door to Great Victoria St train station, reached via the Great Northern Mall beside the hotel. It’s the main terminus for buses to Derry, Dublin and destinations in the west and south of Northern Ireland. The smaller Laganside BusCentre (9066 6630; Oxford St), near the river, is mainly for buses to County Antrim, eastern County Down and the Cookstown area.
There are information desks (7.45am-6.30pm Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm Sat) at both bus stations, where you can pick up regional bus timetables, and you can contact Translink (9066 6630; www.translink.co.uk) for timetable and fares information.
National Express (0870 580 8080; www.nationalexpress.com) runs a daily coach service between Belfast and London (£34, 14 hours) via the Stranraer ferry, Dumfries, Carlisle, Preston, Manchester and Birmingham. The ticket office is in the Europa BusCentre.
Trains to Dublin and all destinations in Northern Ireland depart from Belfast’s Central Station (East Bridge St), east of the city centre. Trains for Portadown, Lisburn, Bangor, Larne Harbour and Derry depart from Great Victoria St Station (Great Northern Mall), next to the Europa BusCentre.
For information on fares and timetables, contact Translink (9066 6630; www.translink.co.uk). The NIR Travel Shop (9023 0671; Great Victoria St Station; 9am-5pm Mon-Fri, to 12.30pm Sat) books train tickets, ferries and holiday packages.
If you arrive by train at Central Station, your rail ticket entitles you to a free bus ride into the city centre.
On Sundays you can buy a Sunday Day Tracker ticket (£5), which allows unlimited travel on all scheduled train services within Northern Ireland.
The terminal for Stena Line (0870 570 7070; www.stenaline.co.uk) car ferries from Belfast to Stranraer in Scotland is 2km north of the city centre; head north along York St, and turn right into Dock St (just past the Yorkgate Centre). Other car ferries to and from Scotland dock at Larne, 30km north of Belfast.
Norfolkline (0870 600 4321; www.norfolkline-ferries.co.uk) ferries between Belfast and Liverpool dock at the Victoria terminal, 5km north of town. Take the M2 motorway north and turn right at junction No 1.
The Steam Packet Company (0871 222 1333; www.steam-packet.com) operates car ferries between Belfast andIsle of Man (two or three a week, April to September only). They dock at Donegall Quay, a short distance from the city centre.
There are direct flights from Cork, Galway and most British cities to the convenient George Best Belfast City Airport (9093 9093; www.belfastcityairport.com ; Airport Rd), just 6km northeast of the city centre.