Culture Corner

Getting Around in Belfast

Public transportation is the most common way to navigate and get around Belfast and Northern Ireland. In fact, when giving directions, most locals use transportation stops as destination points or local points of reference. The public transportation system across all of the UK is very efficient and adheres to strict schedules. Students can expect to use the public bus system in Belfast on a weekly basis.

Aside from public transportation, the Irish walk from one place to another. While the public transit is convenient, Belfast is pedestrian friendly and walking is a great way to see the city, avoid making a lot of connections, and get some exercise. Walking, rain or shine, is the norm. The distance from ISA student housing to Queen's is only about a 15 minute walk.

Public transportation is not included in the ISA program cost. While you most likely will not need to use public transportation to get from your dorm to school or to the ISA office, you may use it to travel to other parts of the city. Students in Belfast can expect to spend between $5-20 per month on (basic) public transportation.

To learn more about the different ways to navigate Belfast, please read the descriptions below.

Types of Transportation

Traveling around Belfast, the UK and Ireland is fast and easy as Belfast has many links of travel whether it be bus, trains, planes or ferries.

The best form of public transportation in Belfast is the local bus system known as the Metro. Traveling by the Metro is a quick and convenient way to travel not only throughout the city but also to the suburbs and throughout Northern Ireland. If you use the bus system often, you can purchase a SmartLink Travel Card. You can purchase the card from local kiosks and top off the money on the card as needed. Click here for more information on bus routes, times and fares.

There are two different types of taxis for hire and are readily available throughout Belfast. Black cabs can be hailed on the street and are slightly more expensive. For the cheaper minicabs, you must phone in an order ahead of time.

The NI Railway connects Belfast to other cities in Northern Ireland as well as Dublin. Trains adhere to strict time tables, and prove to be a time efficient way to traverse the country. For more information about ticket fares and routes please click here.

**When traveling by rail be sure to ask for student rates. Please note that you may be required to show a student I.D. card.

Belfast has two international airports: Belfast International Airport (BFS) and George Best Belfast City Airport (BHD) Both airports offer daily connects to the UK and Europe, and BFS also offers connections to North America and North Africa.

Ferries can be taken from Belfast and nearby ports with connections to Scotland and England in as little as 1.5 hours to some locations.