Belfast & Dublin? no car

Old Jan 13th, 2008, 04:21 PM
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Belfast & Dublin? no car

My husband and I are traveling to Belfast for him to attend a conference the first week of April. We are flying into Belfast on a Saturday and heading home on the next Saturday. He will be in meetings for Mon-Wed, but may skip a few to tour. We don't feel comfortable driving since they drive on the "wrong" side of the road so here are my questions.

1. We are flying into Belfast but are considering flying out of Dublin, the cost is negligible, but if we choose to fly out of a different town is Dublin the best choice? Where we would only have 2 conference-free days would it be better just to base out of Belfast and explore Northern Ireland this time?

2. What would you suggest for one person to do during the day, I like arts & crafts, history, shopping, etc. I would want to avoid the "Must sees" as much as possible by myself so my husband can see them.

3. Is there a day-tour company that would take us to Giants Causeway and the Atrium coast (it seems that is a good place to see)?

4. His conference is at the Odyssey and they have suggested some hotels nearby. We have considered staying in them for the days of the conference (work is paying), and then getting a B&B. But I like the idea of a B&B more in the hopes we would get to interact with a wider variety of people. Does anyone know of some good B&B's near to the Odyssey or an easy train/bus ride to it?

5. This is kind of a repeat of a previous question but -- Where we are left with only 2 days (Thurs. & Friday) to see things outside the area of Belfast what would you suggest we try to fit in. We found a day-tour site out of Dublin that would take us out to the country and see some highlights or would it better to catch a train and just go to one place?

Any help would be appreciated, I have looked at the posts but it doesn't appear to have as much info on Belfast and I am on info overload on all the wonderful things to do in Ireland and can not seem to keep straight where everything is located.
nweames is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2008, 03:46 AM
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You can get a train easily to Dublin from Belfast and fly out from here. Not surre about tours to Giant causway but I am sure they exist from belfast check out a tourism website for Northern Ireland.

The Odessy is an area near the docks and Ikea not sure any B&B will be interactive here. Stay at a hotel near it if that is convenient and get a taxi to the city centre or stay in the city centre and explore yourself and have the husband get a taxi to the conference as its not too far.

Dublin has a lot to offer for Museums and shopping as well as the bus tour that takes in all the sights fom Trinity to the guiness factory which is fun as you get a free pint at the circular bar on top at the end.

Museums that I like and are central are:

The national ARt Gallery which is on Leinster street (nassau turns in to Leinster st. Its at the side/back of Trinity College. There is even a cariavaggio here they found in a house a while back.

National Museum Kildar Street
This has all the old Viking gold, a bog boat they found well preserved and lots of interesting trinkets. I love this one especially the gold jewellery

Chester beatty Library - My fav
This is the largest collection of Asian art in Europe. Its in a busilding at the back of Dublin Castle next to the open small park area. The cafe has excellent sort of Greek lebanese food and good coffee. Its canteen style but excellent food.

At night do a musical pub crawl that starts at Oliver St John Gogherty in Temple bar (look up the pub wedsite and times should be there...its 7 or 7:30 most nights.

Also there is the literary pub crawl that starts at the Duke pub on Duke st most evenings.

All events, tours and tix can be found at the tourism office in an old church on Suffolk street which is just off Grafton st. Anyone you ask will know it.

Have fun
SiobhanP is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2008, 09:09 AM
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Please again excuse all my typos...I am rushing and trying to work at the same time
SiobhanP is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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There are bus tours from Belfast to the Giants cause way. The one that I used also stopped off at Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and a nice little viallage for a pub lunch. He also did a quick detour at stopped at the Bush Mills Disillery. Not to do the tour, not enough time, but to allow us to go into the shop and buys some gifts. I can't remeber the name of teh company but it was teh hop on hop off bus company that aldo did day trips. I am sure there were other companies. As some else says thre is also a train between then two cities I think it is just over 2 hours.
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Old Feb 18th, 2008, 08:52 PM
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Ulster Bus does a lot of day trips. Check out the website.

Unless this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip, I would just stay north. While it's usually an easy train ride to Dublin, you don't have a lot of time.

The tourist office in Belfast is on the main high street, next to Boots and across the street from Burger King. There is a ton of info on what to do in Belfast and Northern Ireland. And the gift shop actually has nice things in it.

I always like to just want around Belfast, up to the Botanic Gardens at Queens University, around Botanic Avenue for cafes and little shops, and the main shopping area (which the tourist office is in the middle of).

I'd do the tour of City Hall. It's interesting and a great thing to do if it's raining. The Belfast Cathedral is worth a visit, too.

You can also do a bus tour of the city (again, from the tourist office). I haven't been on one, but I've heard it's a good tour.

If the weather's decent, you can do a boat tour on the Lagan.

The Linenhall Library is really interesting, but I think they only do tours in the summer.

Another thing I haven't done is the CS Lewis Trail. The tourist office's website ( has a map.

Belfast has a lot of good book stores. Many of them are chains, but they have a great selection of Irish authors, and usually have a big section devoted to authors from Northern Ireland.

The Odyssey is across the river from basically everything I've listed above. You can walk it, but I wouldn't do it at night. I'd also be curious to know what hotels are recommended.

The black taxi tours are very interesting, and I would wait and have your husband do it, too. You can search for those online, or just pick up a flyer at the tourist office.

And make sure the two of you have at least one drink in the Crown Pub.

Have a great trip!
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Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 04:46 AM
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Shopping wise, there is a new complex called Victoria Square. It is very new and has only opened for a couple of weeks. If you climb to the top (or use the lift) you can see some rooftop views. I think it is meant to be the highest in the city- don't quote me on that one though.

I don't know of any hotels near the odyssey? However, from the city centre, it is walkable. There is a train that goes from the city to Bangor, with a stop called Bridge End. This s the closest stop to the odyssey but takes about 5/10mins along a motorway and across a bridge.

As someone else has mentioned, you could do the bus tours around Belfast. I've accompanied a friend, not from N.I, on one and it was fairly enjoyable. They are open top buses and you can hop on and off at various stops. They bring you around all the policital areas,, the university area etc.

If it is a nice day you may also want to visit Belfast Castle? Or the Stormont Parliament, if it interests you. It is situated in a hill, with approximately a one mile road with a stretch of grass.

Many people visit the Giants Causeway and there are definately tours available. You could also search on Ulsterbus and make your own way up, without a guide.
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