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Giant's Causeway Tours and Black Cab Tours

My husband and I will be in Belfast in June 2023. We will not have a car.

We want to take a tour to the Giant's Causeway. I understand that bus tours cannot go to the roped bridge. We would prefer a smaller group rather than a large tour bus. But will go on a larger bus if that is our only option.

I have searched the forum and cannot find any recommendations. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

We're also interested in a Black Cab tour. Is there just one company that does these tours? Any info would be helpful.

Thanks!

Posted by
8147 posts

It is possible to go to Giant’s Causeway as independent travelers on public transport if that interests you. Train to Coleraine, walk through station and board bus to Antrim coast sights.

Posted by
35 posts

Lynne,
Were you able to find any smaller group tours up to the Giant's Causeway? My husband and I want to do the same thing, but we're not renting a car as neither of us want to have the stress of driving on the "wrong" side of tiny country roads. We're also interested in the Black Cab tour. I have to read up a bit more on these tours, so if you find out anything please feel free to share :)

Posted by
4929 posts

In season Ulsterbus run a special coach from Belfast to the Giant's Causeway, a public bus but timed as a day trip. Something like the 256, or a number like that which a normal day bus card is valid on. From memory that stops at Carrick-a rede bridge, but if not plenty of local buses out of Coleraine going to Ballycastle get you to the bridge.
The '256' tour bus also takes you to the steam railway and distillery at Bushmills.
It's all very easy. There is another bus takes you right round the Antrim coast to Larne and back to Belfast, although last year I think that was only very high season.
Check translink- alhough the website is not the most intuitive.

Posted by
310 posts

I am also going to be in Belfast in June. I booked a mural tour with Cab Tours Belfast. They also have tours to the Giant Causeway. Not sure if it is private , small group or large group. I also have no idea how good a company they are. I will find out in June when I use them.

Posted by
1566 posts

We did a private tour in May 2022 that included the Giant's Causeway, and could have included the bridge (my husband doesn't like heights, so we didn't), with Glenara Elite Travel. (Note that they aren't based in Belfast, but will pick you up at your hotel there, for a fee.) https://glenaraelitetravel.com/giants-causeway/ It was a highlight of our time in the North of Ireland. Our guide, Dean, grew up in the Derry area and had interesting and thought-provoking stories to share. I highly recommend this.

There is more than one company that does the Black Cab Tours, and while experiences vary, we had a very bad experience with Black Taxi Tours Belfast (do NOT recommend -- Belfast Tours DOT Com), but our experience was saved by http://belfastblackcabtours.co.uk (aka Paddy Campbell Tours).

You can read about that and our Causeway Coast tour in my trip report, if you'd like more details: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/countryside-castles-and-celts-croatia-and-ireland-trip-report-part-2-ireland

Posted by
59 posts

Hi folks hope you are all well I am new in this forum, I am from Northern Ireland so feel free to ask Northern Ireland related questions ....I did want to answer this question, you can go to the giants causeway via public transport it easy and quick and cheaper than a tour which will cost £50 or more (fifty UK pounds that is) here is how to do it via public transport from Belfast

would recommend you DONT do a prebooked tour as you don't get much time at each location, ok given using public transport takes effort and time but at least you can take your time etc, its very easy to do as i said before, just take the train from Great Victoria Street Train station (entrance is beside europa hotel marked "Great Northern Mall" follow the corridor down to the bus station and turn left then right into the Train station), Buy a £17.50 Zone 4 I-link card this gives you unlimited travel on all Bus and trains anywhere in Northern Ireland for 1 day travel (you can get for a week and a month if you are here that long lol), Jump on the train to Derry/Londonderry @ Great Victoria Street Train station, change in Coleraine after 1hr 25 min of a journey on the train to COLERAINE the bus and train station in Coleraine is under one roof go in and catch the Ulsterbus 402 service to Ballycastle this drops you off yards from the Giants causeway visitor centre, do not go into it as its a tourist trap, go down to the stones via the tunnel to the right of the visitor centre, (when in the bus station/train station walk to the end of the station the bus departures go from the far end of the building there is departures board there listing the departures)
public transport in Northern Ireland is operated by Translink (www.translink.co.uk)
remember you need UK Pounds for Northern Ireland not euros

Posted by
81 posts

I am intrigued about taking public transportation to the Giants Causeway. Using Rome2Rio I found that the train to Coleraine is about 90 minutes, then the bus is another hour - which doesn't make sense to me - maybe I entered something wrong.. But if we take a bus from Belfast to the Giants Causeway it is only 90 minutes, saving transportation time, depending on when the bus leaves Belfast.

I need to do more research regarding the bus travel in the area but it appears that we can go to the different sites using the bus.

Thanks for everyone's help. We like the idea of being able to spend a longer time at the sites that we find interesting rather than being on a tour schedule.

Any additional information is appreciated.

Posted by
81 posts

I did another search on translink and the bus from Coleraine to the Giants Causeway is 40 minutes.

Posted by
81 posts

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your detailed information about using public transportation to the Giant's Causeway.

Another question for you ----

Can you recommend a reliable Black Cab Tour?

Thanks!

Posted by
59 posts

Hi sorry Lynn I don't know much about the reliable companies for black taxi tours have a look at the visit Belfast website instead, I don't like the black taxi tours as they give the impression all Northern Ireland people live divided lives which isn't true in the areas they take you to that's true most Northern Irish people be they protestants or Catholic get along with each other fine I have friends from both communities as well as work colleagues

Posted by
1 posts

especially to paulscales (but Im not sure how to tag you-so will also try by PM). Would you be familiar with making this 'to Coleraine' connection from the DUB airport? I will be coming from the Hertz rental car at DUB. Regarding connecting to the #3 train to Coleraine from Belfast at the Great Victoria Street Train station, it seems this is the fastest overall trip (4:33), but for a (4:45 trip) goole maps seems to suggest I can take the x1 bus to Europa bus center and connect to the 218a bus to Coleraine? Seems the bus trip would take about 1:50 while the train would take around 1:30. Dragging a suitcase and carrying a backpack, I'd like the 'easiest' (i.e. avoiding stairs and such) method possible. Seems I might be able to stay right in the Europa bus center if I go bus to bus? Im also wondering if it is possible to purchase and integrated ticket, or if its not likely with service provided by 2 different countries? Coleraine is end of the line for me this trip (looking for ancestor graves/houses in town). Thank you.

Posted by
59 posts

why would you stay the night in the europa bus station the train station is in the same building there are hourly trains to Coleraine from Belfast Great Victoria street. the last train to Coleraine leaves at 22.40 pm (10.40pm) there are trains from 6am hourly until 10.40pm monday to saturday ,sundays the trains are hourly but the last train departs at 21.10, (9,10pm)

Posted by
59 posts

never listen to google maps, The train is the most quickest way of Getting between Belfast Great Victoria street and Coleraine
the Line is the Derry/Londonderry Line if you ask for the number 3 line no one will know what you are talking about, trains depart at 10 past ever hour, where the bus from Dublin airport comes into is yards away from where the train to Coleraine departs from if you are using Translink Ulsterbus Goldline X1/X2 service from Dublin airport come off the bus turn right the right again there is signage telling you what direction the train station is in the train and bus station are inside the same building here is a picture from google maps of the bus station (https://goo.gl/maps/tJzrX7Ckv5ngX5Lg6) you will be coming off the bus from behind and to the right of the camera, in front of you there is a vending machine on the right you in the corner you go around the corner past this to the right and that will take you into the Train station, there is an ATM in the station to withdraw Pounds, you can purchase a zone 4 i-link card which can be purchased at the ticket office in the train station, this will give you unlimited train and bus travel anywhere in Northern Ireland a week costs £60, a month costs £215 and a day costs £17.50