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How to get back to the US from Belfast

My friend and I are signed up for the tour that starts in Dublin and ends in Belfast; from there we need to get back to the US. It looks like our only option is to take a train from Belfast to Dublin and fly out of Dublin, but I'm wondering if anyone has a suggestion of a better way for us to get home?

Posted by
5078 posts

Just curious how you’re getting to Dublin for the start in the first place? And are you wanting to stick around Ireland/Northern Ireland at all after the tour, or to get home ASAP? And where is home?

In addition to riding a train between Belfast and a dublin, you could consider taking a bus (coach) instead. Also, are there locations elsewhere in Europe that have direct flights to your nearest airport at home? Maybe fly to that location, such as taking easyJet from Belfast to Reykjavik, Iceland, then a final connecting flight to your home airport. If not Reykjavik on Icelandair, then perhaps a flight to London, then home. Maybe taking 2 or more flights isn’t better than the train/flight option you described, but it sounds like you’re not enthralled by your original scenario.

Posted by
3557 posts

I'm glad I saved my notes and emails for the Best of Ireland in 14 Days tour last year. I'll be able to use that info for my 2nd attempt at this tour in the summer of 2022.

Here's what I learned that I think might help answer your question.

I planned a RT Dublin flight on Aer Lingus. I was scheduled to spend 2 extra nights at the Europa Hotel in Belfast, after the tour ended there.

The best option to get back to the Dublin Airport was to take the 705X Express Aircoach bus from Glengall Street in Belfast to Terminal 2 at the Dublin Airport.  The timetable listed pickups at Glengall Street that would get me there in plenty of time for my flight.

And Glengall Street is the side street beside the Europa Hotel. The bus pickup is close by. It goes straight to the airport and takes about 2 hours. Here's a link to the current timetable:

From that link you can also find out more about taking the bus.

Posted by
2275 posts

There are flights from Belfast to several large European hubs, but the easiest is probably to take the coach to Dublin airport (there are direct coaches from Belfast to the airport) and fly home from there. Dublin is a much larger airport so more options to choose from.

Posted by
108 posts

I'd search "open-jaw" or multi-city flights, so your ticket is USA>DUB, BFS>USA.

Then compare that to booking round trip in/out of DUB with the bus or train from Belfast. (And don't compare just price, but ease and timing. If one option is vastly easier/shorter I'll gladly pay a little more.)

Posted by
11270 posts

Scudder beat me to it. You have several options, and you have to weigh the cost and inconvenience of each. There is no right or wrong answer - only what works best for you, once you consider ALL the factors.

I'd definitely look at the bus, since it goes direct from Belfast to the airport, while the train from Belfast requires a further step to get from Dublin city centre to the airport.

Posted by
4776 posts

I'll be on that tour next year and it looks like the Air Coach, as described by Lo, is the best way to go. Less than two hours nonstop to Dublin Airport for 16.5 euro. If your flight is in the morning, the Radisson Blu Hotel is right at the airport.

Depending on your US destination, you might find a flight from Belfast to a European hub that connects to a nonstop home. But as Harold said you have to weigh all the variables -- time, cost, convenience, etc. I checked Icelandair but no Belfast flights to Reykjavik. Any other hub is in the wrong direction, and I'd much rather take a two-hour bus ride than deal with multiple airports.

Posted by
65 posts

I don't know that what we did is better but it is an alternative. On the morning of the last day of the Ireland tour we flew from Belfast to London, stayed overnight at an airport hotel (such as Premier Inn, Hilton or Sofitel) and flew out of London to home the next morning. Another couple on that tour did the same thing. We used frequent flyer miles for our flight home from London. On after another tour we flew to London and stayed a few nights there before flying home, we enjoyed that extra few days of vacationing in London.

Posted by
2262 posts

In our case this would be a no-brainer to just go to Dublin for a night or two, assuming we had set this up on American as AA has a direct flight from Dublin to Philadelphia (our home) which even leaves at a reasonable hour of the AM (11:15) and arrives here early afternoon. In any event, Belfast will only get you to another hub by air. If you can get a fligh tfrom Dublin to where you need in the US it makes incredible sense to just go there by the 2 hour bus ride, as opposed to an early AM connector from Belfast to then start an additional wait.

Posted by
106 posts

translink the public transport provider in NI run a joint cross border bus service from Belfast europa Bus centre to Dublin city centre via Dublin airport every hour in conjunction with Bus Eireann the Republic of Ireland bus operator translinks website is the service number is the X1 and X2 tickets bought from the translink site will be priced in UK pounds