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Best of Ireland Tour

Question about Belfast for those of you who have taken the Best of Ireland tour: The city seems so remote
Would it be worthwhile to stay an extra night in Belfast? Did you wish you had more time in that city?
What are the most popular options for leaving Belfest? Did you fly to London or elsewhere, take the train to Dublin, or take the ferry to Scotland?
We are seriously considering this tour for 2019. Thanks for any input or suggestions.

Posted by
807 posts

I stayed an extra day in Belfast, but wouldn’t do it again. There’s a bus terminal right behind the hotel your tour will be staying in. You can take a bus very easily to the Dublin airport, and from there back home.

Posted by
2191 posts

I have a question for you. “what makes Belfast seem remote to you?” It is not a word I would have thought of in describing Belfast. Belfast is connected by both train and bus to Dublin and other locations.

Posted by
95 posts

Patricia: what is the reason you would choose not to stay an extra day in Belfest. Do you feel the tour covered the main highlights of the city?
Carol: I guess it seems a little “remote” because it is on an island. Can’t leave by train, Also, airport only serviced by Ryan Air, direct to certain cities; Destinations on BA have one stop.
We are considering many city options following the tour. Of course, we have not yet committed.

Posted by
50 posts

I took that tour and didn't feel the need to spend any extra time in Belfast. I flew to London and stayed overnight at an airport hotel before flying back home. Others on the tour went to Dublin, probably a better plan (they got home earlier but a long day) but I was happy with the way mine worked out. I had not thought of taking the ferry to Scotland. After another tour of Scotland we flew out of Edinburgh back home on Delta on a day flight that worked out very well.

Posted by
30020 posts

Carol,

I didn't consider Belfast to be "remote" and it seems to have good transportation links. I spent a couple of days after the tour in Belfast, as I wanted to have a closer look at the city one of my grandfathers was born. Unfortunately the Titanic Museum was not open at that time, and I'd like to go back and see that. The tour ends in Dublin as I recall, and you can easily take the train from Connolly Station in Dublin to Belfast City Centre Station in about 2H:10M.

The Belfast / Aldergrove airport has a lot of good flight connections. My preferred budget airline in Europe is easyJet and they have numerous flights out of that airport (some are seasonal).

I'd suggest booking the tour soon..... you'll have a great time!

Posted by
2191 posts

Ok, I think I have finally understood what the poster was asking. She wants to know about how to transit from Northern Ireland to the rest of the United Kingdom as well ask if another day in Belfast is important.

First of all, super easy bus connections directly to Dublin Airport. It takes less than 2 hours. Fly anywhere in the world you want from there. Secondly, I think that the Rick Steves Tour will have covered the key places most tourists are interested in. Unless you have a special interest, I would simply take the bus to the Dublin Airport after the breakfast of the final day of the tour and fly to your next destination from there.

Remote is not a word that most people would use to describe a major city with multiple transportation links.

Posted by
95 posts

Doug: I was hoping someone who took the tour would give me an opinion. So I'm glad you replied. Right now, if we book this tour, we hope to fly to somewhere else in Europe rather than fly back to the states. Also, I realized I had a RS Ireland 2012 tour book sitting on our bookshelf (that's when I first thought of visiting Ireland) and so the Belfast info will help me make a decision.
Ken: Good to know that Belfast, where the tour ends, is a 2 hour train ride from Dublin.
Carol: I guess "remote" was not the best way to describe Belfast. I grew up on an island, where the only way to leave way by airplane, so that felt "remote" to me. It's all relative. We would be heading to another (as of yet, unknown) scity in Europe and I was hoping that flights there would be convenient, that is, without too many connections.

Posted by
30020 posts

Carol,

My tour ended in Dublin, so I just assumed it was the same now. Where are you planning to go on the continent when the tour ends? Also, what time of year are you planning to take the tour? Check easyJet (or other) flights out of Belfast, as you may not have to make the two hour train ride to Dublin.

Posted by
95 posts

Ken, “So much to see, so little time.” We’re not sure where to go. We have 5 nights before we need to be in Paris. Cities under consideration are Barcelona, Munich, Prague (to see the restored astronomical clock), and maybe Edinburgh (One of our favorite cities). Still haven’t committed to the tour.

We just finished that tour, and took an early bus back to Dublin for a flight the next day. We wish we'd spent the day in Belfast instead, and had taken a later bus. We had seen enough of Dublin, and would have liked to see more of Belfast.

Posted by
3136 posts

Took the tour several years ago before it ended in Belfast. We only spent one full day there, and it pretty much covered the highlights. Having said that, however, I think one could easily enjoy another day there, and I think that is what I'd do just to have a little more immersion into the city and it's history and culture.

Posted by
48 posts

I flew from Belfast to Amsterdam on KLM and then connected to a Delta flight back home. Very easy to do.

We did the Best of Ireland Tour last May with Lisa (who was AMAZING). We arrived and departed in Dublin. Our tour started on a Friday and we arrived in Dublin on Wednesday. Your stay is short in Belfast! Staying another day would give you time to visit things you don't have time to do on the tour. However, I think we would actually have enjoyed a couple of days back in Dublin at the end. After you do the walking tour there with the local guide, you find even more things that you would like to do!

We took the bus back to Dublin for our flight. The bus ride was only a couple of hours and was very comfortable and inexpensive. The bus stop is literally around the corner from your hotel in Belfast. It was an easy and convenient way to go back to Dublin.

Posted by
912 posts

When the tour ended in Belfast this year, I took a quick cab to the airport, then Aer Lingus to Heathrow. I could have gone anywhere from there. I really liked Aer Lingus by the way, both from US and around UK and Europe. Very nice attendants in both economy and business (I used both during my trip.)

Posted by
15905 posts

Thanks to another Forum poster, some of us now look at Wikipedia for a list of destinations served by a particular airport. According to that source, EasyJet is probably your best choice for direct flights from Belfast to cities on the continent.

Posted by
216 posts

Hey Carol,
We're signed up for the September 8 tour. Did you sign up yet? If so, when are you going?
Janet