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Belfast in a day

Oakland, Ca.
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Belfast in a day

We will be driving to Belfast after arriving from California. We should get to Belfast Sat. afternoon and will leave Sun. afternoon to see the Giant's Causeway. We'd like to see as much as we can in that short time and would like to stay in a hotel that would be centrally located. Any suggestions on tours/hotels would be appreciated.

Cavan
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for County Cavan
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1. Re: Belfast in a day

TITANIC ~ www.titanicbelfast.com

Dublin
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2. Re: Belfast in a day

Wiley

You might get better advice on Belfast accommodation if you post on the Northern Ireland forum.

On the plan to drive to Belfast on arrival (in Dublin ?) you might take account of jet lag, particularly if you are not familiar with the local driving environment. That said, Dublin Airport (if my assumption is correct) to Belfast is a fairly easy drive, taking about 2- 2.5 hours, so may be OK for a first drive on arrival, particularly if you allow for a break on the way.

I don't know what your overall itinerary is but just in case, note that if you hire a car in Dublin on arrival you will have to return it to a Republic of Ireland location on departure, otherwise you will incur a signficant surchage if you return it in N. Ireland.

D.

Arlington, Virginia
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3. Re: Belfast in a day

On our first trip to Ireland, we drove right from the Dublin airport to Belfast to meet family. It was not at all difficult to do as it's a major highway and a short drive (about 2 hours.) Of course, plan to stop if you get at all sleepy, but I don't think you'll need a break.

Assuming you arrive in the early morning, as most U.S. flights do, you should be in Belfast before noon. We booked a snug at the Crown Bar for a delicious lunch (see their website for details) and then got tickets at the Tourist Office for the HOHO bus. We had an excellent tour of the city in about 2 hours and still had time for a walk around the CBD afterwards. The next day you could do some Titanic sightseeing or take a walk through the Botanical Gardens which we also enjoyed.

We stayed at the Avenue House B&B near Queens University. It was a lovely house with gracious hosts and located within walking distance (about 15 - 20 minutes) of the CBD. I would highly recommend it.

County Meath...
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4. Re: Belfast in a day

I suggest the Premier Inn,Cathedral Quarter,Belfast.

Belfast is a great City & an easy drive from Dublin Airport.

Have a look at the journey planner on www.aaroadwatch.ie

Oakland, Ca.
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5. Re: Belfast in a day

Thanks for all of the great suggestions. We've driven in Ireland before and decided to just go as far as Belfast the first day because we probably will have some jet lag. We'll be making a loop thru Donnegal and end up in Dublin for the NayyNotre Dame football game. I'll look into the hotels and tours. Any suggestions in Donnegal will also be appreciated.

West Chicago...
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6. Re: Belfast in a day

I spent a few days in County Donegal last September. You may find some info helpful to your plans in my trip report. (The trip also included a stay in Sligo and a final night in Malahide.)

tripadvisor.com/…36074243

Also, you may get more replies to this specific question re: Donegal if you start a new thread.

Keith

Edited: 26 March 2012, 19:16
Las Vegas, Nevada
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7. Re: Belfast in a day

Loved our hotel Benedicts of Belfast. Smaller boutique place- very cool decorations and comfy beds. Everyone we met outside of Belfast that was from Belfast said the Merchant Hotel is where it's at, but they also said it was pricey!

North Coast, N...
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8. Re: Belfast in a day

The Merchant is in a great location but yes, is certainly expensive! The Premier Inn (Cathedral Quarter) is directly opposite but the best deals for it tend to be for 2+ nights stay and it is cheap and cheerful. The Hilton is not quite so central but still fine and not far for the Titanic exhibition. It seems to have improved recently and is getting good reviews - when I stayed there 3 years ago it was mediocre but family and friends recently have found it very good.

One thing to remember is that some city centre hotels are livelier than others and if they have bars attached catering for the 20s/30s crowd, it might be noisy on a Saturday night so if you are tired after a long flight and aren't wanting to party, this is worth bearing in mind. On the other hand, if you are wanting to go out and about at night, you will want to be close to the action so might want to consider the likes of Benedicts or Ten Square which have lively pubs attached. A bit quieter would be the likes of the Fitzwilliam or Malmaison.

Also, most very central hotels don't have free parking so you need to factor in that cost if budget is an issue when comparing. Some a little further out e.g. Tara Lodge (10-15 minute walk from the City Hall) have free carparking.

There are lots of reviews of hotels on the Belfast website (part of the UK forum) so have a read and feel free to ask also.

Just note that breakfast options may be limited on a Sunday morning in Belfast - again some information on this on the Belfast forum but worth bearing in mind. It might be easier with limited time to get a B&B deal.

Comber, United...
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9. Re: Belfast in a day

We (my wife and I) stayed in the Ramada encore in the Cathedral Quarter just after Christmas and were pleased with the rooms, the price and, most of all, the location. The hotel forms part of St. Anne's Square which is at the opposite end to Hill St. from The Merchant Hotel but only a 5 minute walk into the heart of the city. The Square itself contained a couple of restaurants and a theatre under construction although we ate at Nick's Warehouse on Hill St. as our first choice in the square was fully booked. Nick's was fantastic, as was 2taps (facing The Merchant) on the following evening. The area was absolutely buzzing despite the horrendously wet weather. I would highly recommend Whites Tavern on Winecellar Entry and The John Hewitt on Donegall St. for what I would term 'traditional' Irish style pubs.

Oakland, Ca.
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10. Re: Belfast in a day

Your aaroadwatch web site was really good and I'll use it for the whole trip. Thanks!