Belfast is the hub for Northern Ireland Railways (also known as Translink; tel. 028/9066-6630), with two principal rail stations: Great Victoria Street Station, on Great Victoria Street, and Belfast Central Station, on East Bridge Street. Most trains depart from Belfast Central. The three main routes in the North's rail system are north and west from Belfast to Derry via Ballymena; east to Bangor, tracing the shores of Belfast Lough; and south to Dublin via Newry.
Ulsterbus (tel. 028/9033-3000; www.translink.co.uk) runs daily scheduled service from Belfast to major cities and towns throughout Northern Ireland. From the Laganside Bus Centre, Donegall Quay, Belfast (tel. 028/9032-0011), buses leave for destinations in the North, including Belfast International Airport and the Larne ferries, as well as the Republic. Bus service in the North is thorough and will get you to most towns of any size, although small villages are less well-served.
By Sightseeing Tour
From June to August, Ulsterbus operates full- and half-day coach tours from the Europa Bus Centre, Glengall Street, Belfast. The tours run to places such as the Glens of Antrim, Causeway Coast, Fermanagh Lakelands, Sperrin Mountains, the Mountains of Mourne, and Armagh. There are also tours to specific attractions, such as the Giant's Causeway, Old Bushmills Distillery, Navan Centre in Armagh, and the Ulster-American Folk Park in Omagh. For more information, visit or phone the Ulsterbus/Translink tourism office at the Europa Bus Centre, Glengall Street (tel. 028/9033-7004; www.ulsterbustours.com).
The best way to travel around the Northern Ireland countryside is by car. The roads are not always in great condition (although this is largely the result of ongoing construction programs that will ultimately improve them), but they are well signposted. Your biggest problem will be other drivers -- Northern Ireland has an appalling record of road accidents, and many people drive far too fast here -- but the same attention to safety that you exhibit when driving at home will bear similar rewards here. Generally speaking, distances between towns and villages here are quite small. If you want to rent a car, Avis (tel. 028/9024-0404), Budget (tel. 028/9023-0700), Europcar (tel. 028/9031-3500), and Hertz (tel. 028/9073-2451) have offices in Belfast, and most have branches at the airports. If you rent a car in the Republic, you can drive it in the North as long as you make sure the rental company's insurance will cover you.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.