Explore Belfast with Expedia’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!
Overlooking the river Lagan, vibrant Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland and its largest city. Originally settled in the Bronze Age, Belfast is currently booming as a destination for arts, culture and nightlife. It’s also a great location for visiting places like Lisburn,Londonderry,Dublin and the Isle of Man.
If you’re arriving via Belfast International Airport then it’s a 15-mile drive by rental car to Belfast. En route, you could take a detour to the banks of Lough Neagh. At 151 square miles, it’s the largest lake by area in the British Isles.
Finding a hire car in Belfast is straightforward. You can rent a car from a range of providers at Belfast International Airport or within the city centre itself. Belfast has a number of parking facilities in the city, including 31 run by Belfast City Council (14 are free to use and 17 are charged). Belfast also has a wide variety of hotels to suit a range of budgets, including Hilton Belfast, Holiday Inn Express Belfast City and Bullitt Hotel. Many hotels offer free parking so do check before booking.
There are various hire car providers to suit your budget and preferences, including Hertz, Budget and Enterprise. Many offer extras like free cancellation, unlimited mileage and insurance included.
There’s much to see and do by hire car in Belfast. Nowadays a hub of culture, history, music and Victorian architecture, Belfast is also a former shipbuilding capital. In fact, it’s famous for being the home of the RMS Titanic, which is remembered in the city’s Titanic Quarter, a popular attraction. Other highlights to see by rental car in Belfast include the Waterfront Hall, a riverfront entertainment venue, the historic Crumlin Road Gaol, which is open to the public, the campuses of both Queen’s and Ulster universities, and the 12th century Belfast Castle. The Botanic Gardens are an idyllic space to visit by day, while the Cathedral Quarter is perfect for soaking up the city’s legendary nightlife.
Vibrant and cultured Londonderry, (also known as Derry), is a 70-mile drive from Belfast by hire car. Londonderry is the second largest city in Northern Ireland and spans both the east and west banks of the river Foyle, with a 17th century walled city area on the west bank. Key attractions include the soaring neo-Gothic Guildhall building, the Tower Museum, the Museum of Free Derry, St Eugene’s Cathedral, the Peace Bridge, the Hands Across the Divide sculpture and Foyleside Shopping Centre, the city’s biggest mall.
Dublin is the capital of the Republic of Ireland and a 105-mile drive by rental car from Belfast. Run through by the river Liffey, Dublin’s lively nightlife and friendly locals are world-famous. Some of the city’s key attractions include Dublin Castle, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Phoenix Park, which includes Dublin Zoo, the Guinness Storehouse, which is open to the public, and the shopping hub of Grafton Street. The area from Fleet Street to South Great George’s Street, near the Irish Houses of Parliament, is great for experiencing Dublin’s legendary pub scene.
If you’re leaving Belfast to drive through rural areas, watch out for livestock on the roads. Northern Ireland is left-hand drive and it’s illegal to use your mobile phone while driving. There are currently no toll roads in Northern Ireland but there are some in the Republic of Ireland.
Feeling inspired to explore Belfast and the rest of Northern Ireland? Check out this City Guide and use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and to research the best attractions and activities.
Car hire in Belfast offers visitors the opportunity to see more of the Emerald Isle, with beautiful Ballymena just 55 miles down the M2 along the Causeway Coastal Route.
Situated just 45 miles further down the route, Ballycastle boasts the gorgeous Glens of Antrim, while 20 miles on, in Portrush, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and UNESCO World Heritage site the Giant's Causeway are must-see locations.
Hiring a car in Belfast offers a sense of freedom unmatched by most means of public transport. The ability to travel where you want and when you want means that you can discover Ireland on your own terms.