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Northern Ireland Travel Guide

Northern Ireland — Airports

Belfast International Airport

Belfast International Airport offers the most flight options to Northern Ireland, handling around four million passengers a year, mostly from around Europe. A United Airlines flight serves from Newark, though most flights are from European countries, including from Amsterdam and Barcelona with Aer Lingus. Flights come in from a multitude of UK cities with several airlines, including bmibaby, easyJet, and Jet2. easyJet offers numerous connections, including London Gatwick, Birmingham, and Edinburgh.

Belfast International has one, refurbished terminal, which is open for the duration and has money changers, ATMs, and internet terminals. There are also cafés, fast-food bars, and pubs, together with a food court, duty-free and standard shops. Good business facilities are also available. Belfast International Airport is off to the northwest of the city, much farther than City Airport, but is well connected by the Airport Bus, shuttles, and taxis. A train station is in nearby Aldergrove.

George Best Belfast City Airport

With a myriad of flights from the UK mainland, Belfast City Airport is the most popular airport for those traveling to Northern Ireland via the England. There are flights from all main cities, including from London Heathrow with British Airways and bmibaby, and London Gatwick and Manchester with Flybe, so those from the USA can make connections with these airports. More than two million people come through this small airport, which is just off to the east of downtown. 

The airport’s single terminal is clean-cut and easy to get around. It has all-modern facilities, with ATMs and currency exchange, Wi-Fi, cafés and a bar, and shops. The best of it is that George Best Belfast City Airport is close by, with taxi fares much less than from Belfast International Airport. The airport bus takes about 15 minutes to get to town, and there is also a service out to Londonderry known as the Airporter.

City of Derry Airport

‘Derry Airport’ is the third airport in Northern Ireland, serving the northwestern town of Londonderry direct from destinations within the UK and Ireland, as well as a few select places on the European continent. Ryanair is the main carrier, with flights from London Stansted, Birmingham, and Glasgow Prestwick, while Aer Arann flies in from Dublin. The terminal is quite basic, though with ATMs, currency exchange, and a modicum of shopping and eating. The Ulsterbus runs to the town center, to Foyle Street bus terminal, in about 30 minutes, and taxis also serve.

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