Planning a Football Trip to Belfast? Free guide – where to stay, eat, drink and how to get tickets; to the stadium.
A Football Trip to Belfast could give you the chance to watch European football in July, this post details how to plan your football trip to Belfast.
Football Trip to Belfast – How to get to Belfast & How to get around
Football Trip to Belfast – Fly to Belfast
Easyjet, British Airways, Aer Lingus and FlyBe are four airlines that operate flights to Belfast. You should be able to fly direct from most airports in the UK for £50 to £100
Start your holiday in style and enjoy the experience of VIP travel – book an airport lounge with Lounge Pass from as little as £13.50. With 200 airport VIP lounges worldwide, including 35 UK airports you can add an extra touch of luxury to your next trip and make the travel experience a whole lot better.
Directions from the Airport
There are two airports that you could be flying into, the international and Belfast City Airport.
Belfast International Airport is an airport 11.5 NM northwest of Belfast in Northern Ireland. Formerly known as Aldergrove Airport, after the nearby village of Aldergrove, Belfast International is Northern Ireland’s busiest airport and the second busiest airport on the island of Ireland after Dublin Airport.
Regular bus and coach services are available from the front of the terminal building to Belfast, Lisburn and Londonderry. All three bus terminals provide access to the wider Northern Ireland and intercountry public transport networks.
To/from Belfast : Airport Express 300
Airport Express 300 service operates 7 days a week. At peak times on Monday to Friday, services run every 15 minutes. Please check the Translink website for timetable.
Tickets are available from the tourist information desk in arrivals or from the driver.
• Airport to Belfast: £8* (single) £11* (return)
• Airport to Templepatrick: £5.40 (single) £9.70 (return)
• Templepatrick to Belfast: £3.60 (single) £6.50 (return)
• *you can also purchase your tickets from your smartphone, download the FREE mLink app from any Android or Apple device.
• Approximate journey time 30-40 minutes subject to traffic conditions.
• Your Airport Express 300 is waiting at the main exit. Please board when you leave the terminal. Services subject to withdrawal or revision in the event of flight cancellations or diversions and to alterations to Airline Schedules. A special timetable may operate on Public Holidays.
• Airport Express 300 departs Templepatrick approximately 7 minutes after Airport departure times.
• The Airport Express 300 is operated by low floor vehicles.
Passengers can also avail of rail services at Europa Buscentre/Great Victoria Street Rail Station.
Belfast City Airport
Translink operates NIRailways train services across Northern Ireland. When travelling to the airport by train, you’ll want to disembark at Sydenham train station. When travelling from the airport, board the train at Sydenham train station and travel to either Belfast Central station or Great Victoria Street station, which are both just a convenient 5-10 minute journey away. From either of these train stations, you can then make onwards connections to various popular locations across Northern Ireland and even down into the South of Ireland.
Train services depart from Sydenham train station regularly during peak times.
*Please note – there is a footbridge which passengers must cross either going to or coming from Sydenham train station. Therefore, we would advise passengers against this transport option if they have reduced mobility or experience difficulty when using steps.
For your convenience, the airport operates a FREE shuttle bus service between the airport terminal and Sydenham train station. Should you require the shuttle service from the airport to the rail halt, please go to the Airport Parking Services desk on arrival with your request. A member of our team will signal the shuttle bus to collect you from the front of terminal.
Belfast City Airport has a designated Airport Express 600 Service with buses every 30 minutes at peak times from the front of the terminal building to the centre of town. The journey only takes around 10 minutes
Airport Express 600 Service (Belfast City Centre – George Best Belfast City Airport)
Tickets are available from the tourist information desk in arrivals or from the driver.
Taxis from the Airport
International Airport Taxi Company
The International Airport Taxi Company, official taxi operator for the Belfast International Airport, are available for hire 24 hours a day 7 days a week outside the right hand door of the airport Exit lobby. Only taxis approved by Belfast International Airport are permitted to use the taxi rank. A list of sample fares is displayed in the exit hall of the terminal building.
A taxi share scheme to Belfast is available for those who wish to use it. For bookings, contact the Belfast International Airport Taxi Company on +44 (0)28 9448 4353. For more information and to book online visit www.belfastairporttaxis.com.
Belfast City Airport
Value Cabs, the official taxi operator for Belfast City Airport, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for travel to the airport before a flight or from the airport on arrival.
Our approved taxi partner operates from the airport taxi rank right outside the terminal building, meaning you can be in a taxi and on your way to one of Belfast’s major attractions or hotels, located just 5 minutes away, within minutes of landing.
The approximate cost of a taxi to Belfast City Centre from Belfast City Airport with our approved taxi provider is £10.00 (including £2 surcharge). All fares are subject to a £2 surcharge.
Wheel-chair accessible taxis are available on request from Value Cabs should passengers require them.
For more information or to book a taxi, (028) 90 809080, visit the Value Cabs website or stop by the depot in our main concourse when you land
Football Trip to Belfast – Travel By Train
You can buy cheap train+ferry SailRail tickets between Belfast & any station in Britain, in either direction, via Cairnryan, Holyhead or Liverpool, see the route map below. It’s the traditional way to go, through the countryside by train and across the Irish Sea by ferry
Football Trip to Belfast – Travel By Ferry
The Liverpool Birkenhead Belfast ferry route connects England with Northern Ireland. Currently there is just the 1 ferry company operating this ferryservice, Stena Line. The crossing operates up to 13 times each week with sailing durations from around 8 hours.
The Holyhead Dublin ferry route connects Wales with Ireland and is currently operated by 2 ferry companies. The Irish Ferries service runs up to 5 times per day with a sailing duration of around 2 hours while the Stena Line service runs up to 4 times per day with a duration from 3 hr 15 min.
Travel on the biggest ferries ever to sail between Scotland and Northern Ireland, Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII. These sister ships travel from Cairnryan to Belfast in a crossing time from only 2 hours 15 minutes with a choice of up to 6 daily crossings so you can travel when it suits you.
Book tickets via DFDS Seaways
Football Trip to Belfast – Travel Around Belfast
Belfast is a compact city so walking is a great option if you’re wanting to see the sights of Belfast City Centre. Book a walking tour with an experienced local guide, or explore using our map.
Translink is Northern Ireland’s public transport provider. Metro and Glider services operates in the Belfast area, with Ulsterbus and Goldline bus services connecting the rest of Northern Ireland.
Football Trip to Belfast – How to Get to the Match
2017–18 NIFL Irish League football champions Crusaders are based in Belfast, as are fellow Premiership teams Cliftonville F.C. Glentoran, and Linfield F.C.
Football Trip to Belfast – The Stadium
The club, founded in 1898, hails from Belfast and plays its home matches at Seaview. The stadium holds 3,383, and has a 4G playing surface, it traditionally hosts the final of the Steel & Sons Cup on Christmas Day.
Seaview is located two miles north of Belfast City Centre, sandwiched in a thin wedge of land between the A2 Shore Road and the Belfast to Larne railway line.
Normally (apart from Linfield and Cliftonville matches) fans are not segregated, so visitors can take a seat in the Main Stand or even stand with the majority of Crusaders fans in the Railway End.
Linfield was founded in 1886 as Linfield Athletic Club and in 1905 moved into their current home of Windsor Park, which is also the home of the Northern Ireland national team.
Named after the district in south Belfast in which it is located, Windsor Park was first opened in 1905, with a match between Linfield and Glentoran.
On Tuesday 6 May 2014, work began on the redevelopment of the National Football Stadium for Northern Ireland at Windsor Park. The stadium project, which was completed in October 2016, has a capacity of over 18,000 seats.
Cliftonville FC is Ireland’s oldest football club. It was formed in 1879 and defiantly retained their amateur status until 1970. 1970 was an historically moment for another reason, it was to be the last time Cliftonville would play their cross-city rivals Linfield at their home ground of Solitude for nearly three decades.
Solitude is the oldest football stadium in Ireland, and the home ground of Ireland’s oldest football club, Cliftonville. The stadium holds 6,224, but is currently restricted to 2,530 under safety legislation. The ground holds the distinction of having the first ever penalty in International Football taken there. The main stand at Solitude, situated on the western side of the ground, houses the majority of the Cliftonville support on any given home matchday. It was constructed during the 1950s, and has two tiers.
Glentoran FC was founded in 1882 and plays its home games at The Oval in East Belfast. Club colours are red, green and black. The Oval has been home to Glentoran F.C. since 1892. The Oval was bombed during the Belfast blitz of World War II, and was out of use until 1949 when it was rebuilt by the club along with supporters, who had jointly formed the ‘Back to the Oval’ committee.
Football Trip to Belfast – Getting to the Stadium
The ground is approx 1.5 miles north of Yorkgate railway station, which is on the Belfast Central to Larne line, however for those arriving at either Belfast Central or Belfast Great Victoria Street Railway Station and Europa Bus Station, catch Metro bus 2 (Shore Road) from Donegal Square West, opposite Belfast City Hall.
A return fare from Great Victoria Street to Yorkgate costs £2 and trains leave no more than 9 minutes apart from 9am on a fourteen minute journey. The number 2 bus services run no more than 8 minutes apart all day and stops right outside the ground.
Walking directions from Belfast City Hall to Seaview
Starting at the corner of Donegall Place, next to McDonalds, follow the shopping street north, as the road kinks to the right it becomes York Street. Follow this road past the Yorkgate Shopping Centre and railway station. To the ground is 10-15 minutes walk from here, on the right hand side.
There are a number of Railway stations to the south of Belfast, all within 20 minutes walk of the ground. These are Belfast Central, City Hospital, Botanic and Great Victoria Street, with Adelaide Station being 2 minutes walk south of the ground. All slow train services from Portadown and Bangor stop at these stations, however the Enterprise Service from Belfast Central to Dublin Connolly only stop at Botanic.
Here is a downloadable guide of how to get to Windsor Park
Solitude is situated on the Cliftonville Road in North Belfast.
Travelling by bus
The 12A bus from Belfast City Centre begins its journey from Wellington Place (opposite City Hall). Route details can be found on the Translink website.
The Oval is located in East Belfast, on the eastern side of the River Lagan in County Down.
From Belfast City centre, take the Queen Elizabeth Bridge, and travel along the Sydenham Bypass following the directions for the City Airport & Bangor (A2). The Oval is conveniently located off the Bypass. Supporter Buses are often allowed to park on the hard shoulder while supporters walk the short distance to the ground. For access to the ground leave the Bypass at the Harbour Estate (Dee Street), looking out for the giant yellow cranes of the shipyard. Your exit and the cranes will be on your left. The Harbour Estate gates will then also be on your left but turn right at the mini roundabout and travel over the road bridge and first left into Mersey Street. The ground is on the left, behind Mersey Street Primary School.
Using the Metro service departing from Belfast City Hall in the city centre the following Metro bus routes will travel along the Newtownards Road; 3A, 20, 20A, 27 & 28.
Alighting the bus at the Dee Street stop the Oval is a short walk along Dee Street then Mersy Street.
Football Trip to Belfast – Getting Tickets
You can use the following links to buy tickets online form the club websites;
Football Trip to Belfast – Fixtures
When planning your football trip please note that the dates shown represent the weekend that the game is scheduled to take place and games are likely to change through the season and be moved for TV scheduling.
Get fixture lists using the following links
The schedule for kick-off times in Northern Ireland can be found our Planning a Football Trip to Northern Ireland page (COMING SOON)
Football Trip to Belfast – Where to stay. What to See. Where to Eat. Where to Drink
Football Trip to Belfast – Where to stay
Best Place to Stay in Belfast: The 3 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Belfast
• Central: Belfast’s city center is the heart of the action, and is one of the best places to stay in Belfast for either a quick Belfast city break or a longer visit to Northern Ireland, using Belfast as a base. Filled with culture, architecture, and a great food and drinks scene, staying in Central Belfast will mean you have the best of the city at your fingertips.
• The Cathedral Quarter: A short walk from Central, the Cathedral Quarter is still very central. It has more of an artsy and cultural vibe, and is slightly more relaxed than central. Still packed with fantastic pubs, restaurants, shops and cafés, the Cathedral Quarter is a lovely area to stay in Belfast.
• Queens Quarter: A lively student area, the Queen’s Quarter is a great area to stay in Belfast if you’re looking for a younger and cheaper vibe, along with loads of non-student places and shopping. The University itself is also worth a visit.
Football Trip to Belfast – What else to see & do
St Georges Market – This market operates Friday to Sunday. Plenty of choice of food stalls. Live music, friendly people of all nationalities. Great fresh fish,meat and vegetables,reasonably priced. Also lots if local crafts- jewellery, patchwork,art and specialist home made produce.
Visit the Ulster Museum’s section on the NI Troubles, with black and white photographs and moving images.
Explore Nationalist Milltown and predominantly Unionist Roselawn cemeteries. The former has a memorial to the Hunger Strikers who are buried there. The latter has graves of police and prison officers, and victims of the Troubles.
Have a pint in ‘The Most Bombed Hotel in Europe’ – The Europa Hotel is a four-star hotel in Great Victoria Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland. It has hosted presidents, prime ministers and celebrities. It is known as the “most bombed hotel in Europe” and the “most bombed hotel in the world” after having suffered 28 bomb attacks during the Troubles.
Burren Way in East Belfast is the site where George Best learned some of his skills which made him become the best footballer on the planet.
In true Belfast style, the Titanic Harbour Boat Tour pays tribute to the RMS Titanic in a historical tour around the Titanic Quarter from the River Lagan. The world’s only Titanic boat tour gives visitors the best view of the Marine Harbour, Dock and Pump House and sails to the Musgrave Channel where you will spot the large breeding colony of seals in Belfast.
The Cathedral Quarter is named after its majestic resident, St. Anne’s Cathedral. Consecrated in 1904, the cathedral boasts the eye-catching Spire of Hope, added in 2006. Inside are marvellous mosaics, striking sculptures, spectacular stained glass windows and the poignant Titanic Pall, as well as the shrine of Edward Carson, leader of the Unionist movement during the partition of Ireland.
Since 1996, Crumlin Road Gaol (jail) has served as a tourism and historical heritage site – but its walls once housed many notorious prisoners and political activists. History buffs should take a tour of this jail and learn about the prisoners, their executions, and the eventual closing of the prison.
The Peace Wall is a rare sight to behold. Over 7,000 murals have been documented in Belfast since the conflict that tore the city apart in the 1970s ended, and the best appear on the Peace Wall in West Belfast. Powerful political statements, pleads of peace, and tributes line this district, making it an important and exciting place to visit.
Black Taxi Tour Belfast provide a range of tours covering Belfast’s troubled past, political tours and black cab tours of the world famous murals.
Football Trip to Belfast – Where to Drink
KELLY’S Cellars in Bank Street is generally reckoned to be the oldest continually-run bar in Belfast. It claims a history stretching back to 1720 and among its most famous customers were Stanley Matthews and Bill Shankly from the world of soccer, boxers Sonny Liston and Floyd Patterson, Ben Hur star Stephen Boyd, poet Louis McNeice and artist William Conor.
McHughs – Georgian hostelry dating to 1711, with traditional bar, basement live music and modern Irish dining. 29-31 Queen’s Square, Belfast BT1 3FG
Dirty Onion and Yardbird – Traditional looking pub with a modern vibe including a Jameson barrel sculpture in the beer garden. 3 Hill St, Belfast BT1 2LA
Harp Bar – Stylish pub with a plush decor of red furnishings and leather, plus a regular live music calendar. 35 Hill St, Belfast BT1 2LB
Whites Tavern – Antique ephemera decorates this simple, tucked-away 17th-century pub with open fires and oak beams. 2-4 Winecellar Entry, Belfast BT1 1QN
Crown Liquor Saloon – The fabulously ornate late 19th century tiles, stained glass and carved wood are all thanks to the skill of Italian craftsmen, hired to work on the pub after they had finished working on churches being erected in Belfast at the time. (46 Great Victoria St, Belfast BT2 7BA)
The Perch – It’s like a groovy, mad Victorian conservatory, right in the middle of the historic Linen Quarter (42 Franklin St, Belfast BT2 7GE).
Duke of York Remarkably, this version of the pub was in fact rebuilt in 1974, but the recreation of 1950s life is almost magical. Music fans will adore the fact that rock band Snow Patrol played their first gig in this very spot. (7-11 Commercial Ct, Belfast BT1 2NB)
Birtles Bar – This pub’s outside is as extraordinary as its inside. Squeezed into a red-brick flatiron-shaped building, he pub, founded in 1868, used to be called “The Shakespeare” in honour of its theatrical connections, and now you can enjoy a drink beside Samuel Beckett, James Joyce and football hero George Best. The pub is famed for its beers, ciders and whiskeys, and later in the evening the older clientele make way for a younger crowd. (Musgrave Channel Rd, Belfast BT1 9FZ)
John Hewitt (51 Donegall St, Belfast BT1 2FH) This old-world pub offers real ales and gastropub fare, plus regular live, traditional Irish music.
Sunflower Public House – On a corner that has housed a pub for more than 100 years is Sunflower – a slice of Belfast’s social history tucked into the Cathedral Quarter. The security cage has been retained at this renovated pub with a beer garden housing a pizza oven.
Football Trip to Belfast – Where to Eat
Yardbird is above the Dirty Onion, a former whiskey warehouse in the heart of the old city. The restaurant serves up dry rubbed chicken whole (£17), or in halves (£9.50) or quarters (£5), but the highlight for those in the know is the avocado salad: all crunchy, messy, lush and spiced up with a chilli vinaigrette. Equally good is the deep apple pie for dessert.
John Long’s Fish and Chips is as much a Belfast institution as the Ulster Hall and the Linen Hall Library. Its most recent refurbishment was in the 1970s – now a protected species, the restaurant’s Formica booths are in big demand every lunchtime, but get there before 12.30pm and you’ll have no problem. The traditional battered fish is among the best in the city. Fish from £4.50.
Mourne Seafood Bar – offers a range of fresh, local seafood. All our shellfish comes from their very own shellfish beds.
Molly’s Yard is housed in a restored Victorian stable and courtyard near the university and is home to Belfast’s only microbrewery, so you can expect spot-on brews with your food. Its small menu changes regularly and is full of local produce – steak, fish, vegetables – and there’s a dedicated vegetarian menu, too.
Made in Belfast – With branches in the Cathedral Quarter and City Hall, Made in Belfast serves a mixed menu in a comfortable, kitschy restaurant full of colourful art and mismatched chairs. The menu offers generous portions of favourites such as curry, vegan pizza and risotto.
Holohans at the Barge – focus is mostly on meat, fish and its famous traditional ‘boxty’, an Irish potato pancake filled with food. The menu can be enjoyed on a moored barge on the waterfront.