Visiting for the first time? Useful Facts & Common Questions
This page lists some of the most common questions about travelling to Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland. If you cannot find what you are looking for on this page, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try our best to answer your question.
» Distances between towns - table
» What are the useful telephone codes?
» Is Northern Ireland a good place for shopping?
» Are there left luggage facilities in Belfast?
» Will I be able to use Euro in Northern Ireland?
» What is the average cost of accommodation?
» Do I need extra car insurance if I bring my car to Northern Ireland?
» Value Added Tax (VAT)?
» Travelling by taxi?
» Travelling by train or bus?
» Car Parking
Distances between towns - table
What are the useful telephone codes?
To call Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland, dial 048 + area code (without 0) + local number.
To call the Republic from Northern Ireland, dial 00 353 + the area code (without 0) + local number.
Is Northern Ireland a good place for shopping?
Belfast City Centre is the focal point for shopping. A large mall, Castlecourt, represents the current centre, joined by Ireland's largest mall, Victoria Square, in the heart of the city which opened in July 2008. Other cities in the North offer popular high street stores, and local enterprises. Ballymena, the Londonderry/Derry and Lisburn are other popular shopping options.
Are there left luggage facilities in Belfast?
Belfast Welcome Centre is the only place that provides this service. £3 per item for up to 4hrs. £4.50 4hrs+. Last pick up is 15 minutes before Belfast Welcome Centre closes. Telephone for further details (028) 9024 6609.
Will I be able to use Euro in Northern Ireland?
Most large stores will accept Euro currency, however please enquire first to confirm if there will be a charge attached to this service and to confirm exact rate.
What is the average cost of accommodation?
Expect to pay a minimum of £20 B&B per person to £33 or more in a top guesthouse. Hotels are more expensive unless you get a special offer.
Do I need extra car insurance if I bring my car to Northern Ireland?
Additional insurance is not required if travelling from Britain or the Republic of Ireland.
Value Added Tax (VAT)?
You will pay 'Value Added Tax' on most goods at a rate of 15%. International visitors are able to get a tax refund on departure. Tell the retailer that you want to use the Retail Export Scheme (you will need to produce your passport to confirm you are eligible). The retailer will issue with VAT refund documents, showing the purchases you made. To claim back VAT, report to the Customs & Excise desk in the check-in area at any UK international airport and have your refund documents, passports and puchases ready for inspection. For VAT queries contact HM Customs & Excise National Advice Service on 0845 0109000 (from Northern Ireland).
Travelling by taxi?
Taxis are available at the main rail stations, ports and airports. The taxi rank in Belfast is at the City Hall. These are the London style black cabs and have a yellow disc on the windscreen. All taxis in Northern Ireland should display coloured licence plates. Never use a taxi that does not display these plates. Belfast's black public hire taxis have yellow plates while private taxis will display green licence plates. A list of local taxi firms can be found in the Yellow Pages or at www.yell.com. All these taxis are metered and a minimum fare of around £2.50 is standard.
Travelling by train or bus?
Translink operate Ulsterbus, Metro, Northern Ireland Railways, Enterprise and Goldline services around Northern Ireland. There are three main transport hubs in Belfast: Central Railway Station, Europa Bus Centre and the Laganside Bus Centre. Tel 028 9066 6630 or visit www.translink.co.uk for routes and timetables.
The universal 'P' sign shows a carpark or lay-by. Multi-storey and off-street car parks have hourly tariffs dependent on location. On-street pay and display zones are clearly marked. Pay heed to restriction notices drawing attention to morning and evening rush hour clearways and bus lanes when in operation, as vehicles illegally parked will be fined.