Belfast Airport Car Hire
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Compare Car Hire at Belfast International Airport BFS
Belfast International Airport (BFS) is 21km from Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland (one of the constituent nations of the United Kingdom). BFS typically processes around 6 million passengers annually and connects this fine old city to several European destinations year-round, as well as seasonal routes to US holiday resorts. Belfast is an excellent base for exploring the rest of Northern Ireland and it’s only 169km from Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland, so it’s a superb springboard for exploring the whole of the Emerald Isle. Standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast, this was the city which launched the Titanic, and it has emerged from a turbulent history as a culturally vibrant and outward-looking metropolis. Once you pick up your car in BFS (always drive on the left here), Ireland is your oyster and there’s a great choice of vehicles on offer ̶ a mini-sized car like a Toyota Aygo costs just £18.89 (€20.87) per day if you book off-season, an economy car like a Vauxhall Corsa is £19.63 (€21.68) a day, and an SUV like a Ford Kuga ̶ ideal if you like a commanding, elevated driving position ̶ is £26.44 (€29.21) per day. Hire a car at Belfast International Airport with Enjoy Travel from top car rental providers like Europcar, Enterprise and Alamo and enjoy the freedom of the open road in Northern Ireland.
Formerly known as Aldergrove Airport (after the village nearby), BFS was established in 1917 when it was used as a training base for the Royal Flying Corps during World War I. The first passenger services didn’t start until 1933 when Midland & Scottish Air Ferries operated two daily flights to Glasgow’s Renfrew Airport, with flights to Croydon, Birmingham and Liverpool soon following. Various improvements followed over the years and today Belfast International is connected to a plethora of destinations, with main carriers including Virgin Atlantic, Ryanair, Jet2.com and easyJet.
Facilities at Belfast International Airport include ATM machines, baby changing rooms, currency exchanges, and a well-appointed business lounge. There’s also a wide range of cafes and restaurants available, including Burger King, Starbucks, Fed and Watered and the Lagan Bar, while if you’re yearning for retail therapy, there’s Superdrug, WH Smith, Oasis, JD Sports and Dixons Travel.
BFS has won several awards over the years, including the Family Friendly Employer Award in 2018 and Best Environmental Initiative at the AOA Awards in 2016 for the implementation of an environmentally-friendly solar farm.
Famous figures who have passed through the airport over the years include The Beatles, Roy Orbison and Joe Frazier. In 1977 the first jumbo jet flew from BFS to Toronto passing through Shannon Airport and in 1995 US President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton landed here on Air Force One.
Apart from the delights of Belfast itself (more of which later), fun things to do near BFS include karting at the 2km long Nutts Corner Circuit, Junction Jacks Mini Golf, World of Owls bird of prey centre, SkyTrek outward bound centre at Colin Glen Forest Park, and the stunning scenery of Oxford Island on the shores of Lough Neagh in Craigavon.
Read on for even more useful information on BFS and things to see and do nearby.
Driving around Belfast International Airport
The road signs around Belfast International Airport are clear, so you won’t struggle to find your way to the capital city and beyond, but if your vehicle’s fitted with a Satnav this can provide peace of mind and if you tune into BBC Radio Ulster you’ll hear the latest news and traffic bulletins (as well as chart hits and cultural programming).
You always drive on the left in Belfast and throughout the UK. Speed limits are 70 mph (120 km/h) on motorways, 60 mph (100 km/h) for non-motorway main roads and 30 mph (50 km/h) or 20 mph (40 km/h) if you’re close to schools or in built-up city centre areas.
Some of the rules of the road in Belfast might be similar to those in your local area, but others will differ. Here are a few crucial tips to bear in mind:
- If you’re from the US carry your national driver’s license but there’s no need to secure an international driver’s license before you leave. If you’re from another nation, check the advice available at .gov.uk.
- Drink-driving is strictly prohibited, and mobile phones can’t be used when driving, unless you have a hands-free system, and it doesn’t distract you from the road.
- Many visitors to Norther Ireland prefer to drive an automatic rather than manual transmission vehicle ̶ rural roads can be narrow, you’ll often share them with large agricultural vehicles and sheep and cows can cross the road regularly, therefore an automatic is easier to manoeuvre.
- If you’re arriving from the US, remember that gas is called petrol here and is indicated at pumps by green signage, whereas diesel is noted by black signage. Most petrol stations in Northern Ireland are open from 8am to 10pm and in Belfast and other major cities and towns, they’re open 24/7.
- Don’t drive when you’re feeling fatigued as you’re far more likely to make mistakes and this can be exceptionally dangerous when you’re traversing unfamiliar roads.
- As well as your driver’s license, carry your car rental and insurance documents with you at all times.
- If you’re used to metric road signs, you’ll feel at home here, because distance and speed limit signs are all now in kilometres.
- Please be careful when parking on the roadside in Belfast ̶ most kerbside parking is ‘pay & display’ which means that you have to buy a parking ticket from a nearby machine and ensure it’s displayed clearly before leaving your vehicle otherwise you could be fined.
A useful guide to Belfast and Northern Ireland for BFS car hire customers
Whether you’re staying in Belfast or beyond, there’s plenty to see and do here. Take a look at a few highlights:
- Belfast is a buzzing city full of fine buildings, fascinating historical attractions and plenty of culture. The domed City Hall with its classical colonnades is one of the most iconic buildings here but the Titanic Belfast is the premier tourist attraction ̶ situated right next to the Titanic Slipways, Hamilton Graving Dock and Harland & Wolff Drawing Offices, this is where the world’s most famous ship the RMS Titanic was conceived, designed, built and launched in 1912 and this self-guided interactive museum brings its story and inextricable connection to Belfast and its people to life. You can also see the SS Nomadic here, the Titanic’s tender ship and the very last White Star Line ship in existence. This beautifully-restored four deck vessel is interesting to explore and clearly displays the differences between the various class designations on board (which Titanic passengers would also have experienced). If you’re a bit of a bookworm, you’ll love visiting CS Lewis Square, a stunning public space commemorating the beloved local author of the world-famous Chronicles of Narnia There are seven stunning bronze sculptures here from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, including The Stone Table, The White Witch and, of course, Aslan.
- Dublin is under two hours’ drive south from Belfast so it’s a very manageable road trip, although you’ll probably want to stay overnight to make the most of it. Known for its scenic cathedrals, lively pubs (especially in Temple Bar), superb shopping and world-class craic (lively conversation), most visitors to this charming city leave a little piece of their heart behind when they leave. If you’re fond of the best Irish stout on the planet, don’t forget to visit the famous Guinness Storehouse, where you’ll learn all about this iconic drink’s history before sampling a pint (or three!) in the onsite Gravity Bar as you enjoy panoramic views of the city. Grafton Street is probably the best place to indulge in a little retail therapy, running all the way from St Stephen’s Green in the south to College Green in the north ̶ you’ll see the famous statue of street trader Molly Malone here (as featured in the well-known song) and at Harry Street leading off from Grafton Street there’s a statue to Phil Lynott, the frontman of legendary rock band Thin Lizzy.
As you can see, Belfast Airport is a great gateway to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland ̶ hire a car here at enjoytravel.com and enjoy hassle-free adventures in this awesome part of the world!
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