Belfast travel tips

If you haven’t travelled to the UK before, there are a few Belfast travel tips to help you prepare for an enjoyable holiday here.  Belfast is located in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. This is different to the Republic of Ireland, which accounts for the rest of the Irish mainland. So if you plan to head from Australia to Belfast, you should expect the same entry procedure through customs as you would find at any airport in the UK.

UK visas

Generally, Australian travellers to the UK don't need to seek any visas unless they intend to stay for longer than six months or be actively looking for work. This is great for you, especially after such a long-haul flight, because it means getting through customs and onward to your hotel will be that much easier.

UK currency

Currency is another area that may cause confusion among Australian travellers heading to Northern Ireland. As a UK territory, Northern Ireland's primary currency is the pound sterling. This may create problems if you are coming up from Dublin in the Republic of Ireland, where the primary currency is the euro. Save yourself the conversion fees and have some cash in both currencies ready if you plan to tour Ireland in full.

Belfast food

Many Australian travellers will be well familiar with most traditional Belfast food as it's not dissimilar to that of British cuisine. Largely what Australians might consider comfort food, Irish cuisine tends toward warming dishes – stews, casseroles, and roast meals. Belfast is also home to plenty of international food as well, so if you don't find the local menu to your taste, you won't go hungry.

Tipping in Belfast

While neither enforced nor expected in Northern Ireland due to a reasonably high minimum wage, some service workers may take a tip if offered for truly exceptional service. Generally though, they will not ask for one and you are not expected to provide.

UK electrical plugs and voltage

Taking your Australian devices with you to Belfast thankfully won't be an issue thanks to very similar plugs and voltage. Northern Ireland uses the same power sockets as the UK, which means all you'll need to charge laptops, phones, cameras and portable batteries is a regular UK power adapter purchased from your nearest electronics retailer or the airport.

Language in Belfast

As a part of the United Kingdom, the primary language in Belfast is English. While you may struggle to understand the heavy Northern Irish accent at first, most locals will be happy to repeat themselves when asked. You may see the odd road sign in Gaelic but rarely will it be without an English translation.

Belfast Airport

Belfast International Airport is located a little out of the city itself, around a 20-minute drive to the northwest. It is a fairly simple airport and as such won't be any trouble to find your way around. International flights arrive and depart quite regularly.