August 2018: Belfast

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Return Flights: £41.86 each (Easyjet)

Accommodation: £53.55 each – John Bell House (Booking.com)

Total per person: £95.41

Summary and Highlights:

  • Even if you’re constrained by school holidays, look at all the possible dates you could travel.
  • Utilise the discounts available from website bookings
  • Maximise your time by getting early flights going out and late returning if possible

 

  • Titanic Quarter and museum
  • Cathedral Quarter
  • Giant’s Causeway
  • Bus Tour around Belfast and areas involved in The Troubles

I can’t believe it took me 23 years to have visited all four countries of our (Dis)United Kingdom. My social battery still had enough charge in it that I could go away with my pal Ali for this one too. Being a teacher means he can only go away during the school holidays when prices are at their highest. Even so, it doesn’t mean you can’t find budget options if you look at the right time (usually towards the beginning or end of the holidays). Or in our case, look closer to home.

I find with Easyjet that for some reason if you travel solo the ticket price is more than if you have two or more travellers, where the price per person drops. Even so, the timings were great as it was an early morning flight there and late coming back so we got nearly 3 full days, whilst only having to pay to stay for 2 nights. Our accommodation was actually student halls but was empty of students in the summer months. The building itself was amazing, I wish my halls at uni looked that good. It was situated in central Belfast and everything is pretty close by so was max a 15 to 20-minute walk across the centre.

Often when making a reservation with Booking.com, they send out a QR code with discounts on certain attractions at your destination which you just show at the ticket office of the attraction and it gets charged to your account. I would say a trip to Belfast had to include 3 main things; Titanic, Giant’s Causeway and a city bus tour. You can easily get a combo ticket at many ticket offices. With the Booking.com discount, we got all three for £43.20 each (usually £48). Not a massive discount but I think it’s really good value for money as if you priced them all individually, you’re looking at £55+.

I’m usually a bit opposed to the city bus tours as I feel they’re just tourist traps. But in Belfast, it’s good to use as transport to the Titanic museum, which is a bit out of the way. As well as to go out of the city centre, to see Stormont and also areas where the troubles are still very prominent. The highlight was a coach trip down the Antrim coast and to the Giant’s Causeway (as well as passing a few Game of Thrones filming locations).

I, of course, converted Ali to the ways of a free walking tour and a visit to Crumlin Road Gaol, which was a prison up until 1996. For saying it’s a capital city, the prices are competitive to Manchester and you can’t go wrong with traditional Irish pub food and a good pint of Guinness.

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