Car rental in Belfast
Rent a car in Belfast

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Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland, located on the east coast of the island. It is renowned as the birthplace of the sunken RMS Titanic. The city boasts a deep history and culture, and travellers might opt to rent a car in Belfast to cover many attractions. Go anywhere anytime in the city, as travelling in a private vehicle is comfortable and convenient. You don't have to jostle with crowds on public buses or spend loads of money on taxis.

It's your choice: Where to go in Belfast

The Belfast Metropolitan Area is divided into six districts with parts of the city belonging to both County Atrim and County Down. Belfast city is also subdivided into quarters which are distinctive cultural zones. Cathedral Quarter is designated as the key cultural destination, home to historic buildings, trendy warehouse restaurants, and the Custom House Square, one of the main venues for outdoor festivals and entertainment. In the Titanic Quarter, you’ll find the Titanic Belfast, a museum and monument dedicated to the rich maritime history of Belfast. Queen’s Quarter hosts the annual Belfast Festival at Queen’s, whilst in the Gaeltacht Quarter, you’ll see Falls Road and its famous International Wall which portrays the city’s stance on world politics. Otherwise, the City Centre is not only the business district area, but is where you'll find several attractions including the Belfast City Hall on Dunegall Square and the Belfast Cathedral.

Things to do in Belfast

Belfast offers a wide range of activities for every type of visitor, whether you’re a history buff, culture seeker, or nature lover. Visit the Ulster Museum and admire its varied collections related to both art and the natural sciences. Stop by at the Crumlin Road Gaol and join a guided tour to see how life was for prisoners at The Crum. If you have kids in your party, the W5 is a good fit, thanks to its interactive exhibits and live science experiments. The Belfast Zoo is also a recommended stop when you rent a car in Belfast. Drive your rental car to Cavehill, explore the magnificent Belfast Castle Estate, and enjoy outstanding views over Belfast Lough and the city. Other fantastic viewpoints are Divi and Black Mountain in Belfast Hills. Walk around, spot local wildlife, and explore archaeological ruins before heading back to town. If you still want to burn off some energy, head to the Botanic Gardens, amble along the park and marvel at the collection of tropical plants.

Important info about Belfast

The city is located at the mouth of the River Lagan with many minor rivers traversing around Belfast. On the north and northwest are several hills, the most notable of which are Black Mountain, Cavehill, and Divi Mountain. Cavehill is often believed to be the inspiration for 'Gulliver’s Travels', because Jonathan Swift believed the area resembled a sleeping giant. To the southeast are the Castlereagh hills overlooking Belfast. The town itself is composed of parks and clean residential neighbourhoods. Belfast has a temperate climate with rare significant extremes in temperature and precipitation. Owing to its proximity to the sea, the climate in Belfast is milder in comparison to other places in the world at the same latitude. Winters are cold and wet whilst summers are cool.

Weather in Belfast
Country Northern Ireland
Language English
Currency pound sterling
Time-Zones GMT
Country Code +44

Good to know

Flights to Belfast land at one of its two airports. It takes two hours and 30 minutes to reach Belfast by plane if you take a non-stop flight from London. For visitors who are planning to rent a car in Belfast, you can pick up your vehicle at the parking of Belfast International Airport or George Belfast City Airport. Drivers must be at least 21 years of age and must have held their licences for at least two years. Surcharges may be applied to drivers 23 years or under and those who are 70 or older. The Irish drive on the left and overtake from the right. Unless otherwise indicated, the speed limits are 70mph on motorways, 50mph on open roads, and 40mph in the city or built-up areas. The legal alcohol limit is 80mg per 100ml of blood. Seat belts are mandatory and it is forbidden to use the mobile phone whilst driving.

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What to taste in Belfast

One of the best ways to get to know the city is to sample local food and drinks at restaurants around Belfast. Try Ardglass potted herring, a baked dish of herring marinated in vinegar. Not to be missed is the famous traditional dish, the Ulster fry. It is similar to a full breakfast consisting of pancakes, bacon, potatoes, eggs, tomatoes, toast, and tea. If you love meat, ask for juicy lamb ribs or rump steaks. Pasties are battered sausage meat whilst the vegetable roll is made up of minced beef, onions, and carrots. There are also several types of bread that you must try if you’re holidaying in Northern Ireland, including a soda bread farl and wheaten bread. When it comes to beverages, sample the range of single malts and blended whiskeys from Bushmills, or if you’re not into spirits, try the soft drink McDaid’s Football Special.

What to bring to your friends from Belfast

There are several souvenirs that you can bring back to friends and family. Locally-made scented candles are an uncomplicated gift. If you visit the Titanic Museum, stop by the gift shop and pick up related books, memorabilia, and exclusive clothing as gifts. Local jewelry also makes a great present, and there are several shops that carry unique designs in gold, silver, or platinum. Lambswool throws are outstanding keepsakes, either for yourself or friends, ideal for cold days or the winter. Northern Ireland has also a rich history in linen production, so you might want to bring back some linen tablecloths or napkins. Don’t forget to bring back a bottle of Bushmills for whiskey lovers.