Skip to Content

A Guide To Belfast International Airport

A Guide To Belfast International Airport

Belfast International Airport is Northern Ireland’s busiest airport.

It’s one of several airports in Ireland located in the area, along with George Best Belfast City Airport and City of Derry Airport.

Belfast International Airport is located around 20km outside of Belfast City Centre and it was originally used by the Royal Flying Corps for training during WWI.

Some quick need-to-knows about Belfast International Airport

Although a visit to Belfast International Airport is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

Belfast International Airport is located in Crumlin, around a 30-minute drive from the city centre. 

2. Parking

A range of car parking options are available, including short-stay, long-stay, and premium parking facilities.

3. Amenities

There’s plenty of places to eat here from The Lagan Bar, Burger King, Caffee Ritazza, Sip & Stone, Starbucks, Fed & Watered, Coco Diablo and more.

4. Airlines

Several airlines operate at the airport, including easyJet, Ryanair, and Jet2, serving numerous destinations worldwide.

5. Road trips starting here

We have countless road trip itineraries that use Belfast City as a starting point. You can choose itineraries that use only public transport or ones that use a car. Find them all here.

What to know about arriving in/leaving from Belfast International Airport

Belfast International Airport

Belfast International Airport is like any major airport when it comes to the likes of check-in times, security and customs.

As always, the points below will give you a speedy overview of the main need-to-knows.

Check-in

It is generally advised to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight’s scheduled departure time.

Do note that some airlines will advise you to arrive before this and it’s always advised that you arrive earlier during peak travel times.

Immigration and customs

The airport is equipped to handle both domestic and international passengers.

While it’s known to have efficient customs and passport control procedures, they can get busy during summer when traveller numbers surge.

Transportation

An Airport Express 300 service operates between the airport and Belfast city center. Taxis and car hire services are also available.

Luggage services

The airport provides luggage trolleys and a lost property service.

A brief history of Belfast International Airport

Belfast International Airport was originally opened in 1917 as a training base for the Royal Flying Corps.

In the 1960s, the airport began commercial operations, becoming Northern Ireland’s main airport.

It underwent significant expansion in the 1990s and early 2000s to accommodate growing passenger numbers.

Today, the airport serves over 6 million passengers per year, making it the busiest airport in Northern Ireland and the second-busiest on the island of Ireland.

Things to do near Belfast International Airport

Carrick-a-Rede

Photos via Shutterstock

There’s plenty to see and do a short distance from Belfast International Airport, for those of you landing here.

If you’re looking to stay in the city, see out guide to the best hotels in Belfast. Here are some nearby attractions:

1. Belfast City’s many sites

There’s endless things to do in Belfast. Some of our favourites are Crumlin Road Gaol, the many Belfast murals and the Belfast Black Cab tours.

2. Lough Neagh

As the largest lake by area in the British Isles, Lough Neagh is a haven for wildlife and offers many outdoor activities.

3. The Causeway Coastal Route

The Causeway Coastal Route is one of the finest road trips in Ireland. It takes in everywhere from the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge to the incredible Dunluce Castle.

4. The Gobbins

The Gobbins is a dramatic coastal walk located on the Islandmagee peninsula, offering breathtaking views and a unique and memorable experience.

FAQs about Belfast International Airport

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is Belfast International Airport a pain to get to?’ to ‘Which Belfast airport is better?’.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

How early should I arrive at Belfast International Airport before my flight?

It’s advised to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight’s scheduled departure time. However, it’s always worth taking note of what your airline advises at the time of booking.

What facilities are available for passengers with reduced mobility?

The airport provides full assistance for passengers with reduced mobility, including dedicated parking spaces and wheelchair assistance.

Are there dining options in the airport?

There’s plenty of places to eat here from The Lagan Bar, Burger King, Caffee Ritazza, Sip & Stone, Starbucks, Fed & Watered, Coco Diablo and more.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.