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Can you do Belfast AND Dublin in one trip?

(24 Posts)
GrossMeister Sun 17-Aug-14 16:29:27

Daydreaming about places we'd like to go, and we agreed both really appeal.

No car so would, I guess, need to fly to one, transfer by train and then fly home from the other?

Would be very low budget and couldn't stretch to more than a week total - is this a crazy idea?

Castlelough Sun 17-Aug-14 16:33:06

I'm from Dublin. I think you could do both Belfast and Dublin in a week! There is a good train line between them! I woukdn't think it could take much longer than 2 hours by train?

Drquin Sun 17-Aug-14 16:33:29

Perfectly do-able. I've only ever driven it, less than 2 hours, so I assume the train would about the same.

Morrigu Sun 17-Aug-14 16:33:40

Why not? I live in Belfast and sometimes take day trips/weekends to Dublin. The express train is fab and we always make the train part of the holiday experience. Dublin is very expensive though (just thinking as you said low budget) especially for things like drinks on nights out.

Morrigu Sun 17-Aug-14 16:47:04

Enterprise train, that's what you call it, just popped into my head. Not sure if the Belfast Telegraph do it online but I've got some great deals for top hotels in Dublin city centre for a fraction of their normal price through them.

Wings13 Sun 17-Aug-14 16:50:45

Dublin can be very expensive for sure ( I live there). Stay well away from temple bar area-absolute rip off for drinks and food. The rest of the city can be pretty ok- same as any capital city is, pricier than the country.

GrossMeister Sun 17-Aug-14 20:12:16

Thanks for the advice everyone smile

We particularly want to do Belfast because of the titanic stuff (obsession of DD's) and I think there was a science centre or something? We've been to Dublin once for a day trip but it was awful weather and I had morning sickness grin it seemed beautiful. Would love to see the book of kells.

Would have two DCs 8 and 6ish, probably two 17yos as well.

Do you need passports when travelling between the two cities?

And is it possible to do giants causeway without driving?

Sorry, so many questions blush

Interesting about Dublin being dramatically expensive. Can't really remember when we went as we had more disposable income back then no DCs you see grin we aren't evening out type people anyway but would definitely avoid the temple bar area so thanks for the warning smile

I'm just wondering if it would be worth being based in Belfast for the week and then just doing a day trip to Dublin, if it takes 2 hours or less that would be reasonable I think? Although that would mean we couldn't see much there of course.

What other things would you recommend for families in these two cities? thanks

Cocolepew Sun 17-Aug-14 20:20:04

The Titanic experience and W5 (the science center) are in the same area. Thete is also the SS Nomadic you can tour in the same area.

You can do a coach trip to the Giants Causway.

You dont need a passport to go to Dublin from Belfast.

Cocolepew Sun 17-Aug-14 20:21:05


Cocolepew Sun 17-Aug-14 20:24:25

ideas on what to do

Bring a coat grin

SixerofthePixies Sun 17-Aug-14 20:34:23

We went to Belfast last yr with dc the same age as your younger two. The W5 was fab, spent a good few hours in there, much better than the science museum in London. We didn't do the titanic museum but it looked huge and I'm guessing a whole day thing. We hired a car and drove to the giants causeway, we also did the carrick-a-rede bridge which is nearby. Again that was a whole day. We did the hop on hop off bus, the Crumlin road gaol, and a black cab tour. We also did another museuem which name escapes me but it was great. Lots of hands on, dressing up stuff and some dinosaurs. There was also a childrens trail. It wasn't actually the museum we thought we were going to, but didn't realise that til after the taxi driver had dropped us off so we just stayed grin. Also make sure you go to Aunt Sandra's sweet shop (do the tour think it's £5) Uncle Jim was hilarious and the kids loved it. We caught a bus there from the town centre.

NannyR Sun 17-Aug-14 20:37:58

I really didn't rate the Book of Kells exhibition when I visited this summer. I think it was 10€ to get in, it was extremely packed, the actual book was four pages in glass case and I had to look over people's shoulders to see them.

Far better to go see the lindisfarne gospels for free in the British library if you are ever in London.

GrossMeister Sun 17-Aug-14 20:49:51

Oh that's a shame. It's one of the things DH has always wanted to do as he's fascinated by it. He could just go himself I suppose to save money.

Will look into the British library though thanks!

Pixies thanks for all those ideas, I'd not heard of most of them smile

NuggetofPurestGreen Sun 17-Aug-14 21:01:05

Hi Gross. Belfast is about 2 hours on the train to Dublin and you can get good deals if you book your train tickets online in advance (very expensive to buy in the station). The bus service is actually very good between dublin and Belfast too and takes around the same time as the train (maybe 15 mins more) and is very frequent and cheap.

While Dublin can be expensive, plenty of restaurants have really good early bird menus or set menus and many of the pubs etc run deals on drinks and/or meals during the weeks. Can advise you further if you decide to come smile

I don't have children but there have been a few threads on here before about things to do in Dublin for kids if you do a search. You could come overnight or for two nights and depending where you are in UK you should be able to get cheap ryanair flights back from dublin airport.

NuggetofPurestGreen Sun 17-Aug-14 21:02:44

Oh and the other thing is I think car rental is quite cheap here - my sister was home on holidays a couple of years ago and she couldn't believe how cheap the car hire was for a week. But you don't need a car in Dublin anyway it's quite small.

GrossMeister Sun 17-Aug-14 21:09:05

Thanks I'll look into the trains - which station is the main one in Dublin please? A few came up when I put it into thetrainline smile

We are in Sussex now so going from Gatwick would be amazing - I think we went from Stanstead before but we lived in Kent then. This trip is at least a year in the future BTW so not in a rush to check but will definitely have a look! I guess flying would be cheaper than boats and stuff?

I'll have a search on MN too, hadn't actually thought of that blush

GrossMeister Sun 17-Aug-14 21:10:14

Can't actually drive at all nugget grin so will be using public transport (or walking when feasible obviously) but thanks anyway! smile

Rockethorse Sun 17-Aug-14 21:13:40

Sixerofthepixies I think that will have been the Ulster museum -which is free (our favourite rainy day trip out) it's set in Botanic Gardens which are lovely to walk around.
For titanic related trips would also recommend the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum it's about 10 minutes by train out of Belfast.

SixerofthePixies Sun 17-Aug-14 21:17:46

Yes That's the one (we thought we had asked to go to the folk museum) But enjoyed it all the same!

Rockethorse Sun 17-Aug-14 21:21:02

Connolly Street would be the main train station in Dublin

Rockethorse Sun 17-Aug-14 21:45:31

Also if you do decide to go sign up to eg treat ticket and living social and check the belfast deals a month or two in advance there always seems to be deals for titanic Segway tours etc so could save you some money

GrossMeister Tue 19-Aug-14 17:03:46

I see a few places do clubcard vouchers in NI grin including the folk and transport museum!

GrossMeister Tue 19-Aug-14 17:07:37

It does look like a great place for a holiday now I'm looking into it more. Really appreciate all the advice smile

We would need to decide what way round to do it - either spending half the week in each city (might end up more expensive with flights though I guess, as it'd be two singles rather than a return?) or being based in one and just going to the other for a (very long) day.

If the latter then self catering would be more feasible which would definitely be a plus.

Drquin Tue 19-Aug-14 19:33:30

Don't be put off by flights - I lived in ireland for a couple of years and routinely flew back to uk for the weekend using different routings (and airlines), never made much difference on price.

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