There’s no place more magical than Northern Ireland. From snake charmers to shamrocks, Northern Ireland is home to legends, limericks and a long tradition of festivals and cultural events. While many travelers board flights to Northern Ireland to partake in the local celebrations and hike the countryside, the history of Northern Ireland remains a permanent fixture in the country’s everyday life. After years of struggle and strife between the Protestants and the Catholics that resulted in hundreds of deaths, Northern Ireland finally gained ownership of its government in 1999. The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 transferred governing power from Britain to the Northern Irish parliament, giving Northern Ireland a chance to rule its own. Since the Good Friday Agreement, Northern Ireland has remained a peaceful nation.

The popular cities of Belfast and Derry are the most traveled to, but visitors flying to Northern Ireland should explore the smaller towns, too. If Ireland is known for one thing it’s the landscape and Northern Ireland doesn’t disappoint. Take a hike or horseback through the rolling hills and don’t miss the Antrim Coastline – also known as the Giant’s Causeway – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This must-see tourist attraction is a “walkway” constructed of closely packed columns from the sea from the base of the cliffs on the Antrim coastline. If a trip to the UK is in your plans, don’t miss a flight to Northern Ireland for a chance to experience England’s great outdoors and Ireland’s unique festivals and arts events.

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Northern Ireland climate

If you’re booking flights to Northern Ireland in the summer, you’ll most likely experience the warm temperate climate that surprisingly comes with its northern latitude. Influenced by the Gulf Stream, rain is plentiful, and it snows more than the Republic, its southern neighbor, does.

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Best Time to Fly to Northern Ireland

Book cheap flights to Northern Ireland in April and June, when the crowds are down, the days are longer, and the rates are affordable.

Peak Season: While July and August supply the best weather all year round, finding cheap flights to Northern Ireland may be a bit of a feat, considering the small peak season. If you’re looking to hit festival season at the end of the summer, plan in advance to secure your spot in the fun.

Off-peak Season: Winter in Northern Ireland occasionally sees ice and snow, but it’s mostly characterized by rainfall. Although January and February call for gray skies and temperatures in the chilly 40’s, it’s also the best time to find deals on hotels and cheap flights to Northern Ireland. Londonderry and Belfast draw crowds all year round, so book ahead of time if you’re planning to visit those locations.

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Getting around Northern Ireland

The country’s small size makes domestic Northern Ireland flights unnecessary, even if you want to see it all. In general, buses, trains, and ferries will get you where you need to go.Two bus stations, the Main Europa Bus Centre (behind the Europa Hotel), and the Great Victoria Station (near the Great Northern Mall) are easy connections to the west, south, and to Dublin. A smaller station, Laganside Bus Centre, is near the river, and will take you to the eastern end of the country. All stations have information desks that offer regional timetables.

If you’re traveling further, trains and ferries are your best method of North Ireland travel. Trains go to Dublin and other major cities in the Republic of Ireland, and most destinations can be reached by way of Belfast’s central train station. Ferries and catamarans will take you to the Isle of Man, Troon Scotland, Heysham, and Liverpool, England. The ferry at Donegall Quay is a 15 minute walk from city hall, or you can take a bus.

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Northern Ireland Travel Information

  • Albert Memorial Clock Tower: Upon seeing the Memorial Clock Tower many travelers do a doube-take and wonder if their flight to Northern Ireland actually landed in Italy: While it’s not the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Albert Memorial Clock Tower does, in fact, lean. Erected in 1867, it was built in honor of Queen Victoria’s late husband, and situated in the River Lagan area. Restoration work as stabilized it over the years, and it gleams a sparkling shade of white that is certainly not to be missed.
  • Belfast Castle: Built in 1870 for the third Marquess of Donegall, the Belfast Castle is now a beautiful venue used for wedding receptions and other fancy affairs. If you’re booking flights to Northern Ireland with a special occasion in mind, the Belfast Castle is the premier spot to see. After its extensive renovation in 1978, some of the antiquity was replaced with chic modernity. Now, the Cave Hill Visitor Center houses remnants of folklore, pieces of history, and chunks of archaeology for all to absorb. A small antique shop and the cellar restaurant lead way to the formal gardens outside, where mosaics, paintings, and sculptures surround outdoor garden furniture.

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Northern Ireland airports

Your flight to Northern Ireland arrives at Belfast International Airport (BFS), 18 miles northwest of the city center. For shorter, more local Northern Ireland flights, you’ll use Belfast City Airport (BHD) in Belfast Harbor, which goes to other regional airports.

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Passport and Visa Information

If a visa is not required, travelers should hold a return or onward ticket, or proof of funds for the duration of stay. Passports must be valid for the period of intended stay in the UK; nationals of the EU require a passport valid on arrival. All nationals of non-EEA member states travelling to the UK for more than six months require an Entry Clearance visa.

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Entry requirements

U.S. citizens booking cheap flights to Northern Ireland need a passport that is valid throughout the duration of your stay. A visa isn’t required, but all tickets, documents, and proper funding are necessary upon arrival.

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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    Newark International to Belfast International:
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    In-flight reading

    Eureka Street

    Robert McLiam WilsonTwo friends – one Protestant, the other Catholic – search for love on the streets of Belfast. Chuchie Lurgan falls in love with a beautiful American, while Jake Jackson meets a feisty Republican.

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    Eugene McCabeSet in the 1880s, one dramatic day in the life of Beth Winters, a Catholic in a divided family and divided community.

    This Human Season

    Louise DeanSet at Christmas 1979, two stories – a Catholic family whose eldest son is considering hunger strike and a former British soldier who returns to Northern Ireland to work at the Maze prison.

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