Belfast International Airport is the largest of the two airports serving the capital of Northern Ireland. It is the busiest airport in Northern Ireland and second only to Dublin Airport on the island of Ireland. Most of the flights in and out of Belfast International are connected to other U.K. or other European city destinations, though there are some flights bound for sunny locales (primarily in Spain and North Africa), as well as a seasonal long haul flight that reaches Orlando, Florida in the United States. Since it only has one terminal, Belfast International Airport is fairly easy to navigate.
Belfast International Airport Code, Location, and Contact Information
- Airport code: BFS
- Location: Belfast International Airport, Belfast, BT29 4AB, Northern Ireland
- Website: BelfastAirport.com
- Flight tracker: Live departure and arrival information
- Airport Map: https://www.belfastairport.com/special-assistance/layout-of-airport
- Phone Number: +44 (0) 28 9448 4848
Know Before You Go
Belfast International Airport is located 18 miles (about a 30-minute drive) from the center of the city. The airport serves more than 6 million passengers per year but remains relatively small, with just one main terminal for arrivals and departures. Within the terminal, gates are divided by domestic and international destinations.
Belfast International Airport serves multiple European destinations but the most popular routes are all domestic. The five busiest routes are:
Airlines which fly in and out of BFS include:
- Virgin Atlantic (summer season service to Orlando)
There are over 8,000 parking spaces available at the Belfast International Airport including short- and long-term options. They are monitored by security and CCTV to ensure that nothing will happen to your car while you are away.
The Main Lot is only a 3-minute walk from the terminal. If you plan to stay for a few hours or less, the short stay lot is ideal for picking up or dropping off passengers. The long-stay lot is recommended for those traveling for four or more days, while the Park and Fly lot offers the best rates. This last lot is connected to the terminal by a regular shuttle.
For the best rates, and to ensure a spot in peak season, the airport offers pre-booking online.
To reach BFS by road from Belfast, take the M2 north, turn off at Junction 5 and then follow the A57 for 7 miles until you arrive at the airport. The route is well signposted. The M2 can be busy during rush hour so be sure to plan at least 45 minutes to reach the airport. The drive usually only takes about 30 minutes in total.
Public Transportation and Taxis
Belfast International Airport is well connected to the city center by coach bus. The popular Airport Express 300 runs every day of the week and leaves every 15 to 30 minutes depending on the time of day. The trip takes 30 to 40 minutes depending on traffic. The bus is operated by Translink and fares from the airport to Belfast are 8 pounds (single) or 11.50 pounds (return), dropping passengers at the Europa Buscentre downtown. The bus is easy to locate outside of the main airport exit and it is possible to buy tickets directly as you board.
There is also a direct bus to Derry that leaves every 30 minutes during peak hours.
The Antrim train station is 6 miles from the airport and linked to BFS via Ulsterbus 109A (which leaves hourly) or taxi.
Taxis are available at BFS 24 hours a day, all operated by the International Airport Taxi Company. You can find these at the stand in front of arrivals or book ahead by calling +44 (0)28 9448 4353 or visiting the website. Rates depend on the exact destination within the city but start around 25 pounds to reach the center.
Where to Eat and Drink
Belfast International Airport is relatively small compared to other U.K. airports but there are still plenty of places to pick up snacks before your flight or even to grab a meal. The most popular eatery is the recently expanded Lagan Bar, where you can have a pint, eat fish and chips or a burger, and catch a soccer match before boarding. Other dining options include:
- Caffe Ritazza for coffee and panini
- Sip & Stone for all-day breakfast or hearty local recipes like steak and Guinness casserole
- Starbucks for drinks and light meals to go
- Burger King for fast food
- Chopped for salads and other fresh meals to take away
- Coco Diablo for a Mexican inspired menu
- Northern Quarter Bar for drinks overlooking the concourse
Belfast International Airport recently remodeled and reopened its lounge, known as the Causeway Lounge. Travelers can purchase access to the lounge for 27.50 pounds or access the lounge for free as part of certain programs, including Priority Pass. Access to the lounge is permitted up to 2.5 hours before your flight and includes Wi-Fi, a buffet, complimentary bar, and spacious seating. To find the Causeway Lounge, turn left after Duty-Free and look for the entrance next to Gates 16 and 17.
Belfast International Airport provides free Wi-Fi in all departure areas for up to 2 hours. You can also login to a separate Wi-Fi network with Causeway Lounge access.
Belfast International Tips & Facts
- Belfast International Airport was formerly known as Aldergrove Airport, named for the nearby village of Aldergrove. It was first built in 1917 as a pilot training area during World War I. It began serving regular civil air passengers in 1933.
- Summer weekends tend to be the busiest times to fly in and out of Belfast, so be sure to allow a bit of extra time for check-in and security.
- A quiet, multi-faith room is available for those in need of a moment to reflect away from other passengers.
- The smoking area is available after security and costs a pound to access.
- There is a children’s play area inside the Causeway Lounge, which may make the paid entrance worth it for families traveling together.
- If you need to skip the line, a security priority pass is available for any passenger to purchase on the airport website or in person.