The conference takes place at Queen’s University Belfast, which is located close to Belfast city centre.
Arriving in Belfast by air
Belfast has two airports – Belfast City and Belfast International. If a suitable direct flight is not available to Belfast, consider Dublin Airport (in the Republic of Ireland), where a greater range may be available.
Belfast City Airport (website)
The airport for Flybe flights from various British cities (including London City Airport); also served by Aer Lingus and British Airways (London Heathrow) and KLM (Amsterdam).
This airport is very close to the city centre.
Value Cabs is the airport’s appointed provider (ask at the desk as you come through arrivals). Other firms can pick up if you book by phone/app. All can do dropoffs at the airport. A taxi from City Airport directly to the University should take under 15 minutes.
Bus 600 runs between the Europa Buscentre and the airport, twice an hour in each direction. It takes about 15 minutes and the fare is £2.50 single / £3.80 return.
It’s also possible to travel by rail from the nearby Sydenham station (alight at Botanic for QUB, or Great Victoria Street for the city centre) – although this requires an on-demand shuttle bus and the crossing of a bridge (steps both sides).
Belfast International Airport (website)
Mostly served by Easyjet and Ryanair, to/from Great Britain and continental Europe. Note that if travelling from London, routes from Belfast International go to/from Gatwick or Stansted. If you prefer to travel from Heathrow or London City, you’ll arrive in Belfast City Airport (see above).
This airport is about 30km from Belfast. It takes 30-45 minutes to reach Belfast by bus – service 600, terminating at the Europa Buscentre (single £8 / return £11), up to four times an hour. Taxis are available (see the official airport taxi service), though cost around £35 one way.
Dublin Airport (website)
This is the biggest airport on the island of Ireland. It is the base for Aer Lingus (links to most European capital cities and a number of British destinations), and is served by a lot of the European ‘flag carrier’ national airlines, as well as Ryanair and other low-cost airlines. Note that Dublin Airport has two terminals (Aer Lingus and transatlantic in T2, most others in T1), though the Aircoach to Belfast stops at both and you can walk between them in a couple of minutes.
This airport is about two hours from Belfast by bus. The two operators are Aircoach (route 705X) and Bus Éireann Expressway / Translink Goldline (a joint service, routes X1 and X2A). Both run about once an hour, and prebooked fares can be cheaper.
Please note that travelling to Belfast via Dublin Airport means that you will cross the land border between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. Should this have any implications for your own position in terms of visas/immigration, please investigate it before travelling.
Getting to the University
See this map for details of the conference venue, hotels, and bus stops.
The main bus and rail station is the Europa Buscentre (incorporating Great Victoria Street rail station), which is right in the city centre itself, and attached to the landmark Europa Hotel. All trains (except for the Dublin-Belfast ‘Enterprise’ service) pass through this station, and buses from all three airports (see above) arrive here.
It takes about 15 minutes to walk (1km) from the Europa to QUB. Head south on Great Victoria Street, then continue either on Bradbury Place or Botanic Avenue until you reach the University.
Taxis are readily available for onward journeys – through public hire ranks outside the station, or by prebooking (the major operators Value Cabs and Fonacab both have apps available). Note that Value Cabs, Fonacab, etc use normal cars with roof lights, but cannot be hailed on the street; the taxis that can be hailed are typically London-style ‘black cabs’. Uber operates in Belfast, though with a relatively small number of drivers.
City buses are branded ‘Translink Metro‘; all 7 and 8 services stop at QUB, and there is a stop (southbound) across the road from the Europa (near the Crown Bar). The closest stop on the 7 services is College Green, while the 8 stops at the front entrance to Queen’s University; the trip takes about five minutes; possibly longer in heavy traffic.
Belfast has a bike hire scheme – ‘Just Eat Belfast Bikes‘ (with two docking stations at QUB – one opposite the main entrance and another outside the Library).