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Flights to Belfast arrive at one of two locations: George Best Belfast City Airport (BHD) or Belfast International Airport (BFS). The latter is the bigger of Belfast’s two airports and is about a 30-minute drive from the centre of town.
There are flights between Belfast International Airport and all major UK destinations, including Birmingham (BHX), Bristol (BRS), Edinburgh (EDI), Glasgow (GLA), Liverpool (LPL), Manchester (MAN) and Newcastle (NCL), as well as from London’s Gatwick (LGW), Luton (LTN) and Stansted (STN) airports. Budget airlines Ryanair and easyJet both offer cheap flights to Belfast International Airport.
A marginally more convenient option for UK travellers is to land at Belfast City Airport, which is a paltry 5 kilometres (3 miles) from Belfast city centre. This airport serves almost exclusively UK routes, which means there is an even higher chance of getting cheap Belfast flights here.
Aer Lingus and British Airways run services from Belfast City Airport to London Heathrow, but if you are looking for the cheapest flights to Belfast City, check Flybe airfares first. This budget carrier operates routes both from big UK cities (London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds Bradford (LBA), Glasgow, Cardiff (CWL) and Edinburgh) and from less well-served UK hubs such as Aberdeen (ABZ), East Midlands (EMA), Exeter (EXT), Inverness (INV), Southampton (SOU), and even Newquay (NQY) at certain times of the year. Citywing also operates flights from Blackpool (BLK) and the Isle of Man (IOM).
Don’t write off Belfast just because flying sends you into a cold sweat. There are several alternative ways of getting here that don’t involve defying the laws of gravity.
Ferries, for instance, depart from both Scotland and England with journey times of from just two hours and 15 minutes. Alternatively, if you are coming from Dublin in the Republic of Ireland, you can take a train or a bus, both of which take around two hours.
Belfast can be a gateway to multiple European destinations. If you fancy a little Vitamin D, for example, look for cheap flights from Belfast International Airport to the volcanic island of Lanzarote, where you will find beaches, lunar-like lava fields, and wineries.
Italy and Bulgaria are also accessible, with airlines such as BH Air, Bulgaria Air, Jet2, Meridiana and Thomson Airways operating seasonal flights from Belfast International.
And for a Mediterranean city break from Belfast, fly to the captivating cobbled town of Palma. Aer Lingus run flights to Palma from Belfast City, while Thomas Cook, Thomson, Jet2 and easyJet all operate services from Belfast International.