Day trip to Belfast.

Grizzly

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796
Both myself and my wife recently received our free travel pass. We were thinking of using it for a day trip or possibly an overnight to Belfast from Dublin. I have a couple of questions to those who may have made this trip.

Can I just turn up at Connolly station and get tickets. Does my free travel pass cover the return journey.
If I stay overnight does my free travel pass cover the return journey to Dublin the next day.
Is the train station in Belfast near the city centre, tourist area?
Any recommendations for a decent hotel to overnight?

Any other tips?

Thanks
 

dereko1969

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2,653
Not 100% sure on the journey back from Belfast, but I think you can just show up at Connolly for tickets going north. Please do check when you get on the train that someone else's name isn't on the seat above you, they can sometimes be slow to input the names.
It looks like you need to go old school to get a Northern Ireland pass - details are on this page (this would be useful for any buses or trains in Belfast)
I think you can use your Rail ticket in Belfast to get any of the buses outside into the city centre - it's not a long walk from Central to Donegal Square though. Belfast is really quite compact.
Premier Inn Alfred St is fine, lots of options in Belfast.
 

Leo

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10,266
Main train station is pretty convenient alright. I've only ever stayed in Malmaison hotel as I usually stay with friends when in Belfast, that's pretty nice, and again, very close to everything.

If you're into seafood, then Mourne Seafood is well worth a visit for lunch or dinner.
 

cbreeze

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27
Both myself and my wife recently received our free travel pass. We were thinking of using it for a day trip or possibly an overnight to Belfast from Dublin. I have a couple of questions to those who may have made this trip.

Can I just turn up at Connolly station and get tickets. Does my free travel pass cover the return journey.
If I stay overnight does my free travel pass cover the return journey to Dublin the next day.
Is the train station in Belfast near the city centre, tourist area?
Any recommendations for a decent hotel to overnight?

Any other tips?

Thanks
To get free cross border travel you need to fill in the blue FT100 form at Connolly station - there is a bunch of them in a holder at the ticket office counter. You could grab a few for future use. You can get a return ticket (unlike other Irish rail journeys which will give you a one way ticket only on the FT pass). On arrival at Lanyon Place station you can get free bus travel to the centre on production of your rail ticket.

For free travel in the North, you need to apply for the Senior Smart Pass. You can get a form (its orange!) from your local Citizens Information office or from an Intreo office. They are not available on line. Bring the form, proof of ID/address, your PSC-FT card and one photograph to the Intreo Office and they will send it away for you. The pass can take up to six weeks to come, although it is mostly about two weeks. The pass will be valid for five years. You can use it on buses, trains, and participating ferries. Also, on buses you have to tell the driver your destination and receive a ticket - you can't just tap and go like here. If you are using Translink trains there are conductors on board who can give you a ticket. Most rail stations in the north don't have ticket offices.

Happy travelling!
 

Nellie123

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Messages
50
You can travel to Belfast and back on your Free Travel Pass but if you wish to travel within the city you need a Senior Smart Pass card each.
Bus and train stations are close to the city centre.
Jury's hotel is close to the stations
 

Tintagel

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390
To get free cross border travel you need to fill in the blue FT100 form at Connolly station - there is a bunch of them in a holder at the ticket office counter.
Does an Irish Free Travel Pass not give you automatic travel on the trains to the North? I have never heard of an additional form to be completed?
 

mojoask

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73
IIRC, you should be able to travel on cross-border services with your Irish travel pass, but for further travel within NI, you would need an NI travel pass. In other words, your return trip from Belfast to Dublin would be covered but if you wanted to take a trip to Bangor (which I can recommend), you wouldn't be.
 

Tintagel

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390
I called to my local Intreo office today to make an application for the Senior Smart Pass. The person behind the counter said that I had to post it to Norn Iron myself. After reading some of the posts here I pushed the person and suggested that he should take it from me and send to the relevant body in the North.
After checking with someone else he accepted that I had the right procedure. However he did not take my photo ID or Address ID or Irish Travel card. He said that he only had to see them and NOT take photo copies.
We shall see how this works out.
 

Leper

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878
I applied for and was given (i) Free Travel on Bus, Rail, Luas in the Republic. I can use GoBe bus too. (ii) Additionally I applied for free travel through Intreo for Northern Ireland and was awarded the pass within 10 days.

To kick start my free travel we travelled to Belfast (my wife can automatically travel with me free of charge in the republic but she too needed a separate free travel pass to be used in Northern Ireland which she got 10 days after applying. The NI pass can be used for the purple bus service in Belfast as well as all train travel. The NI free travel pass allows you into most exhibitions free of charge and at a discount rate on particular days for the likes of Titanic Experience.
 

Nellie123

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Yes indeed they will use the photo and ID from your Irish travel pass (which they already have) but do remember that the Senior Smart Pass only covers one person. So if you are half of a couple your OH will need to apply also (if she is 66)
 

Feemar5

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296
Premier Inn near the Titanic Centre is fine and the Europa is very central. The red bus tour is interesting.
 

cbreeze

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Does an Irish Free Travel Pass not give you automatic travel on the trains to the North? I have never heard of an additional form to be completed?
The form is called 'Free Cross-Border Travel Scheme - Rail Warrant' and is published by the Department of Social Protection. It is a small A5 form printed in blue/black. Part A is filled in by the travel pass holder and Part B is completed by either Iarnrod Eireann or Northern Ireland Railways. The person travelling must fill in name, address, PSC card number and details of travel required. If you have them prefilled in it saves time as there are often large queues at the Connolly ticket office.
 

hfp

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146
Central Station in Belfast has recently been renamed Lanyon Place Station as it's been a running joke for years that it was anything but central!!

It's still not far from the city centre, about 10-15 minute walk, and very handy for the waterfront area, but the area its in is more of a business district, with lots of office blocks, whereas Great Victoria Street Station is closer to the shops and bars.
 
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