Visitors to the Emerald Isle will know (or learn very quickly) that the island of Ireland is tiny in comparison to the rest of the world.
Mix that small size with some complex political and constitutional history, and you end up with two capital cities located just 2 hours apart.
Belfast, located in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom and Dublin, the capital city of the Republic of Ireland, are 2 hours or approximately 100 miles apart in time and distance. Perfect if you want to hop between both on the same day!
How far is Belfast to Dublin?
As the crow flies, the two cities sit approximately 87 miles apart but if you’re driving then the distance will be closer to 105 miles in total, obviously dependent on where exactly in both cities you’re leaving from and arriving to.
By car you should expect the journey to take approximately 2 hours, without a break, but we’ll dig into the various forms of travel below.
Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland and is also the second largest city in the whole of Ireland. Belfast is located in the north east part of the island of Ireland and is home to around 350,000 people. One of the most interesting facts about Belfast is that it is where the HMS Titanic was built, and if you visit the city today the Titanic Museum is a must-visit for any history lover. You can find out more about Belfast here.
Dublin is the capital city of the Republic of Ireland which is part of Europe. It sits ahead of Belfast as the largest city in Ireland with a population of approximately 550,000. Dublin is located on the east coast on the island and sits south of Belfast. One of the most interesting facts about Dublin is that it’s the birthplace of the world-famous drink Guinness, which was first brewed in the city way back in 1759. Whilst in the city a visit to the Guinness Storehouse should be near the top of anyone’s agenda on their first time round.
Travelling between Belfast and Dublin
Travelling by Car
If you’re intending on travelling between the two cities by car the great news is that it’s linked well by the M1 which essentially travels the length of the east coast between both cities. The total road distance between the two is 104 miles and it will only take around 2 hours driving time because of the excellent road network in place. Dublin is due south of Belfast and the drive takes you past other locations such as Newry and Dundalk if these are on your list of places to visit.
Travelling by Train
If you don’t fancy driving a busy motorway, or don’t have access to a car, and wish to travel via public transport, choosing to do so by train is an excellent option. The distance in miles is slightly longer, coming in at around 112 miles, with a 2-hour 15-minute travel time, however, there is excellent availability with trains running from as early as 06.50am until the last departure time of 20.05pm. Whilst a more expensive option than travelling by car, the train journey will provide lovely views of the Irish landscape as you pass between the two cities. In general, a return train ticket between the two cities will cost around $40 (£32 / €36).
Travelling by Bus
If you’re looking for an alternative travel method to catching a train or driving, travelling between Belfast and Dublin on a bus could be a good option. If you do decide to catch the bus, you can expect to follow the same route as if you were driving, however, it will take a bit longer than driving. Whilst the mileage is similar, travelling between Belfast and Dublin via bus will take approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes. There are several companies offering services between the two cities, however, two of the most prominent companies are Airbus and Translink. Travelling by bus offers excellent value for money with ticket prices as low as £9 for a single journey.
Day trips between Belfast and Dublin
There is also an opportunity to take advantage of a full day’s guided tour with an experienced tour operator who can cherry-pick all the highlights for you and take all the stress out of travelling between the two cities. This option is a 12-hour day (including travelling time) and will take you to some of the landmarks as well as giving you freedom to explore the city at your leisure for a short period of time. Costs are dependent on the tour operator and the itinerary you choose.
We hope this helps, enjoy your time in both cities!