The city of Belfast is the best place to base yourself in if you're looking to explore the surrounding historical region of Northern Ireland. Although small, Northern Ireland packs a lot of natural and cultural sights into a small area. Now that you've booked your flights to Belfast, it's time to arrange your rental car. At the airport you'll find a few car rental companies including Logan Car Hire (at both Belfast City and Belfast International), Dan Dooley and Thrifty.
You can also find economy car rentals in the city centre, particularly on Great Victoria Street. Avis, Budget and Europcar are located there. One thing to remember if you plan to hire a car in Belfast and drive it over to the Republic of Ireland that additional service fees may be incurred. The only car hire company that does charge cross border insurance is Dan Dooley.
There are more than 1,600 on-street parking places in Belfast, alongside a whopping 36,000 spaces in car parks. What you choose will definitely depend on what you want to see/do and how long you'll be away from your car. Some car parks charge as little as £0.50/hour. To park the entire day, expect to pay around £9.00 per day, although there are cheaper and there are also some that are much more expensive.
Most of the car parks surround the city centre, near the Belfast Cathedral, along Cromac Street and near Great Victoria Street. If you hire a car for the entirely of your trip, make sure your hotel offers free parking, you wouldn't want to rake up extra fees you don't need to while on holidays in Belfast.
Although small, Hillsborough is one of the prettiest towns in Northern Ireland. It even has its own castle! Each year the village celebrates with an oyster festival, usually in September and is the tastiest time to visit. That goes without saying. It's a mere 11 miles outside of Belfast, what's stopping you?
Bangor is another attraction on the seaside. This sleepy fishing village is known for something all Brits know and love to the end, fish and chips of course! Just 13 miles from Belfast, heading north, you'll find the freshest crispy deep-fried fish in the Emerald Isles. There are many other small towns to visit along the way, especially if you take the coastal route rather than Belfast Road.
Giant's Causeway is a giant rock on the Antrim coast. With 40,000+ basalt columns which appear to be rising up out of the sea, you'll be left scratching your head. Local legend says it was created by a giant to prove to the little people his strength and power. Find it by following the Giant's Causeway Coastal Route. There is a fast way, along the A26, but the coastal route is much more scenic and will take you around 2 hours to drive.