A great way to get from A to B in Belfast is to use the city’s metro. This is Belfast’s answer to a bus service and covers all corners of the city. So sit back, relax, and let the metro take you there!
Belfast’s metro service operates a ’12 Quality Bus Corridor’ system also know as QBC. The metro also offers other additional routes, including a nightlink service, and there are 5 bus stations scattered throughout the city.
The 12 main Corridors within the Metro…
Antrim Road – Metro 1
Shore Road – Metro 2
Holywood Road – Metro 3
Upper Newtownards Rd – Metro 4
Castlereagh Road – Metro 5
Cregagh Road – Metro 6
Ormeau Road – 7
Malone Rd / Stranmills Rd – Metro 8
Lisburn Road – Metro 9
Falls Road – Metro 10
Shankill Road – Metro 11
Oldpark Road – Metro 12
Check out Belfast’s Metro Map highlighting the above zones.
The metro is a popular, hassle free and cheap way to access all areas and attractions. Explore Belfast’s great city and take in the many tourist attractions throughout including:
Belfast City stands in the shadows of the beautiful Belfast Castle which id located on the slopes of Cave Hill. This is an extremely popular tourist attraction and is highly recommend when in Belfast. To get here take metro 1 from the city centre and get off at Strathmore Park, a 20-minute journey will take you to Belfast Castle and Cavehill Country Park.
Belfast Zoo is a great place for a family day out. With over 1,200 animals and 140 species that include all creatures great and small, from elephants to chimpanzees and more. To get here take the metro 1 and get off at Bellevue – it’s about a 25 minute journey.
Stormont – Parliament Buildings…
Stormont is home to the Northern Ireland Assembly. Built in 1932 it’s a building steeped in history and considered one of Belfast’s top visitor attractions. Take metro 4 from the city centre and get off at Stormont Estate. It’s about a 25 minute journey.
Queen’s University Belfast was founded by Queen Victoria in 1845. It opened its doors in 1849 and today remains a magnificent college building that has grown considerably in size. Over 25,000 students currently attend Queen’s University College. To get here take metro 8
Belfast’s Botanic Gardens are located just south of the city between the River Lagan and Queens University. Escape from the hustle and bustle and get out and explore this wonderful and popular tourist attraction. Take metro 8 from Belfast city centre and get off at Queen’s University. The gardens are situated on Botanic Avenue, just off Belfast’s Shaftesbury Square.
History of Belfast’s Metro…
This metro service originally began as ‘The Belfast Corporation Transport Department’, in 1973 these services were transferred to Northern Ireland’s Transport Holding Company called ‘Citybus Limited’, and in January 1995 ‘Metro’ became part of the Translink Network System.
In 2004 Northern Ireland’s Transport Holding Company / Translink announced that Citybus would be organised into 12 Quality bus Corridors / QBC’s and integrated with Ulsterbus Services in the Greater Belfast area. On 7th February 2005 Citybus was re-launched as ‘Metro’ and is as popular as ever today.
Recent figures released show an increase of 20% growth on Metro services since February 2005, it is estimated that a total of 500,000 passengers now using Metro services each week and 38,000 fewer cars travel on the roads today.
Metro Day Ticket…
Why not make the most of Belfast City and avail of a ‘Metro Day Ticket’? From Monday to Saturday an adult ticket costs £3.50. For anyone wishing to travel after 10am, Monday to Saturday, or all day Sunday, the cost is £2.70. Children are half the adult fare. Please be aware that the daily ticket you purchase is only valid on that day.
How to use the Metro…
When using the metro please signal to the driver if you wish to get on. Always state your location to the driver to ensure you are on the right route. When paying cash please have the exact change. There’s also a ‘Cash Free Smartlink Card’ service available.
With the ‘Smartlink Card’ you can choose from two types, the ‘Multi-Journey / MJ’ and top up with a selection of journeys in advance, or you can purchase ‘The Travel Card’ where you can purchase a week or month’s worth of travel in advance. The Smartlink Cards can be topped up at any of the Smartlink Agents or at the Metro Kiosk.
Where to Purchase a Metro Ticket…
Metro tickets can be purchased when you board any Metro bus or at the Metro Kiosk, Donegal Square West or at the Belfast Welcoming Centre. Buses run on a 5 to 10 minute frequency throughout the day until 11pm Monday to Saturday. There’s a reduced frequency on Sundays and there’s also a Nightlink service.
Find out more about Belfast Metro.
Hopefully this will help you travel around Belfast with ease. Maybe you’re planning to spend a night or two in the city? Check out our list of hotels in Belfast city centre.