We had initially done a lot of research about taking the ferry from Belfast/Cairnryan to Edinburgh. A company called Stena Lines does the trip, and you can purchase a combination ticket that includes the bus to the ferry terminal, the ferry and then the continuing bus on to Edinburgh once you’ve crossed. The journey would have taken about eight hours and cost roughly 30 pounds.
I’m somewhat of an obsessive planner. So, the fact that the ferry combination ticket could only be booked two weeks in advance had me a bit nervous. We decided to look at the price of flights from Belfast to Edinburgh, and found that they were even cheaper than the ferry, when booked in advance. So…this is what we did. Although the ferry ride would have probably been a lot more enjoyable.
Now, getting to the Belfast International airport for a 6:30am flight was another adventure. There is a direct bus that takes you from the Europa bus centre to the Belfast International Airport, the Translink Airlink 300. The one way journey cost us 8 pounds, but you can get a return journey for 11.50. We took the first bus leaving the terminal at 4am. One thing to keep in mind if you plan on taking the first bus at 4am, the bus terminal itself is not open yet, so you have to wait outside the gated bus bay (on Glengall st), and the driver will let you through at about 10 minutes before the hour. You can pay the driver or buy your ticket online.
There seem to be buses leaving for the airport every 15 minutes between 4am-11pm, but you can check the schedule here: translink schedule.
The total trip took about 30 minutes.
NOW ON TO EDINBURGH!!!!!
The flight from Belfast to Edinburgh was a grueling 45 minutes (I joke….).
Getting from Edinburgh airport to the city centre was pretty straight forward. We walked out of the terminal and straight away saw a tram service leaving for the city centre. We bought our tickets from the lady standing near the line (she didn’t understand why we didn’t want to purchase a return trip… but we would be heading on wards to York after, and not returning to the airport.) The trip cost 6 pound one way or 8.50 for the return ticket. We jumped on the next tram that left almost straight way, and got off at St. Andrew Square 30 minutes later. SO EASY!
From there we walked to our airbnb accommodation and checked in with the host, before setting out on our first adventure in Edinburgh!