INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM: UNDERSTANDING BACH'S B-MINOR MASS

Belfast, 2-4 November 2007


Local Information

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board gives reliable information on all the major tourist attractions in Northern Ireland, such as the Giants' Causeway (a World Heritage Site), the North Coast, and Downpatrick (according to tradition, Saint Patrick's resting place). Lonely Planet's Ireland also has detailed, county by county, chapters on Northern Ireland, as well as more extensive coverage of places to visit in the Irish Republic. The Belfast tourist office is located in the heart of the city in the Belfast Welcome Centre at 47 Donegall Place (tel. 028 + 90246609). 

Sites of political interest outside Belfast city centre (east and west Belfast murals, the Peace Lines, Stormont) can easily be visited in Black Taxi tours, while the main city centre landmarks - such as the City Hall, the Albert Clock, and the Crown Liquor Saloon - can all comfortably be seen on foot. Queen's University is located in the south of the city, and is near to a large number of restaurants, bars, parks, and shops on the Golden Mile.

From Belfast it is very easy to visit Dublin and the Irish Republic. The trip to Dublin takes about 2-3 hours by car or by train (the 'Belfast-Dublin Enterprise', which leaves from Belfast Central Station and arrives at Dublin Connolly). For timetabling and pricing information for rail and bus travel, see www.translink.co.uk.


Here are some useful information from www.gotobelfast.com -- Free City Guides: download available in languages including Russian, Polish and German:

Banks

Hours are generally Mon-Fri, 9.30am - 4.30pm with some opening Sat mornings. Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) dispense cash at hundreds of locations - banks, garages, and shopping centres. Using a credit card in an ATM is an easy way of obtaining sterling if you are travelling from the Republic of Ireland or from abroad. Bank of Ireland, a corporate partner of BVCB, has 47 branches across the province. The nearest ATMs to Queen’s University are located in the Student Union and between the QUB bookshop and Deane’s at Queen’s. There is also an ATM on Botanic Avenue opposite Café Renoir.

Bureaux de Change can be found in larger bank branches, travel agencies, the Belfast Welcome Centre, some other Tourist Information Centres, big hotels and a few visitor attractions.

Disability Access

Belfast Buildings are more accessible to wheel-chair users than ever. Disability Action: Tel. 028 9049 1011

Emergencies

Police, ambulance, fire service: Dial 999

Internet Cafes

  • Internet Cafe at the Belfast Welcome Centre, 47 Donegall Place, Belfast. Tel: 028 9024 6609
  • Friends Cafe, 109-113 Royal Avenue, Belfast. Tel: 028 9024 1096
  • ITXP, 175-177 Ormeau Road, Belfast. Tel: 028 9022 8111
  • ITXP, The Kennedy Centre, Falls Road, Belfast. Tel: 028 9096 2222
  • Revelations, the Internet Cafe, 27 Shaftesbury Square, Belfast. Tel: 028 9032 0337

Linen Hall Library

Founded in 1788, Linen Hall is the oldest library in Belfast. www.linenhall.com 17 Donegall Square North, Belfast

Lost Valuables

Police Lost Property
Tel: 028 9065 0222 will put you in contact with the nearest police station.

Medical & Dental Services

Advice on medical and dental emergencies- Health Information Service.
Tel: 0800 665544

Newspapers

Belfast is unusual in having three dailies, Belfast Telegraph, Irish News and Newsletter, as well as the Sunday Life. All have daily entertainment listings. The free monthly tourism newspaper "Northern Ireland Travel News", obtainable in Ports, Tourist Information Centres and travel agencies etc., has pages on current attractions and events. The monthly events guide 'Whatabout?' provides a detailed definitive guide to the city, and is available in all airports, ferry terminals, bus & train stations, hotels and from the Belfast Welcome Centre.

Places of Worship

Main Sunday services of major Christian denominations are advertised in the Saturday edition of the Belfast Telegraph. Places of worship for most faith communities are listed in Yellow Pages. The two cathedrals in central Belfast are St. Anne's Cathedral (Anglican/Church of Ireland) on Donegall Street and St. Peter's Cathedral (Roman Catholic) on Derby Street.

Postal Services

Post Offices and red post boxes are all over the city; Main Post Office is at Castle Junction and late mailings are accepted at Tomb Street Sorting Office. Small books of UK stamps are available in most convenience stores and petrol stations.

Phone Numbers

The Northern Ireland Dialing Code (028) or (28) is used as a prefix when dialing from outside the region, or when making internal calls using a mobile phone. All Belfast numbers are composed of (028) followed by 90 and six digits. Eg. Belfast Welcome Centre: 028 9024 6609

Pub Hours

Generally Mon-Sat, 11.30am-11pm, Sundays, 12.30-10pm. Many bars in Belfast have later opening hours on Thurs- Sat nights. Children are not permitted on licensed premises. No alcohol may be served to under 18s.

Recommended Pubs/Bars

  • The Crown Bar, 46 Great Victoria Street. National Trust Property which is currently undergoing restoration. Established 1848.
  • Café Vaudeville, 25-39 Arthur Street. Decadent Parisian-style champagne bar.
  • The Spaniard, 3 Skipper Street. Widely recommended.
  • The Northern Whig, 2-10 Bridge Street. Named after a club founded by the Society of United Irishmen and local newspaper,
  • features a number of Soviet-era statues.

Recommended Restaurants in Belfast

  • Beatrice Kennedy’s, 44 University Road. Tel: 02890 202290 (Intimate setting, booking necessary)
  • Deanes, 36-40 Howard Street. Tel: 02890 331134
  • Deanes Deli, 44 Bedford Street. Tel: 02890 248800 (Good selection of wine and tapas)
  • Deanes at Queen’s, 36-40 College Gardens. Tel: 02890 382111
  • Fat Buddha, 92-94 Lisburn Road. Tel: 02890 689777 (Asian, extensive menu)
  • Harbour View Teppanyaki and Oriental Restaurant, 1 Lanyon Key, Tel: 02890 238823 (Beside the Waterfront Concert Hall, overlooking the Lagan)
  • James Street South Restaurant, 21 James Street South. Tel: 02890 434310 (Good value lunch set menu)
  • Molly’s Yard, 1 College Green Mews, Botanic Avenue. Tel: 02890 322600
  • Nick’s Warehouse, 35-39 Hill Street. Tel: 02890 439690
  • Shu, 253 Lisburn Road. Tel: 02890 381655
  • Ten Square, 10 Donegall Square South. Tel: 02890 241001 (Excellent selection of snacks and sandwiches)
  • Villa Italia, 37-41 University Road. Tel: 02890 328256 (Very reasonable prices)
  • Zen, 55-59 Adelaide Street. Tel: 02890 232 244 (Japanese and Asian, good value lunch set menu)

Shopping Hours

City Centre Shops generally open Mon- Sat, 9.30am-5.30pm (Thurs. until 9pm).Some larger stores open Sun 1-5pm. Neighbourhood stores and garage forecourt convenience shops often open much longer - 24 hours in many cases.

Smoking

No smoking applies on public transport or in most public buildings. More and more restaurants have a no-smoking policy; most have a smoke free area.

A smoking ban is to be implemented in all Northern Ireland's workplaces and enclosed public spaces, including pubs, cafes, clubs and restaurants as of April 2007. Many have already introduced restricted smoking policies ahead of the ban and it is not allowed on buses or trains.

Taxis

  • 'Value Cabs' collect at airports and will also collect and drop to order, operating 24 hours. Tel: 02890 80 90 80
  • ‘Fonacab’ 02890 33 33 33

Toursism

  • www.gotobelfast.com
  • www.discovernorthernireland.com
  • www.discoverireland.com
  • www.tourismireland.com
  • www.visitnorthernireland.com

Travel Agencies

Most UK/Irish Travel Agencies and Tour Operators are represented in Belfast. Some locations may close at 1pm on Saturday.

Tipping

It is now a generally accepted practice in restaurants to leave a gratuity of 10-15 per cent for good service.

Some restaurants may add on a obligatory 10 or 12.5 per cent service charge on large group bookings.


Last updated on 23 October 2007