Belfast has been a smoke free city since 2006. It is against the law to smoke in bars, restaurants, cafés, hotels, offices, factories and other places of work.
The majority of hotels in Belfast no longer offer smoking rooms – please check this when booking your accommodation.
Many bars and restaurants have installed outdoor smoking areas for those who choose to smoke.
Most restaurants add a discretionary service charge to the bill for groups of six people or more.
If this charge is added to your bill, tipping is not necessary.
If a service charge is not included, a discretionary tip of 10-15% is customary.
Belfast is one of the safest cities in Europe, and Northern Ireland has the second lowest crime rate in Europe.
However, it is always wise to be sensible and follow good advice when exploring a new destination. As with all travel, follow general safety tips such as leave money and valuables in a safe place and lock valuables out of sight.
The number for emergency services is 999.
This will connect you to the fire brigade, police, ambulance, lifeboat and mountain rescue services.
For non-urgent crimes, contact the police by calling 101.
The UK’s visa requirements vary depending on your citizenship. Check whether you need a visa to visit Northern Ireland
Citizens of the EEA member states (the 27 countries of the European Union EU, together with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) and many other countries including USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand do not require visas to gain entry to Northern Ireland.
Citizens of all other countries should contact their local British Embassy/High Commission or Consular Office prior to traveling to Northern Ireland.
Left Luggage Facilities
The Visit Belfast Welcome Centre, located opposite Belfast City Hall in Belfast City Centre, has a luggage storage facility so visitors can securely store their luggage while exploring the city.
This is charged at £4 for a half day or £6 for a full day (per bag). Please note – in line with current Covid-19 restrictions this service is currently unavailable.
Belfast city centre is well serviced with clean, accessible public toilets which are managed by Belfast City Council
Plugs in Northern Ireland are three-pronged and the electricity supply is 240v.
Drinking Tap Water
Tap water in Northern Ireland is safe to drink.