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How to Travel to Northern Ireland after Brexit

If you’re wondering how to visit Northern Ireland after Brexit, we get you covered. In fact, three years after the first referendum, the UK left the European Union at 11.00 pm on 31 January 2020, and now Brexit is reality. A lot of people are wondering what will happen to tourists wanting to visit Northern Ireland and how easy it will be to go from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland, and vice versa.

Stick around if you want to know how Brexit affects tourists traveling to Northern Ireland and Ireland, and what you have to do in case you’re planning a trip to the Emerald Island. In this no-frills guide, you’ll find all the information you need!

Spoiler: nothing changes for European tourists until at least the end of 2020. Nothing changes for international tourists as well. There is now a transition period until the end of 2020

This page will be updated with new information anytime there will be an official update.

Keep reading or you the table of content below to jump to your section of interest.

I’m from the European Union: how can I enter Northern Ireland after Brexit?

Being part of the UK, Northern Ireland will follow the same rules of the whole United Kingdom. So if you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen you can keep traveling to Northern Ireland for holidays or short-term trips, without needing a visa.

You can keep using and showing your passport or national identity card.

I’m not from the European Union: how can I enter Northern Ireland after Brexit?

Existing rules apply to people visiting Northern Ireland and not coming from the EU.

So, for example, citizens of the United States, Canada, or Australia only need a passport that is valid for the duration of the trip and not a visa.
The same rules apply to citizens of most, but not all, South American and Caribbean countries as well as Japan.

We strongly advise you have a look at the official information you can find here to understand what’s your right if you want to visit Northern Ireland and whether you’ve to apply for a visa or you don’t.

I’m from the EU: what happens to my rights to healthcare when visiting Northern Ireland?

You can keep using your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in case of health problems while visiting Northern Ireland. Residents of the EU can use their EHIC until the end of 2020 as they do now.

I’m not from the EU: what happens to my rights to healthcare when visiting Northern Ireland?

If you want to visit Northern Ireland and you’re not from the European Union, you need to have medical insurance. Nothing will change with Brexit for you, not now and probably not even in the future.

Can I drive in Northern Ireland after Brexit if I’m from the European Union?

You do not need an international driving permit (IDP) for driving in Northern Ireland. You must hold a valid EU or EEA driving license.

Can I drive in Northern Ireland after Brexit if I’m not from the European Union?

You do not need an international driving permit (IDP) for driving in Northern Ireland.

You must hold a valid driving license, and this is going to be enough. If you want to avoid problems, you may decide to apply for an IDP directly in your country: check with your local motoring authorities for fees and any other useful information you may have.

Can I go from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland after Brexit?

You can, and nothing will change for the moment. If you want to visit the Republic while you’re in NI and you wish to rent a car, you will be charged for a higher fee because you’re crossing the borders, but nothing else will happen. There are no checkpoints, no document checks, nothing is planned at the moment and at least until the end of 2020.

Can I go from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland after Brexit?

Yes, you can. Again: if you go by car, you have to pay a fee for crossing the border. That’s it, at least until the beginning of 2021.

Will Brexit have an impact on air, rail and ferry travel?

No, there will be flights from the EU to Britain and vice versa. And there should also be no restrictions on trains, coaches and ferries. So there won’t be any change in the air, rail and ferry travel at least during the transition period.

Is Northern Ireland going to be more expensive to visit because of Brexit?

No, or at least this is unsure as for every country in the World. We can only assume that since the British pound against the euro, prices may be a little bit cheaper, but this is not a certainty.

Do I have to pay roaming charges during my visit to Northern Ireland?

No, at least until the end of 2020. Roaming charges have been abolished, and now we can happily call and use the Internet at domestic prices, irrespective of where we are traveling within the EU. We don’t know what will happen at the end of the transitional period, and roaming charges could also be reintroduced in 2021.

So, what will change for tourists wanting to visit Northern Ireland after Brexit?

At this stage, there won’t be a significant change until January 2021 at the earliest. There won’t be borders; there won’t be new rules, there won’t be controls. It would be best if you remembered that in Northern Ireland, people use the Sterling, and in the Republic of Ireland, people use euros. You need to be aware of your honors and burdens as a traveler, to pay attention to visas and your travel documents if necessary and, if you rent a car, be ready to pay a fee for “crossing the borders”. That’s it, at least for now.

What will happen after the transition period?

Who knows! It is rumored than there may be visa-free travel for short-term travelers to Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom, but nothing has been confirmed. There shouldn’t be borders between the Republic of Ireland and NI at the end of the transition period, but to be honest, nobody knows what will happen for sure. It looks like that even for European citizens, starting in 2021, the identity cards will no longer be enough for entry into the country. So everyone, EU citizens, and non-EU citizens will have to carry their passports with them to enter Northern Ireland directly or via the United Kingdom.

Last but not least: freedom of movement rights remain in place until the end of 2020 while the United Kingdom remains part of the single market. This means there won’t be any new rule, any change in how things work now. What happens after that remains to be determined.

Best Things to Do in Northern Ireland

Now that you’re all settled down with information on traveling to Northern Ireland after Brexit, here a few interesting things to do in NI to enjoy the region at its best:

Belfast: The Titanic Experience with SS Nomadic Visit

Belfast: Political Conflict 3-Hour Walking Tour

Giant’s Causeway and Rope Bridge Tour from Belfast

Giants Causeway & Game of Thrones Location Tour from Belfast

Giant’s Causeway Full-Day Guided Tour from Belfast

Looking for a Hotel in Belfast and Northern Ireland?

These are our recommendations for you:

The Merchant Belfast: located in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast’s city centre, The Merchant is a Grade I Listed building dating back to 1860. Click to view rates.

Bullit Hotel Belfast: a smart hotel, with a nice offer of things to do and spacious rooms. A restaurant on-site and a rooftop are just the cherries on top. Click to view rates.

Malmaison Belfast: once a Victorian warehouse, the Malmaison is rich in style and it’s definitely one of the most stylish hotels in the city. Click to view rates.

Find the best accommodation in Northern Ireland on Booking.com: with a choice of 28 million total accommodation, we’re sure you’ll find the one(s) you like to visit Northern Ireland after Brexit! Check locations, rates, and availability.

Visiting Northern Ireland After Brexit? no problem!

Visiting Northern Ireland after Brexit is no problem at all, and we can also help you plan your perfect tripFollow us on Instagram and get in touch if you want to have more information and subscribe to our newsletter to receive exclusive content by email!

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About the author
Veruska Anconitano
Veruska is a freelance content marketer and digital strategist. She's an accredited journalist, a member of the British Guild of Travel Writer, and a certified sommelier. She's the co-owner of TheFoodellers and a bunch of other websites.
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