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Ballymena (Irish: an Baile Meánach, "the middle townland") is a town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Get in[edit]

Ballymena means "Middle Town" in Irish, and rightly so, with a location right in between the Glens of Antrim and the fertile Bann valley, the North Coast and the Capital. It makes a good base to explore these places whilst sampling local life.

M2 runs by the town. The town is only about 30 mins drive from Belfast and Belfast International Airport and Larne harbour.

  • 1 Ballymena railway station. on the BelfastDerry railway line Ballymena railway station (Q3968964) on Wikidata Ballymena railway station on Wikipedia

Get around[edit]

Driving in Ballymena can be confusing as there are many one-way streets and frequent lane changes. However, the town is well signposted. Congestion is moderate but parking is abundant and quite cheap. Like most places, taxis are expensive. There are frequent buses throughout the area and the town itself is quite big, but it is not hard to navigate on foot.


  • 1 Slemish (Sliabh Mis). Mountain the remains of the plug of an extinct volcano. Slemish (Q743542) on Wikidata Slemish on Wikipedia



Ballymena is seen by many as the best place to shop in Northern Ireland after Belfast (and with cheaper parking!) and so makes it a good place to spend a sunny or rainy day. There are two large shopping centres, the Tower Centre and the Fairhill, and many other great shops. As well as a cinema, leisure centre and bowling alley.

The Tourist Information is in the Town Hall, Linenhall Street.


There are many restaurants, take-aways, as any Western city, there are plenty of major food chains such as McDonalds, Subway etc. as well as quaint cafés and coffee shops.


Nightlife in terms of clubs is poor, but Belfast and the North Coast aren't far away.

Hotel bars are the best bet or The Thatch in nearby Broughshane


Main hotels in the town are

There are no hostels but plenty of medium priced guest houses.

  • 5 Loughconnolly B+B, 103 Carnlough Rd, Broughshane (6 miles east of Ballymena, road heading in direction of Carnlough), +44 28 2568 4380. High quality B+B at low rates in a beautiful area.

Go next[edit]

  • The M2 runs by the town so the North Coast and Belfast are easily accessible
  • Only a few miles away is the village of Broughshane, well known in the summer months for its flowers.
  • Portglenone Forest is famous for the bluebells that carpet it in the spring.
  • For panoramic views of the whole county and if clear enough, Scotland, Donegal and the Mournes, head out to Slemish Mountain, and from there, on into the Glens of Antrim.
  • Antrim (town)
  • Ballymoney
This city travel guide to Ballymena is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.