The Welcome Centre (Tourist Information Centre) is located inside the Ferry Terminal and has full information and bookable trips along with leaflets and a coffee shop. It is open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 6pm all year and on Sundays from the end of May to the end of September. Click here to go to the Welcome Centre website.

Visit the Isle of Man Website with lots of tourist information

You can book a private or group Tour Guide here 

Bus Services (accurate as of 13.2.19)

The Isle of Man offers a good bus network with regular journeys around the main towns. For timetables and journey maps, please click here.

The buses to and from the airport are Numbers: 1, 1H, 2, 2A, 11 or 12

The bus to the airport operates outside of the hotel on the opposite side of the road from the bus stop and takes around 35 minutes.

Costs are £3.10 for adults for a single or £5.70 return. You can also take the bus from central Douglas to the airport for £2.70 for a single and £5.00 return.

Times are: Mon-Sat 05.56, 06.19 then every 20 minutes from 06.53 to 22.13

Sundays 06.13, 07.33, 08.33 then every 20 minutes from 09.13 to 22.13

However, please check the the link above for exact times during race events and road closure days as these times will probably vary significantly.


Heritage Railways – more details can be found here

2019 scheduled services

Steam Railway – Friday 8 March to Monday 3 November 2019

Manx Electric Railway – Friday 16 March to Sunday 3 November 2019

Snaefell Mountain Railway – Thursday 26 March to Sunday 3 November 2019

Douglas Bay Horse Tram – Thursday25 April to Sunday 3 November 2019* Work on the Prom during 2019 may affect this service.

Railway Map

  • Railways Map
  • the red line on the map is the Steam Railway line,
  • the green line is the Snaefell Mountain Railway and
  • the blue line is the Manx Electric Railway.

Thomas the Tank Engine was inspired by the Island’s railways and the feature film Thomas and the Magic Railroad was filmed on the Isle of Man.

It’s possible to see the majority of the Island by travelling on the railway network and many of the Island’s heritage attractions are also located near to the railway stops making it easy to get around.

A range of cost effective multi-journey Go cards can be purchased and the Go Explore card entitles the holder to unlimited travel on scheduled services of:

  • Steam Railway,
  • Manx Electric Railway,
  • Snaefell Mountain Railway,
  • Douglas Horse Trams and
  • Buses (except the Manx Express routes; half fare applies on premium Hullad Oie Night Owl services)

Go Explore Cards cost:


1 Day card Adults






3 Day Card £32.00 £16.00 £75.00
5 Day Card £39.00 £19.50 £95.00
7 Day Card £47.00 £23.50 £115.00


Horse Trams along Douglas Promenade

The horse trams run Tuesday to Sunday from just across the road to the hotel at the bus stop. The trams run every 20 minutes or so along the Promenade and you can just get on and off at any stop for an unlimited use for a fixed rate of £6.00 per adult or £3.00 per child all day. You can pay the driver in cash only.

There is also a adult single trip rate of £3.00 and children £2.00 if you just want to use the trams going one way for a single journey. Pay the driver as you get on in cash only.

If you are a regular on the Island or are staying more than 5 days, then a ‘Go Horse Tram Card’ can be purchased which covers unlimited use for the whole tram season for just £30 adults and £20 for children and Island Senior citizens.

Go Horse Tram Cards and daily tickets are available from the Welcome Centre which is located inside the Ferry Terminal.

Click here to go to the Douglas Horse Tram website

Manx Museum

The Manx Museum is located around 20 minutes walk from the hotel. It is open Mon-sat from 10am to 5pm and is FREE to enter. Click here for their website.


Home of Rest for Old Horses

This is located on Richmond Hill in Douglas and can be reached by car or bus (any number bus going to the airport passes the Home).

It is open from 17th May to 17th September 2019 and is open Mon-Fri from 10am to 4pm and has FREE entryMore details.


The Gaiety Theatre & Villa Marina Complex

The Theatre & Villa Marina Complex are less than 5 -10 minutes walk towards the town centre – turn right outside of the hotel and keep walking! – further details of events and shows can be found here


There are many golf courses on the Island, and some offer flexible rates to guests of The Empress Hotel.

Please call 01624 661155 to find out the best rates at local golf courses.

Camera Obscura

Tickets cost £2.00 adults, £1.00 for students and children are free

Open from May to September on Saturday from 1pm to 4pm and Sunday 11am to 4pm

Click here for full details

Other activities nearby include:

Local Shopping

 Just 10-15 minutes walk when you turn right outside the hotel entrance, from the hotel is Strand Street, the main shopping area in Douglas. Marks & Spencer, T K Maxx, Top Shop, Boots, Sports Direct, and W H Smiths and many more well known brands are available during normal business hours of 9am to 5.30pm approx. Mon-Sat and 11am until 5pm Sundays.

There is also a retail park outside of the town which can be reached by a 10 minute taxi ride and stores includes Currys and B&Q.

There is a large Tesco store just past the harbour and is open 8am to midnight Mon-Sat and 9am-6pm Sundays.

The nearest convenience store is a Spar about 5 minutes walk from the hotel. Turn left out of the main entrance and walk 400-500 metres. It is open 7am until 10pm daily. The store sells food, snacks, sweets, alcohol, newspapers and cigarettes. It also has a cash machine inside the store.

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