Northern Ireland has developed for tourism significantly in the last decades. While the Troubles may have prevented visitors from seeing Belfast in the 1970s and 1980s, Northern Ireland travel is now safe, fun, and full of surprises! .With politics now much calmer, you can plan a trip to Northern Ireland without concern for your safety. If you love Ireland, odds are, you will enjoy a trip to its neighbor in the north and all of the attractions, natural beauty, and history that continue to draw visitors from around the globe.
Northern Ireland is officially a separate country from the Republic of Ireland and is still considered part of the United Kingdom. This means that when you cross the border from Ireland to Northern Ireland, currencies changes and your prices will no longer be in euros but in British pounds. While flights into Belfast can be found, if you are traveling on a budget you will most likely fly to Dublin. From this capital city, you can continue your trip to Northern Ireland by train, bus, or rental car. A new motorway linking Dublin and Belfast has cut down on travel time between the two cities, making Belfast an easy trip from Dublin in less than a day.
Most Northern Ireland travel begins in Belfast. Belfast is both the largest city and the capital of Northern Ireland. A major seaport, Belfast was once a very important place for industry. Many people don’t know that the famous ocean liner the Titanic was built in the Belfast shipyards. However, industry has declined in recent decades, and Belfast had an opportunity to reinvent itself. The compact city has a variety of architecture including Georgian, Edwardian, and Victorian influences. Some of the top attractions in the city include Belfast City Hall, the Grand Opera House, Belfast Castle, and Queen’s University. If you’re traveling with kids, the Belfast Zoo and the W5 Interactive Science Centre are perfect for an afternoon’s entertainment.
Many visitors plan Northern Ireland travel to explore the country beyond Belfast. One of the most popular attractions on the whole island is the Giant’s Causeway, located along the coast in County Antrim. The result of a volcanic eruption, the stunning basalt columns are all hexagons, and the tallest stand at 36 feet. Watching the waves crash against the rocky coast at this UNESCO World Heritage Site is sure to be a memorable moment during your trip to Northern Ireland. Other popular activities along the shoreline include fishing, kayaking, and other water sports. Another attraction not to be along this coast is the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, offering an adventurous crossing between two cliffs.
History buffs should plan a Northern Ireland trip just to see the castles, monuments, and monasteries spread throughout the island. From Norman castles to Stone Age archaeological sites, you will learn about all the people who called this area of the island home over the centuries. Some of the top attractions to see include Enniskillen Castle, Devenish Island Monastic Site, and Beaghmore Stone Circles. Beyond history, Northern Ireland also offers visitors a variety of artistic, cultural, and culinary adventures. Contemporary Northern Ireland is flourishing and waiting for your visit!