Must See Sites in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is a rapidly changing country, so if you're stuck with images of its past then you could be missing out on one of Europe's hidden gems.
It's a friendly place that's open to tourism, and whether you go to Belfast or Londonderry, or explore its beautiful countryside, you're sure to receive a warm welcome accompanied by that famous Irish smile.
One of the great things about visiting Northern Ireland is that it's a compact country with an area of approximately five and a half thousand square miles, meaning that you can see a lot of its treasures in a relatively short space of time. Whether you are travelling solo, as a couple or with your friends or family you will be able to find amazing things to do.
If you are planning a break to Northern Ireland and visit for a weekend, a week, or longer, here are three of the best sites in Ulster you really should see...
1. Titanic Museum, Belfast
Belfast is a stunning city full of history and magnificent architecture, and one of the major tourist attractions pays tribute to the world's most famous and tragic ship.
The RMS Titanic was built in Belfast prior to its ill-fated 1812 maiden voyage, and this is now remembered in the Titanic Belfast museum at the heart of what has become known as the Titanic Quarter.
You can expect to see high quality exhibitions using the very latest technology sitting alongside relics and memorabilia from the ship itself. It's a large museum that rewards a full day of exploration, and if you need a little rest during your visit it also hosts fabulous bars and eateries.
2. The Giant's Causeway
Ireland as a whole is a magical island full of standing stones and ancient legends, and memories of the past never seem far away. The Giant's Causeway is perhaps the greatest example of this, and it draws tourists from across the globe. Situated on Northern Island's rugged yet beautiful Antrim coast, the causeway is made up of forty thousand columns.
Legend says they were thrown there by the giant Finn MacCool so that he could walk to Scotland and fight their own giant Benandonner. Giants Causeway tours are a great way to see this spectacular landscape, although we can't guarantee that you'll see the two giants in mid-fight.
3. Game of Thrones Filming Locations
Game of Thrones has turned from a much-loved series of books into the world's most famous action television show, and much of it is filmed on location in Northern Ireland. There are a number of Game Of Thrones tours available, and they should not be missed by fans of the series. Expert guides will take you to sites such as Camlough Harbour and Carrickfergus Castle, and they'll be instantly recognisable to those who follow the intrigue in Westeros, even if there are rather few dragons circling in the sky.
Northern Ireland perfectly blends the ancient and the modern, both in its towns and cities and in the tourist experience available across its green valleys, blue lochs, golden beaches and dramatic cliffs. Many people in the United Kingdom and beyond also have Northern Irish roots, and so visiting the country can allow you to see sites that would once have been known to your own ancestors. There's so much to see and do there, but the Giant's Causeway, Titanic Museum, and Game of Thrones tours really should not be missed.
If you have more time these are some other top locations to add to your Northern Ireland itinerary:
- Ards Peninsula
- Carrickfergus Castle
- Dunluce Castle, Co. Antrim
- Mussenden Temple, Co. Derry
- Glens of Antrim, Co. Antrim
- Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Co. Antrim
- Bushmills Distillery, Co. Antrim
- Rathlin Island
- The City Walls, Co. Derry
- Crumlin Road Goal, Belfast
- Lough Erne
By Veselina Dzhingarova