Northern Ireland made a resurgence as a tourist destination after The Good Friday Agreement of 1998, which was a power-sharing contract that aimed to promote peace. For years, tourists avoided the region.
Since then, Ulster, another name for Northern Ireland, has made a remarkable recovery economically as well as culturally, and it has emerged as one of the top tourist destinations in the world.
Most recently, Northern Ireland has seen an increase in the number of tourists due to its involvement as a filming location for the HBO series Game of Thrones. For those in the know, even during difficult times, this region of Ireland was always at the top of the list of places to visit in Ireland.
Best Places to Visit in Northern Ireland
Natural landmarks with a rich history, such as the mysterious Giant’s Causeway, are among the most popular things to do in Belfast, along with more recent additions, such as the Titanic Belfast.
The following is a list of the most popular tourist destinations in Northern Ireland, along with information on each one.
1. The Causeway of the Giants
The Giant’s Causeway is the only location in Northern Ireland to be recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is known all over the world for its stacked basalt columns.
An eruption of a volcano occurred approximately 60 million years ago, which resulted in the formation of these naturally occurring polygon-shaped features, of which there are approximately 40,000. They are now the primary attraction in an area that has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
2. Dunluce Castle and the Causeway Coast
Naturally, the Giant’s Causeway, which is included on the list of World Heritage Sites, serves as the initial destination for the vast majority of tourists. The neighboring coastline, on the other hand, is absolutely breathtaking and should not be ignored.
There are many delights in store for you, such as the stunning beaches, sand dunes, and crashing waves at Portrush and Portstewart (where there is also a golf course of world-class caliber). Either one of these places is ideal for a bracing dip, provided that you have the courage to do so.
The ruined medieval Dunluce Castle (Dn Libhse) can be reached by taking a pleasant drive west for ten minutes, passing via the picture-perfect settlement of Bushmills.
3. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
The vertigo-inducing Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is another one of Ulster’s must-see attractions, and it can be reached from the Giant’s Causeway by taking a drive in an easterly direction for around 15 minutes.
This breathtaking destination, however, is not for those who are easily frightened; it is found close to the picturesque fishing village of Ballintoy on the coast.
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A precarious rope bridge connects a tiny island where fishermen used to catch salmon to the larger mainland. The grounds themselves can be explored without charge, but there is a charge if you want to walk across the bridge itself.
4. The Titanic that Sank in Belfast
This star-shaped edifice, which represents the logo of the White Star Line, is a remarkable landmark that traces the city of Belfast’s nautical history and honors the narrative of the RMS Titanic.
The fact that Belfast was formerly the center of shipbuilding for the British Empire is inescapable in this area of the city and should not be ignored.
5. Antrim Glens (The Glens of Antrim)
Not only the beach of North Antrim is captivating; but the entire region is. The nine Glens of Antrim, more commonly referred to as simply “the Glens,” can be found inside the county; each glen has its own unique allure.
If you leave Ballycastle and head in the direction of Larne along the main A2 coast road, you will find peaceful lakes, cascading waterfalls, winding forest trails, and rolling hills. Glenariff, often known as the “Queen of the Glens,” is the most well-known of the nine glens.
6. The Castle of Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus is a significant town and port located approximately twenty minutes by car from Belfast. It is the location of the impressive Carrickfergus Castle.
This Norman fortress, which is one of Ireland’s medieval fortifications that has been kept the best, has fended off enemies for the better part of eight centuries.
7. Peninsula of the Ardennes
Aerial view of Killyleagh, located on the Ards Peninsula South of Bangor, at Donaghadee, is the beginning of the scenic Ards Peninsula, which extends for 32 kilometers.
A route begins in Donaghadee and travels down the coast of the Irish Sea to Ballywalter, which is known for its stunning beach, Ballyhalbert, and eventually Cloughy, where it makes a bend inland and continues on to Portaferry.
8. The Ulster Folk Museum and the Transport Museum
This living history museum is located around 15 minutes drive from the central business district of Belfast. It gives visitors the opportunity to experience what life was like in Ulster more than a century ago.
Visitors can take a tour through the hamlet, which features close to thirty buildings, some of which are reproductions while others are faithful recreations of old structures.
9. Shadowy Hedges
The picture of Dark Hedges’ centuries-old beech trees dramatically enclosing the road is so fanciful that even the greatest photos don’t look real. Instead of a living tunnel that you may walk through in the real world, it appears to be a detailed illustration stolen from the pages of a fairy tale.
The Stuart family is credited with establishing the lane in the 18th century and designing it with the intention of instilling a sense of reverence in passing passengers as they made their way to the family’s home.
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This effect has only become more pronounced with the passage of time, and as a result, it is now one of the most frequently photographed locations in Northern Ireland.
10. Londonderry, often known as Derry
Londonderry, or Derry as it is more widely known in the surrounding area, is the second largest city in Northern Ireland and is located at the point where the River Foyle empties into the sea-lough of the same name.
Despite the fact that the town has lost a portion of its natural hinterland in Donegal as a result of the split of Ireland, it continues to be an important port and industrial center.
It is home to a traditional textile industry as well as firms that produce ceramics and chemical and mechanical engineering goods.
If you go to the Emerald Isle but don’t make it up to the northern part of the country, you are missing out on a lot of fun!
Northern Ireland is known lovingly by its citizens as “Norn Iron,” and for such a small region, it is home to some of the most stunning landscapes and intriguing attractions that can be found anywhere in the world!