Tourist Attractions in Northern Ireland : Following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, a power-sharing agreement intended to foster peace, Northern Ireland, which had been shunned by tourists for years, has made a comeback. It has since revived both economically and culturally, making Ulster (Northern Ireland) one of the world’s must-see locations..
As a result of Northern Ireland’s status as a Game of Thrones production site, a new wave of visitors has arrived. At all times, even in hard times, this area of Ireland was a must-see for anyone who knew where to look. The Giant’s Causeway and Belfast Titanic are two of the most popular sites in Northern Ireland, with more recent additions like the Ulster Museum.
Ulster’s power-sharing administration has pumped a lot of money into attracting tourists. Great shopping, world-class restaurants, historic and cultural attractions, and world-class golf are just some of the reasons to visit. For families, couples, and lone visitors, there are a plethora of options in Northern Ireland, all of which are certain to be welcoming.
Visitors from the Republic of Ireland should be aware that they are entering a sovereign country when they cross the border into Northern Ireland. We employ pounds sterling in this area rather than euros, as in southern Europe.
We’ve compiled a list of the most popular tourist destinations in Northern Ireland.
1. The Giant’s Causeway
The Giant’s Causeway is Northern Ireland’s sole UNESCO World Heritage Site. A volcanic explosion 60 million years ago formed these polygonal-shaped natural structures. They are now the focal point of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Lower, Middle, and Upper Basalts were formed by three volcanic events. The Middle Basalt rock produces the famed hexagonal amphitheaters. That’s physics. Legend has it that the powerful giant Finn McCool cut it out while fleeing his opponent Benandonner across the river in Scotland.
This fable has several names: The Giant’s Boot, The Wishing Chair, The Camel, The Giant’s Granny, and The Organ on the Cliffs. Depending on the weather, you may even see Scotland.
Address: 44 Causeway Road, Bushmills, Antrim
Official site: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/giants-causeway
Accommodation: Where to Stay near The Giant’s Causeway
2. The Causeway Coast and Dunluce Castle
Most visitors start their journey down the coast at the UNESCO-listed Giant’s Causeway. But the surrounding beach is stunning and should not be missed. Beautiful beaches, dunes, and rolling waves await in Portrush (home to a world-class golf course) and Portstewart. If you’re courageous enough, take a plunge in either.
A 10-minute journey west via Bushmills gets you to the ruins of medieval Dunluce Castle (Dn Libhse). It’s hard to miss, teetering precariously on the cliff edge, the kitchen having fallen into the pounding waters decades ago.
The kitchen kid sitting on the windowsill had to be rescued as the lone survivor. A Game of Thrones included exterior views of the castle.
Address: 87 Dunluce Road, Bushmills, Antrim
3. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
A 15-minute journey east from the Giant’s Causeway gets you to the vertiginous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. This amazing attraction near the picturesque coastal resort of Ballintoy is not for the faint-hearted.
The shaky rope bridge connects a little island where salmon are caught. While the grounds are free, crossing the bridge itself requires a charge.
Address: County, 119a Whitepark Rd, Ballintoy, Antrim, Ballycastle
Official site: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/carrick-a-rede
4. The Titanic Belfast
This magnificent star-shaped skyscraper celebrates Belfast’s maritime history and the RMS Titanic. This area of Belfast was historically the hub of British Empire shipbuilding.
On the site of the ill-fated ocean ship Titanic, there are nine interactive installations. Visit the SS Nomadic for an extra cost. Built in 1911, this tender would ferry passengers to waiting ocean ships.
Onsite are a restaurant, café, and gift store. This is a top-notch tourist attraction.
Address: 1 Olympic Way, Queen’s Road, Belfast
Official site: http://titanicbelfast.com/
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Belfast
5. The Glens of Antrim
Not just the North Antrim shoreline entices. Inland are the nine Glens of Antrim, each with its own distinct beauty. From Ballycastle to Larne, take the A2 coast route and enjoy tranquil lakes, waterfalls, woodland walks, and rolling hills. The most renowned is Glenariff, the “Queen of the Glens.”
Notable along the journey is the Glendun Bridge, a marvel of design and engineering.
Ballypatrick Forest Park features a lovely 10-kilometer circle drive around Carneighaneigh Mountain.
Portrush, a little beach resort town in County Londonderry, is well worth a visit. The Royal Portrush Golf Club and the Dunluce Links are both here.
Official site: www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/ballypatrick-forest
6. Carrickfergus Castle
Near Belfast, in Carrickfergus, is the magnificent Carrickfergus Castle. This Norman fortress has held out for eight centuries.
Kids will like the reconstructed banqueting hall and the fortress overlooking the town. Enjoy a guided audio tour of the interior and battlements.
Andrew Jackson Centre, the 7th president’s reconstructed ancestral home.
Address: Carrickfergus Castle, Marine Highway, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim
- Read More:
- Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Belfast
7. Ards Peninsula
The Ards Peninsula starts in Donaghadee, south of Bangor. A road connects Donaghadee to Portaferry through Ballywalter, Ballyhalbert, and Cloughy.
Mount Stewart House and Gardens is a 10-minute drive from Ballywalter. Killyleagh is on the west bank of Strangford Lough, dominated by Hilltop Castle. On a clear day, the Mourne Mountains are visible.
Portaferry is near Strangford on the peninsula’s southern tip. Or go down the peninsula’s west side along Strangford Lough.
8. The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum
This “living” museum is around 15 minutes from Belfast’s city centre. 170 acres of parks and restored laborer’s cottages are available for exploration. Traditional crafts are shown by tour guides.
The Transport Museum has electric trams, fire trucks, motorcycles, gorgeous antique automobiles, and horse-pulled carriages. It’s a day trip in itself.
Address: 153 Bangor Road, Holywood
Official site: http://nmni.com/uftm
- Read More:
- Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Belfast
9. Londonderry (Derry)
Londonderry, Northern Ireland’s second city, is located where the River Foyle empties into the same-named sea-lough. With a historic textile industry, chemical and mechanical engineering industries, and ceramics manufacturers, the town is an important port and industrial hub.
It is a popular tourist destination and an excellent base for journeys to the Inishowen Peninsula and Donegal in Ireland. The town itself features a well-preserved medieval wall circuit and several notable historic structures.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Londonderry
10. Lough Erne
Lough Erne, in County Fermanagh, is a destination for fishing, kayaking, and day cruises. Its islands and castles are a prominent attraction.
The ruined Augustinian priory on Devenish Island has a 12th-century circular tower, and strange carved stone sculptures on White and Boa Islands date from AD 400 to 800. The Irish Lough Erne-Shannon Erne Waterway links the two.