With spectacular geological forms, a beautiful coastline, friendly cities, deep glacial valleys and historic monuments, Northern Ireland is full of attractions. The once troubled country is emerging from years of conflict and visitors are once again pouring in. Ramble across mountains, visit the birthplace of the Titanic and enjoy some traditional Irish music.
There are plenty of opportunities to explore and enjoy Northern Ireland’s scenic beauty. Hike across the Mourne Mountains and stop by some of the towns and villages located in the foothills. Take a boat trip across Lough Neagh and its waterways. The large freshwater lake borders five of Northern Ireland’s six counties. Picnic on one of the country’s many beaches and venture underground to explore the chambers, rivers and waterfalls of Marble Arch Caves.
On the North Antrim Coast is one of Northern Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions, the Giant’s Causeway. The large basalt columns, which can be walked across, were created by volcanic action more than 60 million years ago.
Travel to Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital and home to a third of its population. Visit Titanic Belfast, the place where the ill-fated passenger liner was built. Learn about its construction and first and only voyage. Go on a free public tour of City Hall, a stunning neoclassical building in Portland stone and look down on the city from the ramparts of Belfast Castle. Watch a concert at the Odyssey Arena or catch a musical at the Grand Opera House.
Enjoy trips to some of Northern Ireland’s other cities. In Armagh, find St. Patrick’s Cathedral, founded by the patron saint of Ireland in A.D. 445. Visit Londonderry for St. Columb’s Cathedral and to walk on the 17th-century defensive wall that encircles the inner city. If you are feeling energetic, cycle the Foyle Valley, a 21-mile (34-kilometer) route that links Londonderry with the border towns of Lifford and Strabane.
Round off your Northern Ireland experience with a drink and some live Irish music in a traditional pub.