One of the best things about Northern Ireland is that it’s compact and accessible – a region you can explore at your own pace. But it’s also a region with immense variety. From breath-taking scenery of the coastal routes and rolling countryside, to the vibrant and bustling city of Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital. With so much variety, it makes deciding what to see and do difficult, so we’ve listed some of the top attractions and sightseeing spots in Northern Ireland to ensure see the best of Northern Ireland in a week!
Discover Belfast in a Black Cab
Jumping aboard a black cab in Belfast in one of the best ways to tour the city. But not just any ordinary black cab. In Belfast, there are several tour operators who will arrange for a black cab to pick you up and drop you off from your preferred location, with a driver/tour guide who will take you round the city and educate you on Belfast’s troubled past. You’ll stop off at political murals, the famous peace wall, and visit some parts of the city that are still divided even today.
Visit the Titanic Museum
As the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience and the most popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland, the Titanic Museum in Belfast is not to be missed. The museum guides you through nine galleries, telling the story of the RMS Titanic, from when it was first build in Belfast in the early 1900s, to that tragic night in April 1912. We recommend booking tickets prior to your visit to ensure you are guaranteed access.
Drive the Causeway Coastal Route
Are you a driving enthusiast? Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route has got to be one of the world’s most scenic drives. The way-marked drive around the coast between Belfast and Londonderry is approximately 120 miles, varying from seashores to mountain tops. There are plenty of sightseeing spots to stop off at along the way too, like the mysterious Giant’s Causeway, the fourth greatest natural wonder in the UK.
Walk Derry/Londonderry’s city walls
You’ll experience history, heritage, and a vibrant cultural scene when you walk the Derry/Londonderry City Walls. Built during the period 1613-1618, the walls are approximately 1.5km in circumference and form a walkway around the inner city. This year marked the 400th anniversary of the completion of the Walls.
Stop off beneath the Dark Hedges
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you’re sure to recognise the avenue of arched beech trees known as the Dark Hedges that feature in season two of the HBO drama. Since the trees featured in Game of Thrones, the number of tourists flocking to the area has dramatically risen, despite only being shown for a few seconds. Nonetheless, it is still a beautiful, picturesque spot to visit. If you’re already driving the Causeway Costal Route, this is a convenient stop off as it’s only a half hour from the Giant’s Causeway.
Dare to cross the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge
Think you’re brave enough to cross the bridge that hangs almost 100ft above sea level? The Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge swings between Carrick Island and County Antrim near Ballintoy, having been built by salmon fishermen in 1755. Since then, new measures have of course been introduced to ensure a safer experience for the thousands of tourists who cross the bridge each year. Don’t look down!
Explore Dunluce Castle
Situated on the coastal cliffs of County Antrim is the iconic ruins of the medieval Dunluce Castle. With the earliest written record of the castle dating all the way back to 1513, Dunluce is totally steeped in history and visitors can see the artefacts that are displayed amongst the ruined walls. Dunluce Castle is another Game of Thrones hotspot as it represents the House of Greyjoy.
Old Bushmills Distillery
Having established in 1784, Bushmills Distillery is the oldest licenced working distillery in all of Ireland. The distillery that is settled on the banks of the Bush River in the charming village of Bushmills is a place where family and friends have worked for generations, believing that hand crafting small batches is the way to produce smooth tasting Irish Whiskey. Today, the distillery offers both tours and tasting experiences to visitors from all over the world.
Take a detour on the Causeway Coastal Route down the narrow country roads and you’ll reach the headland of Torr Head. With spectacular views over the Irish Sea, you can even see Scotland from here on a clear day. Torr Head was once an important location in the 1800s for the recording of the passage of transatlantic ships, transferring information back to Lloyds of London.
Want to arrange your trip to Northern Ireland now? We’ll help you!
See Northern Ireland in a week with our Highlights of Northern Ireland package. Explore Belfast City, Derry/Londonderry, Omagh, and Newcastle, where you can experience some of these fantastic spots.