When most people think of Ireland, they immediately picture the beautiful sights and bustling city of Dublin and the south, and, although Dublin is lovely, I’m going to tell you why you should go further north, to my home country of Northern Ireland.
The city of Belfast
Despite the conflict of the past, Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland, is a city on the rise. Smaller and cheaper than Dublin, and split into four different quarters, there’s something for everyone in Belfast. If you want history, you can go to the Titanic Quarter and see the incredible Titanic Museum, which tells the story of the infamous RMS Titanic, which was built in Belfast. From the Titanic Quarter you can see Harland and Wolff, where the ship was built. If you need more history, you can also go to the Ulster Museum in the University Quarter of the city, and see many exhibitions of history and art for free.
As well as history, Belfast is becoming more popular for its amazing nightlife, especially in the Cathedral Quarter, whose cobbled streets are home to many bars and restaurants, many of which have live bands playing late into the night. As well as this, during the summer Belfast has two music festivals, Belsonic and Belfast Vital, which host world-famous artists. Last summer Muse, The 1975, and Tiesto all performed in the city!
The beautiful natural scenery
If a city break isn’t your thing, you can always leave Belfast and explore the beautiful coastline of Northern Ireland. By driving up the Causeway Coastal Route, you can see the spectacular sights of The Giant’s Causeway, The Mussenden Temple, Dunluce Castle and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge (you can go across it too, if you feel brave enough!). Head in the other direction and you can see the splendour of the Mourne Mountains and Newcastle, the small seaside town which lives in their shadow.
Game of Thrones
Everyone knows Game of Thrones, but not as many people know that a lot of the TV show was filmed in Northern Ireland. It has given the country a great reputation and brings thousands of visitors to the locations every year. There are now many tours of these areas due to their popularity, so you can experience The Kingsroad, Winterfell and Lordsport Harbour yourself.
It’s often said that the Irish are the friendliest people in the world. And I might be biased, but I think it’s true! We like to socialise, tell stories and laugh at ourselves, and you won’t struggle to find a friendly face or someone to help when you’re lost, in Belfast or in the rest of the country. We love to make friends and we strongly believe in giving everyone a warm welcome to our small part of the world.
So there are four reasons why you should definitely make Northern Ireland your next holiday destination!
Would you like to visit Northern Ireland? What would you like to do there?