Northern Ireland Travel Tips and Insider GuidesClick a city or region to browse our insider travel tips and guides about Northern Ireland.
Our Insider's Articles about Northern Ireland
Dunluce Castle was an accidental destination on my travels to Northern Ireland. I was on my way into Portstewart, County... [Read the full story]
The north coast of Northern Ireland has been blessed with a great many natural features of stunning beauty. One of the most dramatic... [Read the full story]
About Northern Ireland
Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. Some of the most beautiful coastline in all of Ireland is found in Northern Ireland, as well as the greenest green you’ve ever seen. Northern Ireland is home to heaths, medieval castles, cathedrals with intricate stained-glass windows, whiskey distilleries, cairns, and marinas. The violence that once gripped Northern Ireland has mostly abated, but it does flare up from time to time. For current safety information, visit the U.S. government travel website. Here are tips to help guide you on your trip to Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland is roughly 25 miles from Scotland, and in between lie the Irish Straight and the Isle of Mann. The Mourne Mountains, which are treeless and covered with heather much of the year, provide great hiking and views. The North Coast has beautiful beaches and cliffs topped with castle ruins, and the most important landmark is Giant’s Causeway, a famous stretch of rocky coast with highly unusual rock formations: hexagonal basalt columns. The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is another particularly breathtaking sight. Note that Northern Ireland’s beaches are usually too cold to sunbath.
The best way to experience Ireland is to get a B&B and rent a car. The Irish breakfasts are restorative, and the road signs are in miles, unlike in the Republic of Ireland. With a rental car you can explore the lesser known cathedrals and ruins in the small towns, as well as access every inch of the coast. For simply getting between cities and towns, Ulsterbus and Northern Ireland Railways, Northern Ireland’s bus and train companies, provide excellent means of transportation.
Belfast, Derry, and Bangor have great shopping, museums, and restaurants. Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, is the second largest city in all of Ireland. If you are at all interested in the conflict in Northern Ireland, known as The Troubles, make sure to visit the Museum of Free Derry. Much of the museum focuses on the Bloody Sunday massacre.
The official currency is Pound Sterling. You can enter Northern Ireland by ferry or plane. Belfast International Airport is the largest airport. Northern Ireland is famous for frequent changes in weather, and rain gear should definitely be kept on hand. Cheers to Irish whisky!