Northern Ireland has a complex history that is rich in culture. From coastal roads, mountainous terrain, iconic castles, and unique museums, there’s plenty to learn and experience. You may recognize some of the scenery and natural beauty from iconic TV shows and movies like Game of Thrones, Dracula Untold, and others.
There’s so much to see and do without a language barrier, making Northern Ireland very easy to navigate. It may be a good idea to rent a car, depending on the extent of your adventure, but keep in mind to drive on the left-side of the road!
How to plan the perfect adventure in Northern Ireland
Take a tour
There are many different tours to take varying from overnight trips to bus day trips, you can find a tour that works for you. Whether you opt for the Game of Thrones tour or a self-guided one through the city of Belfast, the architecture and natural beauty is breathtaking. Tours to the UNESCO-listed Giant’s Causeway are also a favorite of travelers for the awesome sea views and unique rock formations. Explore some of the ancient castles like Castle Ward, an 18th-century eccentric house with walking trails and gardens, the views are stunning. Fit with a gift-shop, second-hand bookshop and tea-room, it’s the perfect place to spend the afternoon.
Get out in nature
Explore the Murlough National Nature Preserve in Newcastle and wander the dunes and soak up the mountain and sea views or stroll the boardwalk. There are also many waterfalls in Northern Ireland, though spread out across the country, Gleno Waterfall is just north of Belfast. The sound of the water rushing is peaceful and offers a respite from city life. Silent Valley Mountain Park in Kilkeel offers trails and lovely views of the reservoir.
Experience the history of Northen Ireland
Whether you’re up for a walking tour or want to mosey around a museum, there are some great options. Derry City Walls are one of the most iconic urban sites in Ireland that tell the story of Northern Ireland’s “Troubles” in a nutshell. You also won’t want to miss a visit to the Seamus Heaney museum. Heaney is considered a great Irish poet and won the Nobel Prize in Literature during his lifetime. Exhibits feature his work and life and offer a glimpse into the rich literary history of Northern Ireland.
The Titanic Belfast museum includes over nine galleries, with special effects and full-scale reconstructions to explore the Titanic story. The ship has a deep history in Northern Ireland having been constructed in Belfast in the early 1900s. Explore the story beyond the film from construction to the wreckage and beyond.
Because of the close proximity, maybe you’ll even opt to head south into the Republic of Ireland. Whatever you plan to do, enjoy the history and culture of this beautiful country!