Northern Ireland has a large number of the most diverse attractions to offer. You should definitely not miss the cities of Belfast and Deri. The cities both have very old and exciting histories. Although Belfast and Deri are the centers of political turmoil in the country, it is still worth a visit.
Also the sacred buildings of Northern Ireland are worth seeing. Therefore, the St. Annes Cathedrale should not be missed. It is the largest and most beautiful church in Belfast and was built in the seventeenth century.
Also worth seeing is St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which dates from 445 BC. It was founded on Armagh Hill by St. Patrick. Unfortunately, the building from this period is no longer preserved. Today’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral dates from the thirteenth century.
St. Michael’s Cathedral is also worth a visit. The Roman Catholic Church was built between 1870 and 1875. The French Gothic style was used for the construction. The architect of the sacred building was the most famous architect in Northern Ireland, John O’Neil.
The St. Macartins Cathedrale was built in 1842 according to the designs of Thomas Elliott. It is a prime example of the architecture of the Victorian era. The church itself was built around a steeple from 1637.
The Craigavon Bridge in Derry is something special. It goes over the River Foyle and is the only double decker bridge that can be found in all of Europe.
The absolute highlight is the Grand Opera House in Belfast. She is the most famous in the country and almost every actor in Northern Ireland dreams of performing here.
Nature lovers should definitely check out the botanical fish bones in Belfast. They are particularly known for their posh tropical palm house from 1839.
A must-see is the Ulster Museum, located in the Botanical Gardens, with a comprehensive collection of international contemporary art as well as Irish arts and crafts. In the museum you can learn all about the history of Irish culture over a period of nine thousand years.
If you want to learn more about the city of Derry / Londonderry, you shouldn’t miss a visit to the Tower Museum.
Dunluce Castle is absolutely impressive. It is known to Northern Ireland’s tourists as the most beautiful castle in the whole country. Originally the castle belonged to the MacQuillan family. They lived in the castle until the sixteenth century. After they moved out, a storm destroyed part of the castle so that it fell into the sea.
You should also have seen the Nendrum Monastery. It is more than a thousand years old. The monastery, founded with the blessing of St. Patrick, had its heyday in the year 1000 in particular. There is also an interesting museum in the monastery.
Another interesting sight in Northern Ireland is Enniskillen Castle and Museum. It was built on Lough Erne in Enniskillen. The castle was built by Hug Maguire. Especially in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the castle was a shelter during the Gallic Revolution. The nearby folk museum in Fermangagh is also worth a visit.
Northern Ireland is not all about man-made sights. There is also plenty of natural beauty to see in the country.
The Beaghmore Stone Circles, discovered in 1940, should not be missed. There are seven stone circles to marvel at, which archaeologists estimate are from the Neolithic era.
Other natural attractions of Northern Ireland include Glants Causeway, Portrushwhite Rocks Blue Flag Beach, Mournes, Slieve Donard, Lough Neagh and the Mourloch Natural Park.
Northern Ireland – traveling in the country
Plane: there is flight connections between Derry and Dublin and between Belfast and Cork. The only airlines that offer domestic flights are Air Lingus and Air Árann.
Ship: there are ferry connections to Rathlin Island off the coast of Northern Ireland. Ferries also cross rivers, bays and lakes, which can be very useful especially for cyclists.
Rail: Northern Ireland Railways operates four routes from Belfast. One of these connects to the Republic of Ireland route network to Dublin via Newry. The other three routes connect Belfast with Bangor in the east, with Larne in the northeast and with Derry via Coleraine in the northwest.
Car: the M1 connects Belfast with Dungannon, the M2 with Antrim. The M3 runs from Belfast to Ballymacarrett. Speed limits and distances in Northern Ireland are given in miles. Petrol is expensive. Most petrol stations accept credit cards.
Rental cars are expensive in Northern Ireland. The majority of car rental companies only rent a car to people who are at least 23 years old. Mopeds and motorcycles cannot be rented.
Bus: Ulsterbus is Northern Ireland’s only bus route and operates a well-developed network of routes.
Local transport: Belfast and some other major cities have extensive local bus networks.
Taxi: Taxis in Northern Ireland are usually expensive.
Bicycle: Northern Ireland is very suitable for traveling by bicycle, despite bad weather. Various tour operators organize guided bike tours in the Northern Irish county of Antrim, among others.