Popular for history, heritage, cosmopolitan cities and incredible natural landscapes, Northern Ireland certainly has no shortage of things to see and do. A small area of land that certainly packs a punch, be prepared to be blown away when you visit this spectacular corner of the UK. From the wild coastlines of the north to the charming towns that dot the countryside, join us in discovering favourite destinations such as Newcastle and Downpatrick in beautiful County Down, vibrant Belfast with its traditional pubs, cultural attractions and fantastic 'craic', or Northern Ireland's first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the famous geological wonder of the Giant's Causeway.
Interested? Browse our escapes to Northern Ireland today and see if we can inspire your next adventure…
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With mountain scenery and fascinating towns, discover the charm of County Down, Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway, Derry and Dublin.
The star of any holiday to Northern Ireland is the breathtaking Giant’s Causeway. Surrounded by heavenly scenery of luscious mountains, these unique, 40,000 basalt stone columns tell the tales of ancient Irish giants.
For those seeking destinations with a fascinating past, Derry (Londonderry) is one of the most complete walled cities in Europe, and its iconic Peace Bridge, Georgian Quarter and 17th century walls are waiting to be discovered.
No trip to Northern Ireland is complete without time spent in the fantastic capital of Belfast. With a unique blend of stunning architecture, magnificent landmarks and cosmopolitan shops and eateries, you’ll find friendly hospitality at every turn. Make it one to remember in Northern Ireland!
Browse key sights and the popular tours you can see them on.
See the spectacular Giant’s Causeway – according to the legend, giant Finn McCool threw stones into the sea to build a causeway to Scotland to take on his rival, BennandonnarView Tour
A traditional tray bake from Ulster, fifteens consist of 15 digestive biscuits, 15 marshmallows and 15 cherries – hence the name – combined with condensed milk and desiccated coconut, then left in the fridge to set and cut into slices. Typically enjoyed at festivities and celebrations, you can also find fifteens in shops and bakeries.
Oysters paired with Irish stout may sound like a strange combination, but the flavours blend surprising well and the dish has been a favourite since 1837. The sharp, crisp taste of fresh oysters contrasts the smooth, creamy flavour of Guinness, and you can sample this iconic pair at many bars and restaurants across Northern Ireland, including the oldest pub in Belfast!
The ultimate breakfast dish in Northern Ireland, an Ulster fry is similar to a fry-up, consisting of sausages, streaky bacon, eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms, but served with griddle bread on the side. Griddle breads include soda bread or potato bread which are fried until crispy and golden on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
A traditional folk stew from the 19th century made to make the most of leftover ingredients, Irish stew is a warm, hearty dish most often enjoyed in autumn and winter. Beef, mutton or lamb is slowly cooked until tender with onions, potatoes and root vegetables, making it a delicious meal with only a few ingredients!
With so much on offer, you might need some inspiration! We’ve hand-picked a selection of favourite destinations and provided an overview of the very best highlights...
Titanic Belfast® Exhibition
Built on the slipways where Titanic was constructed over 100 years ago, this fantastic museum opened in 2012 and plays tribute to the city's rich maritime industry and the ill-fated Titanic. With interactive exhibitions, special reconstructions, and real artefacts from the ship on display including letters, menus and brochures, it brilliantly tells the story of the world's most famous shipwreck.
St. George's Market
The last surviving Georgian market in the city, St. George's offers an authentic taste of Belfast, with stalls selling antiques, arts and crafts, books, jewellery and fresh food. Enjoy traditional Belfast soda bread, local sausage or a mouth-watering Ulster fry up.
With a rich collection of art, history and natural sciences, Ulster Museum takes you on a diverse journey. See exhibits such as a 2,500-year-old Egyptian Mummy, the Armada Room, and a gallery of modern art. The museum also doesn't shy away from Belfast's turbulent past, with the Modern History exhibition delving into the conflict after partition, as well as the peaceful developments that followed.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Comprising of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that were formed due to an ancient volcanic fissure eruption some 50-60 million years ago, the rugged beauty of the Giant's Causeway is a sight to behold. Declared a World Heritage Site in 1986, this phenomenal natural landscape is now protected and managed to ensure its integrity remains for years to come.
Tales of Giants
This striking sight has inspired tales of giants striding over the sea to Scotland! The legendary myth is that Northern Ireland was once the home of a giant named Finn McCool. When another giant – named Benandonner, from Scotland – threatened Northern Ireland, Finn reacted by ripping huge chunks of the Antrim Coast from the ground and throwing them into the sea. Inspired by the way they fell into the water, McCool used his boulders to make a bridge – a Giant’s Causeway – to Scotland, where he could challenge his rival.
Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre
Designed by Heneghan Peng Architects of Dublin, the National Trust Visitor Centre is tucked into the hillside above the Causeway with a green roof. Inside, an interactive exhibition explores the magic, myth and geology of the Giant’s Causeway.
Derry (Londonderry) is the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland, and its 400-year-old walls are a fantastic way to see unrivalled views of the city. Built to defend and protect Derry from English and Scottish colonists, and having never been breached, today, you can walk the whole circumference and see the cannons and towers.
With interactive displays, this award-winning museum has a cinema which showcases short films, as well as two permanent exhibitions including The Story of Derry and An Armada Shipwreck – La Trinidad Valencera. Head to the 5th floor where you can also see fantastic, panoramic views of the city and the River Foyle.
The Museum of Free Derry
Located in the very heart of Bogside where the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre took place, this fascinating museum tells the story of Northern Ireland's struggle for civil rights in the late-1960s and early-1970s. It is told from the perspective of those who were directly involved and affected, and visitors can see photographs, videos, and thousands of artefacts including banners, posters, clothing and even hate mail received by the families of the victims.