Northern Ireland is known for its lush green countryside and stout mountains leading down to a steep and craggy shoreline. Here are the top three must-see tourist attractions in Northern Ireland.
1. The Titanic Experience:
Claim to Fame: The world’s grandest tribute to the iconic ship, built at a cost of approx £100 million.
Our Verdict: Totally worth your ticket price, time, and patience (it’s hugely popular). Located just 100 yards from where the iconic Titanic was launched, this stunning diamond-cut building gives you an unforgettable glimpse into the ship’s life, from birth to tragic end.
For the first level or two, it feels like a regular museum, with slow-moving crowds gazing at large posters. But as you keep going up the nine galleries, the experience starts to get more intimate. There’s a Shipyard ride that recreates the building of the ship, with light-and-sound effects that shake you up. And when you come face to face with the superb replication of the Titanic’s Third-class cabin, it totally socks you in the gut. Those shoes below the bunk bed. The coat flung over the footboard. The suitcase on the floor. And the realization that most of the passengers in this class paid with their lives for paying less to travel the Titanic…
Later, walking down the stretch where The Unsinkable stood before it was eased into the waters, it is impossible not to feel profound sorrow…
Get the details on www.titanicbelfast.com. Do book in advance, and set aside at least 2 to 3 hours for the tour.
2. The Antrim Coast Drive:
Claim to fame: Voted among the World’s Top 5 Scenic Drives.
Our Verdict: We beg to disagree. This has to be The Top scenic drive in the world! It’s breathtaking, beautiful, actually, adjective-defying—and even the glossiest paper and sharpest printer cannot do justice to its mind-blowing beauty.
If you’re a contented sort of soul, this staggering beauty (there we go again) will stir nameless restlessness within you—in a good way, mind you. If you’re the restless sort, you’ll find yourself drifting into deep serenity.
Right from the moment you leave Belfast, the vibe changes from urgent to unrushed. Soon, uninterrupted views of the Irish Sea open out to your right, and lovely fishing villages appear on the left. Their names—Glenarm, Carnlough, Cushendall, Cushendun—don’t really register. What affects you deeply is how charming and serene they are. The artistic curves of their slender lanes, the colorful sun-washed roofs, gummed together in a cozy huddle as if lulled into slumber by the sea breeze.
So, cruise on through nine ‘glens’ or valleys along the shoreline, stopping by to admire (or walk across) the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge which links the mainland to the tiny Carrick Island. It spans 20 meters and hangs 30 meters above the rocks.
3. The Giant’s Causeway:
Claim to Fame: 60-million old volcanic wonder
Our Verdict: It’s everything you imaging the famed Irish beauty to be, and then much more. Standing atop a cliff, with the sea lapping far below your feet, and Scotland glimmering in the distance, it’s easy to forget that time exists. When the wind picks up, scents from distant lands drift into your senses, carrying with them a nameless nostalgia that feels like your own.
Reluctantly, you move away from the scenery—easily among Europe’s best—and walk toward the amazing sight you’re here to see: 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, gifted by volcanoes to Ireland some 60 million years ago. Watching these perfect hexagons rise from the foot of the cliffs, form stepping stones, and then disappear mysteriously into the sea steadily drops your jaw to the cliff floor.
A colourful legend lays the blame on (or should we say gives the credit to) a giant called Finn Mac Cool, who’s supposed to have stomped about in anger, resulting in this incredible rocky splendour. No wonder it’s a UNESCO World Heritage For the geologist in you, there’s a brand-new £18 million glass-walled Visitor Centre, a magnificent man-made foil to the natural wonder it showcases.