Northern Ireland is a small country that is geographically part of Ireland but politically part of the United Kingdom. It is most commonly associated with “The Troubles,” a violent conflict between the country’s Protestant Unionists and Catholic Nationalists that lasted for over three decades during the later half of the 20th century.
However, Northern Ireland is much more than its past. This small country is home to beautiful scenery, historic cities, and friendly people.
Northern Ireland quick facts
- Population: 1.88 million
- Language: English
- Currency: Pound sterling (GBP)
- Capital city: Belfast
- Country size: 5,456 square miles
- High season: June through August
Top 10 things to do in Northern Ireland
- Take a black taxi tour in Belfast to learn about the city’s history
- Visit Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland’s most famous castle
- See where the Titanic was built at the Titanic Belfast museum
- Explore the unique landscape of Giant’s Causeway
- Visit the Dark Hedges, the most photographed spot in Northern Ireland
- Take a road trip along the scenic Causeway Coastal Route
- Walk the well-preserved city walls in the historic city of Derry
- Go hiking in Northern Ireland’s Mourne Mountains
- Visit the rugged and beautiful Rathlin Island
- Go on a Game of Thrones tour (lots of filming took place in Northern Ireland)
Translink is the national train line in Northern Ireland and is a good option for getting between larger cities like Belfast and Derry, as well as popular tourist sites like Giant’s Causeway.
Renting a car is another good option for seeing Northern Ireland (and the rest of Ireland). One important thing to keep in mind is that drivers in Northern Ireland drive on the left side of the road, which might come as a shock to American or Canadian drivers.
Where to stay