15 Best Places to Visit in Northern Ireland For Must Visit in 2024

Places to See in Northern Ireland

Giant’s Causeway, Ballintoy Harbour, The Dark Hedges, Glens of Antrim, Carrickfergus Castle, Old Bushmills Distillery, Explore Kinbane Castle, Dunluce Castle and many more.

Although it is a tiny country, there are some of the Best Places to Visit in Northern Ireland. From the city attractions like Titanic Belfast to the magnificent coastal landscapes of the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland allows you to witness some of the best places on your Irish journey. The well-known television series Game of Thrones also plays a vast role in raising the popularity of the city.

The world-class restaurants, lively music scene, shopping arenas, a remarkable history and culture, and outstanding golf course are some of the Best Places to see in Northern Ireland. All these attractions contribute to the plenty of places to visit for couples, families, and solo travelers. These places provide a warm and friendly welcome to guests from around the globe. It never forgets to offer you a feeling of home away from home.

If you are traveling to Northern Ireland for a romantic getaway, don’t forget to visit the Tepee Valley Campsite and Lusty Beg Island Resorts. The family vacationers can indulge in a trek to the Mourne Mountains or the watersports activities near the seas. Therefore, the place unfolds interests of all age groups.

Here is the list of some best places to visit in Northern Ireland:

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Giant’s Causeway

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Giant’s Causeway is consistently one of the Best Places to Visit in Northern Ireland. Various locals and tourists from all over the world come to visit this place to witness the 40000 protruding basalt hexagons that have systematically spaced columns.

The formation of the Giant’s Causeway is due to the windy coast of the region. You will be surprised to know that the prominent TV series, Game of Thrones, shot some of the scenes in this place.

Best Time to Visit: Early morning before 9:30 am or later in the evening after 6 pm.

How to Reach: 
- Direct Bus: You can also take a direct bus from Belfast once a day to Giant’s Causeway.
- Train & Bus: The combination of train and bus, starting from Central Belfast or Dublin is another way of reaching Giant’s Causeway.
- Car: You can also take a scenic coastal route by car from Belfast or Dublin.

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Ballintoy Harbour

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The quirky Ballintoy Harbour is one of the most famous and Best Places to Visit in Northern Ireland. It is home to wonderful cliff tops, rocky islands, and sea stacks. The village is among those places where only a few people live and was built around a single street.

The prominent church, Ballintoy Parish Church, is located around one kilometer from the harbor. The place is a considerable stopover if anybody is undertaking the coastal route. During April through November, the area experiences butterfly season when several species of these animals are witnessed.

Best Time to Visit: April to September

How to Reach:
- Train: The shortest journey to Ballintoy Harbour is via train from Belfast. You can also catch a train from Dublin to reach Ballintoy Harbour.

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The Dark Hedges

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Another most popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland, The Dark Hedges is a spectacular lining of beech trees that become prominent due to its appearance in various TV shows, including Game of Thrones.

The trees surround both sides of the Bregagh Road, which forms an imposing tunnel along the roadway. The way leads up to the gates of Gracehill House. Thousands of visitors gather around this one of the Best Places to see in Northern Ireland due to its popularity as a Game of Thrones scenic location.

Best Time to Visit: Sunrise and sunset

How to Reach: 
- Public Bus or Taxi: Take a 10-minutes taxi ride from Ballymoney train station or travel by bus for 2.5 hours from Belfast to Coleraine or Clintyfinnan and then a taxi to The Dark Hedges.

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Glens of Antrim

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Glens of Antrim is one of those Best Places to Visit in Northern Ireland that is well-known for its impressive beauty. Nine glens overlook a long stretch of coastline, including forests, grasslands, castles, and mountain peaks.

The nine Glens of Antrim are Glentaisi, Glenshesk, Glendun, Glencorp, Glenaan, Glenariff, Glenarm, and Glencloy. It is one of the less-trodden places that only a few people know about. Thus, you can explore the serenity and tranquility of the substantial Northern Ireland landscape and the unique glacier valleys.

Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year

How to Reach:

- Train: You can board a train from Belfast and Dublin to view the Glens of Antrim.
- Bus: Bus services are also available from Dublin and Belfast.
- Car: You can take a 1-hour drive from Belfast and 3-hours from Dublin to the Glens of Antrim.

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Carrickfergus Castle

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Carrickfergus Castle is the oldest castle near the Belfast area where you can walk through the structure. There is a visitor’s center and a display of cannons from the 17th to 19th century inside the castle. You can spot the castle effortlessly on water, and it looks adorable from the outside.

The best way to explore the castle is by getting admission tickets to witness the survival journey throughout the ages. The Carrickfergus Museum is also located inside the campus, displaying the town’s history and admiring the medieval artifacts and ceremonial swords.

Best Time to Visit: 11 am to 3 pm

How to Reach:

- Train: Train travel is one of the recommended options from Belfast to Carrickfergus Castle.
- Bus: If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, you can take a bus from Belfast and travel for approximately 50 minutes to the destination.
- Car: A 15-minute car drive is also a great option to reach Carrickfergus Castle.

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Old Bushmills Distillery

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The Old Bushmills Distillery is the world’s oldest licensed distillery of whiskey. The most famous whiskeys produced at this distillery are the Original Bushmills, Black bush, and Single Malt Whiskey. The Old Bushmills Distillery uses a triple pot methodology to make the distillation process clear and light.

You can take a tour of the distillery while exploring the landscape and terrain that imbue their whiskey with its legendary character. The distillery even allows you to meet the people that represent centuries of knowledge and experience their craft through your hands.

Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year

How to Reach: 
- Train: You can take a train journey of 5.5 hours from Dublin to visit Old Bushmills Distillery.
- Bus: Buses take a little longer than trains but provide a comfortable journey from Dublin.
- Car: You can even drive for around 3 hours all the way from Dublin.

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Kinbane Castle

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Kinbane Castle is one of the Best Places to Visit in Northern Ireland which is located on a narrow limestone headland running out into the sea. The location of this castle is highly dramatic, where you can almost feel the past.

The narrow and steep pathways to the castle take you to a long series of steps following the onsite toilets. The hollow space between the castle and the cliffs is known as ‘Lag na Sassenach.’ Therefore, Kinbane Castle is not the Best Attraction of Northern Ireland, but its dramatic location makes it worth visiting.

Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year

How to Reach:
- Train: The recommended mode of transport to Kinbane Castle is a train journey from Belfast.
- Bus: Bus services are also available through the 402 lines.

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Dunluce Castle

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Dunluce Castle is another beautiful castle in Northern Ireland known for its picturesque and romantic atmospheres of Irish Castles. You will be astonished to know that the castle was so treacherously perched that the kitchen fell into the sea at the time of a bad storm.

The present structure is the ruins from the 16th and 17th century which were occupied by the clashing groups of McQuillan and MacDonnell. The historical buffs can witness the archaeological exhibits that are displayed for public viewing.

Best Time to Visit: November to February

How to Reach: 
- Flight: The nearby airports to Dunluce Castle are Belfast, Glasgow, and Derry, with Derry being the cheapest option.
- Train: You can then take a train from Belfast Great Victoria Secret to Coleraine.

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Cluster Folk and Transport Museum

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Settled on the east of Belfast city, Cluster Folk and Transport Museum attempt to illustrate the traditions and the standard of living of the people in Northern Ireland. It also displays the different methods of transportation until the present times.

The museum is the Best Attraction of Northern Ireland which lets you explore the rolling hills of the countryside and a swarming town displayed with authentic period buildings. From printing to basket weaving, you can also view the demonstrations of contemporary crafts. It is relatively proud to know that this museum is among the four museums present in the list of National Museums Northern Ireland.

Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year

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Cliffs of Magho & Lower Lough Erne

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The Cliffs of Magho & Lower Lough Erne is another one of the Best Places to Visit in Northern Ireland. You can take a long walk to the cliff made of around 370 steps. However, the footwork is entirely worth the effort as there are beautiful woodlands to glance at and benches to admire the beauty.

As you reach the top of the cliff, you will find a long stretch of Lough Navar Forest Scenic Drive. The plentiful wildlife takes rest inside the deep way of the cliff, including feral goats, tufted ducks, and meadow pipits.

Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year

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The third-largest and Best Place to Visit in Northern Ireland is Bangor. Located on the southern shore of Belfast Lough, Bangor was a seaside resort with a tiny harbor serving as the headquarters of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club. Now, it has been transformed into a commuter town for Belfast.

The fundamental attractions of Bangor are the North Down Museum, Bangor Abbey, Grey Point Fort, Crawfordsburn, and the Bangor Marina. Some of the light industries are based in this town of Northern Ireland. It is one of the Best Places to see in Northern Ireland if you want to dive deep into the formation of the town.

- Best Time to Visit: April to June

- How to Reach:
- Train: You can board a train from Manchester Airport, Euston Railway Station, or Liverpool Lime Street Station to Bangor.
- Coach: You can get a coach service from Manchester Airport, Victoria Coach Station, or Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
- Taxi: Local taxi services are also available on this route.

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Also known as Londonderry, Derry is an only intact place of historic Walled City, award-winning museums, and the Derry Girls in Ireland. Some of the significant outdoor festivals in the world are celebrated in this Walled City of Ireland.

Since the city allows the visitors to enjoy a world-class experience and a cosmopolitan vibration throughout the year, it gives you several reasons to stay for longer. Derry is home to the exploration of the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coastal Route. Thus, the place is a complete package for adventure lovers.

Best Time to Visit: May

How to Reach: 
- Flight: There are several flights from Belfast International Airport.
- Public Transport: Translink buses and taxis are also available from Belfast to take you to the city center.

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Downhill Demesne

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Simply referred to as the Downhill House, Downhill Demesne is yet another Best Place to see in Northern Ireland. It is a splendid 18th-century mansion set beautifully within open grounds for a day out. It is a perfect spot for a day trip with your friends and relatives.

All you need to do is carry a picnic bag and enjoy the sheltered gardens of Hezlett House. The spectacular views from the Downhill Demesne garner tourists from around the globe, thereby giving them a sense of being on top of the world.

Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year

How to Reach: 
- Train: Castlerock Station is located half miles from the destination.
- Car:  Drive a car to 1 mile west of Castlerock and 5 miles west of Coleraine to Downhill Demesne.
- Bus: Ulsterbus 234 Coleraine starts from Coleraine to Londonderry. 
- Ferry: Ferry services are also available from Magilligan to Greencastle.

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Kilkeel & Mourne Mountains

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If you want to visit the beauty of the mountains, you can head to the Kilkeel and Mourne Mountains as they are some of the Best Places to see in Northern Ireland. The Mourne granite mountain ranges that head to the plains south of Kilkeel town are included in the highest mountain ranges in Northern Ireland.

You will see some of the spectacular views of the Irish townlands from the top of the mountains. It is also a great place to go on a trek with your friends to the mountaintop.

Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year

How to Reach: 
- Car- You can drive all the way from Belfast to Kilkeel & Mourne Mountains.

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Castle Ward

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Castle Ward is a unique 18th-century mansion, popularly known for its beautiful architectural style. The exotic location with tranquil waters of Strangford Lough adds to the magnificence of the structure. You can go on a walk or cycle along the trail to spot ducks, swans, rabbits, and butterflies.

As you move forward, you will step into the fantasy world of dragons and castles while exploring the Georgian farmyard and the lough shore. Moreover, the Victorian Garden also displays the vibrant light of the seasonal flowers. The famous television series Game of Thrones was also shot at this location.

Best Time to Visit: August to December

How to Reach: 

- Train: You can take a 3-hour journey by train from Dublin to Castle Ward.
- Car- Alternatively, you can drive for long hours from Dublin to the destination.

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People Also Ask About Ireland

  1. Which are the best romantic places to visit in Northern Ireland?

    1. Tepee Valley Campsite- Tepee Valley Campsite is one of the Best Places to Visit in Northern Ireland. The campsite is for people who love unique retreats and sleepovers under the stars. A trip to this valley will provide you and your partner with an unforgettable memory of log cabins, gypsy, caravans, tepees, yurts, and many more.

    2. Hastings Culloden Estate & Spa- Once an official palace of the Bishops of Down, Hastings Culloden Estate & Spa is known for its traditional grandeur and exclusivity. The plasterwork ceilings, stained glass windows, impressive staircase, and immaculately maintained garden is the perfect example of 19th century Scottish Baronial architecture. This makes it one of the Best Places to see in Northern Ireland.

    3. Lusty Beg Island Resorts- For Lusty beg Island Resort, you can either take a ferry or cruise on Lough Erne do in the summer. This Best Attraction of Northern Ireland is worth a visit as it offers a pleasant waterside pub and relaxing spa treatment.
  2. Which are the best things to do in Northern Ireland?

    1. Explore The Giant’s Causeway- Giant Causeway is one of the Best Places to see in Northern Ireland. This site lets you explore the side of the steep cliff and lets you learn numerous myths and legends it has.

    2. Experience Amazing Views From The Mourne Mountains-
    Situated at County Down, this beautiful mountain range makes it one of the Best Places to Visit in Northern Ireland. Though it has four mountains, Slieve Mountain is the most popular among them. While trekking to this mountain range, you tend to witness beautiful waterfalls. It also provides bewildering views from the top of the mountain.

    3. Indulge In The Thrilling Water Sports Activity- Watersports activities like fishing, surfing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, coasteering, and bouldering provide you a thrilling experience that you will never forget in your entire lifetime. These watersports activities are the best thing you can do in Northern Ireland.
  3. What is a good time to visit Northern Ireland?

    The weather in Northern Island is unpredictable and pleasant at the same time. Therefore, the best time to explore Northern Ireland is between March to July and September to October. During this time, the city experiences the spring season, which is the perfect time to explore the famous attractions of Northern Ireland.
  4. What is Northern Ireland famous for?

    Northern Ireland is the filming location of one of the best TV shows, Game Of Thrones. Apart from that, the Best Places to Visit in Northern Ireland are the mystical Giant’s Causeway and Belfast Titanic. It also offers places for shopping, world-class restaurants, remarkable history and culture, outstanding golf, and a lively music scene.
  5. How many days are enough to visit Northern Ireland?

    The number of days required to witness the Best Attraction of Northern Ireland entirely depends on you. However, 5 to 7 days are enough to visit Northern Ireland and witness its alluring beauty.
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