Best Places to Visit in Northern Ireland | 8 Top Areas & Attractions

Have you considered a trip to one of Ireland’s most historically interesting and naturally beautiful places? From its bustling capital city to its mesmerizing natural wonders, The best places to visit in Northern Ireland are brimming with Celtic magic.

But choosing the best places to visit can be tricky, especially when so many counties and attractions are catching your eye. Luckily, Northern Ireland boasts some of the most beautiful sights and has plenty to do if you know where to look.

The whole island is open to you if you’re not afraid of a bit of rain. Are you ready to look at some of the marvelous sights of Northern Ireland? Then continue reading this in-depth guide to find the perfect places for you.

Tip: While you’re at it, check out the best time to visit Ireland for your trip.

8 Best Places to Visit in Northern Ireland

castlerock beach donegal northern ireland

In Northern Ireland, you’ll find areas filled with life amidst scenic landscapes, mountain ranges, and sandy beaches. Each city, village, and town has its unique charm. You’ll also find there’s no shortage of tourist attractions awaiting you.


The capital city boasts a magical aura of vibrant city life and a rich historical background.

Although the city’s modern history only began in 1611, this enchanting place has endless layers of history. Belfast’s atmosphere is an intoxicating mix of old and new. It reflects its rich industrial past, the Troubles conflict, and its current cultural landscape.

You might be surprised that shipbuilders for Harland & Wolff constructed the RMS Titanic in Belfast. This Irish city lies upon the banks of River Lagan and is known for being a major industrial port city. Shipbuilding was a key industry for the capital.

titanic museum belfast

Belfast Must-Visit: The Titanic Museum

You can probably guess that the must-see tourist attraction in Belfast is the Titanic Museum.

The building is an architectural wonder that sits upon the historic site where the Titanic was built. With six floors of exhibits, you can spend hours learning about the ship, from its construction to its tragic end.


Derry or Londonderry (depending on who you ask) is the second largest city in Northern Ireland. This quirky city has a history as complex as its name. The River Foyle flows through the center of the city and divides the two sides of Derry. Luckily, the famous Peace Bridge, symbolic of the reconnection of these sides, is there to keep the city together.

Derry is known for its cultural vibrance, especially regarding Halloween. Lovers of all things spooky will find Derry’s Halloween festival a treat.

The Derry Must-See: Walls of Derry

A notable feature of Derry’s resilience is its walls. The city boasts 17th-century defense walls that have protected its people for hundreds of years.

The Walls of Derry are a popular tourist attraction for this reason. It’s incredibly rare that fortified walls can withstand both time and the countless conflicts Derry faced. You can see the walls on this Derry walled city tour.

bangor's castle


Located in County Down, the seaside town of Bangor is a delightful getaway merely 13 miles from Belfast. You’ll find this city on Northern Ireland’s “Gold Coast,” known for its golden sandy beaches and expensive houses.

Despite only receiving city status in 2024, Bangor’s history is surprisingly notable for a once quiet seaside town. The city participated in the Irish Rebellion (1798) to gain independence from Britain. Additionally, Dwight Eisenhower addressed troops in Bangor during World War II.

You’ll be surprised to know that Bangor became a popular holiday destination from the Victorian Era onwards. This remains true today, with Bangor Marina bringing in hundreds of ultra-rich visitors every year.

Bangor’s Best: Bangor Castle

Aside from the shiny seafront, the city’s rich cultural heritage lies in the refurbished Bangor Castle and its surroundings. Though Bangor Castle isn’t open to guests, its location, Castle Park, is open for botany lovers who enjoy long walks.

If the collection of trees does not absorb you, you’ll likely enjoy North Down Museum and the Victorian Walled Garden.

Irish Linen Museum Lisburn


If you travel eight miles away from Belfast, you’ll arrive at Lisburn. This vibrant city is known for its historic linen industry as well as its rich sporting heritage. You’ll love the serene greenery of the valley as it sits beside the stunning River Lagan.

You’ll be surprised to know Queen Elizabeth granted Lisburn city status at her Golden Jubilee Celebrations in 2002. However, Lisburn’s 18th-century architecture remains largely untouched due to conservation efforts.

Can’t Miss Museum in Lisburn

As 18th-century architecture remains a permanent fixture in Lisburn’s present, so does its historic textile industry. That’s right, Lisburn is known for its linen!

For 400 years, Lisburn was the chief exporter of prized linen. It’s been used on the Titanic as napkins and woven into Neil Armstrong’s parachute. You can visit the Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum in Market Square.


Armagh is Northern Ireland’s ecclesiastical capital and the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. With a small-town feel, you’ll love embracing the quiet charm of this sleepy city.

Thanks to the city’s small size, you can easily see everything in Armagh. However, you’ll likely learn plenty about St. Patrick and his home. Aside from traditional religious sites, Navan Fort is a pagan ceremonial site popular amongst tourists for its mysterious atmosphere and folklore attached to it.

Armagh’s Holiest Attraction

When you’re in Armagh, you will undoubtedly visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Impressive in its history and stunning Georgian architecture, the cathedral is a significant symbol of Northern Ireland’s religion.

That’s partly due to St. Patrick’s decree that priests needed to be educated in Armagh to spread the gospel. All-in-all, the cathedral is an interesting site.

Enjoy the sites of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and more on this Armagh private day tour.

st patricks cathedral in armagh


Newry, located on the Clanrye River, lies in counties Down and Armagh. This city sits near the border to the Republic of Ireland and is known as “the Gateway to the North.” Previously a dynamic trading port, Newry is now home to some of the best retail in Ireland.

You’ll find Newry surrounded by Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or designated conservation areas. These vital landscapes make up much of Northern Ireland, and Newry is near two of them — The Mourne Mountains and the Ring of Gullion.

The Best Attractions in Newry

When you visit Newry, make sure to look at this list of fun things to see and do.

  • The Ring of Gullion
  • Newry Cathedral
  • Newry and Mourne Museum


The seaside town of Newcastle is nestled into the beautiful surrounds of County Down and the Irish Sea. If you’re not visiting to explore Newcastle Beach, you’re probably looking to see the stunning nearby Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

This charming town is undoubtedly one of the best places to stay for a relaxing beach holiday.

Newcastle’s Top Landmarks

Here are our favorite landmarks to visit while in Newcastle.

  • The Mourne Mountains
  • Tollymore Forest Park
  • Tyrella Beach
  • Dundrum Castle

Top Tip: Embark on a Game of Thrones tour as you visit some iconic filming destinations close to Newcastle.

image of tollymore forest park in northern ireland



Cozy up in the small town of Bushmills as you soak in the countryside with a glass of whiskey. On the north coast of County Antrim, Bushmills is only a short drive away from the Causeway Coast.

Despite its quaint setting, Bushmills is a famous destination in Ireland, mainly for its whiskey. If you thought Jameson was old, check out Old Bushmills.

The Best of Bushmills

Bushmills is ever popular for being close to fantastic attractions. Here’s our list of some of the best sights near Bushmills.

  • The Old Bushmills Distillery
  • Giant’s Causeway
  • Dunluce Castle
  • Dark Hedges

image of Bushmills whiskey barrels Northern Ireland

FAQs About the Top Places to Visit in Northern Ireland

Below are the answers to the top three most frequently asked questions about visiting Northern Ireland.

When Is the Best Time to Visit Northern Ireland?

Undoubtedly the best time to visit Northern Ireland is between March and October when the weather is great and the prices are still low. However, the weather is always temperate so you can go any time that suits you.

For the best scenery, visit in spring (March–May) and fall (September–November); for the warmest weather, visit in July or August.

What Was the Troubles?

The Troubles was a longstanding sectarian low-level war between Protestants and Catholics, resulting in decades of turmoil among Irish people.

The source of the conflict was that Catholic nationalists wanted freedom from British (Protestant) rule. Protestant people in Ireland wanted unification with Britain, whereas Irish Catholics wanted independence for Ireland.

Is it Safe to Visit Northern Ireland?

Yes, Northern Ireland is extremely safe to visit. Boasting the second lowest crime rate in Europe, you’ll unlikely find trouble while you’re there. Ensure you take the usual precautions as a traveler, such as hiding your valuables and walking in groups.

Final Thoughts on Best Places to Visit in Northern Ireland

So, now you know some of the top places to visit in Northern Ireland. As you can see, the country is filled with exciting things to do, places to see, and history to learn.

If you’re planning a trip to Northern Ireland, why not see the rest of the island? Check out the best places to visit in Ireland and learn more about this stunning destination.


We will be happy to hear your reviews

Leave a reply

Tickets 'n Tour
Compare items
  • Total (0)