Welcome to the land of pristine shores and doting cliffs. Northern Ireland is a destination which can satisfy the wanderer inside you even if you are able to afford just one week for your trip. You can consider Northern Ireland to be a glimpse of what the rest of the United Kingdom offers: scenic lakes, old castles, calm villages and also a bit of Victorian grandeur.
At the same time, Northern Ireland shares the same claim to fame as the rest of Ireland (which is not a part of the UK): plenty of pubs and bars. Whether it is cities or villages, drinking is a popular pastime and wherever you go, you can be sure that you are near a place which offers liquor.
Since it is very close to the North Pole, you can expect the weather to be usually very cold. Depending on the time of the year that you travel, nights or days can get longer than you are used to. Taking along warm clothing with you is definitely recommended.
The region was not a popular tourist destination till about two decades ago. Plenty of violent clashes have taken place here for a long time. This can be of deep interest for someone who loves to study history. There is plenty of old-world charm in the castle ruins and monasteries here.
Even if you are interested less in history and more in photography, Northern Ireland won’t disappoint you. There are good beaches, forests and even caves that offer scenic spots to be captured as memories.
As far as cities are concerned, Belfast is beyond any doubt one of the most sought-after cities in Northern Ireland. There are many live music joints scattered throughout the region. You will get good restaurants in cities like Belfast and Londonderry.
Each such tourist spot is not too far away from each other, which helps you accomplish more sight-seeing in less time. Whether it is huge museums or Granite Mountains, there is bound to be a lot of variety in what you see, which is astonishing, considering the fact that Northern Ireland is very tiny in terms of its geographical expanse. The people here are warm and witty. However, their accent is a little different from the rest of Ireland.
Despite its size, it still draws a lot of visitors. In 2013, Londonderry was named as the UK City of Culture. Both Londonderry and Belfast are cities that can be explored reasonably well in a 48-hour timeframe (each). If there is still some time left in the trip after visiting Belfast, the city of Bangor is almost next-door to it, and a little far away south (but still closer than Londonderry) lies the city of Newry.
In Belfast, the city hall, Ulster museum and Crown Liquor saloon are good places to visit, whereas in Londonderry, you shouldn’t miss the city walls. Londonderry is also home to the largest street party in Ireland, named ‘Halloween Carnival’. In the countryside, the Ulster American Folk Park and the Navan Fort are great places to visit.