One day outside Belfast
Although Belfast is an amazing city, the best of Northern Ireland is outside the city. Take an extra day to join a tour to the Giant’s Causeway, Bushmills Whisky Distillery, Carrick-a-Rede Rope bridge, Dunluce Castle or a different itinerary but it is always mandatory to stop at Giant’s Causeway. Alternatively, you can rent a car even though it will end up more expensive but at least you can organise your time and stop whenever you want around the North Irish coast.
Northern Ireland – A different country
Bear in mind that Northern Ireland doesn’t belong to the Republic of Ireland but to United Kingdom. As so, you will need pounds (£) not euros. Especially if you are driving around Ireland it is important that you keep that in mind, that you will be travelling through 2 different countries.
Accommodation in Belfast
Belfast offers a great variety of excellent hotels. My advice is for you to choose one in the city centre so you can walk to the main touristic places. Whenever hotel you’ll choose, I am sure you will love the experience.
St. Patrick’s Day – Good time to Visit? Yes or No?
We visited Norther Ireland during St. Patrick’s weekend (St. Patrick’s Day is on the 17th of March) and a lot of people told us that was the worse time to visit Belfast; the city would be packed with people, a lot of confusion, a lot of drunk people. Do you know what? We loved! Yes, maybe there was more people than usual, but the atmosphere was so intensely festive that we ended up dragged to it. We saw the St. Patrick’s parade, we bought silly hats and we loved every minute of this truly Irish experience. How beautiful were the buildings that night lighted up with green LEDs! Don’t listen to others! Because every experience is going to be YOUR experience!
Maybe a long holiday instead!
We have only visited Northern Ireland and Dublin in two different occasions, but it seems a good idea to me to extend your holiday to travel around the country. Maybe stopping at Galway, Cliffs of Moher, Cork and ring of Kerry. It is true you can get tours from Belfast or Dublin to most of these places but if you decide to do so instead of renting a car and driving yourselves you’ll maybe find that you are ending up going back and forward all the time. This is definitely one of my “future” programmed trips.