Northern Ireland in 2-3 days
If you haven’t got a lot of time, a city break in Belfast is the most obvious and convenient choice. Try the Odyssey arena for a mix of entertainment options – it’s an impressive complex with bars, restaurants, a cinema and a concert theatre. Sample the nightlife in one of the many bars and clubs the city centre has to offer. Take a black cab or bus tour to explore the city’s colourful political history, and make the most of the many shops and shopping centres.
Make sure to visit city hall, beside which is Belfast’s version of the London eye. Belfast isn’t a huge city, so it’s easy to get around on foot and take in lots of activities.
Northern Ireland in 7 – 9 days
After spending 3 days in Belfast, travel over to explore the Antrim coastline where you will find the famous Giant’s Causeway. Nearby Portrush is the surfing capital of Northern Ireland, and it’s worth spending a day or two to take in the scenery and beaches, not to mention the nightlife. Northern Ireland’s second city Derry, is well worth a visit too. It’s famous for its musical and literary exports, and is the only city left in Ireland that is enclosed by walls. Take a guided tour to explore the city’s troubled but fascinating history.
2 weeks plus
Northern Ireland isn’t a huge place so there’s no excuse not to take in all of the main attractions. After you’ve explored Belfast and the North Coast to your satisfaction, head southwards towards the border. Along the way you’ll find lots of quirky little market towns, with friendly locals who’ll welcome you in for a pint. Armagh city is steeped in culture, history and beauty, and nearby Newry city has excellent nightlife. The Ulster American folk park in Omagh is an open-air museum where you’ll literally feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the 19th century. It’s also worth heading over the border to the Republic of Ireland while you’re there.