Northern Ireland has several quaint towns, but the two largest, and most well known, cities are Belfast and Londonderry (aka Derry). Belfast is known as the birthplace of that little ship that sank into the Atlantic Ocean called the Titanic. Yes, the “Celine Dion – My heart will go on” one. The Titanic museum in Belfast is a must! You can tell pretty quickly it’s the main tourist attraction there. The museum feels brand new, and it’s not only about the Titanic. They cover the rise of Belfast as the ship-building capital in the early 1900s, and other history related to Northern Ireland. It seems like Belfast’s time came a long time ago and never really recovered. In fact, the urban population was higher in the early 1900s than it is today.
Derry is known because it is one of the remaining walled cities. You can climb the walls and walk the old walls to get a feel of the history. It didn’t take too long to check out. We walked around a bit, across the river, and had a really good meal there – fish n chips & seafood chowder. I loved having access to all the fresh seafood while in Northern Ireland. Definitely not something we can find as easy in a landlocked country. Derry is also the end (or the beginning, depending how you look at it) of the Coastal Causeway. It was a nice place to visit to end our coastal adventure.
Belfast and Derry are both a bit rough around the edges, but worth taking a few hours in each to get a feel for them.