Scenic, historic and on the rise: Northern Ireland is ripe for exploration in 2013. Derry/Londonderry is the only surviving walled city in Ireland, and a walk around the walls is a must for any visitor. The UK City of Culture for 2013, Derry/Londonderry is undergoing a renaissance, with a year full of cultural events and a new 235m pedestrian Peace Bridge over the River Foyle designed to resemble a handshake between the traditionally Protestant and Catholic sides of the city. In Belfast, Titanic Belfast(www.titanicbelfast.com), a brand-new museum devoted to Belfast’s maritime heritage, is styled as a massive silver boat-prow and located where the Titanic herself was built. Northern Ireland’s charms extend well beyond the cities (which, coincidentally, fans of Game of Thrones will know from the lush scenery used throughout the show). The Giant’s Causeway with its picturesque rambling hexagonal columns of basalt spilling into the sea, is connected by an unforgettable 16 km coastal walk along the Causeway Coast to the swaying Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge (20 m long, only 1 m wide, bouncing 30 m above rocks and water) with cliffs, islands, beaches, ruins and seabirds along the way.
In October, Derry/Londonderry dusts off the skeletons and puts on the spooky makeup for the annual Halloween Carnival, Ireland’s biggest street party. Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/europe/travel-tips-and-articles/77757