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Northern Ireland Hostels




Northern Ireland Comments

Belfast is a really interesting place to visit. As a visitor from outside, I would say you are generally safe. For example everyone seems to feel the need to view the murals via a black cab tour, but walking around in the sectarian areas really isn't dangerous, as long as you have somewhat of a clue about what it's all about and don't put your foot in it (don't wear a Celtic top or a Union Jack)! The next generation seems to be making an effort to move on from the conflict, but a lot of the pubs we went into still seemed quite rough, macho, and a bit intimidating. There's probably somewhere in town with nice, funky bars that we just didn't find.
I grew up in Newcastle and it is far away from everything else. However, I had the most magnificent childhood in Newcastle, as there was always so much to explore. You could ride your horses and bikes just about anywhere -- I loved it.
Belfast is probably the most interesting place to visit on the Island of Ireland. It's emerging from conflict, and the people are very open and friendly. While it is true that there are drunks who may seem intimidating, as long as you leave them alone they shouldn't bother you. Belfast is very affordable and offers a lot of history. I would much prefer to have stayed here longer than in Dublin!
A good tip is to check out the triangle bounded by Newtownards, Bangor, and Belfast. While driving is somwhat perilous on the narrow roads, if you hire a car and take the A2/A20/A21 and the roads via Craigantlet you get two different experiences of Northern Ireland - the urban metropolis and the country lanes where the only living being you're sharing the view with is a cow or two. People are very friendly and 75% of the city (basically anything that isn't west!) is unaffected by the troubles.
Belfast is an amazing city. I found it quite safe (same rules apply here as they do anywhere else in the world: don't walk around at 3am by yourself, etc etc) and the people of Belfast are among the friendliest I've ever met.
Newcastle is a great night out, shame it's so far away from everywhere!


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