Though Ireland is relatively tiny (it’s about the same size as Indiana), it offers an incredibly diverse range of experiences for family travel. One region that’s caught the attention of the editors of Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel for 2018 is Belfast and the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland, named the number one region in the world for travellers in 2018..

The region receives the accolade in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 – a best-selling travel yearbook that collects the hottest trends, destinations and experiences for the coming year.

Titanic Belfast

Titanic Museum Photo credit: Northern Ireland Tourist Board

Noting that Belfast is “full of hip neighbourhoods that burst with bars, restaurants and venues to suit all tastes,” the city’s fascinating history and the experiences which give visitors a chance to connect with its past are also part of the draw. The Titanic Museum is a must visit, with plenty of hands on activities. Kids will love W5, an interactive discovery centre with over 250 amazing interactive exhibits in four incredible exhibition area. You could easily spend an entire day at W5 – be sure to plan your time accordingly.

Causeway Coast

Causeway Coast Photo credit: Northern Ireland Tourist Board

Belfast shares the Lonely Planet Top Region accolade with the Causeway Coast, an unforgettable coastal touring route, “whose timeless beauty and high-grade distractions – golf, whiskey and some of the world’s most famous rocks – are more popular now than ever.” Visitors to the area can enjoy the natural beauty of the basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and challenge themselves to cross the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, which sways 30 meters above the ocean where it has connected a small island to coastal cliffs for 250 years.

Game of Thrones Ireland

Game of Thrones’ Ballintoy Photo credit: Northern Ireland Tourist Board

And while your kids might not appreciate the connection, if Game of Thrones is an after-bedtime treat, Northern Ireland is home to more filming locations for the hit TV series than anywhere else in the world and the publication highlights Ballintoy – which fans will recognise as the real-life Iron Island port – as a must-see on the Causeway Coast.