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Belfast: Northern Ireland's Made-Over City

Once considered off-limits to tourist, Belfast is now a can't miss, peaceful European city. It's not all bustling urban life here, though—there's lots of parks and gardens to explore. Climb Cave Hill for the best views over the city, and then tour Belfast Castle Estate. If you need even more greenery, don't miss the Botanic Gardens, featuring rose gardens, tropical plants, and a bowling green.

Of course, the city also has plenty of museums and cultural institutions to see as well. An Droichea, for example, is dedicated to preserving the Irish language and culture.

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And what visit to (Northern) Ireland would be complete without a visit to a pub? Belfast has modern night-clubs, cozy pubs, and even a National Trust protected saloon, which dates back to 1826.

Where Is it? In Northern Ireland. Fly to Belfast International Airport (check prices).

Where to Stay? At the Europa Hotel, a luxury hotel in the city center..

What Else Should I Know? Northern Ireland uses pound, like the rest of the U.K., but banks print their own version, which may not be accepted in other countries. Some merchants in Northern Ireland also accept the Euro (but not all by any means).

Who's it for? Urbanites, cultural travelers, museum-goers.

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