Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Exploring the Cities of Northern Ireland



Belfast is the largest city and capital of Northern Ireland, and is situated on its eastern coast. Its population is around 268,000, making it the second largest city on the island of Ireland. It was historically a huge center for industry, and has still retained some of its industrial production sector up through current times.

Today, this city is also a center for higher education, arts and business. It is enjoying a relatively peaceful time right now. The city center has grown and expanded greatly, as has the economic action. Belfast is a huge seaport full of many docks.  Because of such a northern latitude, this city undergoes very short days during the winter, and very long days during the summer. Some of the buildings in Belfast resemble Edwardian and Victorian styles, but many are modern-looking. As Belfast is surrounded by mountains, there are several beautiful city parks and forest parks located in and around its premises. By European standards, Belfast is a rather car-dependent city.



Derry, or Londonderry, is Northern Ireland’s second largest city. It is situated in the West of Northern Ireland, close to the Republic of Ireland. Present-day Derry spans across the two sides of the River Foyle, though the old city is located on its west bank. Its old city walls are the only ones that remain completely intact in Ireland, and Derry was also the final walled city to be built in Europe. Derry is a very historical place, as it was the oldest city on the island of Ireland that has been continuously inhabited. In recent years, many artistic and musical acts have come out of Derry. There are also many local acts that play rock and traditional music around the city’s pubs and venues.



Lisburn is the third-largest city of Northern Ireland, and is part of the metropolitan area of Belfast. About 71,000 people reside in Lisburn, the capital of the Lagan Valley. It is an expensive place to live, with high property prices, and is also a business center. Though Lisburn has only been granted city status a few years ago, it has been developing economically, and its population is growing.


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