For some time, due to the complex history, tourists have been known to do a double-take when asked if they would like to travel north of the border. However, it is essential to learn some specific things before making the decision not to visit this beautiful spot.
For many years, the country has been plagued by corrupt media, which has stemmed from unfortunate occurrences over the years. But, it with great joy that I am telling you that the country has since moved on from those dark times.
Nowadays, it is quite peaceful and safe. It is considered to be the most secure part of the UK with its capital, Belfast, being much safer than cities like London and Manchester. And regardless of Ireland and Brexit issue, it is still a great destination to go.
As a fact, violence in Northern Island has drastically reduced since the 1998 agreement. However, incidents can still occur with one of such being the case of a series of riots in 2010. These incidents happened for successive nights and results in several police officers being injured.
During the marching season, that is April to August, the tension in the country is known to escalate quickly. And although tourists are generally safe from these, places you should not go to in Northern Ireland include political protests or demonstrations as these have been known to escalate quickly. Also, it will be better not to start any conversation of a political or religious nature with a local.
Regardless of these, Northern Ireland is exceptionally safe especially for tourists as a lot of security has been adopted since the end of The Troubles. And when an incidence does happen, it is usually directed at residences by communal militants or paramilitaries.
However, when deciding to travel to Northern Ireland, you need to go through my Northern Ireland travel advice which includes:
- Make copies of your identification documents and always keep the original in a safe spot, preferably in your room. These will hasten their replacement if they ever get misplaced or stolen.
- Make sure to have insurance! You protect yourself from a lot of potential risks you face while travelling including lost or stolen luggage, cancellation cover, and unexpected medical situations. AA Insurance can help you to know more about getting different type of travel and car insurance to make your trip secure and stress free.
- Never keep bulk cash on you at any time, don’t save all your credit cards and money in the same spot, and avoid using ATMs that look to have been tampered with. Cases of purse snatching and pickpocketing are pretty rare, but it is better to be safe than to be sorry.
- Always stay connected. Always carry a cell phone with you no matter your destination. And if your phone won’t work abroad, you can always buy a pre-paid phone once you arrive in Ireland. Do not forget to store your essential numbers on the phone. The emergency number in Northern Ireland is 999.
- If you can drive in Northern Ireland, do not forget that you will need to drive on the left-hand side of the road.
With all these said, it begs the question; Is Northern Ireland safe for tourists? Yes, it is! However, keeping in mind our above tips and advice will really help you to be safe.