In a recent poll of the top ten European travel destinations, travel bible Lonely Planet described Northern Ireland as "scenic, historic, and on the rise."
The piece recommends the North for the city of Derry/Londonderry, the new Titanic museum in Belfast, and long-standing tourist attractions such as the Giant's Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.
Derry is the only surviving walled city in Ireland and as the UK City of Culture for 2012 is experiencing a cultural and artistic renaissance. It also boasts a new 235m pedestrian Peace Bridge over the River Foyle designed to resemble a handshake between the traditionally Protestant and Catholic sides of the city.
TheJournal.ie had its own reasons to visit the area, like the country's ice hockey team, The Belfast Giants. The team, who plays home games in The Odyssey Arena, has won three regular-season titles as well as two playoff tournaments. Their season starts in September.
The Ulster American Folk Park, a fully-working working museum, is also recommended. Visitors can track the experience of emigrating from 18th and 19th century Ulster to Civil War-era United States.
Northern Ireland was joined by Budapest, Iceland, and Croatia, among others, as Lonely Planet's top 10 European travel destinations for 2013.
Where does the term “the luck of the Irish” come from?