My daughter and I will be flying into Dublin but want to do a 3-5 tour of Northern Ireland returning to Dublin for our return home flight. Do you have any suggestions ? We will only be in Ireland for 7 days.
Will you rent a car? If you cut the northern section from this Ireland itinerary plan, you end up with something like this:
Day 1: Dublin
Day 2: Dublin
Day 3: Drive to Northern Ireland (sleep in Derry)
Day 4: Explore Derry, then drive to Portrush (sleep in Portrush)
Day 5: Explore Antrim Coast (sleep in Portrush)
Day 6: Belfast (sleep in Belfast)
Day 7: Drive to Valley of the Boyne sights, return car (sleep in Dublin)
2 hrs to Belfast by car or bus. In Belfast I would visit the Titanic Museum, the Crumlin Road Gaol, http://www.crumlinroadgaol.com, Belfast City Hall, St. George's Market, take a Black Cab tour of Shankill Road and the Peace Wall, the Botanical Gardens, have a meal at Mourne's, and a pint at The Spaniard or Duke of York Next day head off to the Giant's Causeway. Personally I'd give NI 3 days of my time and spend the other days in Eire. If at all possible I'd drive out of Dublin and over to the Dingle Peninsula. Gorgeous. Great country.
Before I answer, how are you planing on getting around Ireland/Northern Ireland? Renting a car, taking the bus? If your on the fence about renting a car don't be, it's the best way to travel in Ireland and Northern Ireland.