Belfast makes National Geographic Traveller’s ‘Cool List 2024’
After crossing the world to find the 30 most exciting destinations to visit for 2024, the prestigious travel magazine National Geographic Traveller (UK) has unveiled its ‘Cool List 2024’ – and Belfast and the Wild Atlantic Way feature on the list.
Commenting on Belfast as a top 30 global destination, the National Geographic team said:
"If city pride in Belfast is like a flower that’s managed to grow in difficult soil, then 2024 should see a super-bloom thanks to the Northern Irish capital’s year of culture.
"It’s been years in the making — the 2010s saw an unprecedented rise in the number of visitors, drawn in part by the new Titanic Experience museum, its use as a Game of Thrones filming location, and a chance to look back on turbulent history with some peaceful distance.
"Belfast’s 2017 bid to become a European Capital of Culture aimed to build on this, but it was scuppered by Brexit. Not wanting to waste the work it had already put in, the city continued with plans for a year of cultural celebration. Most details are still under wraps, but Belfast’s riverfront and maritime heritage will loom large, with a mass boat-building initiative, among others.
"There will also be a collaboration with Cornwall’s Eden Project to explore the city’s relationship with nature, and following its 2021 listing as a UNESCO City of Music, the birthplace of Van Morrison and home of over 80 music venues is sure to put on a performance to remember."
Welcoming the news, Alice Mansergh, Tourism Ireland’s Chief Executive Designate, said:
“I’m really delighted that Belfast and the Wild Atlantic Way have been included in National Geographic Traveller’s ‘Cool List 2024’.
"Next year, we’ll be promoting Belfast 2024, which will see a programme of cultural events take place across the city. Accolades like this give Tourism Ireland another great hook to continue to promote Belfast, Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland around the world as a ‘must see’ destination.”
Belfast city is home to large cultural assets including 18 theatres, 28 arts centres, 60 galleries, over 90 playing fields, 15 museums, 6 stadia, 22 libraries, 80 heritage sites, and 71 open spaces and public parks.
To view the ‘Cool List 2024’, click here.