When we hear or read about Hollywood, our minds immediately think of the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles’ most televised and recognisable neighbourhood. But there are many other Hollywoods around the world that can be found in different locations, in America and even in the UK.
One of these locations happens to sit by the scenic coast of County Down, Northern Ireland (part of the United Kingdom). We’re here to compare its many attractions with those of Hollywood, Los Angeles, to settle which one is the most worth visiting as a tourist.
Ready? Let’s dive straight into Hollywood USA vs Holywood NI…
When it comes to outstanding natural beauty, it’s challenging to beat the gorgeous panoramas and sparkling blue seas offered along Northern Ireland’s north-eastern coastline.
In the 19th century, Holywood became well-known as a seaside resort that was popular for sea-bathing. Today, this civil parish town is still celebrated across the country for its close proximity to Belfast Lough as well as its cute, winding streets that are to be expected in a rich, Irish suburban area.
By comparison, Hollywood of Los Angeles has less natural charm. Besides the beautiful view of the city from atop its world-famous Hollywood sign, there are fewer stunning views to admire, instead replaced by run-down looking metropolitan districts.
Winner: Holywood NI
Holywood, County Down is significantly cheaper than Hollywood, Los Angeles. Comparing the average price of restaurant meals alone would discourage any traveller from visiting the famed LA neighbourhood, as the average cost of a meal for two in a middle-of-the-road restaurant adds up to $100.00 (£76 / €84 ). In contrast, a night out in Holywood (or any area of Belfast’s suburban neighbourhoods) would cost just half the price.
It’s not just eating out that’s more expensive, though. A beer in Hollywood, Los Angeles would set you back further as they cost 18% more than they do in the north of the Emerald Isle.
Actually, just about everything from transport to hotel accommodation is pricier in West Hollywood, so it loses in this department.
Winner: Holywood, NI.
There’s no shortage of things to do in Hollywood, Los Angeles, with illustrious amenities like the Walk of Fame, Hollywood sign, Hollywood boulevard, and many museums that eternalise the weird and wonderful.
Still, we wouldn’t totally rule out Holywood, County Down, as it has plenty of things to do that make it worthwhile visiting. When you aren’t browsing shop windows for cute crafts and trinkets, you can visit Holywood Golf Club – where world-famous golfer Rory McIlroy grew up and honed his skills – or relax in Northern Ireland’s most luxurious estate and spa, the Culloden.
Overall, Hollywood, LA, has more variety in things it can offer by being a bigger neighbourhood. Still, Holywood, County Down, delivers well too considering its size.
Winner: Hollywood, USA.
Of course, we have to concede that Hollywood, Los Angeles, is undoubtedly the place with higher notoriety. With much of the world’s most famous acting talent being forged and displayed on international television here every year, Hollywood is one of the most celebrated and recognisable places within modern popular culture.
Hollywood has produced actors and actresses for decades that have dominated our screens – from Charlie Chaplin and Humphrey Bogart to Sylvester Stallone, Meryl Streep, and all who came after, its fame is unmatched by almost anywhere else in the world.
Still, considering its smaller size and greater modesty, Northern Ireland’s Holywood has seen a great deal of fame. In the late 1800s, many of the country’s wealthiest people moved here to build homes for themselves and set up businesses. Today, it still enjoys its status as one of Northern Ireland’s wealthiest areas. It has produced world-famous individuals in its own right, like golfer Rory McIlroy and actor Jamie Dornan.
Winner: Hollywood, USA.
In our opinion, weighing up all of the pros and cons of each location, we think that Holywood, Northern Ireland, is the best choice for travellers.
With cheaper costs, more beautiful surroundings, and proximity to some of Northern Ireland’s most stunning locations (Belfast, Giant’s Causeway, and The Dark Hedges to name just a few), you are going to get far better bang for your buck than you will in the tourist-plagued reaches of Hollywood, Los Angeles.
Next time you’re planning a trip away, perhaps give this understated Holywood a chance?
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HOLLYWOOD USA VS HOLYWOOD NI: which is better? – Ireland Before You Die