Londonderry or Derry is Northern Ireland's second (and Ireland's fourth) largest city. Often called the Maiden city, the original name of Derry comes for Irish Doire – “oak grove surrounded by the bog”. It is a cultural hub in Northern Ireland and in 2013 Lonely Planet said it was one of the top ten cities to visit in the world. It was also the first UK City of Culture (in 2013). The beauty of Derry lies in the size - small enough to explore on foot yet with so much to do in a city that is hiving with history and culture, you’ll certainly be kept busy. Food, music and plenty of craic will be found all over Derry – but that’s not all.
Derry is Ireland's most complete walled city. Over 1.5kms of walls surround the centre which gives visitors a unique walkway and stunning panoramic views of the city and further afield. You’ll find impressive 17th Century stone fortifications via information plaques guiding you through the city's historic heart and often turbulent past. Once you’ve discovered the magic of the walled city, be sure to take a tour (the Martin McCrossan City Walking Tour is a must and only costs £4). Derry’s past makes for an interesting and educational tour, so be sure to try out a walking tour or even the city bus tour and explore the city centre, the famous Bogside area, the River Foyle and the Waterside.
In recent years Derry has made its mark as one of the most culturally significant places to see in the UK and Ireland. The main arts and entertainment hubs in Derry include - Millennium Forum, Playhouse and Nerve Centre where touring productions and community-lead projects dominate the stage. Music is a huge part of daily life in Derry and you’ll find talented buskers on the streets and traditional musicians in local pubs. Derry is home to musicians such as Feargal Sharkey from The Undertones, Cara Dillon and Phil Coulter. Shopping lovers will rejoice in Derry – there is such a wide and varied range of shopping facilities including Foyleside Centre and Richmond Centre. There is also a wide range of lovely independent boutiques scattered around the city and the popular Craft Village is a must see for lovers of Irish craft pieces, art and giftware. Derry is also home to the oldest independent department store in the world - Austins.
The foodie scene is alive and well in city, with pubs and restaurants offering great bites for everyone. Café del Mondo, The Exchange and Quaywest are just a few of the local favourites. Nightlife is exceptional with many contemporary bars and nightclubs dominate the social scene – a good old local pub includes Badgers, which you’ll find straight outside Foyleside shopping centre. Peadar O’ Donnells on Waterloo St is also a number one hot spot with the locals and tourists alike with fantastic traditional nights happening all the time.
Derry has a wide range of events and activities happening all year round, with a busting-at-the-seams type event calendar, whenever you decide to visit – you’ll be amazed at the sheer vast amount of things happening in and around Derry city. Top tip to those wanting to visit in October time – Halloween is made in Derry and people from all Ireland travel here every year to participate in the spectacular Halloween festivities.