Londonderry City Guide

There are many places you can visit that you just know you are going to love, but there are very few that can genuinely surprise you. Derry is a surprise. In fact, Northern Ireland’s second city is an unexpected delight.

For a start there is its fantastic riverside to enchant you. Then there are the opportunities for retail therapy, coupled with a lively club and bar scene. Its important historical sights range all the way from the medieval to the incredibly recent, and all are presented with care and fascinating attention to detail. And, finally, Derry is a real powerhouse of cultural development whose locals exude a genuinely warm welcome that provides a magical winning touch.

Derry’s History

There’s so much history in Derry to take in from the romance of its 17th century city walls to explorations of iconic recent events such as Sunday Bloody Sunday.

Just inside Magazine Gate you will find the award-winning Tower Museum that offers commanding views over the city from the 5th floor and an interactive tour through the varied history of Derry on all the others.

Historic buildings and monuments are dotted around the city centre and anyone with an interest in how the past shapes the present can have a field day here. Take a stroll past the Guildhall, take in the splendour of St Columb’s Cathedral, pop into the maritime Harbour Museum, contemplate the granite obelisk that remembers the 14 civilians who lost their lives on Derry’s Bloody Sunday or check out the impressive political urban art of the ‘Bogside Artists’ near Free Derry Corner.

Derry’s Culture and Festivals

The magnificent symbol of Derry’s cultural renaissance is the Peace Bridge which takes pedestrians across its elegant span of the River Foyle and links the Walled City of the west bank and Ebrington Square on the east. It’s a symbolic handshake and a powerful statement of the optimism that today characterises Derry.

Derry’s pubs play host to a lively music scene and there are plenty of opportunities to catch music performances every night in the city.

The Derry Guitar Festival is an annual event in August that attracts big names representing every strumming style possible and the Jazz Festival in May will have you stroking your beard furiously or moving your feet frantically depending on your preference.

Foyle Days in June showcase boating events and shoreside festivities, July’s Gasyard Wall Féile celebrates Irish culture and language and the Halloween Carnival is nothing less than one giant free-for-all and an unforgettable night of mayhem.

Arts and crafts are well-represented in the Craft Village near Magazine Street or on glorious display at the Centre for Contemporary Art and the McGilloway Gallery.

Derry’s Delights

With a choice of cuisines available throughout the city in some very fine restaurants indeed, and everything from quirky, independent shops to Foyleside Shopping Centre’s four levels of retail heaven, Derry will delight on every level.

Visit Derry and you will be surprised – very pleasantly surprised.

Guide to Exploring Londonderry

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