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Derry will delight and surprise visitors, offering so much more than you might imagine. After your flight to Northern Ireland’s second city you can start exploring the historical and cultural treasures immediately and you will experience a very warm welcome the moment your plane touches down.
The City of Derry Airport is located just 8 miles northeast of the centre of Derry so you can start exploring within minutes of your arrival. The airport is on the south bank of Lough Foyle, close to the village of Eglinton. As your plane lands look out the window at the RSPB bird sanctuary next to the airport to glimpse some of the wide range of birds that make the north of the island home.
Derry Airport is relatively small yet you will still find the usual range of shops, restaurants, ATMs, exchange desks and car rental companies within. You can arrange your car rental with Expedia before you fly and pick up your car from your desk for a quick getaway from the airport.
Nearly 400,000 passengers pass through the airport each year, the vast majority of these taking domestic flights within the UK. Derry flights connect with Glasgow-International, Liverpool, London-Stansted and Birmingham along with some seasonal flights to holiday destinations in Europe. Stanstead is the most popular route, followed by Liverpool, Glasgow and Birmingham.
From the airport it is a very quick drive to Derry indeed: it should take little more the 15 minutes on the A2 to reach the city centre. You can find ranks of taxis waiting to make the short trip just outside the entrance to the arrivals lounge.
If you are going by public transport you will not need to wait long for a bus. Ulsterbus operates various scheduled services to and from Derry Airport that terminate at the main Bus Depot on Foyle Street, right in the city centre.
Once you’ve arrived you will find plenty to do. Strolling along the enchanting river or exploring the ancient city walls will give you the chance to stretch your legs after the flight. Or you could indulge in some retail therapy, listen to music in a local pub, or take in some of the history that ranges from medieval buildings to contemporary monuments marking important events.
There are more options of departure airports if you choose to fly into either of Belfast’s two airports, but getting across to Derry is likely to take between two to three hours.
Belfast International Airport is a major airport located 13 miles northwest of Belfast and George Best Belfast City Airport is its smaller neighbour.
UK flights to Belfast International are available from Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Jersey, Liverpool, London-Gatwick, London-Luton, London-Stansted, Manchester and Newcastle upon Tyne. The most popular of these routes are to Liverpool followed by Stanstead and Gatwick.
UK flights are available to George Best Airport from Aberdeen, Birmingham, Blackpool, Cardiff, Doncaster-Sheffield, Edinburgh, East Midlands, Exeter, Glasgow–International, Gloucestershire, Inverness, Isle of Man, Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool, London–City, London–Gatwick, London–Heathrow, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Newquay and Southampton.
There is a regular two hour bus service that runs from the centre of Belfast to Derry and a train from Belfast Central takes just a little longer. By roads the quickest route is via the A6 and you should allow about an hour and a half for the 70 mile journey.