48 Hours in Londonderry
It's a real treat to have one of Europe's finest walled cities virtually on your doorstep, it's under three hours from Dublin, and a matter of minutes from Donegal. But, as you can discover in just 48 hours, the historic Walls are by no means the only attraction in this compact, energetic and cultured city. It has warm effervescence, prosperity and a cultural flair that combine to welcome visitors with open arms.
Get Your Bearings On The Walls
Londonderry, also known as Derry, is unbelievably easy to get around, which is perfect for city centre accommodation. There's a good range available including gracious townhouses, within reach of absolutely everything. Walking the Walls is a good way to get acquainted with Derry. Ireland's only complete city walls are 1.5 km in circumference and the views of the historic cityscape, four original Gates and River Foyle make it worth the stroll.
There's a rich heritage to discover here and a good place to start is the Tower Museum. Nestled within the Walls, it lets the city's often turbulent history speak for itself with two permanent exhibitions:The Story of Derry and An Armada Shipwreck - La Trinidad Valencera. The top level also has great open-air views.
Take A Tour
A guided tour is a good way to learn about the city's multi-layered history and many attractions - there's a tour to suit everyone: you can opt for a walking tour, a taxi tour or maybe an open-top bus tour is more your thing. From St Columb's Cathedral, Derry's oldest building, to the Bogside Murals there's a friendly and informative guide waiting to help. Visit derryvisitor for details.
If you fancy a spot of shopping then stroll happily from city centre designer boutiques to high street names and department stores - Austins is Ireland's oldest. There's Richmond Shopping Centre also in the city centre and Foyleside Shopping Centre. If you want to get a feel for the old-fashioned shopping experience with a progressive twist, head for Shipquay Street showcasing traditional craftsmen.
Londonderry has a literary and artistic legacy that would be the envy of many a bigger city. And it's a living legacy. Writers, poets (Seamus Heaney studied at St Columb's College), performers and artists past and present give Derry a unique flavour - make sure your time here is a celebration of Irish and international arts. There's the Verbal Arts Centre, Ireland's only centre devoted to literature; the Millennium Forum or the Playhouse both showing traditional and contemporary performances. Art lovers will appreciate the Void, a modern exhibition space. Choose from theatre, comedy, music, variety. grab an evening show and it'll set you up for the night.
Living The Nightlife
Londonderry has a wealth of restaurants and bistros to suit all tastes. Some lively restaurants have bars and clubs in the same location so there's no need to take one step further! There are traditional Irish pubs with music and craic to stir your soul; trendy bars with funky sounds; nightclubs with cool music and cooler cocktails.
A historic city with modern charm - what more could you ask for?