In this article, we’ll share the top things to do in Derry, both within the city and within the surrounding county of Derry/Londonderry.
Derry City is located in Northern Ireland and is the main city of County Derry/Londonderry. The vibrant city is full of hustle and bustle, offering visitors a range of sightseeing opportunities and tourist attractions to immerse themselves in the complex history of Derry’s past.
In addition to the strong cultural heritage of the city, Derry City is also well known for its energetic night scene that is full of lively bars and clubs to dance the night away in. In the wider parts of the county, you’ll find stunning natural landscapes, including the Sperrin Mountains and the Causeway Coast.
What’s great about this part of Ireland is the fact that there is so much to do, making it an ideal place to visit for suiting a range of hobbies and interests. In this article, we’ll highlight the top activities and experiences, making sure that you don’t miss out on what Derry has to offer.
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Things to do in Derry Ireland
Derry is the perfect location for family trips, couple retreats or solo adventures. Whether you want to explore the history of Derry, take part in thrill-seeking adventures or simply relax within the picturesque settings of the rural backdrop, you can find a range of things to do in Derry City and the surrounding idyllic County.
Walk the Walls
The city’s famous walls are a great way to get a view of the city and its surrounding landscape. The walls date back to the 17th century and offer visitors a glimpse into the city’s rich history. These defensive walls still stand among the best-preserved fortifications in Europe.
Visit the Guildhall
The Guildhall is one of the most recognizable landmarks of Derry. It is a beautiful building that houses the city’s council chambers and a museum. The museum showcases the city’s history and culture, and the building itself is a masterpiece of neo-gothic architecture. It is a central aspect of the city and well worth the visit.
St. Columb’s Cathedral
This cathedral is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks and is in fact it is the city’s oldest building. It has been a place of worship for over 400 years and is steeped in history. This impressive building has survived the turbulent past of the walled city and is one of the top historic landmarks in Derry.
Museum of Free Derry
This museum tells the story of the civil rights movement in Derry and the events of Bloody Sunday. It’s a sobering reminder of the city’s troubled history and a testament to the resilience of its people.
The Bogside Murals
The Bogside area of the city is home to a series of political murals that tell the story of the city’s turbulent past and political civil unrest. It’s a powerful reminder of the struggles of the people and an illustration of how far the County has come in recent years.
The Bogside Murals are similar to that of the Belfast Peace Walls, telling tales of the historical past and remembering the hardships of Northern Ireland and its people.
Derry activities for families
Derry is the perfect spot for a family getaway, with lots of fun experiences and activities that create loving family memories to reminisce over.
Halloween in Derry
Derry has one of the most exciting Halloween festivals in Europe. The celebrations usually last for several days and include a wide range of events and activities. One of the highlights of the celebrations is the Awakening of the Walls, which sees the city’s historic walls come to life with a spectacular light and sound show.
Halloween in Derry is full of live music performances, fireworks displays, ghost tours, and much more. Simply wander around the city and enjoy the family-friendly activities on offer, creating an unforgettable Halloween that the whole family will enjoy.
This beautiful forest is located near Limavady and offers a range of walking trails through the woodland and along the shores of Lough Foyle.
It is perfect for a family stroll and if you’re lucky, you may be able to spot the inhabitant range of wildlife, including deer, red squirrels, and buzzards. The mountains of Binevenagh Forest were created over 60 million years ago by molten lava and interestingly, it was also used as one of the Game of Thrones Filming Locations.
The Tower Museum
The Tower Museum is a popular museum located in the heart of Derry’s historic city centre. The museum is housed in a striking modern building and offers visitors a fascinating insight into the history and culture of the city and its surrounding area, a perfect attraction for introducing your children to the world of history.
The museum has two main exhibitions. The first exhibition is called “The Story of Derry”, and it tells the story of the city from its earliest days to the present day. The exhibition includes artefacts, interactive displays, and multimedia presentations, and covers a wide range of topics, including the city’s history, culture, and people.
The second exhibition is called “An Armada Shipwreck – La Trinidad Valencera”. This exhibition tells the story of a Spanish Armada ship that was wrecked off the coast of Donegal in 1588. The exhibition includes artefacts from the shipwreck, including cannons, pottery, and personal items belonging to the crew.
Foyle Valley Railway Museum and Nature Trail
This museum and nature trail is located in the village of St. Johnston, just outside of Derry. The nature trail follows the banks of the River Foyle and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
The museum is housed in a former railway station and offers visitors a fascinating insight into the history of railways in the area. Exhibits include a range of railway artefacts, including locomotives, carriages, and wagons. There are also displays of railway memorabilia, such as old photographs, tickets, and uniforms.
If you’re after more family-friendly activities to get up to, check out the article on things to do in Northern Ireland for families.
Fun things to do in Derry for adults
If you’re planning an adults-only adventure in Derry, there is a lot you can get up to. Check out our top things to do in Derry for the grown-ups.
The lively nightclubs in Derry offer visitors the perfect spot to let their hair down and dance the night away. The club’s DJs play a variety of tunes, from the classic dance anthems to the top tracks in the chart, you’ll soon be shaking it to your favourite tunes in no time. Check out these derry nightclubs that are well worth the visit for a boogie:
One of the most popular clubs in the city is the Nerve Centre, which hosts a range of events and live music nights throughout the year. This multi-purpose venue is a popular spot for live music, theatre performances, art exhibitions, and club nights.
Located in the heart of Derry, Aura Nightclub is a popular spot for dancing and socializing. The club features three floors of music, including an outdoor terrace and a VIP area.
The Sandinos Bar
The Sandinos Bar is another popular venue that hosts live music events and club nights. It features a lounge bar and an outdoor terrace, which is perfect for those sipping summer evenings.
This club is known for its high-energy atmosphere and state-of-the-art sound system. It hosts a range of club nights and special events throughout the year.
This popular club is known for its late-night parties and lively atmosphere. It features a spacious dance floor, multiple bars, and VIP booths, a real icon of the Derry night scene,
The Bentley Bar
This bar/club is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. It features a large dance floor, multiple bars, and a beer garden, which is perfect for day or night activities.
If you’re looking for a quiet drink in a spot where you can enjoy socialisation and conversation, why not spend some time in one of Derry’s charming traditional pubs?
Check out these Derry Bars for some fun, adult-only company,
Walled City Brewery
This is the perfect spot for those in search of a mouthwatering pint. The brewery’s core range includes several award-winning beers, including the Boom IPA, the Little General Session IPA, and the Walled City Pale Ale.
The Walled City Brewery is located in a beautifully restored building in Ebrington Square and offers stunning views of the River Foyle and the city’s iconic Peace Bridge. You can also embark on a brewery tour whilst here and learn about the unique brewing process.
A popular traditional Irish pub located in the heart of Derry’s city centre. The interior is warm and inviting, with traditional Irish décor and a cosy atmosphere. The pub features live music most nights of the week, with a focus on fiddle-dee-dee and traditional Irish music.
Here you’ll also find a range of delicious traditional Irish dishes, including stew, fish and chips, and bangers and mash. The food is hearty and comforting and a great way to soak up some of the pub’s famous atmosphere.
Places to Eat and Stay in Derry
If your wanting to find more places to dine, check out this Derry Food Guide. If you are planning on having a drink (or two) you might also need somewhere to lay your head after a heavy night, be sure to check out this article on where to stay in Derry.
Unusual things to do in Derry
Derry is full of quaint and charming things to do. When you visit here you’ll get a chance to experience the unique activities on offer, making it a trip you’ll remember.
For those looking for something a little more laid-back, Derry is home to the charming Craft Village. The village is a collection of traditional craft shops and cafes and is a great place to relax and soak up the city’s culture.
Located in the Sperrin Mountains, Gortmore Viewpoint is home to the iconic Manannan Mac Lir statue and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The walk to the viewpoint is relatively easy, and the views are well worth the effort.
Explore things to do in Derry
When you spend time in Derry, it will be an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re interested in spotting nature’s animals in the many forest walks or wanting to become a party animal yourself – you can do it all when you’re in Derry.
If you are visiting Northern Ireland soon, be sure to check out: Things To Do in Armagh and Things To Do in Fermanagh.
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