10 BEST things to do in Derry, Ireland 2024 (we tried them all)

Derry is the fourth-biggest city in Ireland and offers plenty to keep you busy. Here are our top ten best things to do in Derry.

Derry is Ireland’s most-northern city, partitioned by the River Foyle and keeper to a long, divided, and tumultuous history that lives on in its people and places. The city is small, and so it is easy to cover. It is undoubtedly a spot we recommend you visit during your stay on the Emerald Isle.

Here are the top best things to do in Derry when you come visiting.

Our top tips for visiting Derry:

  • As it is in Northern Ireland, the currency used in Derry is the pound. That said, given its proximity to County Donegal, many establishments will accept euros. However, be aware that the exchange rate is at the discretion of the establishment.
  • Irish weather is unpredictable. Always check the forecast and keep a raincoat handy just in case!
  • The best way to explore the city is by foot, so make sure to bring comfortable shoes.
  • If you fancy a break from the city, there is plenty to explore in the county, as well as in neighbouring counties, Donegal and Antrim. The best way to explore is by renting a car.
  • Derry is a popular destination, so ensure to book hotels in advance to secure the best value.

10. The Craft Village – for the artist in you

The Craft Village is a picturesque section of the city that needs to be visited, truly one of the top things to do in Londonderry.

Wonder no more what to do in Derry. Describing itself as the “hidden jewel in Derry’s crown”, the Craft Village is located in the heart of Derry City Centre. It is the first of our top things to do in the city.

It is a reconstruction of an 18th-century street and 19th-century square and is lined with craft shops, balconied apartments, and coffee shops to stop and refuel.

Address: Shipquay Street, Derry, BT48 6AR

9. Foyleside Shopping Centre – one of the best things to do in Derry

Another of the top things to do in Londonderry is to visit Foyleside.
Credit: foyleside.co.uk

One of the top things to do in Derry is Foyleside Shopping Centre. It’s home to over fifty stores. Break your day up in the city with a bit of time spent treating yourself or buying a gift for someone back home.

Take your pick from big brands such as Pandora, DV8, H&M, Next, and River Island, or dine at McDonald’s, Supermacs, or Costa coffee.

Address: 19 Orchard St, Derry BT48 6XY

8. St. Columb’s Cathedral – a historic city building

A historic city building is another great sight in the city you need to see, one of the top things to do in Londonderry.

St. Columb’s was the first cathedral built after the Reformation, constructed in 1633 by William Parrott for The Honourable The Irish Society.

It contains artefacts from the Siege of Derry. It is currently the mother church of the Church of Ireland Diocese of Derry and Raphoe.

READ MORE: IB4UD’s guide to the most beautiful cathedrals in Ireland.

Address: 17 London St, Derry BT48 6RQ

7. Museum of Free Derry – a resistance story told

The Museum of Free Derry is another must-visit things to do in Londonderry.
Credit: @cadafab / Instagram

One of the things you must do is visit the Museum of Free Derry, built in 2007. It recounts the captivating story and critical events of the years 1968 – 1972.

Having opened in 2007, it gives visitors a chance to learn about Derry’s civil rights movement, the Battle of the Bogside, Internment, Bloody Sunday, and Operation Motorman.

Address: 55 Glenfada Park, Derry BT48 9DR

6. Millennium Forum – for peerless performers

Millenium Forum has some of the best theatre shows you can catch in the city.

Opened in 2001, the Millennium Forum is the first purpose-built theatre. It is one of the largest theatres in Ireland with a capacity of 1,000.

Entertainment includes comedies, musicals, pantomimes, operas, ballets, country music events, dance, family events, and concerts.

Address: 3 Newmarket St, Derry/Londonderry BT48 6EB

5. Tower Museum – for the city’s history

Tower Museum is another of the best things to do in Derry.

The Tower Museum is an award-winning facility that has been open to the public since 1992 and is aptly located within the historic walls. It’s another of the top things to do in Derry.

There are two permanent exhibitions, entitled ‘The Story of Derry’ and ‘An Armanda Shipwreck’, the latter being the story of one of the largest ships in the Spanish Armada which sank off the Donegal coast in 1588.

RELATED READ: The Ireland Before You Die guide to the best museums in Ireland.

Address: Union Hall Pl, Derry BT48 6LU

4. Free Derry Corner – a commemoration to independence

Free Derry Corner is full of history and a must-visit and one of the best things to do in Derry.

The Free Derry Corner is one of the most popular landmarks in the city. It is based at the foot of the famous Bogside community.

It is a freestanding wall that commemorates ‘Free Derry’, the self-proclaimed nationalist independence area during 1968 – 1972 and often celebrates modern-day resistance movements.

 Address: Derry BT48 9DR

3. The Guildhall – the power of politics

The Guildhall is another of the best things to do in Derry.
Credit: Jenny Jensma

The Guildhall has the twin fact of being home of the Derry and Strabane District Council. It is also one of the most unique and famous buildings within the city.

It was built in neo-Gothic style in 1887. It underwent a £9.5 million restoration in project in 2013, making it a must-see attraction in Derry.

Address: Derry BT48 7BB

2. Peace Bridge – bridge the divide

Another of the best things to do in Derry is visit the Peace Bridge.

Wondering what to do in Derry? Visit the Peace Bridge, a 235-metre-long and 4-metre wide bridge. It’s a magnificent structure and bridges the partition moulded by the River Foyle.

The two arms of the bridge point in different directions but symbolise the unification of the Protestant Waterside and Catholic Bogside communities.

SEE MORE: Our guide to Ireland’s most iconic bridges.

Address: Derry BT48 7NN

1. The Walls – panoramic views of the city

The Derry Walls are truly one of the top best things to do in Derry.

With all the rest covered, we feel that one of the best things to do in Derry is to walk the Walls, built between 1613 and 1618. They make the city the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland.

It gives Derry its ‘Walled City’ nickname. Along the way are some of Europe’s most extensive collections of cannons, and you are treated to panoramic views of the city.

The next time you travel to the Emerald Isle, this city is a must for the bucket-list. Take your pick from any of the top things to do in Derry and you’ll make the most of your stay here.

Your questions answered about the best things to do in Derry

Still got some questions about the best things to do in Derry? Fear not: we have compiled and answered some of our readers’ most frequently asked questions and those often asked online.

What is Derry best known for?

Derry is well known for intact city walls that date back to the 1600s.

Is Derry a walkable city?

Derry is quite a compact city and is fairly manageable on foot.

How long does it take to drive from Belfast to Derry?

Driving from Belfast to Derry will take somewhere between an hour or two, depending on the route you take and any stops you make.

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