things to do in derry

Last Updated on: 19th February 2024, 04:41 am

Welcome to the culturally rich and historically captivating city of Derry, located in County Derry, Ireland. Derry offers a plethora of attractions and activities that guarantee a memorable experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re interested in exploring historical landmarks, immersing yourself in vibrant culture, or enjoying scenic walks, Derry has it all.

From stunning attractions to hidden gems, there are countless places and things to do in Derry. Discover the iconic Derry City Walls, a unique promenade dating back to the 17th century. Take a step back in time at the Museum of Free Derry, uncovering the city’s complex history. Marvel at the grandeur of St. Columb’s Cathedral, the city’s oldest surviving building. And don’t miss the impressive Guildhall, a centerpiece of Derry’s architectural heritage.

Venturing beyond the city limits, Derry County offers its own array of attractions. Breathe in the coastal beauty of Benone Strand, a picturesque 7-mile golden beach. Embark on the Benevenagh hike for breathtaking views of Lough Foyle and the surrounding countryside. Get lost among the enchanting woodlands of Ness Country Park, home to the largest waterfall in Ulster. And explore the historic Mussenden Temple, a stunning clifftop structure overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Immerse yourself in Derry’s rich history and vibrant culture through its outstanding museums. The Tower Museum offers fascinating exhibitions tracing the city’s heritage from ancient times to the present day. Step into the past at the Siege Museum, which captures the dramatic events of the Siege of Derry in 1689. And dive deep into the civil rights movement at the thought-provoking Free Derry Museum.

Derry also boasts enchanting walks and scenic views for nature enthusiasts. Experience panoramic vistas atop the City Walls, offering a breathtaking perspective of the city and beyond. Stroll along the peaceful River Foyle Walk, soaking up the tranquility alongside the water. And don’t forget to explore the Bogside area, where outdoor art and historical significance intertwine.

If you’re a fan of the popular TV show Derry Girls, don’t miss the opportunity to embark on a Derry Girls tour. Visit iconic filming locations, such as Bishop’s Gate and Long Tower Church, and immerse yourself in the world of the hilarious sitcom. The Derry Girls mural, located at Badger’s Bar, celebrates the show’s irreverent humor and cultural impact.

There you have it – a tantalizing glimpse into the wonders that await in Derry, Ireland. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes, this captivating city has something for everyone. So, pack your bags, embrace adventure, and explore the magic of Derry!

Things to Do in Derry City

Derry City offers a plethora of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Start your adventure by immersing yourself in the rich history of the city as you explore the iconic Derry City Walls. Built between 1613-1618, these walls provide a unique promenade offering breathtaking views of the city and its surroundings.

While in Derry, be sure to visit the Museum of Free Derry, where you can learn about the city’s history and the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The Guildhall is another must-visit spot, showcasing stunning architecture and hosting various exhibitions and events throughout the year.

No visit to Derry would be complete without a visit to St. Columb’s Cathedral, the city’s historic cathedral dating back to the 17th century. Marvel at the intricate architecture and soak in the serene atmosphere of this architectural gem.

For a taste of traditional Irish music and entertainment, head to Peadar’s pub. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, listen to talented musicians, and perhaps even join in the craic with fellow visitors and locals.

Don’t Miss the Derry Girls Mural

“Derry Girls” is a popular TV show that has captivated audiences with its witty humor and relatable characters. Pay homage to the show by visiting the Derry Girls mural, located on the side of Badger’s Bar. The vibrant artwork celebrates the spirit of the show and has become a beloved landmark in the city.

With so much to offer, Derry City is an ideal destination for sightseeing, entertainment, and immersing yourself in vibrant Irish culture.

Discovering Derry County

Beyond the city limits, Derry County offers its own set of attractions. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or a history buff, the county has something to offer for everyone.

1. Benone Strand

visit derry

Start your exploration of Derry County with a visit to Benone Strand. Stretching over 7 miles, this golden beach provides the perfect spot for a relaxing stroll or a fun-filled day with the family. With its picturesque views and pristine sands, it is a must-see destination for beach lovers.

2. Benevenagh Hike

Explore Derry’s stunning natural beauty with a hike up Benevenagh. This challenging yet rewarding trail offers breathtaking views of Lough Foyle and the surrounding countryside. Marvel at the rugged cliffs and rolling hills as you make your way to the summit. Don’t forget your camera to capture the panoramic vistas that await you at the top.

3. Ness Country Park

Escape to the tranquility of Ness Country Park, a hidden gem in Derry County. This beautiful woodland offers a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Follow the winding trails and discover the largest waterfall in Ulster, a true natural wonder. Immerse yourself in nature and enjoy a picnic surrounded by the sights and sounds of the forest.

4. Mussenden Temple

Perched on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Mussenden Temple is a striking architectural marvel. Built in the 18th century, this historic structure boasts unrivaled views of the coastline. Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens and marvel at the beauty and grandeur of this iconic landmark.

5. Portstewart Strand

Located just a short drive from Derry, Portstewart Strand is a sweeping stretch of sandy beach that attracts both locals and tourists alike. Walk along the shore, soak up the sun, or take a refreshing dip in the clear waters of the Atlantic. With its natural beauty and pristine environment, it’s no wonder this beach is considered one of the best in Northern Ireland.

6. Seamus Heaney HomePlace

Visit the Seamus Heaney HomePlace, an immersive exhibition dedicated to one of Ireland’s greatest poets. Delve into the life and works of Seamus Heaney as you explore the interactive displays and galleries. Gain insight into the poet’s inspiration and his deep connection to the rural landscapes of Northern Ireland.

As you venture beyond the city of Derry, be prepared to be captivated by the natural wonders and cultural treasures that await you in Derry County. From golden beaches to majestic waterfalls, and historic landmarks to literary legacies, there is so much to see and explore. Plan your visit to Derry County and embark on a journey filled with breathtaking experiences and unforgettable memories.

History and Culture in Derry

Derry is a city steeped in fascinating history and vibrant culture. Visitors can delve into the captivating stories of the past and explore the city’s heritage through its exceptional museums and historic sites.

The Tower Museum

The Tower Museum offers a captivating journey through time, showcasing Derry’s rich history from prehistoric times to the present day. The museum’s exhibitions provide deep insights into the city’s past, including the compelling tale of the Spanish Armada shipwreck. With its engaging displays and informative artifacts, the Tower Museum is a must-visit for history enthusiasts.

The Siege Museum

For a deeper understanding of the Siege of Derry in 1689, a visit to the Siege Museum is essential. This museum presents a comprehensive exploration of the tumultuous events and the significance of the siege. Through immersive exhibits and interactive displays, visitors can gain insight into the lives of those who endured this historic conflict.

The Free Derry Museum

The Free Derry Museum is a tribute to the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s. It offers a poignant insight into the struggles and triumphs of this pivotal era. Through thought-provoking exhibitions and powerful imagery, the museum brings to life the stories of the people who fought for justice and equality.

Murals in the Bogside area

The Bogside area of Derry is renowned for its impressive collection of murals, each telling a unique story. These powerful works of art depict the city’s troubled past, highlighting significant events and themes related to Derry’s history and culture. A walk through the Bogside offers an immersive experience into the city’s heritage and the impact it has had on the community.

derry history

Museum/ Historic Site Description
Tower Museum Exhibitions on Derry’s history from prehistory to present, including the Spanish Armada shipwreck.
Siege Museum Insight into the Siege of Derry in 1689 and its significance.
Free Derry Museum Delves into the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s.

Derry’s museums and historic sites offer a captivating exploration of the city’s history and culture. From ancient artifacts to modern stories, visitors can uncover the layers of Derry’s past and gain a deeper appreciation for its vibrant heritage.

Walks and Scenic Views in Derry

Derry offers breathtaking walks and picturesque scenic views, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts. Whether you prefer exploring historical landmarks or simply immersing yourself in the beauty of the natural surroundings, Derry has something for everyone.

One of the best ways to enjoy the stunning views of the city and its surroundings is by taking a walk along the City Walls. These ancient walls, dating back to the 17th century, provide panoramic vistas of Derry, offering a unique perspective of the city’s rich history and architectural charm.

If you’re looking for a tranquil escape from the bustling city center, the River Foyle Walk is the perfect choice. This scenic pathway runs alongside the serene River Foyle, allowing you to immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature while enjoying the soothing sounds of the flowing water.

Derry Scenic Views

The Peace Bridge, an iconic symbol of unity, creates a picturesque spot to take in the city’s skyline. This elegant bridge connects the city center to the vibrant Ebrington Square, offering a peaceful and serene atmosphere for a leisurely stroll or quiet reflection.

The Bogside area is a must-visit for outdoor art enthusiasts and those interested in the city’s historical significance. Here, you’ll find an impressive collection of murals that depict the struggles and triumphs of Derry’s past. Exploring this open-air art gallery provides a unique opportunity to delve into the rich cultural heritage of the area.

To fully appreciate the beauty of Derry’s walks and scenic views, it’s recommended to wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera to capture the unforgettable moments along the way. Whether you’re seeking tranquility, historical insights, or artistic inspiration, Derry’s walks and scenic views will leave a lasting impression.

Derry Girls Experience

Fans of the popular TV show Derry Girls can immerse themselves in the Derry Girls experience. Taking a derry girls tour allows visitors to visit iconic filming locations, such as Bishop’s Gate and Long Tower Church. The Derry Girls mural, located on the side of Badger’s Bar, is a must-see for fans of the show. Exploring these sites offers a unique glimpse into the 1990s Troubles through the lens of comedy.

Filming Locations and the Derry Girls Mural

The Derry Girls tour takes visitors on a journey through the city, showcasing the real-life settings of their favorite scenes. Bishop’s Gate, featured in the show’s opening credits, allows fans to step into the world of Erin, Orla, Clare, Michelle, and James. The tour also includes a visit to Long Tower Church, where some memorable scenes were filmed.

A highlight of the Derry Girls experience is the famous Derry Girls mural. Located on the side of Badger’s Bar, the mural features the show’s main characters against a backdrop of the city’s iconic Peace Bridge. It has become a popular pilgrimage site for fans, who can pose for photos with their favorite on-screen friends.

“Visiting the filming locations and seeing the Derry Girls mural was like stepping into the world of the show. It was a hilarious and nostalgic experience that brought the characters and their stories to life in a whole new way.”

Immersing yourself in the Derry Girls experience is a must for fans of the show. It offers the chance to see the real-life locations that inspired the hit TV series and gain a deeper understanding of the city’s history and culture.


When it comes to planning your trip to Derry, get ready for a thrilling adventure filled with unforgettable experiences. This vibrant city and the beautiful surrounding county offer a wide array of attractions and activities to suit every taste.

History enthusiasts will be captivated by the city’s rich past, as they explore iconic landmarks such as the Derry City Walls and the Tower Museum. Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting museums like the Museum of Free Derry and the Siege Museum, which provide fascinating insights into the city’s heritage and the civil rights movement.

If you’re a nature lover, don’t miss the opportunity to take in the breathtaking scenic views of Derry. Whether you choose to stroll along the City Walls and marvel at the panoramic vistas or embark on a peaceful walk along the River Foyle, you’ll find tranquility and beauty at every turn. And for fans of the hit TV show Derry Girls, a tour of filming locations and a visit to the famous Derry Girls mural is a must.

So whether you’re exploring the city or venturing into the county, Derry has it all. From top-notch historical sites and cultural experiences to scenic walks and TV show tours, there’s no shortage of things to do and see. Embrace the charm of Derry, immerse yourself in its unique atmosphere, and create lifelong memories in this incredible destination.


What are some popular attractions and activities in Derry City?

Some popular attractions in Derry City include the Derry City Walls, Museum of Free Derry, Guildhall, St. Columb’s Cathedral, Peadar’s pub for traditional Irish music, and the Derry Girls mural.

What are some attractions to explore in Derry County?

In Derry County, visitors can enjoy the beautiful Benone Strand beach, the Benevenagh hike with stunning views, Ness Country Park with woodland and waterfalls, Mussenden Temple, Portstewart Strand, and the Seamus Heaney HomePlace.

What historical and cultural sites can be visited in Derry?

Derry offers a rich history and culture showcased through museums and historic sites such as the Tower Museum, Siege Museum, Free Derry Museum, and the Bogside murals depicting the city’s troubled past.

Are there scenic walks and views in Derry?

Yes, Derry offers beautiful walks and scenic views. Visitors can walk along the City Walls for panoramic views, enjoy the River Foyle Walk for tranquility, and appreciate the Peace Bridge for picturesque city skyline views. The Bogside area also showcases outdoor art and historical significance.

Can I explore the filming locations and sites from Derry Girls?

Yes, fans of the TV show Derry Girls can take a Derry Girls tour to visit iconic filming locations including Bishop’s Gate and Long Tower Church. The Derry Girls mural, located on the side of Badger’s Bar, is also a must-see for fans.

What can I expect when visiting Derry?

When visiting Derry, you can expect a wide range of attractions including historical sites, scenic walks, cultural experiences, and the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant culture of this unique Irish city.