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Northern Ireland’s second largest city is located on the border with Donegal, Republic of Ireland. From the Irish Doire (meaning "oak tree") Derry, or the Maiden City, was renamed Londonderry in 1613 during the Plantation of Ulster. The name is still a source of contention, with Nationalists calling the city Derry and Unionists preferring the official Londonderry, with the former being most commonly used colloquially. The city is famous as the scene of Bloody Sunday, one of the grimmest massacres of the Troubles, and in recent years both communities have worked at breaching the political divide symbolised in the sobering statue "Hands Across the Divide", which shows two persons reaching out to hold hands across a crevice. Native city of poet and Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney, Derry has a strong literary, as well as musical tradition, evident in the vibrant art centre and an abundance of theatres and galleries. Derry is the only remaining walled city in Ireland, and is one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe. Revelling in its cultural heritage, it also looks with pride and confidence into the future.
On the border with the Republic of Ireland, the city is a great base to explore the stunning beaches and hills of Donegal. In the town itself, an abundance of pastimes is available to visitors. Learn about local history at one of the many Derry museums, take a guided walking tour and catch an evening show at one of many local art centers. For a short nature getaway, stroll through St. Columb's park or venture out into Ness Wood a few miles away from the city.
For such a small city, Derry boasts a remarkable range of dining options. The city specialises in locally caught seafood and fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Whether you are looking for a chic restaurant or laid back bistro, or even some tasty pub food and a pint (evenings at the pub are a part of local culture), Derry's restaurant scene has something to offer anyone. Many local eateries offer significant discounts on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Although perhaps not as popular as pubs, cafés in Derry are frequented by locals and visitors to the area. Sandwich shops, coffee houses and elegant bistros dot the city and can be easily found throughout.
Be sure not to miss out on a pint in one of Derry’s fine drinking establishments. Whether you are looking for a stylish wine bar or a laid-back local pub, a friendly atmosphere and good music is often to be expected. Derry’s young population (most inhabitants fall into the 20 - 40 age range) likes to party and clubs are usually open until about 2 am, some host live music shows. Most charge an entry fee. The city centre can get quite raucous when the clubs spill out so stay on guard, but is generally quite safe.
Derry is an important commercial centre for the surrounding area, with something to suit every taste and every pocket, all within a small and accessible downtown. Foyleside Shopping Centre and Richmond Center are two larger shopping locations in the city, which is dotted with smaller stores and boutiques throughout. High-quality crafts and souvenirs can be found in the unique craft village, just off Shipquay Street. London Street, beside St. Columb’s Cathedral, is where most antiques and curios shops can be found. For food lovers, the Continental Market takes place on the first Saturday of every month on Foyle Street Square.
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