Orientation: Derry/Londonderry––Northern Ireland’s second city (and the fourth–biggest city on the island of Ireland)––is divided into two by the River Foyle, with the Cityside on the west bank and the Waterside on the east bank. Magee campus is on the Cityside.
Visit Derry has information about amenities and local sites.
Getting around Derry:
The city centre is eminently walkable as long as you don’t mind hills! See these city maps and brochures.
Taxis are very cheap compared to most European cities (c.£3 for most city centre fares). Uber does not operate here, but City Cabs and The Taxi Co. have their own booking apps which work in a similar fashion. Taxi numbers for the major taxi companies can be found here.
Busses are more infrequent, every hour or half-hour, depending on route, though if you’re getting the train, a free bus connects Foyle Street bus station on the cityside to the train station on the Waterside; details on the Belfast line train timetables.
You can expore Donegal and the West of Ireland via Bus Éireann (route 64 runs to Sligo and Galway via Letterkenny) and a number of private bus companies serve other routes into Inishowen or West Donegal.
Within Northern Ireland, you can use Derry as a base to explore the scenic areas of the North Coast and Giant’s Causeway; Translink have details of bus routes which connect with the area.
Food and drink
There are a number of independent coffee shops around the city centre, including the Coffee Tree (Strand Road), Legenderry Warehouse (opposite the Guildhall), Guild (within the Guildhall), the Pickled Duck (Shipquay place, opposite the Guildhall). Cafe Primrose can be found on Carlisle Road (nice outdoor seating area out the back), with another small cluster of coffee shops down by the River Foyle, just past the City Council offices.
The city centre can be a little counter-intuitive when it comes to restaurant locations. They can be thought of as divided into a few blocks/quarters, with one cluster on Queen’s Quay (by the Foyle), extending around the corner onto Clarendon Street and again onto Strand Road. There are also some good options centred within and around the city walls at Ferryquay Gate/Ferryquay Street, leading on to Carlisle Road and Market Street, and a new restaurant has recently opened within the Craft Village (off Shipquay Sreet or Magazine Street). There’s also St Jude Coffee in the Yellow Yard (up by the walls near Society Street), which does vegetarian and vegan fare. Further afield, there are a couple of good options in the former Ebrington barracks on the Waterside, and on Spencer road. See listings on Visit Derry
Note that some restaurants are closed on Sun/Mon/Tuesday and that many will stop serving food by 9 pm; Fitzroy’s (entrance on Bridge Street off Carlisle Road) is one option whose kitchen keeps serving until 10 pm most days!
Too many to choose from, but our favourites are Sandinos, Bennigan’s (gigs, film nights, etc. from 9 pm most nights; jazz on Saturdays from 5 pm) and the Grand Central (nicely renovated 1920s decor). Blackbird on Foyle Street is another handy spot at any time, that also does food. More are listed here.
It’s worth checking out the Yellow Yard up on the Derry Walls (near the Apprentice Boys’ Hall); they have a great record shop (Abbazappa: a great selection of vinyl), bookshop, decorative stuff and curios and also a coffee shop (St Jude Coffee, who do veggie and vegan fare).
Gigs and cultural events
Check out http://www.derrylivelist.com/ for gig and event listings.
Lots of museums (Tower Museum, Museum of Free Derry, Siege Museum, amongst others), galleries (Void, CCA, Nerve Visual, in addition to the Garden of Reflection community gallery) and performance venues (Playhouse Theatre, Echo Echo Dance Theatre).