As a historic city close to the Irish border, Derry, or Londonderry as it's also known, has more than its fair share of must-see attractions. There are landmarks from the past, such as the 17th-century walls complete with battlements and cannons, as well as modern additions like the Peace Bridge. Derry became the UK's first City of Culture in 2013, and since then it has seen an artistic revival and established a full line-up of music and film festivals throughout the year.
Many Londonderry hostels can be found close to the historic centre, only a couple of minutes' walk from the city walls. Book a room in a newly renovated Georgian townhouse with a colourful eating area where you'll be treated to a continental buffet breakfast. In fact, most hostels in Derry provide a hearty meal each morning, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi. There are quiet hostels with single and double rooms, handily located right next to 19th-century pubs, as well as bustling options with large common rooms.
You'll find most of Derry's cultural spots on the west bank of the River Foyle, around the original walled city. Head to Waterloo Place for a pint of Guinness in a local pub or to see the Tower Museum (which you can climb for panoramic views) and nearby Peace Bridge. The Bogside neighbourhood is right next to the old centre. Here you can take a walking tour or visit the Museum of Free Derry to learn about the city's recent past.
Derry's historical landmarks include two towering cathedrals, the city walls with its four original gates, the sandstone Guildhall and its picturesque square. There are also several mural sites, such as the Free Derry Corner and the People's Gallery, where you can see political statements about the Troubles. For a unique experience, head to the Derry Craft Village, a reconstructed 18th-century street and square complete with artisan craft shops and coffee houses.
Derry has its own airport just 12km from the city. This is an easy 20-minute journey by taxi, or you can hop on a Translink bus to reach Derry centre in 30-40 minutes. If you come by train, you'll arrive on the east bank of the River Foyle at Waterside station, which is only a short walk from the old centre. Many people use the buses to get around Derry, but it's just as easy to explore on foot or by bike.