We thought we'd post a few enjoyable tips on what to do during your time in Derry and big up some of our independents whilst we're at it.
So here we go, read on...
1) DRINK LOTS…
If you love a drink (or 10) and want to wind down, or maybe do the opposite to this and have a slightly less relaxing night, more of a lively one, then Derry has many independent little bars in which you can do just that.
We’re going to say that it is definitely worth visiting Waterloo Street. A street filled with Irish bars, and where live music can be heard almost every night from traditional Irish bands or from the local, talented musicians.
We’d suggest going to Peadar O' Donnells for a few. Small, cosy and welcoming, Peadars is situated at the bottom of Waterloo Street. Traditional Irish music is guaranteed in here every night of the week and many people who are travelling or visiting the city end up in here. The ceiling of the bar is covered with flags from different countries around the world making it a cultural little place as well as being oh so Irish.
Aaaand they do a great pint of Guinness!
Another bar we think you all should go to on Waterloo Street is the Dungloe. The Dungloe is another Irish bar, just newly refurnished, and the best thing about this place is its beer garden. Never have we ever seen the beer garden empty or quiet. Especially at the weekends when local musicians provide live music and basically everyone in the beer garden sings along (or at least tries to..) with a pint in their hand. The atmosphere here is a real good one.
The Dungloe Bar
2) EAT LOTS…
Derry is one of those places where the food is better than any other. Coming runner up in Foodie Destinations 2015 and hopefully taking the title this year, we can see why Derry has gone so far in this competition. All of our independents do food so good and at a decent price too, that we don’t need to go to those chain names or franchises that you find in every other city. There are so many independents to choose from and they have set the standard so high that choosing where to go can end up being a tough decision to make. So this is what we suggest…
A Made in Derry Food Tour!
The walking food tours are held by a lady called Catherine. They take place a few times a month, usually on a Saturday. The food tour takes you to some of Derry’s finest eateries/restaurants where customers get to sample the divine food and local produces used within each independent, and sip on some lovely alcohol too. This is a great way to spend a Saturday evening and makes that tough decision on deciding on where to go to eat a lot easier, because instead of having to choose one place, you get to go to five or six! To book onto a food tour just follow this little link:
3) EAT MORE...TRY A CHICKEN BOX
Well, some of you might be thinking, what is a chicken box? If you haven't already tried a chicken box then you are in for a pleasant surprise. A chicken box is very much a ‘Derry thing’ and always seems to be a fast food dish the people of Derry miss when they move away from home. It is one of those things that you should definitely get stuck into after stumbling out of a bar on Waterloo Street, making your way down towards some of our little independent takeaways. It tastes like heaven, has lots of sauce on it too, and will probably leave you in a food-coma if you manage to finish it. But it is 100% worth it. We think Paolo’s at the bottom of Waterloo Street does one of the best chicken boxes in the city, go there! And if you don't manage to get one after your night out, it's always a great hangover cure the next day...
4) CITY SIGHTSEEING...
So as well as all the eating and drinking that our city has to offer, it has a history that grasps the interest of all who visit. Derry's history is one that is widely recognised and is the reason many people come to visit the city. So whilst you're here, we'd recommend jumping on the city sightseeing tour bus. The red, open-top, double-decker bus provides multi-lingual commentary and live guides, giving sightseer's an insight into the city's past as well as what the city has to offer today. You can hop on and off the bus as you like. So if something catches your eye that you would like to go have a nosy at, just jump off the bus and go take a look! We love this video of our beautiful city at night and it will definitely get you excited for your tour!
5) THE DERRY WALLS...
This point actually ties in with our previous point in that it is sightseeing, but we thought we'd talk about this separately. The Derry walls are so iconic to the city they have even resulted in people referring to Derry as 'The Walled City.' Derry is the only remaining fully walled city in Ireland and one of the best examples in Europe making the tour a whole lot more interesting. There are many historic things to see along the walls as well as historic buildings and museums that you should make your way into during your walk.
And if you get tired from all the walking, the Walls go around the city centre therefore you are never too far from a little independent cafe to stop and have a coffee break!
6) JIKA JIKA!
Jika Jika are top notch at throwing parties. If partying is your thing and Jika Jika are throwing one when you are in the city, you should definitely attend! They put on electronic music events and have grown quite rapidly the past few years. Jika Jika have brought some of the biggest names in electronic music to Derry such as Ben Klock, Sasha and Eats Everything, attracting party goers from all over the North West to the city. Their most recent event was their biggest one yet. Bringing Cocoon to Derry and holding an outdoor music event at Ebrington Square they created a massive buzz in and around the city. Their next event takes place on the 1st of October when they bring Slam to Sugar. Then on the 31st October they hold a Halloween party at the Bunker (an underground car park), this one shouldn't be missed.
That's it for now. We will post another blog soon on more things to do, see, eat and drink in The Walled City.
Independent Derry X