Thinking about moving to Ireland? The walled city of Derry, aka Londonderry, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in Ireland, yet still a perfect fit for newcomers to the Emerald Isle.
Whether you're actively planning a move to Ireland or just daydreaming a little, IrishCentral has you covered at the start of each week with #MovetoIrelandMonday. This week: Derry.
As the second largest city in Northern Ireland, the walled city of Derry is a culture-rich, prominent municipality that spans the banks of the River Foyle. The city is also approximately 50 miles (80 km) away from the Giant's Causeway.
Thanks to the popular TV show "Derry Girls", the area is enjoying the spotlight once again. Although, Derry is no stranger to popular culture: renowned poet Seamus Heaney was born here, as were The Undertones of "Teenage Kicks" fame, and playwright Brian Friel grew up in the surrounding countryside.
What you'll find in Derry
Renowned travel resource guide Lonely Planet previously called Derry the fourth best city in the world to see in a 2013 countdown.
The city is famed for its historical architecture, depicting late Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian buildings. Significant churches also make up an important part of Derry's framework. St. Columb's Cathedral was the first post-Reformation Cathedral built for an Anglican church. The Roman Catholic St. Eugene's Cathedral, ad St. Augustine's Church which sits on the city walls are also major points of note.
Derry is abundant with museums, like the Amelia Earhart Centre and Wildlife Sanctuary, the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall, the Harbour Museum, the Workhouse Museum, and many more.
Where to live in Derry
Even after being named as the UK City of Culture in 2013, house prices remain relatively low in Derry. The average house price is listed at £125,000 ($166,000).
The Cityside area is full of narrow grids of Victorian terraced homes within and outside the 17th Century city walls. Fahan Street, High Street, Kennedy Street, and Elmwood Street are good points of reference. Larger, more spacious properties and Georgian terraced homes are more likely to be found on Marlborough Street, Creggan Heights, and Aranmore Avenue. When it comes to suburbs, Rosemount, The Collon, and Northland Falls are sought-after areas.
The Waterside is more synonymous with bungalows - in Abbeydale and Manning Way - and family homes in Caw Hill Park and Rosswater.
Families should consider quiet cul-de-sacs estates in areas such as Waterfoot Park and Clooney Road.
What to do in Derry
Aside from the aforementioned museums, Derry has a wealth to offer.
The city's night life is abuzz on Waterloo Street and Strand Road, where you can expect both modern watering holes, and Irish traditional pubs offering live music.
Although the famed Austins (the world's oldest independent department store established in 1830) closed down in March 2016, there is plenty of retail therapy on offer. The Foyleside Shopping Centre, the Richmond Shopping Centre, Lisnagelvin Shopping Centre, and the Quayside Shopping Centre keep shopaholics content.
Traverse the Peace Bridge, opened in 2011. The symbolic cycle and foot bridge begins from the Guild Hall in the city centre and stretches to the peaceful St. Columb’s Park on the far side of the River Foyle.
A visit to Free Derry Corner in the Bogside neighborhood which has been immortalized in poem, song, and film is also a historically and culturally significant excursion. The landmark commemorates the self-declared autonomous nationalist area of Derry that existed between 1969 and 1972. A nearby wall also carries a renowned mural commemorating those Bobby Sands and others who died in hunger strikes in 1981, while other memorials pay tribute to those who died engaging in paramilitary activity as part of the IRA.
The Museum of Free Derry also tells the story of the area in both historic and contemporary contexts.