For Christmas shopping, Derry has some of the biggest and best Irish and British stores as well as lots of smaller boutiques. And there’s even a little Craft Village tucked away in the middle of it all.
Derry is a popular shopping destination in Ireland, especially at Christmas time when the city centre comes alive with Christmas markets and festive shopping galore!
Begin your Christmas shopping at Derry’s Guildhall Square where you’ll find a hive of activity at Christmas time with the walled City Market attracting thousands of visitors. This City Market is a magnet for traders from all over Ireland and Europe, so you can buy just about anything from these brightly decorated stalls.
The market is probably best known for its incredible display of foods with continental cheese, the aroma of freshly baked breads and traditional cakes adding to the Christmas shopping atmosphere in Derry. You might even get the chance to sample some bratwurst sausage, or for the more daring, a bit of ostrich or kangaroo.
Of course, you’ll also find stalls selling some unique Christmas gifts and crafts so you’re sure to find some special (and totally one-off) Christmas shopping here. The City Market takes place in Derry from the 1st to the 22nd December.
After you’ve browsed the stalls, why not head downtown to soak up some more of the festive atmosphere on the busy streets of Derry.
Derry city is well known for the Foyleside Shopping Centre – which is one of the largest shopping centres in Northern Ireland. It’s open 7 days, has got lots of car parking and over 40 top stores like Dorothy Perkins, RiverIsland, Adams, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Thorntons, Barratts, Topshop, Argos and lots more. It’s got everything you need under one roof and you get to keep warm on a chilly December day too!
Not far from the Foyleside Shopping Centre (right beside it in fact) you’ll find the Richmond Centre. Situated on Shipquay Street, it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re here for Christmas shopping. Like Foyleside it’s a huge shopping arcade with a good variety of shops over three floors. It’s open from 9am – 6pm daily except on Sunday’s when it’s open from 1pm – 6pm. There’s late shopping until 9pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings.
Opposite the Richmond Centre is Austin & Co. You won’t have any problem recognising this shopping centre as it’s a 5 storey Edwardian building which stands proudly on the street corner overlooking the Diamond area of the city. It dates back to 1830 and is one of the city’s favourite landmarks. It’s worth a browse inside if only to admire the architecture. Austin’s claims to be the oldest independent shopping centre in the world – it claims to be 15 years older than Harrods of London and 25 years older than Macy’s of New York! It’s a popular spot for ladies and men’s fashions but you’ll also find some beautiful, china, Waterford Crystal, linens and a superb handbag section on the ground floor! The centre also boasts a fantastic 150 seat restaurant on the 3rd floor, which has the most beautiful views of the city. It’s open 7 days a week (with late shopping on Thursday and Friday nights) and 1pm – 5pm on Sundays.
Other shopping centres in the city include The Quayside Shopping Centre on Strand Road and the Lisnagelvin Centre in the Waterside area.
No visit to Derry city is complete without a visit to the famous craft village. It’s basically a little cluster of village shops which portray what Derry would have looked like between the 16th and 18th centuries. These quaint little shops mostly sell crafts and in some of them you might even be lucky enough to watch the craftsmen at work.
Derry city attracts shoppers from all over Northern Ireland and the Republic in the run up to Christmas, so book your hotel now to avoid disappointment.
Hope you find this little guide useful in planning your pre Christmas shopping break in Derry. If you know of any other stores or shops in Derry city that are well worth checking out – just drop us a line and let us know.