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Visit Leeds: Your travel guide

Award-winning eateries and luxury boutiques rub shoulders with grungy student bars and quirky vintage shops along the cobbled streets of Leeds. The city isn’t just about fun and games though, with the largest legal and financial sectors outside of London proving it’s more than just a pretty face.

Things to do in Leeds

Trinity Leeds
This complex is pure entertainment from the top down. Start with a slap up meal at the rooftop terrace and spend your afternoon perusing the 120 shops, before catching a matinée at the four-screen art house cinema. When evening falls, the cool crowd go underground to explore the basement bars or get their geek on at The Alchemist, where mixers serve up cocktail concoctions with a scientific twist.
Albion Street, Leeds, Yorkshire, LS1 5AT
Open Monday–Saturday 09:00–20:00, Sunday 11:00–17:00.
Leeds Art Gallery
Household names and emerging artists alike line the walls of this gallery. First opened in 1888, the current collection is as eclectic as they come. Rembrandt prints are billed equally with graffiti pieces referencing gaming culture. The café has remained true to its Victorian roots though. With the original tiles and stately feel, it’s an ideal place to enjoy a ‘brew’ – Yorkshire slang for a good cup of tea.
The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AA
Open Tuesday–Saturday 10:00–17:00, Sunday 12:00–16:00
Henry Moore Institute
This institute has carved out a niche in the world of sculpture. Far from sneering at those who don’t know their J. Koons from their A. Calder, their aim is to make it accessible to all. A programme of lectures, guided tours and film screenings helps budding aficionados to appreciate the intricacies of the art. Their curated collection of British sculptures is also regularly loaned out to neighbouring galleries.
Henry Moore Institute, 74 The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AH
Open Tuesday–Sunday 11:00–17:30
Victoria Quarter
Old world meets new in this shopping hub. The marble lined arcades are a nod to the original development in the early 1900s, while the designer togs couldn’t be more contemporary. You can spend hours playing amongst the high-end brands, exploring Louis Vuitton and Harvey Nichols or sauntering around Radley and Whistles. When you need a pick-me-up, sip espresso at the Opposite Café’s boutique coffee bar.
4 Cross Arcade, Victoria Quarter, Leeds, LS1 6AZ
Open Monday–Saturday 09:00–18:00, Sunday 11:00–17:00.
Leeds Corn Exchange
If Harvey Nichols is a little out of your price range, the Corn Exchange may be more your style. This building has a long history of trade, ever since its origins as a farmer’s market in the 1800s. Nowadays you’re more likely to find quirky clothing than ears of corn. Bonus factoid: the 75 foot domed roof wasn’t just built for show, it allowed the room to be flooded with light without discolouring the precious corn.
Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, LS1 7BR
Open Monday–Wednesday 10:00–18:00, Thursday 10:00–21:00, Friday–Saturday 10:00–18:00, Sunday 10:30–16:30
Royal Armouries Museum
Prepare to do battle! Twinned with the Tower of London, this museum houses over 5000 objects showing the advances in armoury through the ages. The collection demonstrates how hunting, tournaments and war have inspired our ancestors to come up with some extremely creative weaponry. Displays range from the regal to the obscure, with knights’ jousting attire standing alongside a full set of elephant armour.
Armouries Drive, Leeds, LS10 1LT
Open Monday–Sunday 10:00–17:00.
Thackray Medical Museum
Now one of the city’s top attractions, this grand building wasn’t always so popular. Built in the 19th century as a workhouse for the poor, it became a hospital in the early 1900s and was transformed into a museum some 70 years later. Using interactive displays, the museum highlights how scientific breakthroughs have shaped modern medicine and gives visitors a gruesome look at the life of a Victorian surgeon.
Beckett Street, Leeds, LS9 7LN
Open Monday–Sunday 10:00–17:00.
Roundhay Park
It might be quicker to tell you what Roundhay Park doesn’t offer… For those looking to work up a sweat there are tennis courts, rowing clubs and the chance to hit a wicket on the cricket field. At the park’s Tropical World, visitors can mingle with meerkats and frolic amongst the fauna, while the monthly farmer’s market is the place to try burgers prepared with prime Yorkshire Angus.
Princes Avenue, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 1DF
Open Monday–Sunday 10:00–18:00
Kirkstall Abbey
Founded in 1152 by Cistercian monks, Kirkstall Abbey was once a place of reflection and solitude. The monks moved on long ago, leaving a much noisier crowd in their wake. Locals and tourists have taken to picnicking amid the surrounding greenery. If you’re heading that way, make time to visit the Abbey itself to stroll through the chapel ruins and the remains of the old refectory.
Kirkstall, Leeds, LS5 3EH
Open Tuesday–Sunday 10:00–16:00.
Harewood House
Always wanted to live a life of splendour? A stroll through this 18th century country house will help you live the dream. The kid’s adventure playground might not fit in perfectly with your genteel fantasies, but a boating trip around the lake will soon have you feeling all Pride and Prejudice. Just don’t be surprised if you see a few famous faces – part of the estate is used for filming the popular British soap, Emmerdale.
Harewood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS17 9LG
Open Monday–Sunday 10:00–17:30.
Belgrave Music Hall
This quirky venue easily earns its place as one of Leeds’ coolest bars. Inside the Belgrave there’s a shabby chic canteen-style vibe – a versatile space where you’re just as likely to find a yoga class as a club night, and might even stumble upon some burlesque. While you’re here, why not grab a freshly baked pizza or handmade burger to fuel the night ahead?
North Bar
Ok, so the North Bar might be a squeeze but after sampling some of the 150 beers on offer, you won’t mind a bit. This place’s casual atmosphere and friendly clientele make it a great first stop on the night’s agenda. Intimidated by the selection behind the bar? Don’t be – the expert staff are more than happy to recommend something.
The Maven
Promising ‘Prohibition with a modern twist’, The Maven’s expert bartenders deliver cocktail after masterful cocktail in speakeasy surroundings. Think teapots and classy-looking glasses with colourful concoctions and a botanical flourish. See if you can resist a swing on the dancefloor before you’re dragged away to the next bar on the list.

When to go to Leeds

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Traveller's reviews and photos

8
Very good
After our venue we hit the town and found that (even though it was freashers week) a lot of the bars were closed. However, after speaking to a chap who was closing his bar he pointed us in the direction of Call Lane where we found some excellent bars.
richard
United Kingdom
22 September 2017
10
Exceptional
The town is busy and vibrant. Lots to see. Good eateries and the shopping is amazing. Travelling around Leeds is great with regular buses going, it seems, everywhere and best of all the people are great, friendly, helpful with a great sense of humour.
Carole
United Kingdom
22 September 2017
8
Very good
Location was great for a city break we attended an event at the royal armories so a short taxi drive away so perfect if we wanted we could walk into the city to make the most of our trip to do some shopping
Holly
United Kingdom
22 September 2017
10
Exceptional
I love Leeds as it caters for everyone, so many things to see, great place for shopping from the Corn Exchange to the more modern Trinity center. Excellent place of music lovers as so many venues.
Clare
United Kingdom
23 September 2017
10
Exceptional
Fantastic city! Very energetic never stop. Plenty of nice shop, bars and restaurants for everyone. But also full of people who wants to deceive tourist.
Monika
United Kingdom
22 September 2017

Accommodation and hotels in Leeds

The Boundary Hotel - B&B

7.2 Good

Score from 771 reviews

£34

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    103 related reviews
  • location was great”
    90 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    34 related reviews
Jurys Inn Leeds

8.5 Very good

Score from 2,486 reviews

£56

Average price per night
  • location was great”
    416 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    371 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    222 related reviews
Park Plaza Leeds

8.2 Very good

Score from 3,465 reviews

£64

Average price per night
  • location was great”
    731 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    379 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    281 related reviews
Radisson Blu Hotel, Leeds

9 Superb

Score from 4,076 reviews

£78

Average price per night
  • location was great”
    670 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    417 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    303 related reviews
Clayton Hotel, Leeds

8.6 Fabulous

Score from 3,858 reviews

£53

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    519 related reviews
  • location was great”
    391 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    356 related reviews
Discovery Inn - Leeds

8.1 Very good

Score from 3,828 reviews

£40

Average price per night
  • location was great”
    1254 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    601 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    421 related reviews
Village Hotel Leeds North

7.7 Good

Score from 1,519 reviews

£55

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    225 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    178 related reviews
  • “great pool area”
    171 related reviews
Cosmopolitan Hotel

8.3 Very good

Score from 2,239 reviews

£39

Average price per night
  • location was great”
    377 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    363 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    210 related reviews
DoubleTree by Hilton Leeds

9 Superb

Score from 3,274 reviews

£71

Average price per night
  • location was great”
    427 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    363 related reviews
  • “very clean and tidy”
    264 related reviews
Discover Leeds

Local tips for Leeds

House Of Fun Comedy Club
Charlotte by Charlotte

Now resident in London, travel-mad Charlotte spent 3 years living and studying in Leeds.

This is a great comedy club set within a bar and restaurant called The Wardrobe. It also serves as a live music venue and offers cocktail classes.

  • 6 St. Peters Square, Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS9 8AH
  • www.thehouseoffun.co.uk
  • Open Monday–Tuesday 11:00–23:00, Wednesday 10:00–23:00, Thursday 11:00–01:00, Friday 11:00–02:00, Saturday 12:00–02:00, Sunday 17:00–23:00
Brooklyn Bar
Jack by Jack

While living in Leeds, Jack loved exploring its bars, restaurants and music scene.

For good food and great cocktails, head to this funky bar and restaurant set in the midst of the happening Call Lane.

  • 50 Call Lane, Leeds, LS1 6DT
  • Open Tuesday–Friday 16:00–03:00, Saturday 12:00–03:00
Hyde Park & Antiques
Helen by Helen

Hailing from nearby Rochdale, Helen now lives in beautiful Paris.

Take a walk around the city’s Hyde Park area and over Woodhouse Moor. It’s a great place for a scenic and relaxing stroll and you can also browse the nearby antique shops.

HiFi Club
Emily by Emily

Emily lives in East London but enjoys venturing outside the capital to find cool hangouts.

This venue is great for live music and clubbing, offering one of the best alternative nights in the city. The music played ranges from Motown, to Northern Soul and modern indie classics. If that’s not enough, there are also comedy sessions featuring stand-up acts from around the world.

  • 2 Central Road, Leeds, LS1 6DE
  • www.thehificlub.co.uk
  • Open Tuesday–Friday 23:00–03:00, Saturday 20:00–03:00, Sunday 22:00–04:00
Smokestack Bar and Club
Kirsten by Kirsten

When she’s not working or travelling, Kirsten loves to go rock climbing, surfing and biking.

Head up a narrow flight of stairs to Smokestack — a cocktail bar with a dance floor and 'strict' policy of playing live blues, funk, jazz and Latin music several times a week.

  • 159A Lower Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6LY
  • smokestackleeds.co.uk
  • Open Sunday–Thursday 17:00–03:00, Friday–Saturday 15:00–04:00
Neon Cactus
Amy by Amy

Amy studied in Leeds and loves the city’s quirkiness, nightlife, music scene and its history.

One of my favourite places in the city for a night out is Neon Cactus, which has a reputation for getting people dancing on the bar and dishing out free shots of Jägermeister.

  • 35 Call Lane, Leeds, LS1 7BT
  • www.neoncactus.co.uk
  • Open Tuesday–Saturday 12:00–04:00, Sunday 17:00–02:00
Read our FAQ on this destination >

Recommendations for Leeds

Visit the City Art Gallery,the excellent craft gallery and the ceramic tiled refreshment room in the same building

All the fashion stores are in one main area out of one straight into the next one shoppers heaven.

always helpful when asked for directions or help; usually added "have a nice evening"

The Standard Lamps (group) and The Who in Concert at Leeds Arena - both excellent.

Don't go out too early.....party on till the early hours!!

Plenty of restaurants and bars, theatres etc

Try Bundapost, Theravadu or the Reliance.

Booking.com asked travellers...

Why would you recommend Leeds for food?

very limited

Conveience

Transport

Leeds transport

Air - Leeds Bradford International Airport

Leeds Bradford Airport is located around 10 miles from the city. The Flying Tiger bus service connects you to Leeds in about 30 minutes and costs GBP 3.60 for a single ticket. Buses run on a 24-hour timetable with services every 20 minutes. This can vary throughout the year, however, so check their website. Official airport taxis have an arrow logo, or you can pre-book a Mercedes E-Class. They leave from outside Arrivals and fares cost around GBP 22.

Train

The train is used mainly for getting to surrounding towns and cities, rather than within the city itself. You may use it to travel to Headingly Stadium for sporting events, or to go to Carlisle, Huddersfield or York. You can buy tickets at stations such as Leeds Central, or online, where you can also consult train times. Services run 7 days a week but timings vary depending on the service and provider.

Bus

Leeds CityBus runs the network within the centre of the city, linking rail and bus stations, central districts and points of interest. Buses tend to run around every 8 minutes, from around 06.30 until 19.10, with single fares costing 0.50 GBP. Other bus companies start from around 05.00 and end services at 23.00, while fares range from GBP 1.30 to GBP 2.80, depending on the route. A MetroDay ticket costs GBP 5.50 and is useful for trips of 4 stops or more.

Car

Most of Leeds city centre is fairly walkable, so there is not much need to drive. There is also a one-way system which can be confusing for first-time visitors. Metered parking is available in some areas but it may only be available during certain times. Some areas are for residents only. Multi-storey car parks are dotted around the centre and cost around GBP 11 for 6 hours’ parking.

Food in Leeds

Top restaurants in Leeds

Good value
Brazilian
Cabana
  • Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre, Albion Street, Leeds, LS1 5AT
  • Open Monday–Thursday 11:00–22:00, Friday–Saturday 11:00–23:00, Sunday 11:30–21:00
  • cabana-brasil.com
  • 0044 113 391 7500
Good value
Italian
Pizzaluxe
Good value
Indian
Rola Wala
  • Trinity Leeds, Albion Street, Leeds, LS1 5AY
  • Open Monday–Thursday 11:00–20:00, Friday–Saturday 11:00–21:30, Sunday 11:00–18:00
  • www.rolawala.com
Cheap 'n' tasty
Mexican
Tortilla
  • 401 Trinity Leeds, Albion Street , Leeds LS1 5AY
  • Open Monday–Thursday 11:00–21:00, Friday–Saturday 11:00–22:00, Sunday 11:00–19:00
  • tortilla.co.uk
  • 0044 113 234 6518
Cheap 'n' tasty
Cafe
Laynes Espresso
Good value
International
Friends of Ham
Good value
Indian
Tharavadu
Cheap 'n' tasty
Indian
Bundobust
Good value
Italian
Tapped
  • 51 Boar Lane, Leeds, LS1 5E
  • Open Monday–Wednesday 11:00–23:00, Thursday 11:00–00:00, Friday–Saturday 11:00–01:00, Sunday 11:00–23:00
  • tappedleeds.co.uk
  • 0044 113 244 1953
Cheap 'n' tasty
International
Becketts Bank
Cheap 'n' tasty
American
Chicago Rib Shack
Good value
International
Duck 'N Roll
  • Trinity Leeds, 27 Albion Street, Leeds, LS1 5ER
  • Open Monday–Wednesday 11:00–20:00, Thursday 11:00–20:30, Friday 11:00–21:30, Saturday 11:00–22:00, Sunday 11:00–18:00
  • www.ducknroll.net
Good value
American
Meatliquor
  • Bank Street, Leeds, LS1 5AT
  • Open Monday–Wednesday 12:00–23:00, Thursday 12:00–00:00, Friday–Saturday 12:00–01:00, Sunday 12:00–23:00
  • meatliquor.com
  • 0044 113 379 0000
Good value
Vietnamese
Pho
Good value
Thai
Sukhothai
  • 15 South Parade, Leeds, LS1 5QS
  • Open Monday–Sunday 12:00–23:00
  • 0044 113 242 2795
Good value
American
Byron
Cheap 'n' tasty
Spanish
Bilbao Bar
Good value
International
Archie's Bar & Kitchen
Good value
British
Whitelocks Ale House
Cheap 'n' tasty
Thai
Bangwok
  • Arch 1, Sovereign Place, Leeds, LS1 4SP
  • Open Monday–Friday 09:00–21:00, Saturday 09:00–20:00, Sunday 11:00–17:00
  • bangwok.com
Cheap 'n' tasty
Cafe
Opposite Café
High-end dining
British
Rare
High-end dining
Middle Eastern
Distrikt
Cheap 'n' tasty
British
The Ship
  • 71a Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6LL
  • Open Monday 12:00–23:00, Tuesday–Wednesday 11:00–23:00, Thursday 11:00–12:00, Friday–Saturday 11:00–02:00, Sunday 12:00–22:30
  • www.theshipleeds.co.uk
  • 0044 113 246 8031
Cheap 'n' tasty
Italian
Sela Bar & Pizzeria
  • 20 New Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6NU
  • Open Monday–Tuesday 16:00–01:00, Wednesday–Thursday 16:00–02:00, Friday 16:00–03:00, Saturday 15:00–03:00, Sunday 16:00–00:00
  • www.selabar.com
  • 0044 113 242 9442
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