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Visit York: Your Travel Guide

A bustling city encircled by Medieval walls. York brims with history and character. Quaint shops, tearooms and traditional pubs line its intricate network of narrow streets, and the city’s fascinating story is told at every turn.

Things to Do in York

York City Walls
See York from a whole new perspective – any perspective! A walk of York’s City Walls is a must, so take advantage of good weather and make the full 2 hour circuit. Cross countless bars (gateways), stand guard on its ramparts, and prepare to feel like you’ve travelled back in time as you conquer this medieval masterpiece.
Nunnery Lane, York, YO1 6HD
Open Monday-Sunday 08:00–20:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
York Dungeon
Prepare to shudder, and maybe even squeal, as York Dungeon leads you through a host of horrible histories. This isn’t a museum, but an interactive historical walkthrough that uses actors and special effects to bring truly gruesome eras back to life. Featuring Jack The Ripper, rabbles of Romans, and even the ungodly Plague, this is one frightfully exciting day out.
The York Dungeon, 12 Clifford Street, York, YO1 9RD
Open Sunday-Friday 10:00-17:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
The Shambles
A winding walk along York’s oldest street is like stepping back in time – parts are so narrow that you can touch both sides of the street with outstretched arms! Once a hub of butchers’ shops, today The Shambles is lined with boutiques, pubs and tea-rooms that attract tourists and locals alike. For the perfect photo opportunity, take a more peaceful meander before 8am.
Shambles, York, YO1 7LZ
York's Chocolate Story
A chocoholic’s dream! York’s Chocolate Story tells the tale of the city’s chocolate production, and treats you to free choccies along the way! You’ll be led through the museum by a chocolate-loving guide, who’ll teach you about the origins of the product, how to taste like a true chocolatier, and about York’s long legacy as The Chocolate City.
3-4 Kings Square, York, YO1 7LD
Open Monday-Sunday 10:00-18:00
Clifford's Tower
All that remains of the once-immense York Castle now sits alone atop a grassy mound. Known today as Clifford’s Tower, for reasons even history is uncertain of, this mysterious monument looms over Old York. A walk of its 13th century walls offers tremendous views, so bring a camera along with an inquisitive nature - the tower’s history is as impressive as its stature.
Tower Street, York, YO1 9SA
Open Monday-Sunday 10:00-18:00
Jorvik Viking Centre
Are you ready to travel back in time? A trip to the Jorvik Viking Centre whisks you back more than 1000 years, to a time when York was the Viking capital of England. More than a museum, this exhilarating excursion includes a ride, actors and a 4D experience. Prepare to be immersed in the sights, sounds, and even smells, of the era.
Coppergate Shopping Centre, Coppergate, York, YO1 9WT
Open Monday-Sunday 10:00-17:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
York Minster
A Gothic masterpiece adorned with more than 100 stained glass windows. York Minster is the city’s crowning glory. Offering the ultimate vantage point in the city, the 275-step climb up the imposing Minster Tower is well it. If you’re there with a loved one, pucker up and kiss beneath the ‘Heart of Yorkshire’ window – legend has it, you’ll be together forever!
Deangate, York, YO1 7HH
Open Monday-Saturday 09:00-17:30, Sunday 12:45-17:30
York Castle Museum
Where the former York Castle once proudly stood, York Castle Museum now takes residence. An ideal spot for rainy-day sight-seeing, the museum exhibits all manner of post-medieval artefacts. Stroll back in time along a re-constructed Victorian street, marvel at the fun and fascinating history of toys, and be sure to peek inside the spooky Castle Prison – if you dare!
York Castle Museum, Eye of York, York, YO1 9RY
Open Monday-Sunday 09:30-17:00
Yorkshire Museum
Nestled within York’s stunning botanical gardens is the Yorkshire Museum. With four fascinating permanent collections, it offers incredible insight into York’s complex timeline. Stroll the Museum Gardens to see the ruins of St Mary's Abbey – once the wealthiest abbey in the North of England, it was destroyed in 1540 during Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries.
Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens, York, YO1 7FR
Open Monday-Sunday 10:00-17:00
National Railway Museum
Full steam ahead to the family-friendly gem that is York’s National Railway Museum. This is the largest railway museum in the world, so expect a vast collection of locomotives and railway-related artefacts. Harry Potter fans can even spot the very same steam train used in the films! A great day out for all the family (train enthusiasts or not), and entry is free.
Leeman Road, York, YO26 4XJ
Open Monday-Sunday 10:00-18:00
York Maze
The day out where getting lost isn’t just half the fun – it’s the whole point! Every year, York Maze picks a new theme for its vegetable-based labyrinth. Previous mazes were themed around Harry Potter, the Statue of Liberty and the Apollo moon landings, and the mazes are filled with puzzles and clues to test your smarts – and your sense of direction. You'll also find tractor rides, a working farm, mini-golf and much more, so there’s plenty of things to do that don’t require a map and compass!
City Walls Walk
A walk around the ancient fortified walls of York isn't just a great way to get around the city, it's also the perfect way to see some of its most iconic sights. From the golden-colored spires and intricate stone majesty of the Minster to brooding Micklegate, whose past is filled with brutal and dramatic events. The pathways rise up 20 feet in some areas, offering spectacular views across the picturesque rooftops of York – and there are plenty of tea shops along the way if your feet start to get a little tired.
Clifford’s Tower
The city of York is rich in history, and Clifford's Tower has been right in the thick of it. This Norman keep near the banks of the River Foss has seen many a battle over the years – it's been burned down, sank into the moat, and was even blown up by accident in 1684. But this is a tower as strong as the historic tales it's witnessed, and today offers some fine views over all of York and the surrounding English countryside.
Melton’s Restaurant
A staple of York’s gastronomic scene since the 1990s, Melton's is as proud of its unpretentious vibe as it is of its food. The dining room is welcoming, with simple wooden furniture and a lack of flashiness that's typical of Yorkshire practicality. It's the menu where you'll find the real splashes of style, with fresh local ingredients whipped up into rich, delicious dishes that are both traditional and tempting.
Cafe No.8 Bistro
In the shadow of stately York Minster, the No.8 Bistro sits among the elegant bars and funky boutiques of Gillygate. It fits in well with its surroundings, with a selection of light but decidedly sophisticated eats on the menu. Favorites like homemade soups can be found next to pan-fried woof fish and paneer samosas. Plus, with the menu changing throughout the day, there are always new temptations whether you’re hungry for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
El Piano
Kicking back in its comfy boho dining room, you might not notice what makes El Piano so special just by reading the dishes on the menu alone – you'll find Indian dhal, Bolivian fritters, and even sausage and mash. But it's not just the diversity of yummy plates that packs El Piano every night with diners. Everything on the menu isn't just totally vegan, there aren't any nuts or gluten either, so it's a restaurant absolutely everyone can enjoy. They even have cooking classes that will have you whipping up the finest vegan delicacies in no time!
The Blue Bicycle
Natural wood and warm, fall colors will welcome you as you take a seat in the Blue Bicycle. There's a carefree and quirky feel to the decor, but the attitude towards the food is dead serious. Often highlighting local and seasonal seafood, the Blue Bicycle's menu offers classic flavors with the kind of twist that can really bring a dish to life, like the cod that's served with a bacon-and-pea pancake.
York Art Gallery
Take an artistic trip through 600 years of history with elaborate paneling and pieces from Italy, the Netherlands, and France. Turner and Lowry bring Britain’s people and landscape to life, while pottery, glasswork, and ceramics add some color to the gallery’s minimalist, modern interiors. Soak up some more sights at Exhibition Square and York Minster nearby.
York Minster Cathedral
All piercing spires and vaulted ceilings, York Minster is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. The most important Anglican church outside London, this ancient cathedral dates back to the 12th century and houses some of the world’s finest medieval stained glass. While adults gaze in awe at its grand interior, the youngsters can have fun hunting for the gargoyles protecting the facade.
Yorkshire Museum & Museum Gardens
Built on the site of St. Mary’s Abbey, Yorkshire Museum traces the county’s history through the centuries. Discover the inhabitants of prehistoric Yorkshire, take a journey through Roman "Eboracum," and wander the medieval ruins that still stand in the 10-acre gardens – free to visit even if you’re not stopping in at the museum.
York Castle
A squat tower on a grassy mound is all that'€™s left of the once mighty York Castle. It'€™s been through a lot in its nearly 1,000 years of existence – attacks, explosions, massacres, and much more. Amazingly, it was still used as a prison as late as the 1920s. You can head to the York Castle Museum for the whole fascinating tale.
Snickelways of York
The Snickelways of York owe their popularity to a 1983 book that told the story of the city'€™s "€œsnickelways" (alleys and paths). Most are medieval side streets, and most have a story or two to tell. Mad Alice Lane, for example, was where a local woman was hanged for poisoning her husband. And then there's Grape Lane – once known by a vulgar name that referenced the illicit things going on there.
The Hop
If you’re into your pub-hopping, this cheeky two-in-one venue is just the job. As you go in, you’ll spy a Victorian-style wooden bar – the kind that you’d imagine Sherlock Holmes sitting at, sipping on a brandy. Venture through another door and you’ll enter a modern, airy space with a stage that hosts live music every Friday.
The Three-Legged Mare
History is all around you at this pub. The Three-Legged Mare may sound like a jaunty name for a pub, but it’s actually a slang term for an old-time gallows – a replica of which can be found in the beer garden at the back. Grisly paraphernalia aside, this pub is loved by York residents for its selection of locally brewed ales.
York Tap
If you’re coming to York by train, this pub is a perfect first stop-off. Located inside the station, it serves up a range of around twenty quality ales to satisfy any beer-inclined palate. If you have difficulty choosing your tipple, ask the friendly bar staff for recommendations and samples.

When to Go to York

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19 %
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Traveler's Reviews & Photos

10
Exceptional
York is one of our favourite places to be. Atmosphere is exciting, bars & restaurants are so varied. Always meets our high expectations. We stay in York about 3 times a year & on this trip we visited Lendal Cellars and also Dyls, photos below. Both excellent & can’t wait to visit again.
Maxine Wathen
United Kingdom
October 22, 2017
8
Very Good
York castle museum a must for both adults and kids (6 plus) spent over 2 hours there. Lots of craft shops in the shambles and boat trip was good. Can work out expensive paying into places with kids not much for under 5s though
United Kingdom
October 22, 2017
10
Exceptional
The City is truly amazing, rich in culture & history with fabulous architecture and a great array of shops & restaurant's to chill out in. I'm in love!!
Tracey
United Kingdom
October 22, 2017
10
Exceptional
Great city for sightseeing. Everything in walking distance. Very friendly people, lots of bars and restaurants. Really enjoyed our stay!
Rupert & Fran
United Kingdom
October 22, 2017
10
Exceptional
Love York, always enjoy my stay there. Buses are very many and good price. People are very friendly and there is a lot to see.
Osy
United Kingdom
October 22, 2017

Accommodations and Hotels in York

Hampton by Hilton York

8.9 Excellent

Score from 4,331 reviews

$99

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    936 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    853 related reviews
  • “very clean”
    735 related reviews
Park Inn by Radisson York City Centre

8.5 Very Good

Score from 5,830 reviews

$72

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    1116 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    744 related reviews
  • “amazing views”
    333 related reviews
The Principal York

8.9 Excellent

Score from 3,644 reviews

$141

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    838 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    784 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    591 related reviews
The Minster Hotel

9 Wonderful

Score from 2,079 reviews

$104

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    803 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    668 related reviews
  • “safe parking”
    321 related reviews
Middletons

8.7 Excellent

Score from 2,773 reviews

$117

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    724 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    598 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    387 related reviews
Hedley House Hotel

8.7 Excellent

Score from 832 reviews

$105

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    220 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    199 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    102 related reviews
The Churchill Hotel

8.6 Excellent

Score from 2,051 reviews

$91

Average price per night
  • “location was great”
    484 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    480 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    249 related reviews
Best Western Kilima Hotel

8.5 Very Good

Score from 1,254 reviews

$78

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    338 related reviews
  • “great pool area”
    158 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    142 related reviews
Novotel York Centre

8.3 Very Good

Score from 3,027 reviews

$106

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    640 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    487 related reviews
  • “great pool area”
    263 related reviews
Discover York

Local Tips for York

Mother Shipton's Cave
Louise by Louise

Outdoor-loving, tea-drinking Louise recently embarked on a road trip round the North.

A 40-minute journey from York, Knaresborough is home to Mother Shipton’s Cave. Visitors flock to the prophetess’ dwelling place, where a collection of stone teddy bears, socks and other objects, is suspended above a well. The water’s high mineral content can petrify items in just 3 months!

  • Prophecy Lodge, Harrogate Road, High Bridge, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, HG5 8DD
  • www.mothershipton.co.uk
  • Open Monday-Sunday 10:00-17:30
The Whippet Inn
Leanne by Leanne

City-break fan Leanne travels to York frequently for work.

This fun, quirky venue is set in a restored Victorian pub and regularly wins awards for its delicious food, drink and atmosphere. It serves up great steak, along with ales and craft beers from breweries around Yorkshire. There are also 30 bespoke gins and an eclectic list of cocktails!

Demijohn, the liquid deli
Kirsten by Kirsten

Kirsten lives in London and loves taking long weekend trips to different cities.

For quirky drinks and alternative gifts, head to Demijohn Liquid Deli on Museum Street. Their flavoured liqueurs, whiskies, vodkas and gins are all hand crafted, and shoppers can choose from a large selection of unusual bottles to have their selected brew poured into.

  • 11 Museum Street, York, YO1 7DT
  • www.demijohn.co.uk
  • Open Monday-Saturday 10:00-18:00, Sunday 11:30-17:00
Fibbers
Ben by Ben

Songwriter and guitarist Ben loves travelling and is a huge fan of cooking and football.

Fibbers is arguably York's best live music venue with a variety of live events and club nights. Acts range from indie rock and tribute bands, to electro, rap and DJs. They showcase a great range of upcoming and well-established acts.

  • 3-5 Toft Green, York, YO1 6JT
  • www.fibbers.co.uk
  • Open Monday-Sunday 19:30-04:00. Check website for details.

As well as its impressive historical attributes, York is compact and clean city with a good market, plenty of individual shops and all kinds of places to eat.

Yes! Lots of quirky gift shops, music shops, arts and craft shops, craft fairs, markets, specilaised book shops etc

Shambles - medieval streets, Jorvik Viking Centre, York Museum, Ghost tour, Merchant Adventurers Hall (medieval)

Discount vouchers for York Dungeons are on the back of parking tickets for York Castle Museum car park

Booking.com asked travelers...

Why do you recommend York for food?

There is a great diversity of food types available without having to take expensive cab journeys.

Very easy to walk the wall and along the river. Minster so big you don't feel your in a crowd

The Minster, the city walls and gates, the museums, the pedestrian streets.

We went to rustique restaurant very nice. Also prezzo

Very short distance from hotel and city wall great

Transportation

York Transportation

Air - Leeds Bradford International Airport

Leeds Bradford Airport is located 32 miles from York. The Flying Tiger bus service connects you to Leeds or Bradford in about 30 minutes and costs GBP 3.60 for a single ticket. Both towns offer rail connections on to York. An airport taxi to York will take around 55 minutes and should cost around GBP 60. Official cabs have an arrow logo, or will be a Mercedes E-Class. Bear in mind that central York is traffic-free, so you may need to walk a little upon arrival.

Train

The train is used to get to nearby towns and cities, rather than to travel around York. Popular routes include York to Leeds, Huddersfield or the scenic coastal town of Scarborough. Train times and fares depend on the destination, while timetables can be found online and on boards in the station. You can buy tickets at machines, using either card or cash. Groups of 3 to 9 adults can get a third off when using off-peak travel cards.

Bus

Buses are run by providers including Arriva (turquoise buses) and First (white, pink and purple buses), amongst others. Tickets are purchased on board with exact change but will be valid for that operator only, with day tickets costing GBP 3.80 on average. The “All York” ticket costs GBP 4.50 for a day and GBP 18 for 7 days, and can be used on all bus services. Buses tend to run from about 06.00 until midnight. Park & Ride car parks are set on the city outskirts.

Bicycle

York has a range of bike paths, including designated lanes and on-road routes. The terrain is flat and most traffic controls have been designed to accommodate cyclists. Be aware that you can’t cycle within the city’s pedestrianised zone before 16.00, nor can you cycle without lights on at night. Both actions would result in an on-the-spot fine of GBP 30. There is no public bike service but there are plenty of bike rental companies in town.

Car

York’s centre is pedestrianised with traffic-calming measures and high parking charges to discourage inner-city driving. However, you can make use of Park & Ride options set on the outskirts, where return journeys cost around GBP 2.80. Parking in the city costs around GBP 2 per hour. You pay at a meter and display a ticket on your windscreen, or there is an option to pay and register by phone. Parking in residential areas is available for a maximum of one hour.

Taxi

It’s not very easy to get around the city by taxi, as it’s so pedestrianised in the centre. The best place to get a taxi is at a rank, for example at York Railway Station, or by calling an official mini-cab firm. You should always make sure to use a licensed cab, which should show a badge on the back of the car. Never get in an unmarked car. There is normally a minimum fare, which increases on a meter system and fares may be higher in the evenings.

Food in York

Top Restaurants in York

Mid-Range Fare
Grill
Ate O Clock
  • 13a High Ousegate, York, YO1 8RZ
  • Open Monday 17:30–21:00, Tuesday–Friday 12:00–14:00 and 18:00–21:30, Saturday 12:00–14:30 and 17:30–21:30
  • www.ateoclock.co.uk
  • 0044 1904 644080
Mid-Range Fare
American
Byron
Mid-Range Fare
French
Rustique – York Castlegate
Mid-Range Fare
Italian
Caffe Dell Opera 3
  • 9 King Street, York, YO1 9SP
  • Open Monday–Sunday 12:00–14:30 and 17:30–23:00
  • 0044 1904 634584
Mid-Range Fare
European
The Golden Fleece
Cheap Eats
Cafe
Shambles Kitchen - Smoothies & Healthy Fast Food
Cheap Eats
Italian
The Hop
Mid-Range Fare
Caribbean
Turtle Bay
Mid-Range Fare
Grill
RBG Bar and Grill
Mid-Range Fare
Grill
Missoula Montana Bar and Grill
Mid-Range Fare
Korean
Oshibi Korean Bistro
  • 9 Franklins Yard, Fossgate, York, YO1 9TN
  • Open Tuesday–Wednesday 17:30–22:00, Thursday–Saturday 12:00–14:00 and 17:30–22:00
  • www.oshibi.co.uk
  • 0044 1904 593649
Mid-Range Fare
Tex-Mex
Fiesta Latina
Upscale Dining
Cafe
Betty's
Mid-Range Fare
Indian
Mumbai Lounge
Mid-Range Fare
Grill
The Hairy Fig
Mid-Range Fare
Turkish
Reina Turkish Bar and Grill
  • 2 Cumberland Street, York, YO1 9SW
  • Open Monday–Sunday 12:00–22:00
  • 0044 1904 625811
Cheap Eats
Cafe
Spring Espresso
Cheap Eats
Bar Bites
Trembling Madness
Upscale Dining
European
The Whippet Inn
Cheap Eats
Cafe
The Perky Peacock Lendal
  • Lendal Bridge, York, YO1 7DJ
  • Open Monday–Friday 07:00–17:00, Saturday 09:00–17:00, Sunday 09:00–16:00
  • 0044 1904 613511
Cheap Eats
Cafe
Mannion & Co.
Upscale Dining
Cafe
York Cocoa House
  • 3 Blake Street, York, YO1 8QJ
  • Open Monday–Wednesday 08:30–18:00, Thursday–Saturday 08:30–21:00, Sunday 10:30–17:30
  • 0044 1904 675787
Cheap Eats
Cafe
Goji Cafe, Deli and Restaurant
  • 36 Goodramgate, York, YO1 7LF
  • Open Monday–Thursday 11:00–16:30, Friday 09:30–16:30 and 18:30–23:00, Saturday 09:30–17:00 and 18:30–23:00, Sunday 11:00–16:30
  • www.gojicafe.co.uk
  • 0044 1904 622614
Cheap Eats
International
The Maltings
Cheap Eats
Cafe
Bicis Y Mas
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