50+ Best Things To Do in York: Attractions, Food & More (2022)

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Best Things to Do in York blog cover image.  Text overlaying an image of the York city walls with York Minster and the city in the background.

Founded in 71AD by the Romans, York is England’s oldest city. With nearly 2000 years of history, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of things to do in York. From exploring Roman ruins to Viking villages, medieval streets, and gothic structures, to chocolate tasting, afternoon teas, and cosy pubs – this charming city truly has it all.

Surrounded by the city walls, York is a compact city and all the attractions are easily walkable. A stroll through its labyrinth of cobbled streets and narrow alleyways lined with timbered buildings and classic shop fronts feels like a journey back in time.

York makes for a great day trip from London, with trains taking around 2 hours. It is also a great stopover on your way to Scotland. The best option, however, is to plan a staycation in York and spend a few nights here!

This travel guide details the best things to do in York. Our goal is to help you discover what you should do while in York, no matter how long your visit.

A couple in front of Castle Howard, a great day trip from York England
Take a day trip to explore the beautiful Castle Howard.

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York Pass

The York City Pass and Beyond York Pass will be mentioned a lot throughout this post, so you may be wondering what they are and if they’re worth it. They are both sightseeing passes giving you access to some of York’s top attractions.

Whether you visit York using a pass or not, a number of attractions require pre-booking. Therefore, ensure you check each individual attraction’s requirements before your visit to avoid disappointment.

We’ll go into detail about the two different passes available below.

*All prices and information correct as of 30th May 2022*

York City Pass

A girl twirling in a skirt in front of York Minster - one of the best places to visit in York England.
York Minster – included in the York City Pass.

The York City Pass can be bought as a 1-, 2-, or 3-day pass. These are priced at £55, £70, and £85 respectively.

The pass includes entrance to 20+ attractions in York, as well as a free meal at ASK Italian restaurant! It is truly a great value if you plan on visiting many of the city’s attractions.

We’ve included the individual prices of attractions within this travel blog. We’d recommend you keep a pen and paper handy, and jot down the places that you decide you definitely want to visit, as well as their entry price. This will allow you to calculate your total cost and decide whether the York City Pass will provide enough value for your personal interests!

For example, if you were to visit the York Minster, York Dungeons, and Jorvik Viking Centre, the total for purchasing these three tickets individually would be £43.95. In this instance, the York City Pass would not be worth it for you. However, add just one more attraction, such as Clifford Tower, and the Sightseeing Bus and you’re now at a total of £68.95. You can see how quickly you can begin saving money by having the York City Pass.

One and two-day passes are valid for calendar days only rather than 24 hours. The three-day pass can be used any three days out of six. Make sure you plan your days accordingly and begin using the pass early in the morning to make the most of it.

York & Beyond Explorer Pass

An array of vibrantly coloured flowers at Helmsley Walled Gardens with the ruins of Helmsley Castle behind.
The beautiful Helmsley Walled Gardens are included in the York & Beyond Explorer Pass.

The Beyond York Pass includes all the same York tourist attractions as the City Pass, plus numerous other sights around North Yorkshire. Similar to the City Pass, you will need to calculate whether or not the pass will provide you with enough value based on your interests.

It is available with two different options:

  • 3 days – £85
  • 6 days – £140

The 3 and 6-day passes are valid on consecutive days. However, the 3-day pass is valid any three days over six days from first activation.

Map of the Best Things To Do In York

Here’s a map of all the best things to do in York that we mention in this post. It’s been divided up in the same way as this post has to hopefully make it easier to use:

  • Top Things to Do in York
  • Other Things to Do in York
  • Day Trip from York
  • Places to Eat in York
  • Where to Stay in York

Within each colour coded section, you’ll find that places included in the York Pass are marked with a star 🙂

Click here to open the map in a new tab. Or click the image below.

Top 25 Things To Do In York

View of York Minster and the city from the York City Walls - one of the best things to do in York
Exploring the York City Walls is one of the best things to do in York – and it’s free!

There are a huge number of things to do in York – with over 35 museums alone, as well as a number of things to do from York! It would be impossible to list every single attraction. However, below you will find the top 25 best things to do in York to help you plan the perfect city getaway.

We aim to keep our guides as up-to-date as possible, but of course things can change. All the prices and information listed is correct as of 30th May 2022.

Before we get into it, a couple of fun facts:

  • In York, streets are known as gates, gates are known as bars, and bars are known as pubs!!
  • As you explore York you may notice some windows bricked up. In 1696 the Windows Tax was imposed, meaning that buildings were taxed based on the number of windows they had. Many building consequently bricked in their windows to avoid the tax. It is believed this could also be where the saying “daylight robbery” stemmed from.
A bricked up window in York, a remnant from the 1696 windows tax!
A bricked-up window from the 1696 windows tax!

York City Walls

A girl in a skirt on the York city walls with York Minster and the city in the background.
Exploring the York city walls is possibly the best thing to do in York!

For nearly 2000 years (since Roman times), the city of York has been defended by walls in some form. Today, the remaining York City Walls provide the most complete example of medieval walls in England and are one of the top attractions in York.

The original Roman walls were built in 71AD and were constructed from wood. These were later improved by the Vikings in 867AD and then upgraded to stone in 1226 to include 4 large and 2 small bars (or gates). Eventually, they fell into disrepair by the 18th century.

View of a garden and the York Minster from York city walls.
The York city walls provide spectacular views.

In 1800, over 300 yards of the walls, 3 posterns, and 5 towers were demolished as the walls were no longer needed to defend the city and were a hindrance to development. However, after much public resistance, a preservation order was enforced and the demolished areas were restored.

Taking in the views from the city walls is one of the best free things to do in York.

Today, walking the York City Walls is one of the best things to do in York, providing incredible views of the city. The entire wall walk covers 2.8 miles and it’s worth allowing a couple of hours to casually stroll the walls. It is an easy walk, but it is only accessible via stairs. The walls are open from 8am until dusk each day and are free to explore.

There are a number of places you can start the walk and can explore the walls in either direction. You can find exact closure times and more information on the York City website.

City Walls Experience

New in 2022, and open from 2nd April to 30th October, the City Walls Experience at Micklegate Bar provides a great introduction to the historic walls. Explore three floors of the gateway which was once the main entrance to the city for anyone arriving from the south. Tickets for this cost £3.50 or are included in the York City Pass.

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The Shambles

A girl in a pink skirt and white top walking along The Shambles in York early in the morning.
An early morning walk along The Shambles.

Another one of the best free things to do in York is exploring The Shambles. This narrow shopping street in the heart of the city dates back to the 13th century and is one of the best-preserved medieval streets in Europe. Wandering down the Shambles feels like taking a step back in time with its crooked, timbered buildings oozing with charm and history.

Originally the street was home to a variety of butchers specialising in different meats, many of which had slaughterhouses at the back to ensure the meat was fresh. The Shambles takes its name from the word the old English word ‘Shamel’, meaning stalls or benches on which meat was displayed.

A sign about The Shambles seen on a brick wall in York

At first glance, the wonky, top-heavy buildings and narrow streets may seem like a strange design choice. However, they were specifically constructed to serve a practical purpose – to protect the ‘wattle and daub’ shop fronts below and to keep the meat out of direct sunlight. Additionally, the pavements were raised on each side of the cobbled street to provide a channel where raw sewage could run.

It doesn’t require too much imagination to envision how the street may have once appeared; bustling with people and covered with offal and animal guts. I’m grateful we have better sanitation now and dread to think what the road must’ve smelled like!

Today, no butchers remain. Instead, the timbered buildings are home to an assortment of cafes, boutiques and independent shops.

The Shambles and Harry Potter

A sign for the Harry Potter shop "The shop that must not be named".

Harry Potter fans will particularly love this street as it is believed to be the inspiration behind Diagon Alley.

Along Shambles you’ll find four Harry Potter shops selling an array of Potter-themed merchandise. The Shop That Must Not Be Named, The Boy Wizard, and the World of Wizardry are all located near to each other at the Pavement end of Shambles. Further along, you’ll find the Potions Cauldron appropriately located at 9 3/4 Shambles.

For the true Potterheads, you can even take a Harry-Potter Themed Guided Tour of York, enjoying themed quizzes along the way.

York Minster

The magnificent exterior of the York Minster at sunrise
The magnificent exterior of the York Minster.

York Minster is the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe and of all the things to see in York, it is perhaps the most iconic. Completed in 1472, it took over two centuries to complete and the resulting architecture is spectacular.

As the tallest building in York, the Minster is visible from all over the city. It is also home to more medieval stained glass than anywhere in the UK – there are 128 stained glass windows, comprised of around two million pieces of glass.

The magnificent interior of the York Minster - one of the best things to do in York England
York Minster is home to 128 stained glass windows.

If you have an interest in religious history, it’s well worth a visit to the inside of the cathedral. Here you can learn more about York’s Christian history dating back to Roman times and marvel at more medieval stained glass than anywhere else in the UK!

Those with the stamina and ability to tackle the 275 steps to reach the top of the tower will be rewarded with spectacular views of the city from York’s highest viewpoint.

Make sure you also keep an eye out for the resident peregrine falcons that nest among the cathedral’s gargoyles. We were lucky enough to spot them flying overhead early one morning.

Tickets for York Minster

Tickets cost £12.50 or are included with the York City Pass. All visits still currently require pre-booking a timed-entry slot online on the York Minster website.

Clifford’s Tower

Views over York from Clifford Tower.
Views over York from Clifford Tower.

Perched proudly on its mound, Clifford’s Tower is the last remaining structure of York Castle. The tower was originally built from timber in the 11th century by William the Conqueror to dominate the Viking city of Jórvík.

Like much of the city, it has some pretty dark elements to its history. In 1190, it was the site of a mass suicide and massacre of 150 Jewish people, and the tower itself was burned down. In the 13th century, King Henry III rebuilt the tower in stone. It saw many uses over the years including a jail, royal mint, and armoury.

Today, it offers sweeping vistas of York Minster and the city centre. On a clear day (which we didn’t have!) you can apparently even see as far as North York Moors National Park. The tower itself has little to explore, but it’s worth a visit to take in the views.

View over the city to York Minster from Clifford Tower
View of York Minster from Clifford Tower.
Tickets for Clifford Tower

Tickets cost £9 or are included with the York City Pass. Entry is free for English Heritage members. If you’re visiting from abroad, consider the English Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass. This 9- or 16-day pass gives you free entry to over 100 attractions across England.

Pre-booking is no longer required, but it is worth visiting later in the day when it is quieter.

Mindlock York

While escape rooms aren’t exactly unique to York, you will never discover anything like the ones at Mindlock York! They are by far the best we’ve experienced, and therefore we had to include it on our list of favourite things to do in York. It’s also a perfect rainy day activity if (like us) you get a few wet days!

We had more fun than we could’ve imagined, so much so that we actually went back the next day to try out another of their rooms! And don’t just take our word for it, check out their incredible 5 ⭐ reviews!

Dark Arts Escape Room at Mindlock York

The first room we tried was the Dark Arts Mindlock York escape room. This Harry Potter-themed adventure has you locked into a room of wizardry and witchcraft. You have 60 minutes to solve puzzles and codes to find the formula for a magic spell that will allow you to escape. We made it out with 3 minutes to spare – although we have to be honest, we did have a few clues!

Some of the details of the Dark Arts room at Mindlock York escape room
Some of the details in the Dark Arts escape room.

V90 Escape Room at Mindlock York

The following day, we went back and tried out the V90 room. We were not disappointed!

This room seemed somewhat apt considering the pandemic at the time – you are locked in the laboratory of a mad professor who has created a deadly virus “V90”. It’s your job to find the antivirus to prevent the spread of the virus worldwide!

It followed a more linear format than the Dark Arts room (meaning each clue leads directly to the next), but it was still very challenging. We escaped with just a few minutes to spare (and much fewer clues!).

Mindlock York is located right next to Clifford’s Tower, making it an easy walk from anywhere within the city centre. Find out more information and book tickets at Mindlock York.

* Please be aware that we took photos with permission. Cameras and phones are not allowed within the Mindlock escape rooms.

York’s Chocolate Story

A visit to York’s Chocolate Story should be on everyone’s list of things to do in York. We were pleasantly surprised by this tour (big shout out to our tour guide Charlie). It far surpassed our expectations, and ended up being one of our favourite things to do in York!

Exterior of York's Chocolate Stoy - one of the best things to do in York with kids

York has a history connected with chocolate, originally being home to both Rowntree’s and Terry’s brands. Many famous chocolate products started in York, including Terry’s Chocolate Orange and the globally renowned Kit Kat. Still today, six million Kit-Kats are produced every day in York!

A kit kat display at the York Chocolate Story - one of the best things to do in York
A Kit Kat display at the York Chocolate Story.

The interactive tour will take you through the history of York’s chocolate-making families, as well as chocolate’s origins, how to make chocolate, and how to taste it like an expert! At the end, you even get to make your own chocolate lolly and are given a goody bag of choccies to take home with you.

Chocolate making demonstration at York chocolate story.
Chocolate-making demo!

You’ll also find a range of chocolates made on-site available for purchase in their shop downstairs. We didn’t get around to trying it, but the hot chocolate here is also supposed to be amazing!

Tickets for York’s Chocolate Story

Tickets cost £15.95 and it is advised to book online in advance to guarantee entry.

York’s Chocolate Story is no longer included in the York City Pass. However, the
Chocolate Manufactory Tasting Journey at York Cocoa Works is included (usually £9.50). While the tour isn’t quite as in-depth or interactive as York’s Chocolate Story, it is worth considering if you have the York City Pass.

The York Dungeon

Entrance to York Dungeon.
Get a glimpse into York’s dark history at the York Dungeons.

This was perhaps the attraction we were most disappointed about missing the first time we were in York. We were, therefore, really excited when we were able to get tickets on our last trip!

Fortunately, the York Dungeons did not disappoint. The actors were all absolutely incredible! We were impressed with how well they incorporated masks into the costumes and social distancing into the theatrics.

The York Dungeon provides a glimpse into York’s darkest history through immersive sets, actor-led shows, and special effects. During your tour of the dungeons, you’ll meet some of the city’s most renowned and notorious characters, including the Vikings, Guy Fawkes and Dick Turpin. You will also attend an appointment with the plague doctor and discover why The Golden Fleece is considered York’s most haunted pub.

At times the experience is pretty creepy and it’s not recommended for children under 8 years of age. We definitely jumped a few times, so can see why it might not be a great experience for young kids.

Tickets for The York Dungeon

Tickets cost £17.95 or are included with the York City Pass. It is advised to book tickets online to guarantee entry.

York Museum Gardens and St Mary’s Abbey

Remains of St Mary's Abbey in York Museum Gardens
St Mary’s Abbey.

Sprawling over 10 acres, the York Museum Gardens are home to an array of historical buildings, plant species, and wildlife. These tranquil public gardens provide an oasis in the heart of York. Enjoy a picnic in the sunshine or a short walk away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The botanical gardens are set against the spectacular backdrop of the Grade I listed ruins of St Mary’s Abbey. Built in 1088, the medieval abbey was once one of the wealthiest and most powerful abbeys in England.

However, it was closed down and substantially destroyed by Henry VIII in 1539 as a consequence of his reformation of the church. The abbots were infamously self-indulgent and St Mary’s Abbot was often featured as Robin Hood’s arch-rival in early medieval ballads.

The Hospitum in York Museum Gardens
The Hospitum is a popular wedding venue.

The Hospitium is also found within the York Museum Gardens. Today it is a popular wedding venue, however, it dates back to the 14th century as one of the abbey’s support buildings. Its name is derived from the word ‘hospitality’ rather than ‘hospital’.

Enjoy an Afternoon Tea or Coffee

Bettys Tea Rooms are a popular place for afternoon tea in York
Betty’s Tea Rooms in York.

York is home to a host of independent cafes and coffee shops that provide the perfect excuse to get off your feet and indulge!

There are many to choose from, but our personal favourite was Spring Espresso. Their cold brew and carrot cake were phenomenal.

The blueberry scone at Lucky Days was also excellent, though the general atmosphere and coffee were less impressive.

Betty’s Cafe and Brew & Brownie both came highly recommended. However, we hadn’t been able to visit either on our first visit to York due to ridiculously long lines. Therefore, we were determined to try them both out on our most recent visit!

We went to Betty’s for their famous afternoon tea. Honestly, we were a little disappointed. The presentation was very good and the staff could not have been friendlier, but nothing they served blew us away. It is hard to say whether this is a reflection of the expectations, or the product itself.

Afternoon tea at Betty's Cafe in York

It might be fair to surmise that our disappointment was due to the lofty reputation of Betty’s with all the hype it receives and the constant lines.

We were, however, impressed with the staff. They were all really lovely and we couldn’t fault the service, but we wouldn’t be in a rush to go back with so many other great options in York.

On the other hand, the brownies at Brew & Brownie were all they were said to be and more. We weren’t even slightly hungry, but picked up one of their Terry’s Chocolate Orange brownies. Oh my gosh… it was amazing. It’s one of the best brownies we’ve had in a long time!

Have a Pint at One of York’s 365 Pubs

York is rumoured to have a pub for every day of the year within its city walls – a rumour that seems to date back to Middle Ages! During the Middle Ages, it was said that there was a monastery for every day of the week, a church for every week of the year, and a pub for every day of the year.

According to records, this isn’t far off as there were 7 monasteries, around 45 churches, and 200 inns and alehouses. We couldn’t find out how many still exist today, but we can promise you it’s a lot!

If you want to visit the oldest continuously licensed pub, then visit Ye Olde Starre Inn. It has been a licensed inn since 1644 and the building itself is even older, dating back to the mid-16th century.

One of the best things to do in York - have a drink at York's oldest licensed pub - Ye Olde Starre Inn
York’s oldest licensed pub – Ye Olde Starre Inn

Make sure you try a pint from one of the many local Yorkshire breweries. And if you’re a fan of craft beer as we are, pop to Trembling Madness. Although not technically a pub, we’d be remiss not to mention them! They have both a bar and shop in two locations and have an unbelievable craft beer selection. Their range included a huge amount of incredibly inventive British beers.

Go Shopping

Whether you’re looking to treat yourself, find the perfect souvenir, or get a gift for a loved one – York has something for everyone.

It is home to countless cute and independent shops, as well as the high street and high end shops you would expect to find in any UK city. While the Shambles may be the most picturesque street in Britain and home to many great independent shops, the shopping experience doesn’t stop there!

Stonegate in York is a great place for shopping
Stonegate is a great place for shopping.
Stonegate's Original Teddy Bear Shop store front in York England
Find quirky shops like Stonegate’s Original Teddy Bear Shop!

Meander through Stonegate, where you’ll find upper-end high street stores interspersed with quirky independent shops such as Stonegate’s Original Teddy Bear Shop and Käthe Wohlfahrt -a year-round Christmas shop.

Visit Parliament, Coney Street, and Coppergate for high street favourites. Or for more local, independent wares, check out the shops along Petergate or stop by one of the stalls at Shambles Market.

Kathe Wohlfahrt christmas store front in York England
A year-round traditional Christmas shop!
Entrance to the Shambles Market
The Shambles Market.

York City Sightseeing Bus

A girl sat at the top of the York City Sightseeing bus in front of Bootham Bar - one of the best things to do in York.
Taking in the sights aboard the City Sightseeing Bus.

The York City Sightseeing hop-on hop-off bus has 20 stops covering all the major attractions in York. Your ticket is valid for 24 hours so you can jump on and off the bus wherever you fancy during this time.

The bus tour offers interesting commentary about the city’s 2000-year history and is a great way to get an overview of the city.

We’d recommend taking this tour at the beginning of your stay in York to get a feel for the city before exploring more on foot.

Tickets for York City Sightseeing hop-on hop-off bus

Tickets start at £16 and can be booked online. They are also included with the York City Pass.

Cruise Along the River Ouse

City Cruises York boat on the River Ouse in York England

As most of the interesting architecture and attractions are located in the city centre, a trip along the River Ouse doesn’t offer too much in the way of views. However, if you’ve bought the York City Pass, the City Cruise is included.

It is a nice way to spend an hour learning a little more about York and its history with the waterways. It was not our favourite activity, but it is a good way to get off your feet for a bit while still seeing the city from a new perspective.

There are also a variety of other River Ouse boat tours, including evening cruises, self-drive boats, and afternoon tea options available too that all have excellent reviews.

Tickets Cruises Along the River Ouse

Tickets for the City Cruises York start at £12.50 and are included with the York City Pass. There are also plenty of other River Ouse tours available here.

Take a Guided Walking or Cycling Tour

Bootham Bar, one of the gates along the city walls.
Bootham Bar, one of the gates along the city walls.

Taking a guided tour in York is a great way to learn a bit more about the city’s extensive (and gruesome) history. Spoiler alert: people died everywhere, all the time… olde England was a brutal place!

There are many other tour options if you’re feeling more active. Exploring the city by foot or bike is a great way to see all the sights.

However, taking a tour gives you the added bonus of a local guide that’s able to provide a deeper understanding of the history of the city. It also means they’ll do all the planning so you don’t have to!

York Ghost Tours

York is often heralded as the most haunted city in Europe. And, as such, there’s a variety of ghost tours on offer from ghost walks to ghost bus tours! Discover the creepier side of York with one of these ghost tours. There are tours catering to all levels of scare factor, from family-friendly to those only for the bravest!

One of the ghost tour guides on the Shambles.
Explore York’s haunted history with a ghost tour.

Take a Stroll Around the City

York Minster at the end of the street reflecting in a puddle.
Reflections after a rainy day.

Honestly, one of our absolute favourite things to do in York was just wandering around the winding cobbled streets. And, for an even better experience, go first thing in the morning.

Exploring around sunrise is almost magical, slowly watching the city slowly come alive. But realistically, it’s a wonderfully walkable city to explore at any time. Plus, it’s completely free!

This is also one of the best times to photograph York without people! Even better if you’ve had some rain and can capture some reflections.

However, if possible avoid doing so on a Wednesday morning as this was apparently the bin collection day. There were, therefore, lots of wheelie bins and black bags of rubbish on the streets… Not so nice for photos!

Half timbered building of St Williams College in York, England.
St William’s College in York.

York’s Museums

York Castle Museum as seen from the top of Clifford's Tower.
York Castle Museum as seen from the top of Clifford’s Tower.

York is often considered one of the best cities in the UK to visit with kids and this is at least in part due to the wonderful variety of museums to explore. Visiting one of the museums in York is also a great thing to do on a rainy day.

In particular, the York Castle Museum, Yorkshire Museum, and National Railway Museum are all highly recommended.

Museum Tickets

The following museums are included within the York City Pass:

  • National Railway Museum
  • The Roman Bath Museum
  • York Army Museum
  • York Castle Museum
  • Yorkshire Air Museum

York Art Gallery

The front of York Art Gallery with water fountain and statue in front.

In 2015, York Art Gallery reopened following an £8m redevelopment which provided 60% more exhibition space. Within this new space, you can discover famous Victorian, Modern, and Contemporary works including pieces by Walter Sickert, Sir Stanley Spencer, David Bomberg, Paul Nash, David Hockney, Sarah Lucas and Henri Fantin-Latour.

You will also find various rotating, temporary exhibitions so there’s always something new to discover.

Tickets for York Art Gallery

General admission to York Art Gallery is free. However, there are charges for some exhibitions. It is advised to pre-book tickets online in advance to guarantee entry.

Jorvik Viking Centre

The Jorvik Viking Centre will take you on a journey back nearly 1000 years to 960AD when York was controlled by Norse warrior kings.

At this time, York was known as Jorvik, the Norse word for York. You’ll be taken on a ride where not only are the sights and sounds of the Viking Age brought to life but even the smells!

Sign for Jorvik Viking Village - one of the top attractions in York England.
Discover Viking life a Jorvik Viking Village.
Tickets for Jorvik Viking Centre

Tickets cost £13.50 individually but are included in the York City Pass. As with other attractions, it is advised to pre-book online to guarantee entry.

Fairfax House

View of Fairfax House from Clifford's Tower
View of Fairfax House from Clifford’s Tower.

Fairfax House is a representation of one of England’s finest Georgian houses. A visit here will transport you back to the splendour of city-living in 18th-century York.

Tickets for Fairfax House

Tickets cost £7.50 individually but are included in your York City Pass. The ticket price includes entry for 12 months if you plan on visiting more than once it’s a great deal! It is still required to must be pre-book tickets online, even if you’re using the City Pass.

Barley Hall

14th century timbered building of Barley Hall
Emerge from a narrow alleyway to find 14th century Barley Hall.

Barley Hall is a stunning medieval timbered house nestled down a narrow alleyway. It’s easy to miss this hidden gem.

The Hall, the oldest part of the building, was built in 1360 as the York townhouse of a monastery near Wakefield. In around 1430 a new wing was added. Today, the building has been carefully restored to its original splendour and a visit here will allow you a glimpse into medieval life.

Tickets for Barley Hall

Tickets cost £7.50 or are included in your York City Pass. The ticket price includes entry for a year so is perfect if you plan on visiting more than once! It is still required pre-book a timed entry online.

Merchant Adventurers’ Hall

Beautiful half timbered exterior of Merchant Adventurers Hall in York
Beautiful half-timbered exterior of Merchant Adventurers’ Hall in York.

The Merchant Adventurers’ Hall dates back to 1357 and is one of the finest medieval guildhalls in the world. It was founded and constructed by a fraternity of York citizens to perform its charity, business and worship. The beautiful timber-framed building is a Grade I listed building and scheduled ancient monument.

A bench surrounded by pink flowers set against stone ruins in the gardens of Merchant Adventurers Hall York
Enjoy a moment of tranquility in the garden of Merchant Adventurers’ Hall.

Today, there are still 160 Merchant Adventurers in York and the Hall continues to be their base. The Merchant Adventurers were business pioneers who risked their own finances in overseas trade to bring back goods and wealth to York. A visit to the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall allows you to discover the 660-year history and many secrets of this guildhall.

Tickets for Merchant Adventurers’ Hall

Tickets cost £6.50 or are included in your York City Pass. Pre-booking is not required, although it is possible to book online if you prefer.

Roman Bath Museum

Outside of Roman Bath pub and museum
Roman Bath pub hides a 2000-year-old Roman Bath House!

Sat below a pub in the centre of York is a 2000-year-old Roman Bath House. In 1930, the remains of the 4th-century bathhouse, from the Roman city of Eboracum, were discovered while digging for a new cellar. The pub was promptly and aptly renamed from the Mail Coach Inn to Roman Bath.

Today it is one of the city’s oldest attractions, allowing you to a glimpse into what life was like in Roman York.

Tickets for Roman Bath Museum

Tickets cost £3.50 or are included in your York City Pass.

York Mansion House

The outside of York Mansion House
York Mansion House.

The York Mansion House has been the official residence of the Lord Mayor of York for almost 300 years. Filled with scandal, decadence, and frivolity, the Lord Mayors have contributed to the colourful history of York. The Mansion House has been open to the public since 2018 and will allow you to experience this extravagant mayoral life while journeying through York’s Georgian past.

Tickets for York Mansion House

Tickets cost £6.50 or are included in your York City Pass. You can choose to pay on the door or pre-book online.

York Maze

If you’re visiting York in the summer, then add a stop at York Maze to your list! Created from over one million maize plants, the York Maze is the largest maze in the UK.

It is a particularly fun day out with kids, with over 20 rides, attractions, and shows. Each year a creative new themed maze is grown, for example, 2021 was Mr. Men and 2019 was Lion King!

The York Maze is only open seasonally. In 2022, the York Maze will be open from Sat 16th July to Mon 5th Sept. However, they also have two Halloween events in October; Hallowtween for families with children aged 10-15, and Hallowscream for those aged 15+.

Tickets for York Maze

Tickets cost £16.95-£19.95 and must be booked online in advance.

Best Things to Do on a Day Trip from York

While there are plenty of things to do in York’s city, it is also surrounded by some of England’s most beautiful countryside. As nature lovers, we highly recommend taking a day trip from York to explore the British countryside.

All of the following sights can be visited on a day trip. It will be a busy day but it’ll certainly be worth it! Many of these sights are also included in the Beyond York Pass.

You could even go further afield and explore the Lake District, Yorkshire Moors, Yorkshire Dales National Park or take a trip along the Yorkshire coast to explore Flamborough and Whitby (and all the gorgeous English villages in between!). During the summer, you can even see puffins in Yorkshire!

If you have more time, this guide also has some great suggestions for even more things to do in Yorkshire.

The below tours are great options if you don’t have a car.

Castle Howard

A girl in a red dress in front of Castle Howard - a great day trip from York
Castle Howard makes a great day trip from York.

On the way to Helmsley, Castle Howard makes for a great first stop on a day trip from York. While it may have “castle” in its name, it is, in fact, a stately home – albeit a very grand one!

Castle Howard sits majestically within the Howardian Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Construction started on the house in 1699 but took over 100 years to complete. The estate also includes over 1000 acres of parkland with a large lake, woodland, temples, and formal gardens.

The home has been used over the years for filming many different productions, including Bridgerton and the Downton Abbey movie.

Atlas Fountain at Castle Howard.
Atlas Fountain at Castle Howard.
A girl amongst flowers in the Walled Gardens of Castle Howard.
Walled Gardens of Castle Howard.

About an hour and a half is sufficient for exploring the grounds and photographing the exterior of Castle Howard. This will give you a great feel for the place and allow plenty of time for all the other stops. If you wish to explore the interior, you may wish to add a little more time to your schedule.

Temple of Four Winds at Castle Howard.
Temple of Four Winds at Castle Howard.
Tickets for Castle Howard

Tickets for the gardens only are £12.95 or for the gardens and house are £22.00. Entry is included within the Beyond York Pass. You are required to pre-book online, even if you’re using a pass.

Helmsley Walled Garden

Our next stop was one of our favourite things to do near York. The Helmsley Walled Garden far exceeded our expectations.

Upon entering the gardens, you are immediately met with a flurry of colours against a backdrop of the impressive Helmsley Castle ruins. The juxtaposition of the kaleidoscopic flowers so alive with colour, against the grey of the ruined castle and cement-coloured skies create a magical, fairytale-like feeling.

While the flowers themselves are entrancing, what really makes Helmsley Walled Gardens stand out are the staff. Tricia, one of only two full-time employed gardeners, is visibly and contagiously passionate about both the gardens themselves and the work they do there.

Beyond providing a pretty place to explore, Helmsley Walled Garden works to support disadvantaged adults with mental health issues. Through social and therapeutic horticulture, they provide people with mental and physical disabilities the opportunity to develop skills and improve their health through gardening.

As a registered charity, they rely heavily on money from visitors and donations to keep the gardens running. Therefore, by visiting the gardens you’re not only in for a real treat yourself, but you can feel good about helping a great cause.

A drone aerial image of Helmsley Walled Gardens and Helmsley Castle.
Aerial view of Helmsley Walled Garden and Helmsley Castle
(taken with permission)
Tickets for Helmsley Walled Garden

Tickets cost £8 or are included in the Beyond York Pass.

Online bookings in advance are required.

Helmsley Castle

Sun star in the window of the medieval ruins of Helmsley Castle with a girl in a red dress on the rocks in front.
The sun bursts through the medieval ruins.

The remains of Helmsley Castle themselves aren’t overly impressive (although we admit we may be somewhat spoiled after visiting some of the best castles in Scotland and castles near London). However, the 900-year history of Helmsley Castle is fascinating.

The castle has evolved over the centuries and served many purposes, having been occupied by both private families and royals. The first recorded castle at the site dates back to the 12th century. Since then it has been a mighty fortress, an elegant Tudor mansion, a stronghold during the Civil War then later a Victorian ruin.

If you find yourself short on time, this is one attraction we’d recommend considering skipping. Of course, this will largely depend on your personal preferences.

Tickets for Helmsley Castle

Tickets cost £9.50. It is an English Heritage site so is free to enter for English Heritage members. If you’re visiting from abroad, consider the English Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass. This 9- or 16-day pass gives you free entry to over 100 attractions across England.

You do not need to book in advance, although you will get guaranteed entry by booking in advance online.

Helmsley Village

The picturesque market town of Helmsley is one of the prettiest English villages. Surrounding the market square you’ll discover a number of quintessentially English tea rooms, small independent shops, and boutique galleries.

The beautiful village of Helmsley makes for a great day trip from York.
Helmsley is one of the prettiest villages in England.

It’s the perfect place to stop for lunch or an afternoon tea before continuing to explore nearby. For those with more time, Helmsley also offers a great range of accommodation and would make the ideal base from which to explore more of the Yorkshire countryside.

National Bird of Prey Centre

The National Bird of Prey Centre is a must-see stop for animal lovers on a day trip from York. The centre is a leader in captive breeding, conservation, and care for birds of prey. All the birds in their aviaries, with the exception of the trained owls, are part of breeding programmes.

A kestrel soaring during a flying demonstration at the National Bird of Prey Centre York
A kestrel soaring during a flying demonstration.

They have the largest collection of birds of prey in the north of England. These include both domestic and exotic species, ranging from the tiny Burrowing Owls to the enormous Steller Sea Eagles.

A barn owl glides just above spectators at the National Bird of Prey Centre.
A barn owl glides just above spectators at the National Bird of Prey Centre.

Each day, the National Bird of Prey Centre offers 2 or 3 flying demonstrations (depending on the time of year). This is definitely a highlight of any visit. You can expect to witness incredible birds such as Barn Owls, Kestrels, African Fishing Eagles, and others flying, often soaring just above your heads!

Tickets for the National Bird of Prey Centre

Tickets cost £12 or are included in the Beyond York Pass. Advanced booking is not required.

Rievaulx Abbey

A horse in front of the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey
A horse in front of the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey.

Nestled in a remote valley in the North York Moors National Park, the former Cistercian abbey is one of the most complete of England’s abbey ruins. It is possible to wander the ruins and discover more about how the building would’ve looked throughout its history.

In addition to exploring the ruins, their new visitor experience includes a museum displaying previously unseen artefacts, and a tearoom for refreshments.

Rievaulx Abbey and brick houses seen from the roadside.

If you decided to spend longer in Helmsley, there is a popular scenic 7-mile circular walking route that takes you to from Helmsley Castle to Rievaulx Abbey.

Tickets for Rievaulx Abbey

Tickets cost £12. It is an English Heritage site so is free to enter for English Heritage members. If you’re visiting from abroad, consider the English Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass. This 9- or 16-day pass gives you free entry to over 100 attractions across England.

You are no longer required to pre-book online but it is recommended to guarantee entry.

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY: The Prettiest English Villages

Best Places To Eat In York

As with any big city, there is no shortage of options for places to eat in York. We did our best to experience a diverse range of recommended restaurants, ranging from upscale to street eats, and have listed our favorites below.

Fancy Hank’s

  • TripAdvisor Reviews: 4.5/5⭐
  • Fare: American BBQ
  • Atmosphere: Casual
  • Price: Mid-Range
  • Recommended: Buttermilk Fry Shrimp, Chicken & Waffle, Slow Braised Spare Rib

Without a doubt, Fancy Hank’s was our favourite meal in all of York! We loved it so much, in fact, that we nearly changed our departure plans to try and sneak in one more meal there before returning to London.

The outside of Fancy Hanks - the best restaurant in York England
The outside of Fancy Hanks.

What makes Fancy Hank’s so impressive is how well-executed everything was. The soulful art matched the music, all perfectly aligned with the casual but genuine service ethos. Of course, all of this would have been for naught if they failed to deliver on the menu; in fact, they massively exceeded all expectations there as well!

Main meal at Fancy Hanks restaurant York
This food did not last long… and my mouth is watering thinking about this food as I write this caption!

This is not just the best BBQ in all of the UK, but indeed rivals even the best in the US. The portions are generous, the flavours are indescribable, and the experience perfectly complements the menu. Put simply, Fancy Hank’s is the best place to eat in York!

The Rise

  • TripAdvisor Reviews: 4/5⭐
  • Fare: Contemporary Bistro
  • Atmosphere: Casual Fine Dining
  • Price: Mid-Upper
  • Recommended: Grand Scotch Eggs, Rump of Lamb

The entire ethos of The Rise restaurant could be described with their very own Grand Scotch Eggs serving as the perfect metaphor. That is, a traditionally simple thing done exceptionally well.

We chose to celebrate our 3 year anniversary at The Grand Hotel and had our anniversary dinner at its restaurant; The Rise. We enjoyed our meal so much that we booked another dinner here on our second trip (and actually took a couple of photos!).

Where many restaurants have felt disorganised and perhaps even panicked since reopening post C19, our experience at The Rise was the most “normal” things have felt in some time… but, in an amazing way.

The terrace at The Rise York
Enjoying a glass of wine on the terrace at The Tise.

This restaurant definitely fits into the upscale, fine-dining segment, but manages to avoid feeling pretentious. The service was professional, while still being warm and personal. The same could be said of the decorum and overall vibe of the restaurant.

Adam and Sophie from We Dream of Travel on their 3 year anniversary at The Rise restaurant York
Celebrating our 3 year anniversary at The Rise. We left our cameras behind for this one 🙂

If you are looking for an elegant, fine-dining experience, whether celebrating an occasion or simply needing a proper night out again, we highly recommend The Rise! It is the perfect balance of fancy and comfortable.

Ate O’Clock

  • TripAdvisor Reviews: 4.5/5⭐
  • Fare: British
  • Atmosphere: Casual
  • Price: Mid-Range
  • Recommended: BBQ Wings (surprisingly), Sticky Toffee Pudding

We ended up having our final lunch at Ate O’Clock, which is a fun restaurant in a nice area of the city. It feels like a bit of an oasis as you step off the busy street, walk down a fairy-lit tunnel, and arrive at a warm, vibrant little restaurant. The staff were very friendly and it all just felt inviting.

Entrance to Ate O'Clock in York
Pretty entrance to Ate O’Clock.

Adam started with the chicken wings, which he expected to be a guilty pleasure but was amazed by. Even I loved them, and I don’t eat wings! I know that’s just the starter, but it was a good way to start.

A girl standing in the fairy lit tunnel entrance way to Ate O'clock
A fairy-lit tunnel brings you to the restaurant.

For our mains, Adam got the sirloin steak with peppercorn sauce and I got a hamburger. These get an 8 out of 10. The steak was cooked perfectly, but the meat itself was very tough. Adam was extremely happy with the flavour and preparation, but he would have gone for the duck or lamb next time.

I was happy enough with my burger. However, I absolutely loved the sticky toffee pudding, which I had after!

A plate of brownies with chocolate decoration.

We both agreed that we were well pleased with the food itself. However, it was the overall level of service and atmosphere that made this a place we would return to the next time we were in York.

Spring Espresso

  • TripAdvisor Reviews: 4.5/5⭐
  • Fare: Cafe
  • Atmosphere: Casual
  • Price: Cheap Eats
  • Recommended: Carrot Cake, Cold Brew

We visited 4 or 5 cafes during our visit to York, and this was easily the favourite in terms of food, coffee, and service.

Front of Spring Espresso coffee shop in York - one of the best places in York for coffee

I am a cold brew fanatic and loved the one I got from Spring Espresso. In fact, I loved it so much that I made us walk all the way back before we left so I could have one for the drive home…

I take that back; the real reason we had to walk all the way back was for their carrot cake. This is my favourite cake, and neither of us remembers a better one in recent memory.

On top of the incredible food and coffee, the gentleman working the counter was one of the friendliest people we encountered in York. Of the cafes we visited! It was lovely to see someone who seemed to genuinely enjoy the customer-service portion of their job.

York Roast Co.

  • TripAdvisor Reviews: 3.5/5⭐
  • Fare: British Roasts
  • Atmosphere: Very casual / Takeaway
  • Price: Cheap Eats
  • Recommended: Yorky Pud Wrap

There is a lot NOT to like about the York Roast Co; the service was dreadfully slow, the staff seemed young and unhappy to be there, and it’s basically one step above fast food. However, there are a couple of things to love about the place which force us, begrudgingly, to actually recommend it.

Exterior of York Roast Co
Great fast food – poor slow service.

First off, you have to get a Yorkshire pudding in York, and the Yorky Pud Wrap took things to the next level. Filled with potatoes, stuffing, meats, and cranberry sauce, this guilty pleasure was like a Sunday roast to go.

The other reason it really is a good option is the price and convenience. Let’s face it, we aren’t always in the mood for a lavish sit-down! Having all the best comfort foods stuffed into a Yorkshire pudding without a major time or financial investment is a very nice option to have.

Where NOT to eat in York

Of course, not everywhere we went delivered as wonderful an experience as the restaurants and cafes listed above. Below are those places that we would recommend avoiding.

The Black Swan (Peasholme Green)

Lured in by the promise of haunted history and a strong recommendation, we decided to give The Black Swan a try… and we hope no one else will bother.

Poor Service

Our negative experience began before we even arrived. We attempted to phone the restaurant to explain the cameras and tripod we’d be bringing as we intended to review our experience. However, we were promptly hung up on with the explanation of “I don’t have time for this”.

The Black Swan - One of the worst restaurants in York.
The Black Swan – One of the worst restaurants in York.

We almost skipped it at that, but really wanted to experience one of York’s oldest restaurants. Besides, we considered that this may have been a busy waiter. Many restaurants were short on staff when we visited York, or had new staff, so we were sympathetic to that. We made a reservation online and figured we could explain the gear if they asked at the restaurant.

Though the staff seemed somewhat frantic and stressed, it didn’t feel very busy when we arrived. We were seated in a small room that was exactly what we’d hoped for in terms of aesthetics, in that it had a very old, haunted atmosphere. There were plenty of empty seats, so capacity was not the issue.

A girl inside a pub in York.
The only good thing about our experience – the aesthetics.
Poor Food

After waiting for 25 minutes, we were finally asked for our orders. The menu was disappointingly uninspired, even by pub standards. However, that would’ve been fine as long as whatever they offered, they did well.

To keep this short, Adam’s first THREE orders were all “out for the day”. Eventually, he settled for the fish and chips… “lucky him”, they said… “last one!”

The food arrived as ill-prepared as the restaurant seemed to be. The steak and ale pie was so dry the gravy refused to coexist with the meat, seeking refuge at the edges of the plate. And the mashed potatoes were more of a solid lump.

The fish and chips were ok… Nothing we would ever go back for, but nothing that would’ve merited a negative review alone. We were disappointed when we asked for ketchup and were given two plastic-packed rations. Even the simple things seemed strained.

This place is neat to look at, but the experience could not have been more frustrating and disappointing. If I were management, it would not be a haunted past I would concern myself with, but the doomed future if things are not addressed.

Plush Cafe

After exploring much of York’s centre for the day, we wanted to tuck in for a moment of warmth over a cream tea. We sought out a cute, independently owned cafe and were delighted when we stumbled upon Plush Cafe. It was exactly that; aesthetically unique and independently owned.

Better yet, the cream tea included lemon coconut scones! Two of Adam’s favourite ingredients. Unfortunately, everything about Plush Cafe was more pleasing to the eye than any other sensory.

This is the cafe version of putting lipstick on a pig. It has clearly been designed with Instagrammers in mind, focusing on appearance with a lack of thought or effort on the actual product.

It took an eternity to receive our food, which came on adorable plates with golden cutlery. Despite throbbing knees and posterior from sitting on a wooden swing for 20+ minutes awaiting our cream tea, I was still excited to try the scones.

Neither of us finished them. That says a lot to those who know how much I like food, and how much Adam loves lemon and coconut. These tasted like something you get in the freezer aisle, warmed up. They were served with a comically small portion of jam and cream. When we asked for more, we were told they were out. How a cafe runs out of one of its most essential items on a Tuesday is beyond me.

Unless Plush Cafe decides they care about the service and product as much as the aesthetic, I can’t imagine this place will exist for long.

Where to Stay in York

Parking is an absolute nightmare in York, so choosing a good, central location to explore the city is paramount. We stayed in two different hotels, both of which we can genuinely recommend for different reasons.

The Grand York

Exterior of the 5-star Grand Hotel in York.

There are not many 5-star hotels in the York, but The Grand York has earned every one of them! We actually enjoyed our time at The Grand so much that we stayed here again on our second trip to York.

We loved many things about our stay, but beyond the exceptional location, what set this hotel apart was the way they seamlessly integrated their rich history and heritage with modern comforts. This is not an easy task.

A girl looking back at The Grand Hotel from the York city walls.
Taking in the view of the hotel from the city walls.

We loved how The Grand felt old and historic in terms of aesthetics and decorum. The service was friendly in an old-fashioned way, which perfectly meshes with the culture.

However, the actual rooms deviated in all the right ways. Let’s face it, you don’t book a 5-star hotel ready to sacrifice modern comforts. From the moment we entered our room, a sense of relief set in. The view was terrific, the amenities well-appointed, and all the furniture was exceptionally comfortable. It felt cosy as a home but fancy as a hotel.

The exclamation point was when a knock came moments after arriving delivering a chocolate plate and champagne on ice, celebrating our belated 3 year anniversary. These little touches make so much difference!

Adam and Sophie from We Dream of Travel enjoying breakfast in bed at The Grand Hotel York.
An absolutely incredible breakfast – made even better by having it in bed!

Oh, and we dare not forget the incredible breakfast. The Full Yorkshire breakfast was divine!

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to take a class at their cookery school… but I guess it just gives us a good excuse to go back a third time.

But don’t just take our word for it… With exceptional ratings of 4.5/5 ⭐ on TripAdvisor and 9/10 ⭐ on Booking.com, we’re clearly not the only ones that loved our stay here!

Rates at The Grand, York, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, starts from £102 per room per night. For further information or to book, visit www.preferredhotels.com

The Grange Hotel (No.1 by GuestHouse, York)


It is worth noting that The Grange Hotel changed ownership in 2021 and is now known as No.1 by GuestHouse, York. Since, the rooms have been renovated and look considerably nicer than during our stay in 2020! We are, of course, unsure as to whether their recent updates have improved the sound issues we had. The hotel has great recent reviews with 5/5⭐ on Tripadvisor and 8.7/10⭐ on Booking.com.

You can still read our original review below.

Our Original Review

The Grange Hotel is considered a 4-star hotel but is often priced much more reasonably. Its location is close to central with a short 15-minute walk to most York attractions.

It is an interesting option for places to stay in York. It has stayed true to its history, which extends to the rooms. Past the faded pink door to our room awaited something frozen in time. The floors creaked with, literally, every step toward the bed.

Outside of the Grange Hotel in York england

There were, of course, some modern amenities. The fridge, TV, and bathroom were all more updated than the rest of the room. The bed was mostly comfortable, though we prefer modern mattresses to box spring, and prefer it to be one unit rather than two sets pushed together forming a hard line down the centre.

As the rooms are often a more affordable option, this hotel does provide a great value. If you enjoy the historical element and see this is a perk, then that value climbs even higher.

There is one major caveat, that we would be remiss not to mention. As is the case with old construction, we heard every single word and step from the guests above us. This alone was not overly bothersome as we are quite used to hostels and such in our travels. However, it became an issue each night around 1:30am when they arrived home. It was very difficult for us to get an enjoyable night’s rest as a result.

If you’re a light sleeper, I wouldn’t recommend booking unless you’re able to get a top-floor room or a promise no one will be placed above you. If noise is not a major concern and the price is right, or if you enjoy something more historic and traditional, strongly consider The Grange for your visit to York.

Other Places To Stay in York

These are the two hotels we stayed in and we would recommend both to different readers. However, as always, there are plenty of options via Booking.com to consider. You will likely find plenty of options to meet most budgets by booking accommodation through here, though I suspect you won’t find much as centrally located.

Packing List for York

Your exact packing list will vary depending on the time of year you visit and exactly what things you plan to do in York. However, there are a few essentials we’d recommend everyone considers packing:

  • Camera: York is a beautiful city and you will want to ensure you have a camera to capture moments that you will undoubtedly treasure forever. We use the Sony a7riii and have been in love with it ever since the first photo we took with it. However, for beginners you may wish to consider an entry level DSLR. This will allow you to start getting to grips with manual settings and decide whether photography is something you enjoy enough to invest in.
  • Comfortable shoes:  You’ll likely to a fair bit of walking while exploring the city. Depending on the time of year, the right style of shoe may vary. In the summer, open shoes will help with the heat, while waterproof shoes may be useful in the spring and winter to stave off the rain! I love my Brooks trainers and found them perfect for exploring the city.
  • Layers: As the weather can change so abruptly, you’ll want to pack plenty of layers so you’re prepared for all eventualities… even in summer! This is England after all!
  • Waterproof jacket: Again, the weather can change quickly and it’s likely to rain in York, so having a waterproof jacket will come in handy. I love my Columbia jacket as it’s comprised of two layers (and we already know layers are great!) so I can just wear the outer waterproof shell, inner insulated layer or combination of both, depending on the weather.
  • Umbrella: Not only does a a rainbow umbrella help protect you from the rain, it also is a great prop to add a splash of colour to your photos!
  • Reusable water bottle: We don’t travel anywhere without a reusable water bottle. Remain hydrated without wasting single use plastic bottles! The water in York is great and most restaurants and cafes will refill it for you. You will also find public fountains in some areas.
  • Portable powerpack: It’s likely you’ll be using your phone to navigate around York (and hopefully have this list of things to do in York saved to refer to… *wink wink*). Bring a power pack with you to keep your phone charged on the go.
  • Backpack: You’ll want a backpack that’s comfortable and sturdy to carry around during the day. I use the GoGroove camera backpack as it also provides easy side access to my camera while out and about.
  • York Pass: If you are planning on adding a lot of paid attractions to your list of things to do in York, you may want to consider a York Pass. As discussed earlier, the York Pass costs £55 for one day and includes entrance to 20+ York attractions.

Final Thoughts on The Best Things To Do In York

The Shambles at night.
The Shambles at night.

We hope you’ve found this guide to the best things to do in York useful. Thank you again to Visit York for helping us to arrange this staycation, as well as the other businesses that made our stay so enjoyable.

As always, we’ve aimed to provide you with honest feedback on all our experiences in York – the bad as well as the good! We want you to have the best time possible in York.

We’re always looking to improve our guides for you. Let us know what you think – good or bad – or if you think we’ve missed somewhere from this guide!

You may also enjoy our other England guides if you fancy exploring this beautiful country further:

If you’re continuing your travels around other parts of the UK, check out our guides for Wales and Scotland too.

But most importantly, have the most amazing time in York 🙂

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12 thoughts on “50+ Best Things To Do in York: Attractions, Food & More (2022)”

  1. Oh my you had me at the Harry Potter reference but then the Chocolate tour got my fancy and I was wishing to be teleported to York right now. What a fun post to read- thoroughly enjoyed it and its made it to my travel bucket list for sure.

  2. This was a very detailed and helpful guide. We plan to visit next summer for the day as part of our itinerary. This was a great resource of inspiration 🙂


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