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York is a city full of history. Dating back to pre-Roman times, it has been known by many names (Eboracum, Eoforwic, Jorvik...), and has traces of the many cultures (Roman, Anglo, Viking, and Norman) that have been rooted here in the past. It is easily walkable, and it offers a variety of entertainments for its small size. Here are my recommendations for a three-day weekend in York.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nightlife Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Like a Local

15 Places

4 City Tips

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15 Places

Day 1

York Minster

Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites

York City Walls

Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Shambles

Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Architectural Buildings

York Castle Museum

History Museums

National Railway Museum

Speciality Museums

St. Mary's Abbey

Architectural Buildings

Day 2

Castle Howard

Architectural Buildings, Castles, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks

The Roman Bath

Historic Sites, History Museums, Bars & Clubs

The Original Ghost Walk of York

Ghost & Vampire Tours

Day 3

Jorvik Viking Centre

Speciality Museums

Clifford's Tower

Historic Sites, Observation Decks & Towers, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Merchant Adventurers' Hall

Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites

York's Chocolate Story

Speciality Museums

The York Dungeon

Speciality Museums, Game & Entertainment Centres

York Theatre Royal

Theatres

Ines R's City Tips

  • You can reach York easily by train, as it's situated halfway between Edinburgh (2h 30min) and London (2h 15min to King's Cross Station).
  • Wear comfy shoes (York is a city to be walked) and layers of clothing. Hoods are better than umbrellas, as rain goes hand-in-hand with strong winds.
  • If you come from abroad, don't forget to look left first when crossing the road!
  • English people (especially in the north) are very polite, and expect the same in return. Say "please" and "thank you," and give a smile to the locals when asking for directions or your bill.
    Day 1
  • Save
    York Minster
    Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    One of the largest medieval cathedrals in Europe, York Minster has Anglo-Saxon origins, even though the building you see nowadays was mostly constructed in the 13th-15th centuries. The cathedral is one of the landmarks of this city, and you shouldn't miss out on its awe-inspiring naves, windows (the Great East Window is considered the stained glass equivalent of the Sistine Chapel), and vaulted ceilings. You can find Roman columns in the crypt, as well as the tombs of Walter de Gray and other important figures of medieval Britain.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • There are great views to be had from the central tower!
    • Look for the bronze statue of Constantine the Great, built near the spot where he was proclaimed Roman emperor in the year 306.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 218 things to do in York
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Fabulous 23/09/2018
    • Very lovely 23/09/2018
    • York Minster
    Address:
    Minster Yard
    York YO1 7HH
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1904 557201
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:45 - 15:00
    Mon - Sat
    09:00 - 16:30
    Other:
  • Save
    York City Walls
    Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    York's are the longest and best preserved defensive walls in England. They have encircled the city since Roman times, and are a symbol of the its importance through the millennia. There are many paths and gates to be discovered...

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Don't miss the Multangular Tower. Built between 200 and 250 AD, it's the only surviving section of an ancient Roman fortress.
    • The walls are free to visit.
    • Check out Micklegate, the royal ceremonial gate that was regularly decorated with the heads of famous traitors during the Middle Ages.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #16 of 218 things to do in York
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Keep on walking 22/09/2018
    • Must do for all active people 21/09/2018
    • York City Walls
    Phone:
    +44-1904-621756
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    08:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Shambles
    Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Architectural Buildings
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    An old cobbled street that dates back to pre-Norman times, The Shambles is arguably the best-preserved medieval street in the world. The upper stories of its timber-framed houses lean in, almost touching at the tops and giving The Shambles its picturesque look. You will feel like you've been transported to the 14th century, when this area was a butchers' market — even though today it's lined with numerous shops, cafes, restaurants, and tourist attractions.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • I recommend walking here at least once at night, when the interplay of light and shadow give the street a ghostly feel.
    • If you're hungry, try one of the many cosy pubs in the area. Beware of ghosts!
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 218 things to do in York
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful city 23/09/2018
    • Brilliant street 23/09/2018
    • Shambles
    Address:
    11 Shambles
    York YO1 7LZ
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1904 500750
    Other:
  • Save
    York Castle Museum
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    Located on the site of the old York Castle, this museum recreates the last 300 years of life in the city. It holds a vast collection of everyday items, as well as reproductions of rooms, shops, and homes, which come to life with sounds, lights, and smells from another era.

    Good for
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Tickets are valid for one year, so you can come back for free within the 12 months following your first visit.
    • The museum gets crowded during the school holidays, so it's best to visit when school is in session.
    • Definitely check out the Victorian street, as well as the Castle Prison exhibition!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #12 of 218 things to do in York
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Mixed feelings 23/09/2018
    • We were disappointed with this visit and not worth the 11 pound each entry fee 23/09/2018
    • York Castle Museum
    Address:
    Eye of York
    Tower St
    York YO1 9RY
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1904 687687
    Price range:
    US$17 - US$17
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:30 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    National Railway Museum
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    The National Railway Museum takes you on a tour through 300 years of train history. Here, more than 100 locomotives (such as the Mallard and the Flying Scotsman), plus 300 other vehicles, tell the story of rail transport in Britain and its impact on society.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Here you'll also have an opportunity to take a seat on the futuristic Japanese Bullet Train.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 218 things to do in York
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Lots to see 23/09/2018
    • Interesting 23/09/2018
    • National Railway Museum
    Address:
    Leeman Road
    York YO26 4XJ
    England
    Phone:
    +44 844 815 3139
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    St. Mary's Abbey
    Architectural Buildings
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    Set on the gardens of the Yorkshire Museum, these 950-year-old ruins are all that remains of the former Benedictine abbey. A serene, yet mysterious, atmosphere makes this is the perfect spot to get away from the hustle and bustle.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • History buffs should also visit the Yorkshire Museum to learn all about the history of this city.
    • This magnificent, visually stunning place is free to visit!
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #25 of 218 things to do in York
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Stunning Ruins 20/09/2018
    • Flowers, abbey ruins, spacious garden 17/09/2018
    • St. Mary's Abbey
    Address:
    Museum Gardens Museum Street
    York YO1 7FR
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1904 687687
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Day 2
  • Save
    Castle Howard
    Architectural Buildings, Castles, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    Probably Yorkshire's finest home, Castle Howard is the perfect place for a fun day out. This stately 18th-century private residence is set on 1,000 acres of land and has been featured in several film adaptations. The grand staircase, the bedrooms, and the breathtaking great hall are all magnificent!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • This is a popular family destination. To avoid crowds, it's best to visit Castle Howard on a weekday.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #30 of 218 things to do in York
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A day out 21/09/2018
    • Stunning park and gardens, beautiful historical house! 20/09/2018
    • Castle Howard
    Phone:
    +44 1653 648333
    Other:
  • Save
    The Roman Bath
    Historic Sites, History Museums, Bars & Clubs
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    This cosy, popular old tavern has changed names many times in its long history. Its current moniker dates back to the 1970s, and pays homage to the ancient Roman baths that were discovered here during some renovations in the 1930s. Today, you can visit the Roman museum and bathhouse in the basement, and then head upstairs to enjoy traditional English food and live music.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • The fish and chips are inexpensive and delicious!
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 58 Nightlife in York
    • Girls weekend 23/09/2018
    • Food was very poor 23/09/2018
    • The Roman Bath
    Address:
    9 St. Sampsons Square
    York YO1 8RN
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1904 620455
    Other:
  • Save
    The Original Ghost Walk of York
    Ghost & Vampire Tours
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    It's no surprise that ghost walks are among the main attractions in ‘Europe’s Most Haunted City.' You have plenty of choice when it comes to providers, and most tours involve captivating storytelling. The informative guides lead you on an evening stroll, during which you will learn a lot about the city's history and get to know many of its hidden locations.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Some tours are lighthearted and theatrical, while others are more serious and informative. Do some research prior to your visit to decide which tour is best for you.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #17 of 62 Tours in York
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Walking tour 10/09/2018
    • Ms 08/09/2018
    • The Original Ghost Walk of York
    Address:
    3 Kings Staith
    York YO1 9SN
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1759 373090
    Other:
  • Day 3
  • Save
    Jorvik Viking Centre
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    Built on the very site of the Viking city of Jorvik (discovered only 30 years ago), this groundbreaking museum is a fascinating experience that brings to life the houses, workshops, and backyards of the ninth century Viking community in an unbelievably authentic way. Here, you'll experiment lots of sensory stimuli — smells, sounds, heat, cold, damp, and voices speaking in Old Norse — that will give you the chance to experience what life was like 1,000 years ago.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Family
    Tips
    • This is a very popular venue, so try to come early in the morning!
    • Don't forget to also visit the extensive museum area, which holds over 800 artifacts and interactive displays.
    • The Viking staff there are very helpful and ready to answer your questions!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #39 of 218 things to do in York
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Not What I Expected 23/09/2018
    • Wonderful in real life, totally recommend 22/09/2018
    • Jorvik Viking Centre
    Address:
    19 Coppergate
    Coppergate Shopping Centre
    York YO1 9WT
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1904 615505
    Price range:
    US$11 - US$11
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Clifford's Tower
    Historic Sites, Observation Decks & Towers, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    Set on a high mound, this old keep is virtually all that remains of the castle built by William the Conqueror. The tower has a gruesome history that includes the massacre of the entire Jewish community in 1190. It was also here that Henry VIII had the bodies of his enemies publicly displayed. While some find that the history is not so well represented, the tower is a popular attraction for the stunning panoramic views that can be enjoyed from its top.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    Tips
    • It's a steep and difficult climb to the top, so allow plenty of time to visit the tower.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #68 of 218 things to do in York
    • Not worth it 20/09/2018
    • Nice panoramic views 19/09/2018
    • Clifford's Tower
    Address:
    Tower Street
    York YO1 9SA
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1904 646940
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Merchant Adventurers' Hall
    Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    Built in 1357, York's guildhall was one of the most important buildings in the medieval city. It has three main rooms: the great hall, the undercroft, and a chapel — all of which are very well-preserved. The building is on a timber-frame structure, and the craftsmanship of the decorations is of unbelievable quality.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Merchant Taylor's Hall, another medieval guildhall, is only a short walk away.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #18 of 218 things to do in York
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful, well worth seeing 20/09/2018
    • Lovely Historical Building 17/09/2018
    • Merchant Adventurers' Hall
    Address:
    Fossgate
    York YO1 9XD
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1904 654818
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 - 16:00
    Mon - Thu
    09:00 - 17:00
    Fri - Sat
    09:00 - 15:30
    Other:
  • Save
    York's Chocolate Story
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    Housed in a two-storey shop, York Chocolate Story takes you on a tour through the history of chocolate. The informative guides will tell you all about the origins of this magical treat, as well as how it is made, and how York came to be the UK's home of chocolate. The best parts, though, are the delicious samples and the opportunity to make your own chocolate lollies.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    Tips
    • Don't forget to stop at the bar to buy chocolate oranges, fruit pastilles, or even a Kit Kat in the place where they were first invented!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #21 of 218 things to do in York
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Enjoyable 22/09/2018
    • Chocolate History 22/09/2018
    • York's Chocolate Story
    Address:
    King's Square
    York YO1 7LD
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1904 527765
    Price range:
    US$17 - US$17
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    The York Dungeon
    Speciality Museums, Game & Entertainment Centres
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    Formerly a museum, The York Dungeon is now an experience that holds actor-led shows, special effects, and displays of models and objects that recreate the gory history of the dungeon. The actors are really informative, and will lead you through the stories of actual people who inhabited the dungeon. There is a lot of interaction with the public, so shy folks, be warned!

    Good for
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    Tips
    • The York Dungeon isn't recommended for young children or sensitive people, as it can be really scary and spooky.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 29 Fun & Games in York
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A bit like horrible histories 23/09/2018
    • A bit of fun 23/09/2018
    • The York Dungeon
    Address:
    12 Clifford Street
    York YO1 9RD
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1904 632599
    Price range:
    US$18 - US$18
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    10:00 - 16:00
    Sat - Sun
    10:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    York Theatre Royal
    Theatres
    Ines R Says:

    Theatre Royal was originally built in the 18th century on the site of the former St Leonard's hospital, and some medieval walls and archways are now part of the modern building. The theatre is famous for its traditional pantomimes, which it claims are the best in the country.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • A great nearby option for dining out is the Hall in the Wall Pub, where you can find a wide variety of good food in a nice atmosphere.
    • The theatre has a lovely café that is open all day, a nice spot for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #28 of 218 things to do in York
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Theatre Tour & Tea 23/09/2018
    • Excellent 19/09/2018
    • York Theatre Royal
    Address:
    St. Leonards Place
    York YO1 7HD
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1904 623568
    Hours:
    Mon
    10:00 - 17:00
    Tue - Sat
    10:00 - 22:00
    Other:
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