Sipping and sightseeing!
Just so you know, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you book something through our link, it won't cost you any more, but we might get a small commission.
York is a beautiful city in the UK packed with culture, heritage and lots of fun. It’s a popular city for a wide range of activities, from school trips to hen and stag dos! Whether you want to drink cocktails all day and night, explore some history or taste food from lots of different cultures, York will absolutely have something to offer.
A glimpse of the past - York is an incredibly well-preserved city, and has some amazing sights to visit that really give you a feel for the history. The Minster stands tall above all the other buildings, and is a brilliant place to start if you want to experience the history and architecture in this city. Then, you can move on and wander around the medieval walls that surround the city centre. The views aren’t anything breathtaking on most of these walls, but there are some really lovely moments where you can see gardens, the stunning Minster or rooftops of traditional buildings.
If you want to dig deeper into the history of the city and head back to Viking times, you have to visit the Jorvik centre, which is a great interactive experience for the whole family! We also spotted lots of creepier experiences such as the dungeons and evening ghost tours of York (which we were much too scared to try!).
Quaint cobblestone streets - If you picture a quaint English city, York is probably a perfect double of what you’re imagining! Even without all of the museums, attractions and culture, you could spend a whole day just exploring the different streets, independent shops and markets. Wander up the Shambles, which is incredibly busy but a must-visit spot, where you’ll find independent shops and beautiful cafes. Next to this is the wonderful Shambles market, which not only has market stalls, but mouth-watering food and drink stands too!
Something else that stood out to us about York is the range of restaurants and street food on offer. We've seen restaurants for all different types of cuisine, some of which we've never seen before, such as Polish or Lebanese restaurants. There are also so many incredible small shops with unique gifts, crafts, and products that you won't find elsewhere. Our personal favourite street to head down in York is Fossgate, which is lined with very unique shops, bars and cafes. You’re bound to find something for everybody there! This is also very close to Spark, a modern city-centre community space made up of shipping containers where traders sell food, drinks and unique products.
Don’t forget that York is also famous for its amazing Christmas markets. This year they’ll be running from the 16th November - 22nd December, so make sure to head down and visit! They’re completely free, have a very festive atmosphere and you might just spot something special for a loved one’s gift!
Cocktails and craft beers - We know that York is a hotspot for day-drinking - whether it’s for a hen do or a staff social with work, it’s a fantastic place to head. The city is absolutely packed with bars, pubs and restaurants, some completely independent and some well-known chains. You’ll find live music bars, cosy pubs, clubs, and chilled restaurants.
On most streets you’ll definitely find at least one bar or restaurant, but it’s worth knowing where the main areas are. For us, close to the river has some amazing spots such as Slug & Lettuce and Tank & Paddle. The liveliest area that we’ve visited is around Little Stonegate, with amazing bars like Manhatta, Bobos, Turtle Bay and The Botanist. We’re sure you’ll find plenty of places to enjoy a drink or two, no matter what your preferences are. Just make sure you have some painkillers ready for the next day!
We think that York is a really versatile city and worth a visit for a number of different occasions. Full of culture, atmosphere, great food and lots of drinks - what’s not to love?!
Getting there: York is easy to get to from most parts of the UK via road and rail. It's on the rail line from London to Edinburgh so there are regular trains from many UK cities. The nearest airport is Leeds-Bradford airport, so it's not very easily accessible by air.
Cozzie Livs: Compared to other major cities in the UK, York is quite reasonable! But still more pricey than your average town.
Pint Price: In the centre of York, a pint of beer is normally between £4-6
Ready to go?
- Search for a hotel on Expedia here
- Search for things to do on GetYourGuide here