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Things to do in York

Our selection of must-see attractions in this unique city-break favourite

Discover an unmissable UK destination

Nestled in the heart of North Yorkshire and embraced by a circuit of medieval city walls, the former Viking capital of the UK offers more attractions per square mile than any other UK city.

Planning a visit? From the breathtaking Gothic Halls of York Minster, to a day of delicious discoveries at York’s Chocolate Story, make sure you don’t miss these top-rated things to do.

York Art Gallery

A wide range of collections that provide a survey of most developments in Western European painting over the past six centuries. Works by Parmigianino, Bellotto, Lely, Reynolds, Lowry and Nash are on display. There are also fine collections of watercolours, pottery and changing exhibitions.

Clifford's Tower

This imposing landmark is all that remains of York Castle, and has served as both a prison and a royal mint in its time. Climb the steps to enjoy beautiful panoramic views of the city and the North York Moors beyond.

Yorkshire Museum

Set in 10 acres of botanical gardens in the heart of the city, the Museum displays some of the finest Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Viking and Medieval treasures ever discovered in Britain. The Middleham jewel, a fine example of English Gothic jewellery, is on display. The Anglo-Saxon Gallery houses the delicate silver-gilt Ormside bowl and the Gilling sword.

Jorvik Viking Centre

The world-famous Jorvik Viking Centre stands on the very site of one of the most astounding finds of modern archaeology. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of 10th century York, including a ride through an authentic reconstruction of the city.

Merchant Adventurers’ Hall

Located in the heart of historic York, the striking timber-framed Merchant Adventurers’ Hall is one of the world’s best-preserved medieval guild halls. Explore the Great Hall, Undercroft and Chapel, discovering 660 years of history along the way.

National Railway Museum

The world’s largest railway museum is situated just outside of York’s city walls. Home to an awe-inspiring collection of iconic locomotives – including Mallard and the Royal Trains – three enormous galleries, and interactive exhibits, a fascinating day out is guaranteed.

Treasurer’s House, York

This mellow medieval house is not all it seems. Sitting on a Roman road, step inside and discover the story of Frank Green, the house’s eccentric owner, and tour the 13 period rooms, each filled with a fascinating collection of art and antiques.

York’s Chocolate Story

Enjoy an informative and delicious guided tour unwrapping the history of York’s famous chocolate-making families and their world-renowned creations. Learn to taste chocolate like an expert as part of the experience, before using your newly-developed skills to sample the delights of the gift shop.

York City Sightseeing

With entertaining live guides and 14 stops around the city, this open-topped bus tour is the perfect way of experiencing what York has to offer. Hop on and hop off at your leisure as you explore highlights including Clifford’s Tower and Museum Gardens.


This hands-on interactive  adventure is the perfect way to introduce children to the wonder of archaeology. Grab a trowel and sift through clues in four excavation pits, with mess-free synthetic mud to unearth Roman, Viking, medieval and Victorian artefacts. Professional archaeologists will help interpret finds and place them in their historical context.

York Minster

Dominating the city’s skyline, York Minster is one of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals. With breathtaking medieval architecture, magnificent stained glass, and incredible views from the top of Central Tower, the Minster is York’s must-see destination.

York Theatre Royal

This beautiful listed building has been at the centre of York’s cultural life since 1744. Offering a packed year-round programme of live shows and major events, this historic space also boasts modern facilities, with a café, bars, a book corner and a Kids Zone.

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