Best Things To Do in York 2023

city view of yorkshire

Have you ever been to York? A wonderful city full of beautiful architecture, rich history, elusive mystery and an abundance of attractions! You’ll always find things to do in York.

We’ve made it easier for you, by listing the very best you can do in York!

Top Things To Do in York

stained glass window in york minster

Visit York Minster

Did you know that York Minster is one of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals? It’s been around since the 7th century, so it’s filled with a rich history worth exploring.

From authentic, handcrafted stone to beautiful and intricate medieval stained glass windows. It’s truly a remarkable building that is worth visiting.

It’s attracted people from all over the world for more than 1000 years!

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York Minster,
Deangate,
York,
YO1 7HH

Opening Times

Monday to Saturday 09:30 - 16:00
Sunday 12:45 - 15:15

Pricing

Free

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shamble streets at night

Explore the Shambles

One of York’s most famous streets, you’ll find a winding road filled with an ambient vibe. The Shambles is a narrow medieval street with overhanging timber-framed buildings that is one of the most iconic and picturesque streets in York. It’s home to a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants, and is a great place to wander and soak up the atmosphere.

It’s actually quite popular with Harry Potter fans! Did you know it’s often described as a real-life Diagon Alley? With its cobbled streets and narrow streets adorned with shops, it’s not difficult to understand why!

But, did you know the buildings that line up the iconic Victorian street were for a slaughterhouse? You’ll notice hooks adorning the walls where the meat used to be hung.

outside of york chocolate story

Delve into Sweet History

Now, for some of you, you may be thinking about what York has to offer in the confectionery industry. Well…did you know it has over 3000 years of chocolate history to discover?

At York’s Chocolate Story, you’ll unwrap the story of chocolate. From its origins to how York played a big part in the sweet world. From the Terry’s and Craven families to the Rowntree – who have all produced your favourite treats!

Why not grab yourself a delicious hot chocolate after brushing up on your chocolate history?

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York’s Chocolate Story
King’s Square,
York
YO1 7LD

Opening Times

Monday to Sunday from 10:00

Pricing

Adult £17.50
Child £15.00

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roman walls in yorkshire

Walk the City Walls

York’s city walls are some of the best preserved in England, offering stunning views of the city centre and its surroundings. The walls can be walked in their entirety, or in sections, and are a great way to get a sense of York’s history!

Did you know that Romans built a lot of the roads you’ll find in York? From Roman fortifications to thermal baths and the longest wall barrier in the country!

Its architecture is beautiful and a long walk along the wall is perfect for a family day out filled with history!

jorvik viking centre

Become Vikings and visit the Jorvik Viking Centre

York was once a Viking city, and the Jorvik Viking Centre offers a fascinating insight into the lives of the Vikings who lived here. With a rich history on offer, who knows what you’ll learn?

Turn your next family day out into a discovery expedition back in time as you come up close with a unique collection of 1,000-year-old artefacts. Learn through cutting-edge technology, and reconstructed Viking buildings and chat with some friendly Viking hosts

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Coppergate,
York,
North Yorkshire,
YO1 9WT

Opening Times

Monday to Sunday 09:00 - 17:00

Pricing

Adult £15.00
Child £10.50

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whitbg abbey at night with flood lights

G-G-Go on a Ghost Tour

Did you know York is said to be one of the most haunted cities in the UK? Maybe even the world…

Hop on board a bus and explore the ghoulish and ghostly past of York city centre. From dark streets, narrow passageways, and haunted buildings.

With a huge variety of ghost tours available, you’ll find the one that’s perfect for you, if you’re in for a scare… Watch out behind you.

trains and locomotives at yorkshire railway museum

Choo-choose the National Railway Museum

The National Railway Museum is a fascinating museum dedicated to the history of rail travel in the UK.

It features over 100 locomotives and exhibits on the history of the railways! You can immerse yourself in all things to do with train engineering and how travel went from horses to trains!

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Leeman Rd,
York,
YO26 4XJ

Opening Times

Monday Closed
Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

Pricing

Free

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boat on the river ouse

Cruise Along the River

York is located on the River Ouse, so a calming river cruise is a must! You’ll gaze upon the iconic city centre from a different perspective. Discover new attractions and listen in on York’s rich history.

Lots of the cruises often offer commentary on the city’s history and landmarks. So, you won’t be left wondering about what you’re passing by!

clifford's tower

Climb Clifford's Tower

An English Heritage landmark that is magnificent as it is unmissable.

Discover the history of its purpose and how it was built to subdue the offence of William the Conqueror. It’s known to be one of the worst antisemitic murders of the Middle Ages…

Alongside the tragic history, you’ll find that Clifford’s Tower offers stunning views of the city. From the skyline to more medieval buildings and the York Minster. You can also discover new walkways and staircases that used to be off limits – but are now open!

It’s definitely a tourist attraction worth visiting. You can see what other amazing English heritage sites that are to visit too.

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Tower Street,
York,
North Yorkshire,
YO1 9SA

Opening Times

Monday to Sunday 10:00 - 16:00

Pricing

Adult £9.00
Child £5.40

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family exploring york castle museum

Visit the York Castle Museum

Walk along cobbled streets in this unique museum that showcases hundreds of York’s history. From Kirkgate to meeting infamous prisoners from gruesome cells, all at The York Castle Museum!

There are also lots of galleries to browse that bring history to life. It’s a family day that will only provide you with the most fun and imaginative memories.

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Tower St,
York,
YO1 9RY

Opening Times

Monday 11:00 - 17:00
Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

Pricing

Adult £13.00
Child £6.50

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people at york art gallery
The York Art Gallery is a wonderful gallery that features a wide variety of artwork, from Old Masters to contemporary works.

It holds a collection of paintings that span more than 600 years, from the 14th century to the present.

York Art Gallery holds kids’ events scattered throughout the year, where you’ll be sure they’ll have an amazing time! Perfect for when you’re thinking of what they can do during the school holidays.

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Exhibition Square,
York,
YO1 7EW

Opening Times

Monday and Tuesday Closed
Wednesday to Sunday 10:00 - 16:00

Pricing

Free

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actor at yorkshire dungeon

Discover the York Dungeon's Past

The York Dungeon is a fun and interactive attraction that takes visitors on a journey through York’s dark history!

Featuring live actors, special effects, and thrilling rides – you’ll feel fully immersed. Delve into the darkest and murkiest history. Drudge up the city’s gruesome past and shuffle through the York dungeons as you come to face to face with some infamous characters.

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12 Clifford Street,
York,
North Yorkshire,
YO1 9RD

Opening Times

Monday to Friday 11:00 - 16
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 10:00 - 16:00

Pricing

Adults from £13.00
Kids from £12.00

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feeding a lamb at piglet adventure farm

Cuddle Adorable Animals

Head to Piglets Adventure Farm for all things cute and cuddly! It’s the perfect spring activity and will entertain your kiddies!

There’s lots of family fun to be had here, from mini golf, tractor rides and pig racing. To hands-on cuddling with animals, indoor play and a brand-new pantomime!

With baby animals to see like piglets, baby goats and lambs, your kids will have the best day out. Only at Piglets Adventure Farm!

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Towthorpe Grange,
Towthorpe Moor Ln,
Towthorpe,
York,
YO32 9ST

Opening Times

Monday to Friday 10:30 - 17:30
Saturday and Sunday 10:00 - 17:30

Pricing

Adult £4.95
Child £5.95

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yorkshire gardens and st mary's abbey

Explore York Museum Gardens

Visit the beautiful botanical gardens in the heart of York!

Open your eyes to the idyllic paradise, with an abundance of flora, plants and gardens teeming with wildlife. Not only that, but you’ll find historical features like St Mary’s Abbey and the Yorkshire Museum!

Embark on the Squirrel’s Trail and see how many you can spot!

Shape Location Get directions

Museum St,
York,
YO1 7FR

Opening Times

Monday to Sunday 09:00 - 18:00

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window display of yorkshire ghosts

Shop 'Til You Drop

York is home to a unique variety of independent shops, as well as high-street stores. You’ll find everything you could want here.

For kiddies who love LEGO, head to Minifigs & Bricks to buy, sell and trade all things bricky. They specialise in selling mini figures on their own or even part of sets! Minifigs & Bricks is the place to be if you loved LEGO.

Or if you’re looking for something truly unique and different, head to the York Ghost Merchants for a little ghostly trinket. They’re all handmade in a magnificent shop in the most haunted city in the world.

yorkshire bridge over a lake

Explore the City

Taking a day trip to York has never been easier. With so many tourist attractions and hidden gems located in and around the York city centre, you’ll find family fun in every nook and cranny.

Whether it’s boarding an immersive train at the Railway Museum or wandering through the Yorkshire Dales. Getting your walking gear on and climbing Clifford’s Tower or channelling your inner Harry Potter.

A day trip to one of these destinations is a great way to explore the surrounding countryside. And to end your day knowing you had an amazing time.

Whether you visit a Yorkshire museum, nibble on a chocolate lolly or explore York City Centre. There are plenty of things to do in York for the family!

Visit multiple attractions like York Dungeons, enjoy outdoor play at Piglets Adventure Farm or explore York Museum Garden. Family days out have never been more fun in this charming city.

If you can’t quite decide what to do, here’s some more inspiration for you:

Get lost in an adventure playground like no other at Stockeld Park, bowl a strike at Hollywood Bowl, wander through the York Maze or visit a conservation park!

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