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The ultimate guide to York


The best of York

The 13 best things to do in York

Come to York, walk around a bit, and you’ll quickly understand why it’s so often voted one of the best places to live in the UK. From riverside strolls to world-class museums to quirky independent shops, this beautiful city offers something for travellers of all stripes. So much so, you may just want to drop by an estate agent – at least to get a sense of the house prices. Visible from all angles, York Minster cathedral may be the city’s crown jewels. But there are so many more sumptuous sights and historic views to be discovered here. Best of all, York can be crossed in under half an hour – if you don’t get too distracted by its array of brilliant bars and restaurants – meaning all the major attractions are just a short walk away. On a time crunch? Check out our guide to the perfect day in York. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. Find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.

The 15 best restaurants in York

In keeping with its colourful history, York boasts an eclectic array of restaurants that range from traditional tea rooms to globally-inspired fine-dining destinations. Each of the city’s ‘gates’ come with their own distinctive food offering. Castlegate is where to head for touristy bistros right next to the castle (a can’t-miss thing to do in York), casual lunch options abound on Fossgate and Walmgate, and Gillygate offers a slew of brilliant low-key cafés largely free of the tourist hordes. Spark:York and the Shambles markets are burgeoning street food hubs, while Micklegate has been revitalised as York’s most exciting area if you’re into your independent eateries. Just as the city’s bars and pubs go big on diversity, there really is something to suit every taste in our pick of the best restaurants in York. Eaten somewhere on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutEatList. You can find out more about how Time Out makes recommendations and reviews restaurants here.

The 11 best bars in York

This being the quintessential English cathedral city, York is more famed for its old-world pubs than its new-fangled cocktail bars. Have a quick mooch, however, and you’ll find mixologists shaking up dazzling concoctions at buzzing bars all over the city centre. From underground speakeasy-style lairs to thronging music bars to drinking dens with world record-holding gin selections, you should certainly prepare for the unexpected when it comes to the best bars in York. There’s even a venue dedicated just to the Stone Roses – and it’s gold, not fool’s. Looking for some top-notch grub to soak up the booze? Check out our pick of the best restaurants in York. Drank somewhere on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDrinkList. You can also find out more about how Time Out makes recommendations and reviews bars.

The 12 best pubs in York

One rumoured to have more pubs than there are days in the year – yeah right – York’s cobblestone streets brim with old-world inns straight out of a fairytale. Many of this city’s boozers have rivalries dating back centuries, though thankfully the fighting has largely subsided, and even if several of the most famous remain mostly as they were back then, others have been revamped in a much more up-to-date style. From converted toll booths and gatehouses to marshmallow-flavoured ales and kegs-turned-urinals, original features (and brews) abound at these brilliant pubs in York. That’s not to say you won’t feel at home here, though – if you’re looking something a little cosier than a bar or restaurant, perhaps with a fire or darts tournament on the go, our ultimate York pub guide has you covered. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in York

The 6 best museums in York

It’s been a roman city, a viking stronghold and the so-called ‘Capital of the North of England’ – so no wonder York boasts so many visit-worthy historical museums. From the remains of York Castle and the mesmerising Castle Howard country estate to the more modern inventions displayed at the National Railway Museum and York Army Museum, there’s a lot to be learned here, and often in incredibly grand and/or lush surroundings. Tight on time? Happily, many of the very best museums in York lie within the city walls, meaning they’re all pretty much within walking distance of each other. If you are stressed out about packing it all in, don’t miss our guide to the perfect day in York and this run-down of the city’s best restaurants. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in York

The 5 best cinemas in York

York’s love affair with the silver screen began in 1908 when the former Wesleyan chapel, New Street Hall, was converted into the city’s first cinema. A purpose-built picture house followed soon after with the opening of the Electric Theatre on Fossgate in 1911. Even today, York offers far more choice for cinemas-goers than you might expect of such a small city. From seasonal pop-ups to world-renowned film festivals to arthouse palaces that many much bigger metropolises would kill for, these are the best cinemas (and other places to catch films) in York. Feeling peckish? We say stock up at one of the city’s best restaurants beforehand. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in York

A perfect day in York

The train from London to York is like a Tardis. Step on in twenty-first-century London, then off again two hours later and around 1,000 years lighter in medieval Britain. Wonky timber houses teeter over cobbled streets, a gothic cathedral fills every square inch of skyline, and ancient walls separate the city from the countryside beyond. Factor in a growing food scene and more pubs than days of the year, and now’s the time to book those tickets.