10 Best Things to do in York – Fun Activities, Attractions

York is a magnificent and a cathedral city in northeast England, founded by the Romans. You will get incredible, once in a lifetime experience in York. It has huge 13th century cathedral, York Minster with stained glass and two functioning bell towers, located at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss, about midway between London and Edinburgh. This city was voted and of the Best Place to Live and visit in the UK by the Sunday Times in 2018. York is a vibrant modern city with rich culture and heritage. Check out our list of 10 best things to do in York.

1. York Minster

York Minster

York Minster is One of the UK’s most striking cathedrals. It is the second largest gothic cathedral with 14th century stained glass windows, stone buttresses and glittering artifacts in Europe. You will learn more about the York’s Christian history from Roman times to the present. There are 275 steps up to the central tower to the York’s highest viewpoint. A warm, fantastic, and absolutely stunning place to visit in the city.

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2. York City Walls

York City Walls

It is 2.6 miles of historic walls that have protected the city for nearly 2000 years. Extending both sides of the river, it is almost a circular walk around the city. You can take intervals in between and explore the bars, shops and then walk back up the steps and continue your walk. If you want to know interesting facts about its history, you can hire a guide there. A lovely way to see the city and one of the 10 best things to do in York.

3. The Shambles

The Shambles
Peter K Burian, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Shambles is an old street in the city center of York, England with an interesting past. It is an old English word for slaughterhouse. Some dating back to the 14th century it was once the street of the butcher shops. Now the Shambles is Europe’s most popular and visited street. This wonderful street is full of energy with several fantastic shops, bookstores, coffee and chocolate shops, pubs, and food courts. This street definitely needs a visit!

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4. The National Railway Museum

The National Railway Museum

The National Railway Museum was open to the public in 1975, opened by the Duke of Edinburgh. This Museum is a treasure of trains, engineering, and history. The National Railway Museum won the European Museum of the year award in 2001. There is plenty to see, great British engineering, innovation, amazing vintage trains. You will experience so much to explore here. Admission to the museum is free and there are several coffee shops, food points, ice cream van.

5. York Museum Gardens 

York Museum Gardens
PJMarriott, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The York Museum Garden is a botanical garden and home to some of the richest archaeological finds in the center of York, Europe., beside the River Ouse. You will see the vast collection of special plants, trees, herb gardens, remains of ancient buildings, beautiful flower beds, views of the river Ouse, rare animals, live concerts, events, and festivals. This botanical garden is also the home of over 40 species of bird. One of the perfect spots for picnics or walk around with your family or friends. To visit York Museum Garden is one of the top 10 best things to do in York.

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6. Thor’s Tipi or Sol Ast

At this place you will find beautiful setting with pretty lights around, a cozy chill out cushion area, amazing atmosphere, and plenty of choice for all age groups and the entry is free. Great staff, delicious food and drinks, and exceptional service. One of the amazing places to enjoy the alfresco vibe while lanterns swing in a slow Mo from the trees around you in the city York.

7. York Mansion House

York Mansion House
Richard Croft / Mansion House

Explore the official residence of the Lord Mayor of York. York Mansion House is a masterpiece of 18th century architecture. This house opened to the public first time in 2018 after restoration, walk through the interactive York’s Georgian past, extravagant mayoral life. Outstanding place with amazing décor and artefacts, fascinating history attracts many tourists.

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8. Clifford’s Tower

Clifford's Tower

Clifford’s Tower is one of the classic historic landmarks, largest remaining part of York Castle on the top of a hill in York, England. It originally built by William the Conqueror to subdue the rebels of the north and was burned twice, then rebuilt by Henry III in the 13th century. It offers stunning 360 degree views from the top of the hill over the city of York. This place is open 7 days a week and with no entry fee. We recommend going on nice clear sunny weather to get the best view. This place is worth a look and one of the 10 best things to do in York.

9. York Ghost Tours

York Ghost Tours

York is known for the most haunted cities in the Europe and ghost tour is the best way to find out about them. It offers an evening walking around the haunted locations. York Ghost Tour will help to discover the York’s dark history. The York Ghost Tour represents classic York ghost stories in a captivating manner. The guide will entertain you with stories of the spirits, sinister characters, and ghastly crime along the way. York Ghost Tour is one of the 10 best things to do in the City.

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10. The York Army Museum

The York Army Museum
NAM17, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The York Army Museum gives you insight into the development of the regiments and their weaponry. Discover the history of the Royal Dragoon Guards and the Yorkshire Regiment with some informative, inspiring, and interesting exhibits and interactive activities, despite being small museum it has a vast collection of exhibits. This place is a hidden gem in York and worth a visit, one of the 10 best things to do in York.