Arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the UK, York is a walled city that’s home to an incredible 13th-century Gothic cathedral, a fascinating chocolate history and countless other extraordinary attractions.
With over 2000 years worth of history, this mesmerising city has plenty of sights to keep you busy throughout your 48 hours there. Whether you want to gander at beautiful masterpieces in one of its art galleries, discover the renowned Shambles (one of the best-preserved shopping streets) or climb up Clifford’s Tower, you won’t have a dull moment during your time in the city.
To help you plan your two day trip, we’ve gathered a list of the top attractions in York, where you should go to eat/drink and where you can stay. A guide to help with your planning process, with this list and further research you’ll be able to make the most of your visit.
Top attractions in York
As mentioned above, York has tons of things to do and see. With enough stuff to easily fill your 48 hours, you’re guaranteed to have a fabulous time. So what are the top attractions you can see there? Here’s a few options for you to choose from:
One of the largest cathedrals in Northern Europe, York Minster was built in the 7th century. With exquisite, handcrafted stone and medieval stained glass, it’s also one of the most beautiful buildings in York. Even though you have to pay to get into Minster and its tower, you’ll be rewarded by the breathtaking medieval architecture throughout.
Walk York’s city walls
Built by the Romans to protect the city from enemies, York’s city walls are well preserved and make for a wonderful walk around the city. Circling 2 miles around the city, they were built all the way back in the 13th Century. If you want to learn more about the walls and York, you can even enlist a tour guide; a fascinating way to spend your day there.
Situated in the heart of the city, Clifford’s Tower dates back to the Norman times. A medieval stronghold throughout the Civil Wars, it’s at the centre of York Castle and has a captivating yet terrifying history. During your 48 hours in York, you could climb up to Clifford’s Tower, discover its wonderful Norman architecture and see unparalleled panoramic views over the cathedral and city.
We couldn’t make a guide to York without mentioning the Shambles. A historic street in the centre of the city, it features a handful of beautifully preserved medieval buildings; some of which even date back as far as the 14th century. With quirky shops (including one that sells adorable ghost figures) and alluring timber-framed buildings, it makes for a fabulous morning or afternoon activity.
Where you should eat/drink in York
After a long day of exploring York, you’ll want to be rewarded with delicious food and a tantalising tipple. Well, don’t worry. You won’t be disappointed by the wide selection of food and drink you can choose from. To get you kickstarted, we’ve rounded up a list of three restaurants and three extraordinary bars:
Burgsy’s – big, delicious burgers await you at Burgsy’s. An independent, small family-run restaurant, it has a mouth-watering selection of burgers, fries and beer to enjoy whilst you take in the unique American cowboy decor.
Rustique – serving tasty French delights in a bright and welcoming restaurant, Rustique was established in 2004. With a wide selection of traditionally cooked and locally sourced dishes, this French-inspired dining experience is ideal for those looking for a wonderful way to end their two-day trip in the city.
Ambiente Tapas Fossgate – a local chain restaurant in York, Ambiente Tapas has an eccentric industrial style, serving a range of delectable Spanish tapas.
The Botanist Bar & Restaurant – fancy a tipple or two after a day of exploring York? Then head on over to The Botanist. A modern and chic bar, it serves botanical cocktails that are bound to blow your socks off. From the strawberry and elderflower mojito to the poppy berry punch, you’ll find a drink that matches your taste in an instant.
Bora Bora – a quirky bar, with outdoor seating and a large list of creative cocktails, Bora Bora cocktail bar is another great option when in York. It’s also one of the more affordable options if you’re looking for a cheaper (yet delicious) treat when interrailing.
Dusk – a quirky and bijou cafe, Dusk offers live music and a comfy place to sit and enjoy a drink after wandering through the streets of York.
Where you should stay in York
Safestay – a 4* hotel, it has a beautiful Georgian front and is very affordable. However, despite Safestay’s price, it offers comfortable and chic rooms, a cafe and a bar to enjoy throughout your trip.
The Heworth Inn – even though this is primarily a restaurant, the accommodation in the Heworth Inn is cosy and beautiful. Set within a 19th Century building, it has a bar, free parking and Wi-Fi to take advantage of.
Abbey Guest House – Abbey Guest House is a quaint, riverside guesthouse that has a unique enclosed front garden. One of the most beautiful guesthouses in the city, it will make a welcome change to the usual city-based hotel.
How to get to York
Thankfully, York is pretty easy to get to from most UK cities. For example, from London St Pancras, it takes less than two hours. Meaning if you’re interrailing around Europe it’s within easy reach the moment that you reach the capital. This fuss-free journey makes it a great location to visit when in the UK. And with the amount there is to do in the city, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t make this a stop on your trip.