York City Breaks

In a Nutshell

At the heart of this historic city is a walled centre that is a sight in itself. However, there is much more to York than this ancient monument both in the city and the surrounding area. The York skyline is dominated by the famous York Cathedral and no visit to this city would be complete without taking a visit, however brief! The city is well-prepared to host visitors and you can see there through the York Pass initiative, organised tours and well-trodden trials following chocolate and other much-loved elements of the cities past and present.A York city break is perfect for couples as well as families and with so much on offer, this breaks.com guide will help you plan a trip you won’t forgot.

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Things to see and do:


  1. We start with the must-see sight in the city: York Minster. Step back 2,000 years and retrace the steps of Romans through an interactive underground experience. See the stories of the cathedral come to life and get access to the treasured artefacts like never before. With “explorer backpacks”, children will love every minute as they explore the history and mystery of York Minster. If you have a head for heights, the 275 step climb is worth doing to get a view from the highest point in the city. York Minster put on events and exhibitions throughout the year and you can see the upcoming calendar on their website.
  2. The river Ouse winds through York and presents an opportunity to see the city in a different light. Board a City Cruises boat to relax from all the walking you will inevitably want to do in York and spot the main sights of the city as well as wildlife including Kingfishers. There are a range of boat trips on offer depending on the time you have available and how long you can drag yourself out of the beautiful, historic York streets for!
  3. The Jorvik Viking Centre in York has become one of the most popular attractions in the UK since its multimillion pound renovation. Immerse yourselves in the world of Vikings with one-of-a-kind artefacts and learn more about the Viking era.

Hidden gems:

  1. York has the tasty title of home of chocolate making in the UK. The city has seen confectionary making families rise and dominate the chocolate world and now you can eat your way through the history at York’s Chocolate Story. See what events they have on and let this sugary treat fuel your city trip!


Music concerts, theatre and events in York

  1. Take in some live music at the infamous Fibbers live music venue. Well-loved household names have featured at this legendary venue and over 1 million music lovers have been through their doors. Check out who is playing when you are planning your York city break and you may be in for a treat!
  2. Whatever your taste in films or music, City Screen will have something for you. Latest blockbusters, independent films and live streaming of ballet, opera and National Theatre performances make this river-side setting a European leading cinematic experience. The arts aren’t restricted to the big screen at this York Picturehouse as there are nightly shows in the basement including burlesque and comedy.
  3. York Theatre Royal puts on top class shows throughout the year and has a very good restaurant & bar for pre and post performance enjoyment. See what’s on here. Another venue that hosts a superb collection of comedy, family shows and west end musicals is the Grand Opera House in York. The city is bursting with culture and entertainment for the whole family!
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Where to stay:

York is awash with quality and affordable hotels to choose from. The search box below will help you find the best hotel for your money and discounts on rooms on the nights you are staying in York. Happy saving!

  1. There is one hotel that deserves an extra special mention: The Grand Spa and Hotel, York. This 5 star hotel has a complete spa offering including a sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and a gym. Situated in the heart of York city, this hotel is the perfect base to explore the city from as the key sights and attractions are just a few minutes walk away. If you want to relax and look after yourself or loved one on this city break, The Grand Spa and Hotel is the natural choice. You can get incredible discounts for this hotel here.
  2. A visitors favourite hotel is the Hilton by Hampton York. The staff provide the service you expected from the well-respected Hilton chain and the restaurant rivals the high calibre of international cuisine on offer in the city. The city may be historic but the rooms are modern and make for a comfortable city break in York.

You can access hotels in York city centre very easily by train. A good train service is provided by Virgin Trains and they offer special discounted tickets for York city breaks by train from London, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and other cities. Full details of the discounted York train fares on offer can be found on the Virgin Trains website here.

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Where to eat and drink in York:

  1. When in York, you will be spoilt for choice as there are dozens of exceptional restaurants on your doorstep. Melton’s Restaurant makes it on to almost all of the recommended places to eat lists made about York and rightly so! This classy yet affordable restaurant run Michael Hjort offers refined but hearty food with an extensive wine list and well thought out vegetarian dishes. To help you navigate the wine on offer, the menu guides you through with pairing suggestions.
  2. If you are visiting the York Minster and fancy a meat, diary and gluten-free dinner then make your way to El Piano that is just around the corner. This tapas style restaurant serves up Arab-Spanish dishes to share as well as tasty desserts for the sweet-toothed diner. Read more about El Piano in York here.
  3. The cosiest spot for lunch in York has to be The Hairy Fig. As you walk in to this amazing cafe you will be hit by the range of artisan produce on offer. Grab a seat and order a Moo Pie or the Yorkshire Platter for a local treat with hams, cheeses, chutneys and more.

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