There are plenty of things to do in the historic city of York but we have set out the 12 best in our view to help you out if you only have a short time to explore. Simply pick your favourites from our list. York Minster has been described as an architechtural masterpiece and not only dominates the whole of York but also the Yorkshire region.
Many travel to York to visit the Minster so make sure it's on your list of things to do! If shopping is more your thing then head to The Shambles, a quaint and charming old street in York centre full of traditional shops and mixed with some more contemporary shopping too.
You will also find some nice pubs and cafes in this area of the city centre. When you need a rest head for one of the traditional tea rooms for the perfect afternoon tea. Bettys Tea Rooms is world famous and a good choice for a cuppa! If you are interested in the history of York then you will be fascinated by the City Walls which are the longest and best preserved in the country.
York Castle Museum is also well worth a visit and has won awards. The York Ghost Walks are well known and are a popular attraction leaving from various spots in the city centre every night, including the Kings Arms pub by the river. In the warmer months a cruise down the river Ouse is the perfect way to cool off and indulge in some sight seeing by boat.
York - Eating & Drinking
6-8 George Hudson Street, York YO1 6LP
Tel: 01904 679888 www.akbars.co.uk
If you like Indian food then this restaurant is sure to appeal. Akbars of Bradford are now in York and this award winning restaurant is the only Indian restaurant recommended in Yorkshire by the Good Food Guide. Times Magazine have also described this as a "brilliant restaurant" and with quality food and first class service we can see why this place deserves so much praise.
The Balloon Tree Farm Shop & Cafe
Stamford Bridge Road YO41 1NB
Tel 01759 373023
This farm shop and cafe have won numerous awards and they specialise in fresh home grown foods. Quiches, scones and soups are specialities and the cafe sweets trolley is highly recommended with award winning cakes and puddings on offer.
The Bar Convent
17 Blossom Street, York YO24 1AQ
Tel: 01904 643238 www.bar-convent.org.uk email: email@example.com
Russells of Coppergate
26 Coppergate, York YO1 9NR
Tel: 01904 644330 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.russellsofyork.com
This is a traditional carvary restaurant in the heart of York and offers home made soups and desserts alongside succulent roasts. There is a good selection of a la carte, vegetarian and children's meals. Only the finest produce is used and you can be assured of a warm welcome.
8-10 Little Stonegate, York YO1 8AX
Tel: 01904 625870 email: email@example.com www.stonegateyard.co.uk
This place is a real "hidden gem" tucked away in the side streets and with a stunning courtyard where you can dine outdoors all year round. Food and drinks are excellent making this place popular with both locals and tourists.
Cafe No. 8
8 Gillygate, York YO31 7EQ
Tel: 01904 653074 www.cafeno8.co.uk
This award winning Bistro was voted one of the top 100 restaurants in the UK in 2009 by Eat Out magazine. The menu is seasonal and based on the best Yorkshire Produce. Families are welcomed and there is also a garden area popular in the summer months.
Grays Court Tea Rooms
Chapter House Street, York YO1 7JH
Tel: 10904 612613 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.grayscourtyork.com
Cakes, pastries and light lunches are the order of the day here with chic surroundings and lovely gardens for al fresco dining in the summer. The grade 1 listed building has been home top some of the city's most prominent characters including the first Archbishop.
19 Grape Lane, York Yo1 7HU
Tel: 01904 636366 email: email@example.com www.nineteenyork.com
The award winning chef Phil Upton is proprietor of this award winning restaurant and it has a fantastic location a couple of minutes walk from York Minster. All of the food is sourced locally and the style of the menu is simple British food with a modern twist. The surroundings are informal and cosy.
The Olive Tree
10 Tower Street, York Yo1 9SA
Tel: 01904 624 433 www.theolivetreeyork.co.uk
This restaurant has a Mediterranean influence and great views of Cliffod Tower. Only the very best ingredients are used and the menu represents a genuine passion for food and drink.
12a King Street, York YO1 1SP
Tel: 01904 632886 www.kings-ransom.co.uk
This restaurant will appeal to those looking for authentic Asian cuisine. The food is simply fabulous and the surroundings are cosy and intimate. Add to this a warm welcome and great atmosphere and this restaurant has to be on your list of places to eat out. Booking is advisable.
9 York Book fair held at York Racecourse
Tel: 01763 248400 www.pbfa.org
15-20 JORVIK Viking Festival
Tel: 01904 543403 www.jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk
12-21 York Festival of Science and Technology
Tel: 01904 554493 www.sciencecityyork.org.uk/community
18-28 York Literature Festival
Tel: 01904 554316 www.readwriteyork.co.uk
3-5 York Model Railway Show held at York Racecourse
Tel: 01653 694319 www.yorkshow.freeserve.co.uk
16-18 York Open Studios - see local artists in an informal setting
7-9 National Centre for Early Music Jazz Weekend
Tel: 01904 659338
9-10 Battlegroup North & Military Wheels & Wings Show
Yorkshire Air Museum www.yorkshireairmuseum.co.uk
12-14 York Races
& 22 Tel: 01904 620911 www.yorkracecourse.co.uk
12-16 Spring Festival of New Music
Box Office 01904 432439 www.yorkconcerts.co.uk
29-30 York Roman Festival
30 York Carnival
Tel: 01904 554253 www.yorkfestivals.com
30-31 Yorkshire Game Fair
Harewood House Tel: 0113 2181010 www.harewood.org
Our Top Attractions
1. York Minster
2. City Walls
3. Jorvik Viking Centre
5. Traditional Tea Rooms
6. Ghost Walks
7. River Ouse
8. National Railway Museum
10. York Races
11. York Castle Museum
12. Moors, Dales and Stately Homes
Our Top Eateries
1. The Balloon Tree Farm Shop & Cafe
2. Akbars Restaurant
3. Stonegate Yard
4. Cafe No. 8
5. Grays Court Tea Rooms
6. The Bar Convent
7. Russells of Coppergate
9. The Olive Tree
10. Kings Ransom
Save Money with Jolly Hols
1. The York Pass