Newcastle upon Tyne, or simply Newcastle, is a rich city brimming with history, cultural attractions, and unique heritage that dates back centuries. It boasts a series of spectacular bridges, the most famous of which, the Tyne Bridge, links the city with the neighboring town of Gateshead. It is undoubtedly the most celebrated and iconic of the seven bridges. Not only does it serve as a symbol of the city, but it has also become a crucial part of Newcastle’s culture and identity.
There are a lot of things to do and places to explore here that spending 3 days in Newcastle doesn’t seem enough to cover everything you’d want to see. But this guide will help you make the most of your visit, whether you’re traveling solo or touring with friends and loved ones. You can dedicate a day around the Newcastle city centre, an area so compact that it can easily be accessed on foot.
Check out the Discovery Museum and unlock the history of the North East and Newcastle before strolling at St. James’ Park, the home of Newcastle United football club. Marvel at the stunning Georgian buildings, like the gorgeous Theatre Royal. Discover entertainment, culture, and art at every corner of the vibrant city centre. Also included in the itinerary for 3 days in Newcastle are some of the best entertainment facilities and fantastic places to dine and experience the city’s colorful nightlife.
Please note that there’s no left luggage facility at the International Passenger Ferry Terminal or Newcastle railway station. So to travel with convenience and peace of mind, leave your bags at a safe and reliable Bounce luggage storage solution in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Newcastle itinerary - Day 1
Morning: Newcastle Castle
It’s only fitting to start your 3 days in Newcastle at the historic landmark that gave the city its name. Newcastle Castle is a defensive fortress throughout medieval times, featuring steep sides overlooking the River Tyne. It may seem small from the outside, but it will blow your mind as you explore the ancient chambers and passageways. Occupied for almost 2000 years, the Castle has fascinating stories of its inhabitants over the centuries. Today, it remains a harsh reminder of the dark and turbulent past of Northern England.
The Castle is open for tours every day except Tuesdays and Wednesdays. You can buy your ticket on-site from Castle Keep or the Black Gate or book online. You can pack your lunch and head to the grassy areas around the Black Gate for a refreshing picnic or check out the numerous eateries just a short walk from the site.
Newcastle Castle opens at 10 am, so you have plenty of time to check out the shops around the area and have breakfast at Blake’s Coffee & Kitchen at the heart of the city centre. It’s an institution for food and coffee lovers looking for homemade food served in a welcoming space.
Before heading to your next destination, you can stop at Newcastle Cathedral at St. Nicholas Square, just a three-minute walk from the Castle. It was built in the 14th and 15th centuries, featuring a lantern tower nearly 197 feet tall. Some of its interior highlights include numerous statues, a 1676 organ, and the canopied font and lectern that dates from 1500.
Afternoon: Life Science Centre and Discovery Museums
From the Cathedral, you’ll pass by Newcastle Central Station to get to the Life Science Centre in Newcastle City Centre. It opened in 1998 and has welcomed around 250,000 visitors each year, including adults, families, and school groups. It offers imaginative and interactive activities and virtual events for all ages and interests.
Many other adventures await you at Life Science Centre. If you’re visiting with kids, go straight to the Planetarium to delve into the Universe and hunt for any alien life. There’s also a Space Zone for curious visitors to learn about space exploration and understand how it impacts our daily lives. You can also marvel at the live science shows and exhibits and participate in experiments.
From discovering life in space, learn more about life in Tyneside and Newcastle at Discovery Museum. It houses one of the finest collections of technical and scientific materials outside of London and findings on social, maritime, and regimental history. It is always bursting with interesting displays and exhibitions, making it an ideal place for entertainment and learning. Its exhibits are regularly updated to ensure you’ll have a unique experience every time you visit. And if you need a break, the second floor of the building is home to a café that serves refreshing snacks and beverages.
Night: Quayside District
End your first day of 3 days in Newcastle upon Tyne at the Quayside, a historic district along the banks of the River Tyne. It was once an industrial area until it was recently developed to provide culture, art, and music venues in the city. One of its prominent features is the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, the world’s first rotating bridge that opened in September 2001.
At night, the lively Quayside District becomes a favorite spot for sightseeing, scenic strolls, and a meal at several high-end restaurants. You can pick from the buzzing Quayside bars for delicious signature cocktails while admiring incredible views. You’ll also be treated to an endless choice of dining places and pubs lining its north bank.
Try The Broad Chare, a refurbished pub that delivers the best of a traditional ale house – a friendly company, good food, and well-kept beer. For a night to remember with friends, book a table at Pitcher & Piano, a centrally located modern bar serving wine, cocktails, beer, and a menu of delicious food and pub classics. Walk-ins here are welcome, but it’s best to make a reservation in advance, especially during weekends.
There are numerous commercial chains overlooking the river, so you’ll be sure to find exactly what you’re looking for on NewcastleGateshead Quayside. You can also see the latest exhibitions featured at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art or enjoy live performances and music at Sage Gateshead.
Newcastle itinerary - Day 2
Morning: Bridges over the River Tyne
You’ve likely seen them on your first day in Newcastle upon Tyne, but it’s a good idea to dedicate an entire morning to the magnificent seven bridges in the city. It’s up to you where to start, and you can visit each of the bridges by driving or walking to get the most out of the experience.
Numerous bridges span the River Tyne, but the newest is the Gateshead Millennium. It connects Newcastle and its neighboring town, Gateshead, designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects. One of the best ways to enjoy its sight is by going on a boat or a tour and passing under it or watching from the riverbanks.
The Grade II-listed Tyne Bridge is the most famous bridge that serves as Newcastle’s dominant symbol. It was built in 1928 by the steel makers and bridge builders Dorman Long and Co. of Middlesbrough, who also built the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932. It features a pedestrian walkway, so it’s a perfect spot for a morning run.
From below the Tyne Bridge, you can see the Swing Bridge, another Grade II-listed structure that opened in 1876. Then you can drive by, bike, or walk on the pedestrian paths on other bridges, such as the High Level Bridge, Metro Bridge, King Edward VII Railway Bridge, and the Redheugh Bridge.
Afternoon: Grey Street
Considered one of the most Instagrammed streets in the United Kingdom, Grey Street is a historic area in Newcastle known for its magnificent Georgian architecture. It is home to the Central Arcade and the Theatre Royal, a Grade I listed building, where you can watch award-winning ballets, comedies, west-end musicals, and world-class performances.
Many buildings you’ll find on Grey Street are celebrated for their architectural and historical significance. At the head of the street, in the heart of the city centre, is the striking monument you shouldn’t miss in your 3 days in Newcastle itinerary. The iconic Earl Grey’s Monument is a Grade I listed monument dedicated to the second Earl Grey, Charles Grey. It was built in 1838.
Night: Bigg Market
A big night in Newcastle upon Tyne should be spent at the Bigg Market. It’s a short walking distance from the Grey’s Monument and close to several attractions in the city. It’s a bustling area that has put Newcastle on the map as one of the world’s top party cities. Located here is one of the oldest pubs in Newcastle, The Old George Inn, which dates back to the 16th century. One of its royal customers was King Charles I, and it continues to deliver a royal service to its customers.
Bigg Market boasts over 20 bars and a range of restaurants, attracting locals and visitors from around the city and the UK. If you plan to organize happy hours in the area, be sure to come early as the pubs and bars get packed very quickly, forming long queues outside.
Newcastle itinerary - Day 3
Morning: The Great North Museum
Travel to The Great North Museum: Hancock and learn from workshops, gallery exhibitions, and private planetarium showings for free. Formerly known as the Hancock Museum, The Great North Museum opened its doors in 1884 and has been a one-of-a-kind family attraction in Newcastle upon Tyne. It is open every day for visitors who want to discover centuries of natural history.
You’ll find mummies from the Ancient Egyptian collections and important Greek and Etruscan archeology and art on the museum's first floor. Visitors can also discover an excellent collection of archeological finds at the Hadrian's Wall gallery and learn about the story of wildlife and their habitats in the Living Planet. If you have little ones under 5, take them to the Mouse House near the museum entrance. It has regular fun activities for younger visitors.
Afternoon: Eldon Square
Your 3 days in Newcastle won’t be as satisfying and rewarding without treating yourself to some retail therapy. On your final afternoon in the city, take the time to stroll around Eldon Square’s impressive list of more than a hundred stores and over 25 restaurants. Whether you’re looking for unique gift items and souvenirs for your loved ones or want some accessories and homeware, Eldon Square is your one-stop shopping destination in Newcastle.
For customers on the hunt for high-end brands and luxury items, the Square is home to major department stores. And if you need a quick bite to refuel or a sumptuous lunch, the shopping complex has a choice of local and international cuisines to satisfy your cravings.
Night: Exhibition Park
You’re on your last day in Newcastle, so take this opportunity to take in the fresh air and enjoy the beautiful outdoors at the Exhibition Park. Nestled in the heart of the city, the Park will give you a taste of rural life without going out of the city centre. It is open 24 hours, featuring a boating lake, a play area, an extensive skatepark, outdoor gym equipment, and large open spaces for a relaxing picnic and ball games. It also has a network of cycles and footpaths you can use for running, walking, chilling out, or walking your dog.
Moreover, Exhibition Park is home to a micro-brewery called Wylam Brewery at the Palace of Arts. If you visit at the right time, you might catch a concert or festival at the Park.
See Newcastle in 3 Days
Fill your 3 days in Newcastle upon Tyne with plenty of indoor entertainment, outdoor sights, and attractions. You don’t even have to go far from the city center. Everything you need for a fun-filled vacation or adventure-packed weekend is just within a short distance from one another. We also love that many of them are free, which is perfect for travelers on a budget!
Still planning your visit to Newcastle? Check out these guides for more ideas!