York Visitor Guide 2024: Everything you need to know

Published by: BouncePosted Updated
tudor style building

York is an ancient city that still exerts a pull for modern visitors. Situated where the Ouse and Foss rivers meet, this Cathedral city is located in North Yorkshire in the north of England, close to the Scottish border. Established by the Romans, York was the site of the crowning of Emperor Constantine. Later falling into Viking hands, it became a cathedral city in the middle ages. It's the well-preserved medieval buildings of the city that continue to be a tourist attraction into the modern day.

With excellent transportation links to the rest of the UK, York is easy to reach from other cities throughout the country. As a result, it is a popular tourist attraction both with UK residents and overseas visitors. Wander the medieval streets at the heart of this northern city, and you'll feel as though you've stepped back in time.

A weekend in York

Love discounts and traveling?

Sign up for our newsletter and get 10% off your next booking.

River Ouse in York

5 Best Things to do in York 2024

With its roots dissected by both Roman and Viking heritage, it is surprising just how vibrant a city York is today. Surrounded by ancient fortress walls, modern independent shops and eateries nestle alongside more than thirty world-class museums. Combine this with the fact that the city is situated in the heart of the stunning Yorkshire dales and you end up with plenty of incentive to pay the city a visit.

With so much to discover in this booming little city, the last thing you want is to be lugging bags with you. Here, Bounce luggage storage services are on hand to free you of your burden. They have teamed up with local business partners to offer easy to access luggage storage facilities, as they have in over a thousand cities around the world.

Best Chocolate History Tour – York’s Chocolate Factory

York has a surprisingly long attachment to the chocolate industry and is home to some of the country's most famous chocolate brands, including Rowntree's and Terry's. While other northern cities were building their fortunes from steel, cotton and wool, York followed an altogether sweeter path; one that has withstood the test of time. 

On this guided tour you will learn all about chocolate from the production of the cocoa right through to where it is converted by chocolatiers into the sweet products many of us are so fond of today. Even if you are not a fan of chocolate (is there anybody who isn’t?) you are bound to find this a fascinating insight into one of York’s most famous products.

Book your visit by calling 44 190-452-7765 or by filling in the contact form here https://bookings.yorkschocolatestory.com/book

Best Multiday Tours – British Routes Holidays Ltd

There are so many attractions to discover in Yorkshire that you are definitely going to need help. This company offer one-day visits to places such as Whitby and Robin Hood Bay, but it is there longer excursions that will truly expose you to this region's culture and historical legacy.

The company offers a range of two- and three-day excursions where your knowledgeable guide will be able to inform you about every detail of the abbeys, castles and monasteries that Yorkshire has on offer. You won't only get to see them in their full grandeur, but will also learn their historical and religious significance. 

Find out more about the wide range of excursions available by calling 775-660-0170 or email at britishroutesholidays@mail.com

Best Haunted History Tour – Dark Tales of York

With nearly 2000 years of history to fall back on, it will come as no surprise that this city is littered with bloodthirsty tales and ghoulish legends. There have been plagues, murders, witch hunts, and of course, the odd beheading or two. All make for a perfectly fascinating tour for those who are not faint of heart. 

As you wind your way back in time through the narrow streets, your guide will not only bring some of these tales to life, they will also expand your knowledge of some of the city’s colorful past. Children must be accompanied by an adult and tours take place in all weather conditions, so dress appropriately.

To arrange your haunted experience, call 753-037-8176 or email at nigelwalker@hotmail.co.uk

Best Free Walking Tour – White Rose York Free Tours

Free walking tours are a brilliant way to expose yourself to the city so that you can target areas of interest for further exploration. By not having to pay for your tour, you are assured that you won't feel ripped off but are still free to tip generously if you feel your guide warrants it.

Each tour takes three hours because that is the minimum that the guides believe is needed for a visitor to really experience this city. Tours run twice a day and groups are deliberately kept small so that everyone is able to fully benefit from their guide’s in-depth knowledge.

To ensure your place on a tour call 447-792-207-679 or email at alansharpcomdey@gmail.com

Best Day Tours – BOBH Day Tours of Yorkshire

This company offers you a fantastic opportunity to explore some of the magnificent countryside and villages around York. As they drive you into some of the most beautiful parts of Britain, the driver will share his wealth of local knowledge and direct you to the perfect places from which to take those photographic mementos that become so precious over time.

They offer a range of tours including Whitby and the North Moors, and the Yorkshire Dales National Park. All tour groups are small, with never more than sixteen people. Families are welcome but they are unable to accommodate children under the age of four. BOBH are happy to discuss private tour options.

You can call them on 441-609-779-933 or by emailing at enquiries@bobholidays.com

York makes a fantastic weekend destination. As a city which long predates vehicles, the historic center of the town is extremely walkable, and most of the major attractions are close together. As a result, you can see a lot of what the city has to offer in a short time.

  • York Minster is the city's cathedral and is one of the most impressive churches in the entire country. A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the origins of this huge church lie all the way back in the 7th century. Drop off any heavy bags at a luggage storage service in York and visit this stunning religious site for yourself.
  • Ever wondered what a Viking town smelled like? At Jorvik Viking Center, you can find out for yourself. This painstaking reconstruction of Viking York uses models, dioramas, and even smells to transport you through a Viking town. As much amusement park ride as it is a museum, the Viking Center puts you in touch with history in the most visceral and immediate way.
  • See what may be Europe's oldest shopping district at the Shambles. Dating back to the 11th century, this crooked street's half-timbered buildings are home to an eclectic selection of shops, cafés, and restaurants. One of York's major attractions, the Shambles is an icon of the city and one of the UK's most famous streets.

York lockers

As is so often the case with very old cities, York is best explored on foot. Part of this northern town's charm is getting lost among the crooked streets and discovering the place for yourself. You can make things easier by dropping your bags at a luggage locker in York so that you're not carrying more than you need to. Travel light, and your feet will thank you as you wander this enchanting town.

Off the beaten path in York

Any city that's been around as long as York has is sure to have some odd attractions. Once you've seen the major sites, there's plenty to do in York that is off the regular tourist trail.

  • York claims to be Europe's most haunted city. Whether that's true or not, it's certainly a place that has its share of fascinating stories from the past. Head out at night on a ghost walk and hear bloodcurdling tales from history. There's no guarantee you'll encounter a ghost, but you will certainly come away with a  deeper understanding of York's complicated past.
  • See a more recent chapter of history at York's nuclear bunker. Built in 1961, the bunker was designed to withstand a nuclear attack from the Soviet Union. Now fully restored, it is home to an early supercomputer and can be visited on a guided tour. Drop off any unneeded luggage at a bag storage shop in York and see this relic of the recent past.
  • See the world's largest railway museum in York. Rail travel was invented in Britain, and the country's national railway museum, located in York, tells the story of rail travel from the earliest tracks laid down in coal mines to the modern developments of rail. Anyone with an interest in industrial history will love this stunning collection of artifacts.

What to do alone in York

York railway station

York, like most UK cities, is an extremely safe place to visit, and it's also very easy to get around. Exploring York by yourself allows you to see more of what you want and less of what you don't. And you won't lack things to do in this historic city.

  • Check out York Castle Museum to learn more about the city's history. There isn't much left of the castle, but the prison built here has since been converted into a museum. A highlight is a re-created Victorian Street and the preserved cells of unfortunate prisoners.
  • Take a tour of York Brewery and try some of the innovative beers and ales being made in the city. A guided tour explains the process of brewing beer and lets you try some of the brewery's best offerings. Drop off any heavy bags at a luggage storage locker so you can enjoy your tour.
  • Take a boat trip along the River Ouse to see the city from a different angle. You can take a guided tour that will explain more of the city's history, or rent your own motorboat to explore for yourself. Getting out on the water is always a relaxing experience, and the city skyline looks truly stunning from a boat.

The best souvenirs in York

For some tasty treats that will remind you of your trip, visit York Cocoa Works. This chocolate shop is perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth, and the chocolates make ideal gifts for those back home. If you prefer your treats with a little more kick, visit York Gin just off the Shambles and shop a staggering selection of gin. All of the spirits offered at the store were made in the city of York and are difficult to find anywhere else. Or you could celebrate York's haunted reputation at the York Ghost Merchants. Located in the Shambles, this store sells unique handmade miniature ghosts which are handed over to buyers with a ceremony, making this one of the most unusual stores you will ever visit.

Love discounts and traveling?

Sign up for our newsletter and get 10% off your next booking.

Get the
Bounce app

Instantly find locations nearby to drop off your luggage wherever you go.