People from around the globe have been beating a path to York for the past 4,000 years leaving in their wake some of the most evocative, best preserved heritage in Europe. So it’s fair to say that given the wealth of history, art and culture that you’ll need at least a solid week of free time to cover all that York has to offer.
My first piece of advice would be sit down with your travelling companions and form a plan of attack either on arrival at one of the city’s fine eateries (See my York cafés and restaurants page) or before heading off for this attraction packed city.
Bear in my mind that if you want to do as much as possible then it isn’t going to be cheap. Most of York’s attractions make a charge for entry, so if planning to visit more than three, I do recommend investing in a Yorkshire Pass to save money on all the places listed plus many more that didn’t make it into my top 20. More details why, when, where and how can be found on my York insider tips page. Also consider too the useful YAT (York Archaeological Trust) pass, information for which can be found following the same link.
Almost all the things chosen here are within walking distance of each other and cost little more than shoe leather to reach. One or two others, however, will require the help of road transport, details of which can be found on my How to get around York and York car hire pages.
Most of the attractions listed are open throughout the week, from 10am to 5pm.
The busiest time to visit York - when queues are at their longest - is during the school holidays and at weekends. Whenever possible try to get to your chosen attraction at the beginning or end of the day when places such as York Minster, the York City Walls and the streets in general can be absorbed and wandered under a much more tranquil atmosphere.
How I’ve picked my things to do:
There are so many things to see and do in York, mostly historical and cultural in nature reflecting York’s major part in British history. However, in the knowledge that these will not be everyone’s cup of tea, and to avoid complete history meltdown, I’ve also included one or two broader suggestions that should appeal to almost everyone along with some attractions that require no cash exchange to gain entry.