There is no better way to get around York than on foot.
The city centre is small and almost overwhelmingly pedestrianised making walking the most efficient and indeed joyful way of getting from A to B. It takes me no more than 15 minutes at a gentle pace to cross its heart.
Getting around by bus
Its pint-sized scale means no metro or tram system is in place and it’s instead left to buses to provide the backbone of public transport to get in and out of the city centre from the suburbs and surrounding towns and villages. Should you want to get out of town for a spell and visit Yorkshire Air Museum & Allied Forces Memorial, York Cold War Bunker and Castle Howard listed on my York Things to do page by bus, then take a look at the individual ‘Expert tips’ for service numbers that deliver your there.
Pick up a bus route map, timings and prices from the Railway Station, York Visitor Information Centre (See my York insider tips page for details) or visit www.yorkshiretravel.net. All of these places will have bus pass details for anyone wanting to spend time travelling around the area.
For circuitous open top double-decker Bus Tours around the city centre with a commentary, try either the hop-on, hop-off York CitySightseeing (www.yorkbus.co.uk) or York Pullman Bus Company (www.yorkpullmanbus.co.uk).
Getting around by taxi
Licensed taxis (they can be hailed on the street) are plentiful and, when not on the move, can be found parked outside the Railway Station, St Leonard’s Place, St Saviourgate, Blossom Street, Piccadilly and Tower Street. Private cabs are also abundant though, of course, these MUST be booked in advance and CANNOT by law randomly collect passengers from the street.
Fleetways Taxis +44 1904 654 333
Streamline Taxis +44 1904 656 565
Telecars Taxis +44 1904 424 646
Getting around by train
The main mode of getting to and from the city after which trains becomes redundant for visitors staying in the city. The Railway Station is just beyond the city walls, and it takes around 10 minutes on foot to reach the Minster. Naturally there are taxis outside plus a hearty collection of bus stops. (See above).
Getting around by car
Driving to and around York is no bundle of fun. There are no direct motorways to the city and, once here, the city roads clog with traffic, the central parking is expensive and moreover hard to secure from mid morning through to 4pm or so. This is especially true at weekends and during York’s many events and festivals highlighted on my When to go to York page.
Visitors coming by car for the day might want to avoid the city centre congestion and parking fees and opt instead to use the one of the five Park & Ride schemes. Visit the council’s website (www.york.gov.uk/parking/ride/) for details and parking locations.
Getting around by bicycle
For the most part, the predominantly flat topography of York makes for some fast and easy cycling. For bicycle hire, contact either Bob Trotter Cycles (13-15 Lord Mayors Walk, York YO31 7HB; +44 1904 622 868; www.bobtrottercycles.com) or York Cycle Hire (Popes Head Court, Peter Lane, York YO1 8SU; +44 1904 632 226; www.yorkcyclehire.com)
If arriving to the city by plane, visit my York flights page for airport connection advice.