Unlocking the Charm of York in 3 Days

Advisor - Bijoy Shah
Curated By

Bijoy Shah

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  • Arts & Culture

  • Active Travel

  • Family Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • England

  • Downtown

  • Shopping

  • History

building lighting in York England
Curator’s statement

Oh, a long weekend in York! Situated in the heart of North Yorkshire, this historic city offers a delightful blend of ancient architecture, captivating history and a vibrant cultural scene. With its charming cobbled streets, picturesque landscapes and rich heritage, York is a destination that will leave you amazed. In this guide, I will take you on a journey through this wonderful city, providing you with an essential itinerary for three unforgettable days in York.

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Where to stay

The Grand, York

Come to The Grand for its stylish, handsome design, exquisite culinary program (the hotel boasts an esteemed Cookery School, at which guests can take classes), impeccable service and characteristic British sophistication.

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  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

No.1 by GuestHouse, York

Charming boutique guesthouse nestled in the heart of historic York, offering elegant accommodations and personalized service, making it an ideal retreat for travelers seeking comfort and convenience.

New Holgate

Residential area located in the city of York, England. Situated to the northwest of the city center, it offers a mix of housing options and amenities within close proximity to York's historic attractions and transport links.

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Day 1: Wander the Narrow, Winding Streets

garden view and building park in york

Begin in the heart of York, the historic center. Step back in time as you wander through the narrow, winding streets lined with timber-framed buildings and charming shops. Start your day with a visit to the iconic York Minster, one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe. Take your time to admire the awe-inspiring architecture and intricate stone carvings. Consider joining a guided tour to gain a deeper understanding of the cathedral's history and significance.

Afterward, take a leisurely stroll through the charming streets of the Minster Quarter. Discover hidden courtyards, quaint tea rooms and unique shops. Make sure to visit the Treasurer's Gardens, a peaceful oasis nestled behind the Minster, where you can relax and soak in the beauty of your surroundings.

Day 2: Visit York Castle

ducks and backside tower in York

On your second day in York, make your way to the York Castle, also known as Clifford's Tower. Climb to the top for breathtaking views of the city and learn about the tower's turbulent past. Don't forget to visit the York Castle Museum, where you can immerse yourself in the city's history and learn about its fascinating past. From there, venture to the York Dungeon for an immersive and theatrical experience that brings the city's darkest history to life.

For a unique experience, consider taking a river cruise along the River Ouse. Relax as you glide through the picturesque landscapes and admire the city from a different perspective. Alternatively, explore the York Chocolate Story and indulge in the city's sweet history, including the famous Terry's Chocolate Orange, a true icon in my opinion.

Day 3: York Museum Gardens Before You Leave

church in york trees and walls

On your final day in York, venture off the beaten path and discover the city's hidden gems. Start your day with a visit to the York Museum Gardens, a tranquil haven in the heart of the city. Explore the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey, stroll through beautifully manicured gardens and admire the diverse plant species.

Take some time to uncover the charm of York, by taking a walk along the city's hidden Snickelways. These narrow, winding alleyways offer a glimpse into York's medieval past and are filled with intriguing stories and hidden gems. Don't forget to stop by the famous Betty's Tea Room for a traditional afternoon tea experience.

Next, immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene of York by visiting the Theatre Royal. Catch a captivating performance or enjoy a backstage tour to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of this historic venue. For art enthusiasts, the York Art Gallery is a must-visit, featuring an impressive collection of paintings, ceramics and sculptures.

Advisor - Bijoy Shah

Travel Advisor

Bijoy Shah

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to England. Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, 5 "Can't Miss" Meals in London.