York – City Guide

York – City Guide

The City

“When Shakespeare wrote “And though she be but little she is fierce” he probably didn’t have the city of York in mind. But this quote seems to be perfectly applicable to York. A small, yet vibrant city York is one of the best cities in the UK in terms of student experience.”

Things to do

The weather in York is surprisingly sunny during most of the year and in such a vibrant city there is always something to do and something new to try.

  • You can take a walk around the city walls. A fun and unique way to get to learn the city of York!
  • For all the chocolate lovers out there, York’s Chocolate Story is the perfect place. Not only do you get to learn the history of chocolate, you also get to have a chocolate tasting and make your own Chocolate lollipop. Yummy, right?
  • You’ve probably heard of the River Ouse in the news. Yep, it’s the one that flooded last year. But all the flooding aside, a coffee break at one of the many cafes which are by the riverside is ideal after a tiring day full of lectures and seminars.
  • Rowntree Park is situated just a few minutes outside of the City Centre and has, amongst other things, a tennis court and a basketball court. It’s perfect for a relaxing day trip. 3487341610_4323c73e43_b

Arts & Culture

Although a modern city, York is immersed into culture. The abundance of museums, aesthetic architecture and galleries will make even the dullest evening interesting.

  • Just a walk in the city centre will satisfy any culture-lover. The Shambles is York’s most famous street and is full of buildings dating as back as the 14th century.
  • The Minster is York’s cathedral and one of the biggest cathedrals in Northern Europe. With a year-round ticket being only 10 pounds visiting The Minster is a real bargain and definitely an unforgettable experience.
  • The National Railway Museum has an amazing collection of railway vehicles. I bet Sheldon Coopers (The Big Bang Theory anyone?) would be jealous!
  • Clifford’s Tower offers panoramic breath-taking views of the whole city. Now that’s something that will get you many Instagram likes!

For the arts lovers, The York Art Gallery and The York Castle Museum are the places to go

Music & Nightlife

York boasts of having 365 pubs and bars; one for every day of the year. But it’s not the number of pubs and bars in York that impresses me the most, it’s the unique character of each and every one.

  • Sotano is a subterranean bar in York with a 1920s speakeasy vibes. It serves classic cocktails with a modern twist and has a secluded, unique ambiance.
  • The Trembling Madness is a medieval pub that has a selection of hard-to-find beers. And as the name might suggest, you should go here if you want to have a mad one!
  • Ye Olde Starre Inne is believed to be the oldest licensed premises in York. This historic pub is a must-visit for anyone who loves a good beer and good wine (so basically, everyone…)
  • It is rumoured that Johnny Depp visited the Evil Eye during the filming of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. No one knows what he had for a drink though. And how can anyone know when there are more than 100 cocktails on the menu? The vibrant atmosphere of this bar, along with the expertly mixed cocktails guarantees a good night out for any student.

So York may not have exactly as many clubs as bars and pubs. But it definitely has more than 7 clubs, which is more than enough for you to go out every day of the week.

  • Fibbers is a live music venue, with different artists entertaining the audience almost every night. Every Wednesday, YSJ hosts their ‘Frat House’ student event, whilst every Thursday UoY hosts their ‘Throwback Thursday’ student event.
  • Revolution is situated literally in the heart of York and has any flavoured shot you can imagine. Bring on the white chocolate shots, the peanut butter and jelly shots, the apple shots for an unforgettable night.
  • The classic night-out combination for a York student is first Society for unbeatable drink offers and cheesy music and then Salvation till the early hours.

Places To Eat

Do you like international cuisine? Do you prefer traditional British food? York has an abundance of great restaurants and coffee shops to try that will definitely satisfy even the pickiest eaters (Trust me, I’m REALLY picky!)


  • If you want to try the fluffiest and tastiest pancakes of your life, then Brew & Brownie is the place to go. And of course, don’t forget to try their freshly brewed coffee and homemade brownies. The Terry’s chocolate orange brownie is a-m-a-z-i-n-g.
  • Who said that you can have breakfast only in the morning? Shambles Tavern offers traditional English Breakfast all day long. Delicious and guaranteed to cure a hangover!

Lunch/ Dinner

  • Las Iguanas serves delicious South American food. Fajitas, tacos, nachos you name it. Pair your food with classic cocktails with their 2-4-1 offer that lasts all day. Also, students get 25% off their bill from Sunday until Thursday. It can’t really get better than that.
  • For British cuisine, try Gert & Henry’s. It is located at the heart of the city centre and their prices are more than reasonable. My mum swears by their homemade soups!

Afternoon Tea

  • The world famous Betty’s Café Tea Rooms offers the best afternoon tea in York. Their scones are just the right amount of moist and their miniature cakes are mouth-watering. If you’re feeling super fancy, you can even have champagne instead of tea! Arrive early during weekends to avoid the huge queue.
  • If you’re more of a sweet tooth (who am I kidding, we all are) then York Cocoa House is the ideal place to have your afternoon tea. As the name of the place suggests, their Afternoon Tea menu is solely chocolate-based. Need I say more?


  • Located within the city walls, Gatehouse Coffee, is one of the most unique coffee shops in York. It’s just a 20-minute walk from the University of York and it’s always filled with students who go there to study or just have a sip of the delicious home-brewed coffee. Their pesto panini is worth every single penny.
  •  Spring Espresso is a laidback independent coffee shop with a huge selection of cakes that will satisfy your taste buds to the max.  With different cakes every day, you can never get bored going there!