24 Hours in York

  • City guides
3 min read

Planning a flying visit to York? Our York serviced apartments  are the perfect place to base your stay. Discover how you can make the most of 24 hours in this beautiful historic city below.

Pick up a coffee at Tower Vue Café 

We’re guessing you’ve had an early start, so once you’ve dropped off your bags, pick up a coffee and some breakfast at Tower Vue Café. It’s conveniently located right next to Clifford’s Tower – our first must-see destination – so you’ll be in the ideal place to start your York experience. 

Great value for money, with a charming Northern feel, you’ll find Tower Vue Café on 14 Tower Street. Grab a drink to go if you’re eager to start exploring, sit down with a delicious piece of cake and a coffee for a light bite or tuck in to a hearty English breakfast if you’re feeling extra peckish. There’s vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options available, and you’ll be pushed to find something that costs more than £10 on the menu! 

Head to Clifford’s Tower

If you’ve stopped off at Tower Vue Café, you’ll be able to see Clifford’s Tower directly out of the window. Also located on Tower Street, Clifford’s Tower is the largest remaining part of York Castle which was originally built by William the Conqueror way back in 1068. 

York Castle had a rocky start, being burnt down by Danish invaders in 1069 and once again, after a rebuild, in 1190. The stone tower you can visit today was erected between 1245 and 1272, and over the years it’s served many purposes from a home to a prison.  Clifford’s Tower typically opens at 10am every day – you can view up-to-date opening times and prices here.

Prepare to be scared at The York Dungeon

One of York’s most popular attractions, The York Dungeon is a 75-minute experience you’ll always remember. Not for the faint-hearted, you’ll witness over 2,000 years of York’s darkest moments in history in a sequence of shows which range from laugh-out-loud funny to seriously terrifying. With live actors, impressive sets and plenty of special effects, your journey will introduce you to the Vikings, Guy Fawkes, the plague-infected streets of 1551 and fearsome 17th Century witches, just to name a few. 

The recommended age for the York Dungeon is 8 and above, however things can get pretty scary – so be cautious if you’re visiting with youngsters! Book online before you visit for cheaper entry, and if you’re feeling exceptionally brave you might want to consider booking the extra scary, darker 18+ tour that takes place after hours instead. 

Stop for lunch at Mommy Thai or The Nook 

Once you’ve recovered from your time in the York Dungeon, you’ll probably notice a rumbling in your stomach. There are loads of delicious places to eat lunch in the area, with Mommy Thai being a favourite. Quaint, cosy and decorated with adorable fairy lights, this is undoubtedly one of the best spots to sample authentic Thai food – and for a great price. Start with the Thai Fish Cakes or Chicken Satay, and go for the Pad Thai or Yellow Curry for your main – you won’t be disappointed!

Thai food not taking your fancy? The Nook is an excellent alternative. Offering a street  food experience, this quirky little spot  cooks food to order, so you can guarantee everything is fresh and full of flavour. There’s something for everyone here too, from halloumi skewers and cheese toasties to steak sandwiches, bao buns and prawn tacos.  

Dine at Mommy Thai: 3 King Street, York, YO1 9SP

Visit The Nook: 3A, Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN

Walk through The Shambles

Passing through The Shambles is something every York visitor needs to do. An amazing sight, and a slice of York’s Anglo-Saxon history, this narrow street is filled with overhanging timber buildings – some of which date back to the 14th century. 

It’s a fantastic place to take a photo or two – and en route to your next stop: York’s Chocolate Story. 

Don’t miss the York Chocolate Story tour

Something a little bit different, the York Chocolate Story is a 90-minute guided tour anyone with a sweet tooth will love. Make sure you’ve left room at lunch for dessert – there’s loads of free samples to try!

Chocolate might not be the first thing you associate York with, but the city is home to some of the world’s most famous chocolate families, including Terry’s, Craven’s and Rowntree’s. Learn all about the origins of each company and products like the Chocolate Orange and KitKat, discover how to make chocolate for yourself and take on board loads of fun facts along the way. 

Adult tickets cost £12.95, with discounts available for students, seniors and families. 

York Minster

One of the largest cathedrals in the world, and perhaps the most iconic sight in York, York Minster is a breath-taking building to behold. 

The seat of the Archbishop of York is held here, and you can marvel at the impressive medieval architecture and explore its Roman roots at your leisure. Open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm, and Sunday from 12:30 to 3pm, you can choose between two ticket types – the first gives you entry to the Minster (including entry to the cathedral, Undercroft Museum and a free guided tour) and the second also includes access to the Central Tower.  

Drink and dine in York’s at most-loved restaurants and bars 

As the sun begins to set, it’s time to end your day in York with a delicious evening meal and, perhaps, a drink or two. York is full of amazing restaurants and bars, so you’ll be spoilt for choice. 

End the day with a glass of wine in hand by paying a visit to Oscars. As well as reasonably-priced, high-quality wines, there’s a great menu to sample at this independent bistro – they make a cracking burger, there’s a large vegetarian menu and anything off the grill is always really tasty. Mr P’s Curious Tavern, meanwhile, is particularly perfect for couples and offers a unique dining experience in a charming location. With Michelin-trained chefs rustling up every dish, you’ll never forget an evening here – and if you want to go all out, make sure to book the six-course sample menu!

As for bars, House of Trembling Madness and Evil Eye are on the top of our list, especially if you love cocktails. 

Catch some ZZZs in your apartment

As the day comes to a close, it’s time to rest your head and get some shut eye in your Roomzzz apartment. You’ll get a great night’s sleep on our 2000 spring mattresses, and the next morning our complimentary grab n go breakfast is waiting for you with warm pastries, coffee, fruit, yogurt and porridge. 

Roomzzz York opens soon. Book now here!

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