Classic Verses Alternative: A Guide to York

May 30, 2023 1:38pm

The UK’s dreamiest city… Halfway between London and Edinburgh and close to the stunning Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and Wolds, York is a regular charmer. With its Medieval and Viking history, cobbled streets and fun attractions for all the family, this pocket-sized city is a tourist’s dream. But which kind of visitor are you? Do want to tick off all the big hitters and get that perfect Insta pic at Clifford’s Tower? Or do you prefer to take the road less travelled and seek out the weird and wonderful? This is our classic verses alternative travel showdown! Pick and choose your favourite attractions to create your personal guide to York. Just 2 hours from London by train, find Staycity Aparthotels just beside the city’s ancient walls next door to the Barbican, York’s culture and events hub. 


The Big Hitters


1. York Minster

One of the world’s biggest and most beautiful cathedrals, this is York 101. Check out the stunning stain glass and catch a service to hear the magnificent organ play. York Minster is open daily for service and sightseeing but tickets must be booked in advance from their website. 


2.The Shambles

An Instagrammer’s happy place… The Shambles of York is the city’s oldest street dating back to the 13th century. With Medieval shop fronts and cutesy cafés, wander down the cobbles and stop in for souvenirs and coffee from independent retailers.


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3. Jorvik Viking Centre

Ever wondered what it was like to be a Viking? At Jorvik Viking Centre they bring the past to life with life-size mannequins and dioramas. Explore exhibitions of gladiators and craftsmen and join in the family-fun interactive games. Check out their website for specific events.


4. York Barbican

The largest music and arts venue in York is back open with a line-up of special events. With comedy, burlesque and dance acts in the mix, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Remember, when you stay with Staycity you’re right next door to the action!


Off The Beaten Track


1. Art of Protest

The city’s trendiest gallery is stuffed with various styles of contemporary visual art. Los Angeles street artists Defer and Big Sleeps created a huge wall mural opposite the store which sets the tone of this creative project. You can purchase many works from their website.  


2. Brewtown Tours

Fancy a pint? Take a tour of York and the surrounding area through beer goggles. This unique tour brings you to traditional English breweries as well as some modern craft beer venues. It takes 5 hours (that’s a lot of beer!) and runs Wednesdays – Fridays.


3. York Cold War Bunker

A far cry from the cathedrals and castles, this unusual attraction is still steeped in history. With blast proof doors and an air-filtration system, this semi-underground structure was built to survive a nuclear bomb. Take a tour to see canteens, dormitories and a retro computer room.


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4. Mansion Underground

When you’ve seen everything York has to offer by day, it’s time to find out what secrets it has after dark. Mansion Underground is a gritty basement club playing techno, bass and house through the night. Check out their website to see who’s playing.


5. Castle Howard

Just outside York city you’ll find a castle worth the journey. The set of ‘Brideshead Revisited’ this humongous estate boasts over 200 listed buildings and is located at a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Take a tour to be wowed by stately rooms and beautiful décor.



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So classic or alternative York… which will it be? Book Staycity Aparthotels York Barbican now!



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