Where to Stay in York, England

Where to stay in York, England? In this post we answer the questions about the best and most beautiful places to stay in the historic hub of northern England.

Are you traveling to York? let’s analyze some great options to stay in York, featuring some of its best attractions and a cost of travel analysis of the city.

where to stay in york England
York Minster. Photo by Jazz Guy.

The vast county of Yorkshire has so many wonderful places to visit, from rolling hills to beautiful lakes. What does the capital of the UK’s largest county hold in store? The walled city boasts many new and wonderful experiences for any visitor.

With its narrow streets and wonderful wall top walk, the colourful history of the old Viking city is always evident in York. Although not the biggest city in the north, any visit will always bring out something new. The town is home to two University’s so discovering York’s gems with your friends is interesting and rewarding. Below are a few pointers to help you get the most out of York.

If you are travelling by bus in Europe, book your tickets using Flixbus and GoEuro. If you are flying, compare and book tickets using Jetradar. For those using the train, buy train tickets on Trainline.

Tourism in York: General Information

The City of York dates back to the early years of the first millennium. Steeped in history from the Roman occupation and the later invasion of the Vikings, the city is a essential must see for anybody interested in the United Kingdoms origins. The old walled fortifications still circle the whole city and provide a rich walk through the gardens, riversides and parks you can find dotted along its steep stone walls. The walk itself is free with many little cafes and museums to break it up.

Although small, the city offers a wealth of activities. Boasting an impressive 365 pubs (a strict rule keeping one for each day of the year!) there is always somewhere to go for a relaxing drink. You may want to try a Sunday lunch down by the river adorned with a world renown ‘Yorkshire Pudding‘ or maybe just unwind in a traditional English pub setting with a cheap and delicious pint of local ale.

Of course the city holds more than just places to drink. Rowndtree Park and The Museum Gardens are just two of York’s wonderful gardens surrounding the river. These are great places to spend a sunny day with a varied throng of students, picnickers and sunbathers.

Of course the history aspect of the city is always a huge pull for tourism with a diverse selection of worthwhile exhibitions. The National Railway Museum in York is the perfect example of the city’s historical vocation. This museum is very reasonably priced and one of the best ways to spend a whole day, for children and adults alike.

Best places to stay in York

York, although small, is well catered to the tourist crowd. There is a good bus service that runs from all of the surrounding districts of York to the its centre. Since York is rather compact, even outside of the city centre a walk into town is never very far.

City Centre

The city center gathers most of York’s attraction, featuring most of its beautiful medieval architecture. To be right in the heart of a city that is always bustling with life is always a bonus. However, the city centre of York also has the highest accommodation prices in the city.

Hotels and Bed and Breakfast’s that are abundant within the city walls are often built inside beautiful historic buildings. To be close to the action and have such wonderful breakfast options at places such as the famous ‘Bettys Cafe tea rooms’ just on your doorstep is well worth the extra price.

The convenience of having a hub of activity right on your doorstep is useful for any city, and York always has events going on, with exciting live music in bars, open-mics in many pubs, and two acclaimed theatres all within the city walls.

South Bank

Just beyond the city walls lies South Bank, home to the well known York Racecourse and a great place to stay in York. The area is home to some of the more extravagant town houses which line the roads.

There are many hotels and bed and breakfasts in the area, including options for all budgets. You will find accommodation ranging from the high-end to the family run quaint family ran options. Outside of the city walls you will have peaceful surroundings, yet wonderful places to visit are still nearby. Rowndtree park is only a ten minute walk away and the train station is right on your doorstep.

Although outside the walls, a short walk down Tadcaster road will bring you into Micklegate, a road known for its high number of bars and restaurants. It is always guaranteed to be fun night.

Budget Accommodation in York – $

The Fort Boutique Hostel – a quality budget option in the famous Stonegate, one of the best places to stay in York.

Grange Lodge – an affordable family run guest house in one of the best areas to stay in York.

Reasonably Priced Accommodation in York – $$

Bootham Tavern – a excellent option close to the York Minster.

The Minster Hotel – a reasonably priced hotel located just a short walk from the York Minster in the city center.

Luxurious Hotels in York – $$$

The Grand Hotel & Spa –  one of the most luxurious hotel in York, close to the city’s train station.

The Principal York – a sumptuous hotel in a privileged location in York.

Cost of Travel in York

York is definitely a tourist city and its prices reflect it accordingly. A lot of the centres revenue is made by the seasonal visitors and the locals rely on the trade to keep them going throughout the year.

york merchant adveturers hall
The Merchant Adventurers Hall. Photo by Michael D Beckwith

The city is pricey but not unreasonable. It is still a Northern English city which immediately makes it significantly cheaper than anywhere in the south. Delicious local meals and drinks are available at low prices at many of the pubs in York. Moreover, York is host to two universities so there is always a good place to go for a cheap drink and a fun night out.

Certain times of year will be much more expensive for accommodation throughout the city due to particular events. Big tourist pulls like markets, theatre premiers and the like will always encourage Hotels to bump up their prices. Although worth visiting,  budget travelers should look out for what is on during your visit.

Best Months to Visit York

The winter months in this northern city, although cold, are often the most beautiful. A crisp frost falls over the city, the locals all wrap up warm and the drinks vendors start selling hot mulled wines and steamy hot chocolates. During winter, a cosy pub with an open fire is never far away. Finally, a good walk along the riverside will do wonders to keep your feet warm.

The winter season brings St Nicholas Fair from mid November to late December. The city fills with stalls and food stands selling everything Christmas. The air smells like warm chestnuts and the sound of carols enchants the atmosphere wherever you are.

June and July are also a great time to visit. Little red boats, which are available for hire up and down the river, meander slowly through the waters and the parks fill up with revealers. The streets become full with happy sunny people and the many beers gardens become hubs of activity.

Are you heading North from York towards Scotland? Check our guides on where to stay in Edinburgh and the best places in Glasgow.