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Where to Stay in Central York: Explore the City on Foot!

Updated: Feb 20, 2020

The historic city of York is home to a huge range of unique attractions and sights, such as chilling ghost tours, medieval castles, and The Hilt, a Viking-inspired axe throwing activity and casual bar/eatery. With archaeological sites dating back to the Romans and Vikings, alongside bars, shops and experiences to suit all tastes, you’ll probably want to stay overnight to make the most of your visit.

Read on to discover where to stay in York, including the best city centre hotels, and a few more ideas on things to do during your stay.

Best Places To Stay In York City Centre

Looking to explore York without the hassle of public transport and parking? Here are some of our recommended hotels that are just a short walk from all the main attractions.

Grand Hotel, Station Rise

Spoil yourself at this 5-star luxury hotel and spa in the decadent former railway headquarters, with far reaching views over Lendal Bridge and York Minster. Just half a mile from the Jorvik Viking Centre,Shambles, and Minster Quarter, you’ll not have far to trek home at the end of the day to enjoy the Grand’s spa pool, sauna and gym.

Moxy York, Black Horse Lane

Moxy York, a youthful new branch of the Marriott Group, does things a little differently, with a warm welcome awaiting you in the bar at check-in. Stylish, tech-savvy and surprisingly affordable, Moxy York’s riverside location is only seconds away from trendy independent retailers on Fossgate and the stunning, Merchant Adventurer’s medieval guildhall.

Doubletree by Hilton, St Maurices Rd

Overlooking the city walls and just an axe throw from The Hilt, Doubletree has 143 modern guest rooms, hearty fare at the onsite Yorkshire Bar and Grill restaurant, a state of the art fitness centre and best of all, a complementary chocolate chip cookie on arrival!

Goodramgate Apartments, York city centre

Got a stag do in York to plan and need to house the entire horde? The spacious Goodramgate Apartments are placed in various historic buildings in the city centre, making them the ideal choice for enjoying York’s vibrant nightlife.

Based in the heart of York in the dynamic Walmgate area, Hotel Indigo offers a refreshingly contemporary place to stay within the ancient city walls. Stylishly decorated withYorkshire-made furnishings, you will enjoy an authentic York experience by exploring the indie bars, restaurants and shopping on your way into town. Combine the history of nearby Clifford’s Tower with Indigo’s free Wi-Fi and 40” HD Smart TVs for a true taste of the present day York.

With views over the medieval Clifford’s Tower and Castle Museum, the Hilton York is the closest hotel to the Jorvik Viking Centre, making it the perfect base for indulging in York’s ancient history. Just a 5-minute walk from The Shambles and York Chocolate Story, This centrally-located place to stay has two bars and the Tower Restaurant for dinner with a view.

Bar Convent Guesthouse and Heritage Centre, 17 Blossom St

Delve deep into York’s ecclesiastical history by staying in this former convent with elegant rooms, conveniently located near York Railway Station and the city walls. Catch up on York’s fascinating heritage in the adjoining Living Heritage Centre and library, or relax in the peaceful walled garden and enjoy an afternoon tea or their award winning breakfasts.

Alhambra Court Hotel, 31-32 St Mary’s

For those on a budget, consider staying at Alhambra Court! Although it’s just outside the medieval city walls, York Minster and The Hilt are just a pleasant 15 minute stroll away through grand Georgian terraced streets and the serene Museum Gardens. It has pleasant clean rooms, free parking, guest lounge and garden. It’s a great base when staying in York for more than a night.

Holiday Inn York, 53 Piccadilly

Located just metres from the immersive York Castle Museum, rooms at the Holiday Inn are spacious and comfortable. Rates include a free breakfast to set you up for a day of sightseeing.

Best Bases near York Minster

For those who want to wake up to bells chiming and gothic architecture bathed in a golden sunrise, these rooms are the most central of the central, all located on the doorstep of the majestic York Minster.

Lamb and Lion Inn, 2-4 High Petergate

This ancient pub and restaurant has 12 ensuite guest rooms brimming with history, with narrow passageways and quirky staircases transporting you back to the days of infamous York highwayman, Dick Turpin. If you’re looking for simply, but comfortably, furnished rooms a matter of steps from the Minster, the haunted Lamb and Lion Inn will show you what York is truly about.

Guy Fawkes Inn, 25 High Petergate

Revelling in its infamy, this oak beamed pub with ensuite guest rooms was the birthplace of Guy Fawkes, leader of the scuppered plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. This medieval inn has four-poster beds, hearty pub grub and real ales s, overlooking York Minster and just around the corner from the Tourist Information Office.

Grays Court Hotel and Bow Room, Chapter House Street

Sleep like a kingin the oldest inhabited house in York, having entertained royal visitors and Minster treasurers, and built upon the site of a Roman military gate. This historic luxury hotel continues to offer outstanding service to this day, particularly in the renowned Bow Room Restaurant, offering views towards the Minster, elaborate Treasurer’s House and city walls.

Things To Do In York

All of the above hotels and places to stay in York centre are a short walk from the city’s 10 most popular attractions. These include:

  • Clifford’s Tower - a historic motte-and-bailey castle and local landmark on Tower Street

  • York Dungeon - the city’s scariest interactive theatre attraction

  • Jorvik Viking Centre - world famous recreated Viking settlement on an archaeological site

  • Grand Opera House - award winning theatre and shows on Clifford St

  • York Shambles - a perfectly preserved, narrow and crooked street of medieval buildings, shops and cafes, said to be the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley

  • York Chocolate Story - immersive tours and tastings of York’s most famous chocolatiers

  • York Minster - 13th century Gothic cathedral with behind-the-scenes guided tours and a strenuous tower climb

  • Yorkshire Museum and Gardens - 5 galleries of Yorkshire history and gardens including the enigmatic ruins of St Mary’s Abbey

  • York City Walls - explore York in the footsteps of Roman centurions

  • York Castle Museum - recreated Victorian street, York history and old prison and dungeons

If you are lucky enough to live in the York area or are planning a day trip or stay, you’ll find plenty of things to do whatever the weather - just follow our Guide to the Perfect Day Trip in York.


Once you’ve experiencedYork and enjoyed your stay (admit it - you’ll have a blast!) you might want to consider making a permanent move... So we’ve compiled a few reasons why moving to York is a great idea! You’re welcome, and see you soon!


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