The best ways to explore the city

You’re sure to discover a wealth of unique experiences when you’re exploring York, a city that’s packed with culture, history, adventure and excitement. 

There are so many different ways to see the city – from four wheels to two, under your own steam or out on the water.

Remember, with ongoing Coronavirus restrictions in place pre-booking is now required at many attractions, events, venues and services, so please do check and plan before your visit.

So let’s take a quick look at the best ways for visitors to see all that York has to offer….

Bus tours

York is the perfect city in which to enjoy a good old-fashioned open top bus tour. With its compact city centre, hop-on hop-off York tours allow visitors to experience its fascinating heritage in more depth. The main hop on hop off York bus tour will take you to 20 of the main attractions that the thriving city has to offer.

Hop on hop off York bus tours allow you to explore in your own way, creating your itinerary.

Once activated, hop on hop off York tickets are valid for 24 hours, so you if you’re so inclined can complete a full loop of the tour route and then hop off at the attractions you want to spend more time at.

On the water

York boat trips allow you to sit back and watch the city float by as you escape the hustle and bustle.

It’s a chance to take some great photos and a chance to see the bridges, buildings and historic sights along the River Ouse.

Look for the abundant wildlife, treat yourself to a drink from the bar and put your feet up.

York boat trips sail nearly all year round.

There are also afternoon tea, lunch, evening and ChristmasYork boat trips available. 

You could even try your hand at skippering your own York boat trip by hiring a self-drive craft for up to an hour.


If you’re feeling energetic, York is a great place to enjoy a cycling break.

The city and the wider region are perfect for all kinds of biking adventures, from leisurely self-guided rides around the city centre to more strenuous routes over local moorland and  forests.

You can also explore York with a guided cycling tour to experience its fascinating history, architecture and natural beauty. 

York has lots of options for bike hire for solo adventures, with local firms offering great deals on road bikes and mountain bikes, children’s bikes and specially-adapted bikes.

Walking tours 

You can discover thousands of years of history and really get under the skin of the city with a free York walking tour.

The Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Normans , Tudors and Stuarts have all left their mark on the city, as did the Wars of the Roses and the English Civil War.

Now’s your chance to get up close and personal with 2,000 years of history.

Still safely taking place with distancing rules observed, the White Rose York group organise free York walking tours at 11am every day.

Meet outside the Minster for a three-hour tour of all the main historic sights. On your York walking tour the friendly and knowledgeable guides will lead you past ruined castles and abbeys, grand palaces and churches  and along the historic city walls.

Ghostly goings-on

It’s said to be the most haunted city in Europe, and there are several York ghost walks and tours to choose from.

Experienced guides will lead you along dark passageways and narrow ancient streets to investigate tales of murder, death and bloodcurdling history, with plenty of strange and macabre surprises along the way.

If you like the idea of a York ghost walk but want to save your shoe leather, you could jump aboard the Ghost Bus and be shown the sights by a creepy conductor, while onboard a classic 60s Routemaster. A York ghost walk really is a spooktacular way to see the city!

B+B York, a privately-owned boutique bed & breakfast hotel is situated just a few minutes’ stroll from the famous York city walls and offers the perfect location for exploring the heart of Yorkshire.


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