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8 budget-friendly things to do in York

Forget the time machine, York is your passport to the past! This charming English city isn’t just a history book come alive. It’s a vibrant blend of medieval magic, fascinating ghost stories, and plenty of walkable quirky adventures. So, pack your walking shoes and sense of wonder, because we’re about to embark on an exciting and budget-friendly whirlwind tour through York’s many gems!

Budget-friendly things to do in York, England

1. Admire the magnificent York Minster

York Minster

Start your York adventures with awe at the magnificent York Minster. This Gothic masterpiece isn’t just the second-largest cathedral in Northern Europe, it’s also a stunning display of stained glass and intricate carvings. Feel the grandeur of the towering structure and the intricate beauty of the carvings. If you’re feeling adventurous, climb the central tower for a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. It’s a perfect opportunity to capture some Insta-worthy photos!

2. Stroll the York City Walls

York walls

Put on your sneakers and channel your inner knight as you stroll along the historic York City Walls. These walls are some of the most complete medieval fortifications in Britain, and they offer a unique perspective of the city’s rich history. Imagine the archers, the knights, and the battles that took place within these walls. You’ll definitely feel transported back in time!

3. Explore The Shambles

The Shambles

Step into a scene straight out of a Harry Potter movie as you wander down The Shambles. This narrow, crooked, timber-framed alleyway is packed with independent shops, cafes, and pubs, each vying for your attention with their colorful displays and mouthwatering aromas. Savor the delectable flavors of local Yorkshire pastries and the quintessential fish and chips. And don’t forget to grab a few quirky souvenirs to take home.

4. Pub Time! Grab a pint in Valhalla York or Kings Arms

Valhalla bar

After all that exploring, it’s time for a well-deserved pub break. Head to Valhalla York, a Viking-themed haven with hearty food and a lively atmosphere. Or, if you prefer a more traditional pub experience, the Kings Arms offers cozy nooks and a friendly vibe. Either choice will be perfect for relaxing and enjoying a pint or two!

5. Shop at The Shop That Must Not Be Named

The Shop That Must Not Be Named

Calling all fellow Potterheads! This quirky shop is a treasure trove of all things Harry Potter, from wands and robes to Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans (beware the earwax flavor!). Whether you’re a Gryffindor or a Slytherin, you’ll have a magical time browsing through the shop’s offerings. It’s a perfect opportunity to make some mischief and memories.

6. Take a pick with the Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate Sign

Laurie and Whip ma whop ma gate sign

No trip to York is complete without a photo op in front of the iconic Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate sign. This tongue-twisting street name has been around since 1505, and its unique history makes it a must-visit for any curious traveler. It’s a great opportunity to take some quirky photos and strike a pose!

7. Take a Spooktacular Walking Tour

Laurie in The Shambles at night

As the sun sets, delve into the city’s darker side with a spine-tingling ghost walk. Hear chilling tales of York’s haunted past, from restless spirits to gruesome executions. Just remember, if you hear a disembodied voice calling your name, it’s probably just a friendly ghost… right? This is not for the faint of heart, but it’s perfect for fans of the supernatural and the macabre!

8. Uncover history at The York Dungeon


Travel back in time at The York Dungeon, an immersive experience that brings York’s history to life (or should we say, death?). With interactive exhibits, live actors, and special effects, you’ll be transported to the city’s turbulent past, from Viking invasions to the gruesome stories of Dick Turpin. It’s a great way to learn about York’s history in an entertaining and engaging way.

Bonus Tip: If you’re lucky enough to visit during Christmas, York transforms into a winter wonderland. Think twinkling lights, festive markets filled with local crafts, and carol singers warming your heart with their melodies. It’s pure magic!

So, there you have it! This is just a taste of the many adventures that await you in York. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning scenery, this city is guaranteed to leave you enchanted. Pack your bags, book your flight, and get ready to discover the magic of York for yourself!

Heads up: As a way to earn passive income, this post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you buy something through one of those links, I might get a commission at NO extra cost to you. I appreciate your support! 💕

Little Shambles

February 29, 2024

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