Visit York - Historic Walled City

York is a compact city packed full of exciting, unmissable experiences. The city of York has a mesmerizing mixture of ancient and modern. Great cafes and cuisine set against an historic backdrop which is as interesting as it is unique.

Walk the medieval cobbled streets and soak up the history of the city, once ruled by the Romans and the Vikings, and marvel at the magnificent York Minster.

A melting pot of culture waiting to be discovered, where Chocolatiers created the world’s finest chocolate and ghosts roam the snickets.


Hotels in York

Browse hotels in York – for the full listing, click here.

York Marriott Hotel

York Racecourse, Tadcaster Road, York, YO24 1QQ, United Kingdom

Principal York

Station Road, York, YO24 1AA, United Kingdom

The Grand, York

City Centre, Station Rise, York, YO1 6HT, United Kingdom

Hampton by Hilton York

Toft Green, York, YO1 6JT, United Kingdom

ibis York Centre

77 The Mount, York, YO24 1BN, United Kingdom

Novotel York Centre

Fishergate, York, YO10 4FD, United Kingdom

Attractions in York

Lost Earth Adventures

3 New Street, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 8RA

City Cruises York

King’s Staith, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 9SN, United Kingdom

The Original Ghost Walk of York

Nightly 6.30pm & 8.00pm From The King’s Arms, Ouse Bridge, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 9SN

York Racecourse

York Racecourse, Knavesmire Road, York, North Yorkshire, YO23 1EX, United Kingdom

Browse more attractions in and around York here.


Events in York

Take in a show at The Barbican or York Theatre Royal, or any number of different musical acts in the city:

Nordic Giants at The Crescent, York

8 The Crescent, York, YO24 1AW

Date & Time:

May 17th, 2023 8:00pm

Yes – Relayer at York Barbican, York

Paragon Street, York, YO10 4NT

Date & Time:

May 28th, 2024 7:30pm

Giovanni Pernice at York Barbican, York

Paragon Street, York, YO10 4NT

Date & Time:

March 21st, 2024 7:30pm

York on the Map

As the name does imply, York is a central element of Yorkshire, and it’s bang in the middle of the whole historic region, sitting in the fertile, flat Vale of York.

Getting to York by car, there is the A19 heading straight out of the city, via Thirsk, Middlesbrough, and then Sunderland and Newcastle. You can also easily reach from North or South via the A1 motorway, by coming off at junction 47 and travelling the pleasant drive along the A59 – the road which continues on through Harrogate and off West towards Skipton.


Travelling to York by Rail

There’s a main line train station right in the city centre of York, which is right next door to some excellent hotels, such as the Principal Hotel and the York Grand which are both within sight when you exit the station.

You can find York right at the heart of the action in the Northern network rail map, below.

York is home to the fantastic – and free – National Railway Museum which is a hit with young and old, which gives a big clue how important railways are to the city.


York Mini Guides

Any visitor to York will tell you there is such an amazing array of things to do and see, that you need to take a breath and spend your time. For this reason, we’ve broken York down into a series of mini-guides focussing in on specific elements of the walled City to allow you to take the ancient streets in your stride.


Only in York – VisitYork Video

VisitYork have produced the video below to showcase some of the internationally renowned reasons to make your way to York.

With over 30 attractions in less than one square mile you’re spoilt for choice with access to world class museums, galleries and experiences.

Check out the attractions of the Yorkshire National Trust.

Shop till you drop at one of the many unique independent York shops and high street fashion favourites.  

foodie destination with something to suit all appetites, from fine dining to street food, and quaint cafes all in picturesque, historic surroundings. Our North Yorkshire information page is also a source of interesting information. You’ll also find links to North East YorkshireHerriot Country and the Yorkshire Dales.


AccessAble York

Discover accessible places to go in York. If you need additional support during your stay in York there are a range of services to help you with your needs.


History of York

York is a walled city in Yorkshire that was founded by the ancient Romans.

Its huge 13th-century Gothic cathedral, York Minster, has medieval stained glass and 2 functioning bell towers.

The City Walls form a walkway on both sides of the River Ouse.

The Monk Bar gate houses an exhibition tracing the life of 15th-century Plantagenet King Richard III.

It is the historic county town of Yorkshire.

The city has long-standing buildings and structures, such as York Minster, York Castle and York city walls.

It was a county corporate and a county borough, not included in any of the ridings of Yorkshire.

The City of York unitary authority area includes the city, the town of Haxby, and surrounding villages and rural areas. The City of York Council is responsible for providing all local services and facilities throughout the district.

The city was founded by the Romans as Eboracum in 71 AD.

It became the capital of the Roman province of Britannia Inferior, and later of the kingdoms of Deira, Northumbria and Jórvík.

In the Middle Ages, York grew as a major wool-trading centre and became the capital of the northern ecclesiastical province of the Church of England, a role it has retained.

In the 19th century, York became a major hub of the railway network and a confectionery manufacturing centre, a status it maintained well into the 20th century.

During the Second World War, York was bombed as part of the Baedeker Blitz; although less affected by bombing than other northern cities, several historic buildings were gutted and restoration efforts continued into the 1960s.

The city had a population of 153,717 in the 2011 census and is located in the Yorkshire and the Humber region.

The wider City of York unitary borough had an estimated population of 210,618, making it the 87th most populous district in England.

The city is the fifth most visited city in the United Kingdom by international visitors.

Origin of the Name “York”

The name York (Old Norse: Jórvík) is derived from the Brittonic name Eburākon (Latinised as Eboracum or Eburacum), a combination of eburos “yew tree” (compare Old Irish ibar, Irish iobhar, iubhar, and iúr, and Scottish Gaelic iubhar; compare also Welsh efwr and Breton evor, both meaning “alder buckthorn”) and a suffix of appurtenance *-āko(n), meaning “belonging to,” or “place of” (compare Welsh -og).

Put together, these old words meant “place of the yew trees“. (In Welsh, efrog; in Old Irish, iubrach; in Irish Gaelic, iúrach; and in Scottish Gaelic, iùbhrach).

The city is called Eabhrac in Irish and Eabhraig in Scottish Gaelic—names derived from the Latin word Eboracum.

A proposed alternate meaning is “the settlement of (a man named) Eburos,” a Celtic personal name spelled variously in different documents as Eβουρος, Eburus and Eburius: when combined with the Celtic possessive suffix *-āko(n), the word could be used to denote the property of a man with this name.

The name Eboracum became the Anglian Eoforwic in the 7th century: a compound of Eofor-, from the old name, and -wic, meaning “village,” probably by conflation of the element Ebor- with a Germanic root *eburaz (‘boar’); by the 7th century, the Old English for ‘boar’ had become eofor. When the Danish army conquered the city in 866, it was renamed Jórvík.

Indeed the name Ebor is still in use in York, as the name of the racecourse’s famous race – and festival – the Ebor.

The Old French and Norman name of the city following the Norman Conquest was recorded as Everwic (modern Norman Évèroui) in works such as Wace’s Roman de Rou.

Jórvík, meanwhile, gradually reduced to York in the centuries after the Conquest, moving from the Middle English Yerk in the 14th century through Yourke in the 16th century to Yarke in the 17th century.

The form York was first recorded in the 13th century.

Many company and place names, such as the Ebor race meeting, refer to the Latinised Brittonic, Roman name.

The 12th‑century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, in his fictional account of the prehistoric kings of Britain, Historia Regum Britanniae, suggests the name derives from that of a pre-Roman city founded by the legendary king Ebraucus.

The Archbishop of York uses Ebor as his surname in his signature.


York FAQ’s

I am traveling from Australia and am enquiring about bus travel around yorkshire. I will be staying in York for a week and would like to travel out into the surrounding areas. Do you have day tripper tickets ? Please give me any links.

York runs a “Tap on Tap off” system which gives discounts automatically if you use the same payment method and remember to tap on the way off the bus: https://www.firstbus.co.uk/york/tickets/ticket-easy/tap-tap

There’s some other tickets & passes information here: https://tidd.ly/3XUpekV

I am a fairly good walker and would like to know of outstanding walks both in the city and surrounds.

All our walks are here: https://www.yorkshire.com/walkshire/


Where Next?

York is centrally located in Yorkshire, in the heart of North Yorkshire, making it an excellent place from which to branch out and discover more places in the county which carries the same name, browse more North Yorkshire information here.