88-96 Walmgate, York, YO1 9TL, United Kingdom

Tel: 01904 231 333


Fax: 01904 231 334

Email: info@inyoryk.co.uk



York's Best Free Activities

Our picturesque city is one of the most famous destinations in the North of England, and it’s not hard to see why. Despite its popularity, there are still some incredible activities that you can enjoy without breaking the bank. In this blog, our York hotel shares some of the city’s best, free attractions.

Vintage train(Photo Credit: National Railway Museum)

Visit the National Railway Museum 

Locomotive lovers rejoice in the home of iconic engines. Travel back in time as you explore the people, places, and real stories behind these famous feats of engineering, then imagine the future of the exciting industry. With an unrivalled collection, even well-versed train buffs are bound to learn something new. 


Beetle on flower(Photo Credit: York Botanical Gardens)

Discover the York Museum Botanical Gardens

Part of the York Museum grounds, these registered botanical gardens are spectacularly beautiful all year round. Containing scheduled monuments and listed buildings, there are plenty of opportunities for photographs of the stunning architecture and magnificent flora. Immerse yourself in nature and learn about different plant species, and remember to take a picnic or treat yourself to an ice cream.


York City Walls

Meander along the City Walls

Circling historic York, the medieval City Walls are a two-mile, round route with multiple entry and exit points, allowing you to explore anything which catches your eye while you’re up high. Forming the largest city walls in England, the structure was built in the 13th century and made from magnesian limestone. Traverse fortified gateways and towers, and see if you can spot any mason’s marks. 


York streets

Join a guided walking tour

One of the best-kept secrets of our city is the fascinating, free walking tours available. While many businesses offer paid versions, companies such as White Rose York, Strawberry Tours, and the Association of Voluntary Guides provide excellent insights on our beautiful city. Featuring all the top sights, these guides are well versed and happy to answer your questions.


York Minster

Attend a service at York Minster

Since the seventh century, this magnificent church has been the centre of Christianity in the North. Today its foremost priority is still worship, offering daily services which are free to the public and allow you to lose yourself in the breathtaking atmosphere. Although you cannot explore all areas of the Minster for free, most services take place in the Quire which contains spectacular stonework and a striking window.


Street performer(Photo Credit: Kings Square York)

Watch a street performance

York is a dynamic city full of creative people, so it’s no wonder that street performers are a regular occurrence. From childrens entertainers to daredevil stunt artists, there’s no end to the entertainment. Many acts encourage crowd participation, from clapping to aiding in the production, which can be a great opportunity to snap some photographs of your loved ones joining in. 


Christmas Festival

Stay during festival season

Culturally diverse, York often has a multitude of festivals scheduled throughout the year, each taking over the city in their own way. From street food sampling, to live music, to art, there are lots of opportunities to celebrate with free events. Yorkies love any excuse to have fun, and in our view it's the more the merrier. 


York Shambles

Explore the magic of The Shambles

Remarkably preserved, The Shambles is an iconic York landmark. This medieval street was built extremely narrow to prevent produce being sat out in the sun, but now houses a quirky range of shops and cafes. Rumoured to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter, magic is now a core part of The Shambles’ charm.

The wonderful city of York is abundant with fun, free activities for all ages. The staff at Hotel Indigo York are always more than happy to give a recommendation for somewhere to go, so explore our special offers now.

Breakfast was amazing! Extremely lovely decoration throughout the hotel, very classy. The staff were all really friendly. 

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Hotel Indigo York Reviews



A lovely hotel within walking distance to the centre of York. Very friendly, helpful staff on reception, bar area and dining room. The rooms were immaculately clean and well presented. The bed was absolutely huge and was extremely comfortable. The hotel has a modern, funky feel to it and was very welcoming. The breakfast was superb . Would definitely stay here again.



<p>Conveniently positioned within easy walking distance of the city and Minster. This was our third visit so obviously we’re fans. That said although the previous visits were excellent this time the stay was even better. On check in we were given a complimentary upgrade to a superior room as IHG elite members. The room was spacious, clean and well furnished. Large TV. Massive comfortable bed with high quality bedding. Complimentary snacks with fresh milk and the bonus of a Nespresso coffee machine complete with six “pods”. Decent sized bathroom which was clean and well stocked with quality toiletries. Breakfast on both mornings was excellent. Wide choice of hot and cold items. Plenty of quality juices and smoothies. Service excellent even when busy nothing seems rushed. Very highly recommended.</p>



Excellent hotel. Rooms very nice and extremely clean and quiet. Friendly staff both at reception and restaurant. Breakfast had fantastic choice. Location was really good lots of nice bars and restaurants just minutes away. Short walk to the Shambles and they offered parking just 2 minutes away for a small daily charge. Would definitely stay again. 5 Stars.


Perth, Australia

We have found that it’s the little things that make a huge difference when you’re travelling. They’ve nailed the little things here! You’re always warmly greeted when you pass reception. Comfortable bed, soft towels, immaculate room and free chocolate in the fridge! Breakfast is delicious and finally a coffee I enjoyed. Location is fabulous and parking was easy. Well done to the Team at Hotel Indigo.



We stayed at the Indigo for my birthday recently. It was very modern with quirky room features. The breakfast was world class - such a great variety of treats, including a good selection of gluten and dairy free food. The staff were very helpful and attentive.


Milton Keynes

Stayed for 2 nights, very good quality modern hotel with good sized rooms and breakfast. Cold buffet and hot food freshly cooked to order . Great location within a 5/10 minute walk of York center. Would highly recommend.



<p>My partner, daughter and I stayed for 3 nights on a city break in April 2018. The room was great, Fresh milk in the complimentary mini fridge, fantastic big bed, really really clean, excellent room service and thick black out curtains. The service was excellent from all the staff at all times - reception staff were helpful and friendly, nothing was too much trouble. The breakfast was also fantastic, so much choice on offer and again, nothing was too much trouble. The hotel is really well located for the city. It was excellent value for money and we would definitely stay there again. Absolutely 10/10 all round.</p>


South Ayrshire

This is a nice hotel in a quiet area of York, but still within easy walking distance of the city centre / shambles walls etc. Lovely continental breakfast and a quiet bar area. Ideal if you want a bit of peace in a busy city.



Stayed one night in this hotel ,was very impressed. A warm welcome on arrival from the receptionist and the room was ready ahead of check in time. The room was lovely, very luxurious with lots of nice touche. Biscuits, chocolate and drinks in fridge. Very close to main town and York Minster. Had a lovely evening meal in the hotel restaurant, very reasonable priced and a nice breakfast in the morning before leaving. Would definitely stay here again.



Lovely hotel close to York centre and near all the main sites. Within 5 minutes walk to the Shambles. Excellent staff and facilities. On arrival complimentary mini treats in room due to it being my Birthday. Complimentary water and chocolate and biscuits in room together with tea making facilities. Made the 2 night stay in York most enjoyable. Would definitely stay there again and recommend.


Greater Manchester

We had a very pleasant stay on a Saturday night when visiting York. The hotel is only a few minutes walk from the Shambles and central York area. The staff were all good and friendly with good check in service and also in the bar. The breakfast choice and service was also very good. The room and the hotel was decorated very well. We stay here again if staying in York.

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