York’s Best Free Activities - Hotel Indigo York

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.

Food & Drink in York

Sip on local gin, craft ales, familiar favourites, and creative cocktails at No.88 Walmgate. Pair with one of our delicious Rustic Pizzas.

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We proudly stand in the historic neighbourhood of Walmgate, just a short walk from all the city has to offer.

At one point Walmgate had 20 pubs on the street, today it is a cool mix of independent restaurants, bars and shops and continues to Fossgate – which boasts even more independent shops, delis, bars and restaurants. Walmgate Bar proudly stands at the end of the road. It is the only existing bar in York with a Barbican and forms part of the York City Walls walk.

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York Hotel's Chocolate Story

Discover the history of chocolate, how to make it and how to taste it like an expert at the York’s Chocolate Story.

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Hotel Indigo York's Latest Special Offers

Chocolate Package

Sweet dreams are made of this! Enjoy an indulgent stay in York and explore the city’s confectionary history. Snack on a complimentary box of chocolates, and wake up to a full English breakfast.

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