Discover York
A city of Vikings, unique attractions, and a factory of chocolate

York is a charming city in Northern England

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Administrative-territorial division of York

After a series of reforms in 1889, York was transformed into a metropolitan county. The status remained until 1974. Later, it became the non-metropolitan county that was included in North Yorkshire county. Today, York is a unitary authority area in England. It’s being governed by one body of power that combines the functions of a county council and district council. There are many various suburbs and villages within its boundaries. York occupies the territory of 271 square kilometers that comprises 19 boroughs.

Map York


Mainly the Englishmen live in York and compile 94.3% of the population. The majority of the remaining part is the Asians. York is the best choice if you want to live among the Englishmen. Modern local citizens honor the history of the city and treat it with love. Even nowadays you can come across companies that use the old Roman name “Eboracum” or “Ebor”.

Historical tour around York

Let’s start our acquaintance with the year of foundation and the name. The city was founded in 71 AD as the Roman fortress known as Eboracum. Eventually, it became not only a city but also a significant outpost of the Romans in Great Britain. Septimius Severus, the Roman Emperor had been living here for several years. He turned Eboracum into the capital of Britannia Inferior. During his reign, the city was flourishing: handicrafts and trades were developing, lots of temples and buildings were erected. Moreover, the construction of the fortifying walls began which had to protect the city. The Romans abandoned the city only in the V century, after the decay of the Empire. Soon, it became the capital of the united kingdom of Deira and Bernicia also known as the Kingdom of Northumbria and the residence of kings.

In the VII-VIII centuries, the Christianity of Northern England was conceived in York. It became a large religious as well as educational and scientific center. However, the Dutch Vikings invaded the city in 866. It turned into the capital of the state and received a new name - Jorvik. The Vikings’ domination ended after the Battles of Stamford Bridge and Hastings in 1066. Then, the Northmen destroyed the stone walls of the trading capital of the North. Three years after that, William the Conqueror who was known for his cruelty and violence arranged a punitive operation in the city for the insubordination of the local citizens. It went down in history as the “Harrying of the North”.

In its lifetime, the city saw many periods of decays and prosperity. York survived the massacre of its Jewish inhabitants, the Wars of the Roses, epidemics, conspiracies, rebellions that resulted in the economic decline and a reduction of population. The period of golden age happened during the epoch of the Late Middle Ages and the reign of Elizabeth I.

The name of York was mentioned for the first time in the historic work in the XIII century. At the same time, York became the residential center for the English elite. The industrial revolution stimulated the building of railways. It ensured a new turn in the development and prosperity of the city.

Today, York is proud of its status as the oldest European city and a tourist center. Over 3 million tourists visit it annually.

Trip budget

Before the trip, you should calculate the approximate budget that you will require for the travel:

The best time to visit York

Just as the majority of cities in Great Britain, York has a mild climate. The average temperature in winter is +3 - +4°C; in summer - +16°C. Atmospheric precipitates are uneven and fall in autumn and winter. Severe frosts and fogs are typical here, so don’t forget to pack warm sweaters and hats for your trip. Taking into account the dump and cool English climate, spring and summer are the best seasons for planning a trip. However, if you want to attend the annual Jorvik Vikings festival, book your tickets for February.

All the fans of delicious food must come here in September. The gastronomic Festival of Food and Drink is held annually. York is famous not only for its attractions but also for the renowned ham steaks in Madeira sauce. Moreover, the National Book Fair, one of the best ones in Great Britain, is also held every year in September in York. Here you can sell or buy ancient books. 

In summer, many tourists come here to attend the famous York Maze situated not far from the city. Every year, a new maze is created on a maize field that is 10 times bigger than a football field. You never know the route of the maze, it’s different every time. The city also invites everyone to attend the Early Music festival in July.

Useful notes

10 must-do things in York

  • Come to York by train. You will arrive at the station that was built in 1839, opened in 1877 and is still working. Don’t rush to your hotel right away. Visit the largest National Railway Museum in the world. There you can see the renowned locomotive “Flying Scotsman” and plenty of other fascinating objects.
  • Admire the beauty and elegance of York Minster. It’s the main symbol of the city and the largest Gothic architectural construction in England. It stores a diversity of cultural and historical values and half of the Medieval stained glass in England. It works all week. Besides visiting the main building of the cathedral, you can also explore its dungeon, crypts, attend the house of canons, and ascend to the top of the central tower.
  • Climb York City Walls located along the River Ouse. The walls spread for 3.5 kilometers. They keep the Medieval history that you literally touch. The city has the remains of the wall and gates that date to the XIV century together with fragments of the Norman works.
  • Come to York to visit the festival. Jorvik is the biggest festival of the Vikings in Europe and its held every February. The historical camps and staged combat operations will dive you into the atmosphere of that epoch. You can even try on a costume and become a Viking yourself.
  • Shop till you drop! Shopping in York in unique. Head to such shops as Stonegate and Shambles to purchase extraordinary stamps and collectible coins. If you are interested in something else, ask for the special prospect for shopping lovers called “5 Routes to Shopping” at any tourist information office.
  • Taste York’s chocolate. Forget about Swiss chocolate! The headquarters and some manufactures of Rowntrees, Kitkat, Smarties, and Aero are located in York. Don’t even hesitate to visit the Chocolate Story museum and shop. There, you shall learn the history of chocolate in York and buy something delicious.
  • Visit some of the most interesting museums: the Jorvik Viking Center, Treasurer's House, Richard III Experience, Micklegate Bar Museum, York Art Gallery, Yorkshire Museum, Merchant Adventurers Hall, and the Fairfax House.
  • See the whole city spread before your eyes. You have not seen York if you have not climbed Clifford’s Tower or York Castle that was built back in the XIII century.
  • Enjoy nature. In York, don’t forget to take a ride along its beautiful River Ouse in any type of water transport. Moreover, explore numerous parks on both sides of its banks. The York Museum Gardens is the most popular and loved place both among locals and guests.
  • Arrange a gastronomic tour. You won’t have trouble finding a place to eat in this Medieval city. York offers more than three hundred restaurants that will treat you to the dishes of European cuisine: from traditional English to the exquisite French one.

Hotels in York

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