York Minster

York Minster: Our most recommended tours and activities

York City Pass: Access 20 Attractions for One Great Price

1. York City Pass: Access 20 Attractions for One Great Price

York is a city with over 2000 years of history to explore, choose your own adventure in this amazing city. After purchase, your York City Pass gives you free entry to over 20 attractions in York.  Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in York and see the best of the city. You can visit Jorvik Viking Centre, York Dungeon, York Minster, Barley Hall, and more. You can also hop on the City Sightseeing Bus or the York City Cruises. With a variety of different options of things to do in see, you can thoroughly explore York. The York Pass also gives you discounts on taxi fares, BOBH day trips from York, Mountain Goat Tours, City Cruises Evening Tour, York Cycling Tour, escape rooms, and ghost walks. Inclusions: • Pizza or pasta at Ask Italian, with purchases (terms and conditions apply) • The Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre • Barley Hall • Bedern Hall • Beningbrough Hall • Clifford’s Tower • Castle Howard • DIG • Fairfax House • Golden Tours York 24-hour ticket • Jorvik Viking Centre • Mansion House • Merchant Adventurers’ Hall • Railway Museum Road Train • Roman Bath • The Hilt Axe Experience • Treasurer’s House • Van Gogh Experience • York Army Museum • York City Cruises • York City Sightseeing 24-hour ticket • York Dungeon • York Minster • Yorkshire Air Museum • Yorkshire Museum • York Castle Museum

York: Witches and History Old Town Walking Tour

2. York: Witches and History Old Town Walking Tour

Join a characterful witch-guide to discover York's history and unearth the secrets of the Shambles on a walking tour, with the option to participate in potion-making. Tread lightly as you walk through York Minster, Petergate, and Stonegate—the very grounds on which these mysterious events occurred. Meet your guide and begin your walking tour. Hear historical tales and legends that focus on witchcraft. Explore the Shambles, as you step back in time and discover the unpleasant origins of this now picturesque street. Watch out on the cobbles as you lend your ear to terrible tales of the witches of Yorkshire. Walk to Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate, the smallest street with possibly the longest name in York. It is said the name means "What a street." Then, view the remains of the St Crux Church, originally the largest medieval parish church in York. Continue to King's Square, learning more about the area and hearing the tale of the magical tree with a witchy connection. Next, follow your guide through the old quarter of York, the Minster Quarter, where you pass the vibrant shopping area of the city. Stroll through Low Petergate and High Petergate and listen in awe at the fascinating and chilling stories of the past. Marvel at the grandeur of the world's most magnificent and iconic cathedrals, York Minster. Right opposite that, see the St Michael Le Belfrey Church. Hear some more spooky and witchery tales and a name that might spark some recognition. Gaze at the architecture of medieval buildings, gorgeous Georgian townhouses, and other period styles in Stonegate, one of York's most historic roads. Discover the alleys, ginnels, and snickets of the city and walk through York's longest snickelway (narrow alleys running between York's streets). Feel the chills in the air in the hidden courtyard of Barley Hall. Back to where it all began, this spellbinding old town walking tour lets you discover the wicked history of medieval York. In addition to exploring York, you can also opt to enter the Potions Cauldron for an immersive potion-making experience. Uncover the secret room and get lost in another world as special effects take you on a quest to make the perfect potion.

York: The Dark Chronicles of York Guided Walking Tour

3. York: The Dark Chronicles of York Guided Walking Tour

Unearth the grim stories and the untold truths of York's dark past on this walking tour. Join your guide to explore secrets long forgotten, and journey back almost 2000 years to the roots of Eboracum. See York Minster and Shambles Market from a new perspective. Learn what happened to the criminals of this city, what happened to the innocent, and what really happens in the shadows of York's mysterious alleyways and streets. Meet your guide outside The Hilt on Goodramgate and travel through the city, passing by iconic landmarks such as Shambles Market and York Minster. You will also discover lesser-known spots such as St. Andrewgate street.

York: Guided Medieval Walking Tour in the Shambles

4. York: Guided Medieval Walking Tour in the Shambles

Europes largest Medieval Gothic Cathedral is the starting point, taking in the City's ancient walled defences, Churches with their mysterious Devils Door, then onto the street of Butchered, the famous Shambles and past the Merchant Adventurers Guild hall. Enjoy a 90 minute exploration of York, a city founded by the Roman Empire, a city that would attract some of the first warriors in history , Saxons, Vikings and Normans! walk the medieval wall and find out how the defences were developed and how they made York the finest medieval walled city in the UK. You'll walk the medieval shambles, once butchers shops and be amazed by Yorks Castle ruin and prisons. Learn about the people who have influenced York, from. Guy Fawkes and his Gun powder plot, Evil Highway men and their fate, walk in the footsteps of every British Monarch and see how they influent York, once Englands second City. You'll walk by Yorks Guild Halls and discover how they influenced the city and the whole of Europe before passing York Castle, Jorvik, the heart of the Viking city. Our tour concludes at All Saints Pavement Church with it's famous lantern tower and one of the more unique church services in Britain.

York: City Highlights Small Group Walking Tour

5. York: City Highlights Small Group Walking Tour

Contained within a ring of medieval stone walls, York concentrates 2000 years of history into a remarkably small area. This ninety-minute tour begins at Bootham Bar, the city’s northern entrance, from which every period of York’s development is visible, from Roman times to the present day. You’ll then enter the tranquil, green oasis of the Museum Gardens - a Victorian botanic garden which contains an 18th Century observatory, the remains of a Roman fortress and the spectacular ruins of St Mary’s Abbey. From here it is a short walk to the Minster - the largest medieval gothic cathedral in the country - which has dominated the city’s skyline for over 900 years. The Minster lies at the heart of a warren of ancient streets whose layout is Viking in origin. You’ll hear tales of Viking invasion while delving deep into the maze of secret passages known as ‘Snickelways’; passing an unhappy mermaid and a little red devil as well as catching a glimpse of a 15th Century banqueting hall. Finally you’ll emerge into the Shambles,York’s best-known cobbled street - once a row of butchers, now instantly recognisable to Harry Potter fans as the inspiration for Diagon Alley.

York: Private Bespoke History Walking Tour

6. York: Private Bespoke History Walking Tour

Walk through the streets of York which feels like taking a tour through the history of England. The Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Normans all remade the city to their own purposes. The Tudors and the Stuarts made themselves at home here. The Wars of the Roses and the English Civil War left their mark as well. Experience the history of one of the most fascinating cities in Britain. For 2,000 years, York has been at the heart of the nation’s affairs. Listen to your guide that will bring its history to life as you are walking through lush parks and narrow lanes, pass grand churches, and palaces to ruined castles and abbeys. Enjoy this tour that offers a private experience for larger groups or families who would prefer the personal touch. The tour takes in all the main sights of the city and provides an in-depth look at the history behind them. Your guide will happily customize the tour to your requirements, depending on what you would like to see.  Receive the services of your own personal professional guide and benefit from their local knowledge.

York: Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

7. York: Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour

Enjoy a day of city-sightseeing in York in the comfort of a hop-on hop-off open-top bus. See the city’s most famous monuments and buildings from great vantage points and learn about the city’s history from a live guide on board. Sit back and relax as your hear fascinating information about York Minster, Micklegate Bar, Clifford’s Tower, and much more. Benefit from a 24-hour pass that offers you the flexibility to hop-on or hop-off anytime at any of the 20 stops along the tour route.

York: Romans, Vikings, and Medieval Marvels Audio Guide

8. York: Romans, Vikings, and Medieval Marvels Audio Guide

See York and its most iconic sights without the expense or time constraints of a group tour with this affordable audio guide. Stroll past the city's most iconic landmarks, including the Shambles and York Minster. Start at York Art Gallery and travel back in time through 2000 years of history as you stroll. Experience Roman, Viking, and medieval York, and see the city's great sights as well as its hidden gems. Learn the history of this city and the central role it has played in the history of England. Continue past iconic sights like the Shambles, one of the world's best-preserved medieval streets, and spot the story of Adam and Eve carved into York Minster’s Great West Door. Uncover some of the most important characters in York's development along the way, from its humble beginnings as a riverside Roman settlement, to its turbulent takeover by the Vikings, and on to its thriving medieval period of commerce. Feel free to start, pause, or restart at any time and complete your visit at your own pace. If your travel plans change, you can use the audio guide at any date of your choice or use the virtual in-app option for an at-home experience.

York: Private Guided Walking Tour

9. York: Private Guided Walking Tour

The story of York is the story of England in wood, stone and chocolate. Constantine the Great became emperor here. Viking raiders left their chaotic street plan. Quaker confectioners invented the KitKat. No wonder it can be hard to know where to begin. How about the spot where it is possible to take in 2000 years of history simply by turning in a circle? And you don't have to walk much further to see how York was shaped by Romans, Normans and Tudors; as it is all laid out within the grounds of a Victorian botanic garden. Only in York can you be transported from a legionary fortress to a ruined abbey and a medieval hospital by crossing a lawn. Who needs a Tardis?  Ever wondered why the Minster is known as a Minster rather than a cathedral? Puzzled why all the streets in York are called Gates (and all the gates are called Bars)? This entertaining and informative walk provides the answers while taking in all the key sights including the Minster, the medieval walls and the Shambles - the precariously crooked street that provided the inspiration for Diagon Alley. A true highlight, in every sense, is the elevated walkway running around the city wall (don't worry, there are safety railings, but this part is not obligatory if you suffer from vertigo). The route will also veer off the beaten path and into the maze of ancient cut-throughs and back-passages known locally as ’Snickelways’. These tiny, winding streets are the life-blood of the city and the side of York you would never be able to experience from an open-topped bus.

York: 1-Hour Small Group Evening Walking Tour

10. York: 1-Hour Small Group Evening Walking Tour

Early evening is the most atmospheric time to experience York, the shops have closed, the tourist hordes have departed, the ancient streets lie at your disposal. This hour-long walking tour is for anyone seeking a concise, informal and entertaining introduction to York in the company of an expert local guide. Discover why the Minster is known as a Minster rather than a cathedral, why all the streets in York are called Gates and all the gates are called Bars. Start your tour in Exhibition Square, and see 2000 years of history simply by turning in a circle. Take in all the must-see sights including the Minster, the medieval walls and the Shambles, the inspiration for Diagon Alley. Take the opportunity to enter the maze of ancient cut-throughs and back-passages, or Snickelways as they are known locally.  Although this isn't a ghost tour there are plenty of gruesome true stories to be heard. By the end of the walk you will be ready for your dinner reservation having tasted the full flavour of a city which still has Viking mud on its boots and a tang of cocoa in the air.

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Other Sightseeing Options in York Minster

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What people are saying about York Minster

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 649 reviews

Would 100% recommend!! My first time in York and the York pass is definitely worth it. I would say book and plan, although activities are fairly close to each other we needed to book over the October half term, plus the taxi companies all said it is a very busy city all the time. Do as much as you can and we managed to do some spontaneous things too. York minster had a light show on one night £7. We also managed to do a cocktail experience in the potion shop we paid just over £20 and so worth it!

Our group of 6 Americans had a day to spend in York, and wanted to learn as much as we could in a short time. Our guide did a great job bringing the past to life with interesting stories and anecdotes. I will definitely use Get Your Guide in my future travels. Very reasonable price, guide was considerate of our time. A memorable experience!

Great night with our tour guide, Ellie who was knowledgeable, friendly and created a great atmosphere on the tour. It was a nice sized group, compared to other tours we passed, and the smaller setting allowed it to be more personal and interesting! Good contrast of humour, seriousness and facts! Would definitely recommend.

Cecil lead a reasonably paced trip through the city of York and provided lots of interesting information. There was some mild rain, but it did not impact the tour. Very informative and great exercise!

An excellent tour! Sarah really brought to life the history of York. The smaller sizes of the tour gave us the opportunity to ask lots of questions.