Located in West Yorkshire, the large British city of Leeds is known for its striking architecture, an exciting night scene, great shopping, and varied cultural attractions. The universities help add to Leeds’s youthful atmosphere and the city is within easy reach of splendid natural hotspots like the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District.

Leeds is a sprawling city with a number of different districts, with most districts offering something interesting for visitors. Thinking about where to stay in Leeds can be tricky.

Our team of expert travel writers have compiled this list of the best places to stay in Leeds to make your life easier. Whether you’re thinking about where to stay in Leeds for your first time, the best areas to stay in Leeds as a family, or want to find the coolest places to stay in Leeds, look no further when planning your trip.

And now, here are our top recommendations for where to stay in Leeds. Warning: some are sure to amaze you!

Where to Stay in Leeds

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Leeds.

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Large House in Leeds | Best Airbnb in Leeds

The five bedrooms, well-equipped kitchen, modern bathroom, and lovely living room make this gorgeous townhouse our favourite Airbnb in Leed. Especially great for families, it’s just a short walk from the popular Roundhay Park.

It also has free parking on the street outside.

Russell Scott Backpackers | Best Hostel in Leeds

Famous for being the first and one of the coolest hostels in Leeds, Russell Scott Backpackers is a comfortable and convenient base for all budget travellers. The six-bed dorms are single-gender and private rooms sleep from one to five. Breakfast is free and you can make your own basic meals in the kitchen.

Lockers, key cards, and 24-hour reception add to your peace of mind.

Haley’s Hotel | Best Hotel in Leeds

The elegant Haley’s Hotel has attractive interiors and furnishings along with lots of little luxuries. All rooms are en suite. There’s no need to go hungry as the hotel has its own award-winning restaurant that serves delicious cuisine.

A hearty breakfast is included in the price. Guests can make use of the tour desk to explore the surroundings.

Leeds Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Leeds

leeds - City Centre

City Centre

With museums, art galleries, thriving shopping streets, a wide selection of restaurants, traditional pubs, theatres, and more, Leeds City Centre is our pick for where to stay in Leeds for your first time.

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Situated to the northeast of the city centre, Oakwood is our recommendation for where to stay in Leeds on a budget; Oakwood accommodation is some of the most affordable in the city.

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Just a short distance outside of the City Centre, Headingley manages to combine a laid-back atmosphere with youthful energy, offering plenty of opportunities to chill or have fun.

Chapel Allerton, Leeds

Chapel Allerton

With a village-like community vibe and a quirky, offbeat appeal, Chapel Allerton is one of the coolest places to stay in Leeds. Nicknamed “The Notting Hill of the North”, the suburb boasts handsome architecture from throughout the ages, green spaces, independent shops, art galleries, chic cafes, and cool bars.

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Famous for its large park and offering heaps of ways to have outdoors fun, Roundhay is our pick for where to stay in Leeds for families.

Central Leeds, or the City Centre, is filled with many places to eat, drink, shop, sightsee and sleep. It’s where many first-time visitors to Leeds focus their time and it’s easy to walk between many places of interest.

The heart of the city is further split into different areas, including the civic quarter, where you’ll find a great selection of museums and art galleries, the exchange quarter, which is home to cool cafes and funky bars, and the central shopping area.

Riverside, located south of the train station, is another cool area with lots of new developments, and there’s been lots of regeneration in the former industrial centre of Holbeck too.

Headingley is known for being the main student area in Leeds. The vibe is youthful and hip and there are many quirky stores, cool bars, and diverse eateries. It’s among the best areas if you’re thinking about where to stay in Leeds for nightlife.

Nearby, Chapel Allerton is another of Leeds’s best neighborhoods for trendy travellers. An upmarket area with plenty of charm, it is one of the most attractive areas of Leeds and you’ll find lots of parks, galleries, cafes, restaurants, and independent shops.

Roundhay, home to a large park and family-friendly attractions, is often a top choice for those wondering where to stay in Leeds with kids. Other interesting areas of Leeds include the village of Meanwood, Otley, Alwoodley, Horsforth, Kirkstall, and Oakwood.

5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Leeds

It’s clear that Leeds has many interesting places. But, the best neighborhood in Leeds to stay in really depends on your individual preferences and your trip priorities. This Leeds neighborhood guide will help you to make the right choice.

#1 City Centre – Where to Stay in Leeds First Time

With museums, art galleries, thriving shopping streets, a wide selection of restaurants, traditional pubs, theatres, and more, Leeds City Centre is our pick for where to stay in Leeds for your first time. Getting to and around the area is easy, thanks to great public transport, and there are myriad sights and activities to suit all interests.

You’ll also find the city’s gay quarter in the City Centre.

leeds - City Centre

There are grand old Victorian buildings, converted warehouses, and renovated industrial buildings. Millennium Square is a world-class concert venue and the area is home to the only Harvey Nicholls store in the UK. Ease of access and range of facilities also makes this our choice for where to stay in Leeds for one night.

Russell Scott Backpackers | Best Hostel in City Centre

Our favourite hostel in Leeds’s City Centre, Russell Scott Backpackers has a choice of single-gender dorms and private rooms with shared bathrooms to accommodate different group sizes. Clean and secure, hostel amenities include a basic kitchen, a laid-back common room, and laundry facilities.

Handy freebies include breakfast and Wi-Fi.

Discovery Inn | Best Hotel in City Centre

Just steps from Leeds Railway Station, Discovery Inn is also conveniently located for great dining and nightlife. Rooms for two come with a private bathroom, tea and coffee making facilities, free Wi-Fi, and a TV.

The comfy beds will make you feel right at home. Reception is open at all times and the hotel offers luggage storage.

Modern Deluxe City Centre Apartment | Best Airbnb in City Centre

Sleeping two guests in one bedroom, this modern apartment overlooks the attractive Leeds Dock. There’s a separate living area as well as a well-equipped kitchen.

A cot and high chair can be provided if required. There are two smart TVs in the apartment and guests can access free Wi-Fi. You can also use the complex’s gym and benefit from free parking.

Things to See and Do in City Centre:

  1. Discover the huge selection of weapons, battle clothing, jousting equipment, and more at the Royal Armouries Museum. The collection was originally kept in the Tower of London and it’s among the oldest museums across the globe.
  2. Shop till you drop in the elegant Victorian District, browsing along Briggate and inside the excellent Trinity Mall.
  3. Marvel at the neo-Gothic masterpiece of Leeds Cathedral at step inside to admire intricate sculptures and soak up the peaceful air.
  4. Learn more about the city’s past and present in the free-to-enter Leeds City Museum.
  5. See grand historic buildings like Leeds Town Hall, Leeds Kirkgate Market, and Mill Hill Chapel.
  6. Inspire your creative side at Leeds Art Gallery, home to an impressive collection of works from the 19th century and earlier.
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#2 Oakwood – Where to Stay in Leeds on a Budget

Situated to the northeast of the city centre, Oakwood is our recommendation for where to stay in Leeds on a budget; Oakwood accommodation is some of the most affordable in the city. It is well connected to the City Centre by frequent bus services, though you’ll also find plenty of handy amenities at your fingertips.

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A now-demolished stately home in Oakwood is said to have been where the first motion picture was filmed. The area hosts a lively farmers’ market once a month, with extra special events at Christmas, Easter, and other festive periods.

A major landmark is the gigantic 1904 Oakwood Clock and nature lovers can enjoy walks through the wildlife-rich woods.

Single Bedroom in Oakwood/Roundhay Leeds | Best Airbnb in Oakwood

This private bedroom in a shared house could be one of the best places in Leeds to stay if you are a solo budget explorer. Guests share a bathroom with the hospitable host and also have access to the living room and kitchen.

There’s free Wi-Fi and parking and the nearest bus stop is just a three-minute walk away.

OYO The Avenue | Best Budget Hotel in Oakwood

Conveniently located for easy access to both Oakwood and Chapel Allerton, OYO The Avenue is a three-star hotel with en suite rooms for two. All rooms have a TV and a kettle. The property has an onsite restaurant-bar and offers luggage storage, free parking, and free Wi-Fi.

Montagu House | Best Hotel in Oakwood

A perfect option if you’re considering where to stay in Leeds with kids or a group of friends, Montagu House is an affordable holiday home with three bedrooms. Accommodating up to seven guests, the property has a full kitchen, ideal for self-catering breaks, a large light-filled dining room, a modern bathroom, and a comfortable living room with satellite TV and free Wi-Fi.

Things to See and Do in Oakwood:

  1. Satisfy your appetite in the Fish Bar. Housed in a fine historic building with a handsome Art Deco façade, the establishment has been dishing up tasty fish and chips since the 1930s.
  2. Visit on the third Saturday of the month to purchase fresh, local produce at the community-organised farmers’ market.
  3. Take a stroll through the ancient woodlands of Gipton Wood, home to various towering trees such as beech, sycamore, and oak, and spot diverse wildlife.
  4. Have fun with younger members of the family at Jackrabbits Pottery Studio and paint your own attractive pieces to take home and treasure.
  5. Absorb the spiritual air in Oakwood Church.
  6. Gaze up at the Oakwood Clock, a large historic clock face mounted on a newer tower at the edges of the leafy Roundhay Park.

#3 Headingley – Best Area to Stay in Leeds for Nightlife

Just a short distance outside of the City Centre, Headingley manages to combine a laid-back atmosphere with youthful energy, offering plenty of opportunities to chill or have fun. There’s plenty to do both by day and by night, with sports and students a big part of local life; cricket and rugby are both popular in Headingley, and the area is close to both the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University.

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When it comes to history, Headingley boasts one of the oldest cinemas in the UK, as well as several glorious historic buildings. The area really comes into its own after the sun goes down, however, with an abundance of eateries to suit all tastes and a fabulous selection of pubs, bars, and clubs.

It’s not unusual to see revellers dressed in fancy dress for a night out in Headingley. In short, if you’re asking where to stay in Leeds for nightlife, we highly recommend Headingley!

The Boundary Hotel | Best Budget Hotel in Headingley

Close to Headingley Train Station, The Boundary Hotel is a charming bed and breakfast with double and twin rooms (some en suite and some with shared bathrooms). Relax in the lounge bar, grab a book from the library, play billiards, and enjoy a delicious dinner in the onsite restaurant.

Laundry facilities are available.

Haley’s Hotel | Best Hotel in Headingley

The award-winning Haley’s Hotel is one of the best places to stay in Leeds for easy access to the city’s excellent nightlife. Breakfast is included and the hotel has a restaurant-cum-bar. There are well-appointed and spacious double and twin rooms, all with a private bathroom.

The handsome stone building is filled with luxurious touches and newlyweds can book a Honeymoon Suite. Other plus points include a tour desk, free Wi-Fi, and luggage storage.

Spacious Stylish Self-Contained Apartment in Leeds | Best Airbnb in Headingley

This one-bedroom basement flat is sparkling clean and has its own private entrance and a patch of private yard. The studio has a double bed, a sofa, a TV, a work desk, and a small dining table, and the kitchenette has a fridge, microwave, kettle, and toaster.

It’s cute with stylish décor and great lighting.

Things to See and Do in Headingley:

  1. Catch up on sporting news and watch a match at Headingley Stadium. Used for sports since the 1890s, it is home to Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Yorkshire Carnegie Rugby Union Football Club, and Leeds Rhinos Rugby League Football Club.
  2. View the latest exhibitions at The Bowery.
  3. Treat your taste buds to diverse cuisine from across the world in Headingley’s wide assortment of restaurants, with Greek, Indian, Chinese, Turkish, Italian, and American just a few menus to tempt you.
  4. Stock up on the essentials at The Arndale Centre.
  5. Watch a movie at Cottage Road Cinema. Modernised and renovated, the cinema has been in operation in 1912.
  6. Call into a traditional pub, like the Original Oak or the Head of Steam, to relax over a pint of cold beer, or don your swanky outfits to sip cocktails in places like The Box or Arc.
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#4 Chapel Allerton – Coolest Place to Stay in Leeds

With a village-like community vibe and a quirky, offbeat appeal, Chapel Allerton is one of the coolest places to stay in Leeds. Nicknamed “The Notting Hill of the North”, the suburb boasts handsome architecture from throughout the ages, green spaces, independent shops, art galleries, chic cafes, and cool bars.

Photo opportunities abound around each corner.

Chapel Allerton, Leeds
Photo: Chemical Engineer (WikiCommons)

In the warmer summer months, you can join locals at the pavement bars and cafes, spilling out onto the streets to enjoy the balmy weather and chilled-out ambiance. Every year, in August, locals and visitors alike can enjoy the Chapel Allerton Arts Festival, with live music, art displays and workshops, food stalls, crafts, and more. In fact, there are many exciting festivals in Leeds throughout the year.

High Bank Hotel | Best Budget Hotel in Chapel Allerton

We love the simple comforts and homey vibe of the small and intimate High Bank Hotel. You can choose between rooms with shared or private rooms; all rooms sleep two, with either double or twin beds.

You can conveniently order meals onsite and relax in the lovely garden (complete with BBQ) or cosy bar.

Harman Suites Self-Catering Apartments | Best Hotel in Chapel Allerton

Harman Suites Self-Catering Apartments has comfortable apartments for two and three. Travelling with a baby? Cribs are also available. Each well-equipped apartment has a full kitchen, complete with an oven, hob, fridge, and washing machine.

Unwind in front of the TV in the evenings or surf the free Wi-Fi. The free parking makes this a great hotel in Leeds for road-tripping travellers too.

Bright, Airy Entire Family Home | Best Airbnb in Chapel Allerton

This two-bedroom house in Chapel Allerton is a terrific find if you’re looking for where to stay in Leeds for families. It can accommodate up to six people between two double beds and a double sofa bed in the separate living room.

The lounge also has a fireplace, TV, and dining table with four chairs. The full kitchen has everything you need to whip up a feast along with laundry facilities.

Things to See and Do in Chapel Allerton:

  1. Step back in time with a walk around Stainbeck Corner and surrounds, where you’ll find a number of fine historic buildings that include the old fire station and police station, a primary school, churches, and inns.
  2. Watch a show or performance at the area’s cultural hub of Seven Arts.
  3. Unwind in the outdoors at Chapel Allerton Park and let kids cut loose in the play area.
  4. Stroll along Harrogate Road and browse in eclectic boutiques, bookshops, bakeries, and other trendy outlets.
  5. See how the affluent lived in times gone by as you wander past the glorious sandstone Gothic-style villas along Wood Lane.
  6. Pop into The Mustard Pot for a drink in one of Leeds’s oldest (former) houses, sup a pint in the old coaching inn with highwaymen connections at The Nag’s Head, and hop between the area’s other historic inns and pubs.

#5 Roundhay – Best Neighborhood in Leeds for Families

Famous for its large park and offering heaps of ways to have outdoors fun, Roundhay is our pick for where to stay in Leeds for families.

You can spend sunny days in the charming Victorian-era Roundhay Park, which can also lay claim to being Europe’s second-biggest city park. Made up of woodland, lawns, and lakes, there are various gardens to enjoy as well as sporting and leisure facilities, a café, and play areas.

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The park attracts lots of wildlife and is an especially good place for bird watching. Free admission makes the park a hit with penny-conscious travellers too.

Roundhay’s architecture is eclectic, with structures from various points in time, including Victorian, Georgian, and modern. There’s a rugby club, various places of worship, and diverse places to eat and drink.

Large House in Leeds | Best Airbnb in Roundhay

This spacious and well-equipped five-bedroom house can sleep up to nine guests, perfect for big families and groups of friends. A real home from home, the house has a lovely living room where you can relax and a modern kitchen where you can prepare tasty meals.

Premium bedding, cleaning supplies, and free luxury toiletries are extra niceties to make your stay pleasant.

Brittania Hotel Leeds | Best Hotel in Roundhay

Although located just outside of Roundhay, we like the Brittania Hotel Leeds because of its modern rooms and top-class facilities. The hotel has a restaurant and bar, and room service is available.

The menu includes children’s meals. Rooms are en suite with a TV and kettle. Reception is staffed around the clock. An elevator, free parking, daily housekeeping services, and a garden add to the appeal.

Beechwood Hotel | Best Budget Hotel in Roundhay

Just a ten-minute walk from the popular Roundhay Park, Beechwood Hotel is a comfortable and affordable Leeds accommodation. Different types of rooms are available and the beds are soft and inviting.

The friendly members of staff are a great source of local information and tips to make your travels even more enjoyable.

Things to See and Do in Roundhay:

  1. Go fishing at Waterloo Lake and spot the wildlife that lives in and around Upper Lake.
  2. Explore the colourful gardens at Roundhay Park and be sure not to miss the Moorish-style Alhambra Garden, the art-inspired Monet Garden, the formal Canal Gardens, and the bright Rainbow Garden.
  3. Observe exotic plants and animals (some rare) at the amazing Tropical World, with inhabitants from all around the globe. Explore rainforests, swamplands, pools, and waterfalls, and come face to face with butterflies, fish, birds, lizards, meerkats, crocodiles, and other fascinating creatures.
  4. Hunt for bargains in the numerous charity stores around Roundhay.
  5. See interesting buildings such as The Mansion House, Woodlands Hall, Beechwood, Parc Mont, St. Andrew’s Church, and St. Edmund’s Church.
  6. Spend evenings in the friendly bars and pubs along Street Lane.
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FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Leeds

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Leeds and where to stay.

What To Pack For Leeds

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

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Ear Plugs

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Hanging Laundry Bag

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Leeds

Fun and laid-back and with bags of history, culture, and trendy spots, it’s no surprise that Leeds attracts all types of visitors. Enjoy top shopping, dining, cultural activities, and night-time revelry in this northern gem.

To refresh, the City Centre is our recommendation for the overall best neighborhood to stay in Leeds. It’s central and convenient with accommodations to suit all budgets and a wealth of attractions and experiences.

Looking to keep costs down? The best hostel in Leeds, in our opinion, is Russell Scott Backpackers. The central location, round-the-clock reception, clean rooms, great facilities, safety, and free breakfast make this an ideal choice for budget travellers.

Our favourite Airbnb is this Large House in Leeds, which features five bedrooms, a full kitchen, a TV, and free Wi-Fi. Within walking distance of Roundhay Park, it’s a perfect accommodation for those wondering where to stay in Leeds with the family.

Whether you’re looking for where to stay in Leeds on a budget, the coolest hot tub hotel in Leeds, the best places in Leeds to stay with children, or the perfect Leeds neighborhood for a pulsating nightlife, our guide includes the lot.

Have a great trip to Leeds!

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