An ancient and beautiful city, York is popular among travelers who want to experience the history and atmosphere of this amazing city. The center of town was built in medieval times, around the 13th century, and the stories you’ll hear when you visit York’s best neighborhoods can range from astonishing to downright horrific. This city is for everyone who wants to experience what has been called a jewel in the grown of historic England.
This isn’t a large town, so you might have trouble finding the best places in York to stay if you’d prefer to be away from the busy city center. But no matter what your travel tastes, this York neighborhood guide will help you find the right areas for you. And then you’ll be able to enjoy all the history, arts, food, and festivals that York has to offer.
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in York.
Best Airbnb in York: Trendy Riverside Studio
This studio is one of the coolest places to stay in York. It’s brand new, offers free Wi-Fi, trendy furnishings, and a complete kitchen very close to the river and to the center of town. It’s away from the main road, so you won’t hear much noise, and still close enough that you can be part of all the action.
Best Hostel in York: The Fort Boutique Hostel
This central hostel is a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in York for nightlife. It’s right in the heart of the historic center and is surrounded by stylish bars, restaurants, and cafes. The rooms are comfortable and funky, with individual decorations and there’s a bar and restaurant downstairs in case you need a meal or a drink. Free Wi-Fi is offered as well as dorm and private rooms.
If you love hostels, you should check out our list of the coolest hostels in York!
Best Hotel in York: Judge’s Lodging Hotel
This hotel in York is simply amazing. It’s close to landmarks like York Castle and surrounded by bars and restaurants. It’s also close to the railway station and offers free Wi-Fi, room service, an English breakfast every morning, and an outdoor terrace for sunny days. Each room is lavishing decorated and includes everything you’ll need for a short or long stay.
York’s city center is absolutely beautiful. there aren’t many city centers match its history and charm. and that’s a big part of what makes it the best area in York to stay in.
Bootham is a more residential area, where few tourists bother to go. It’s also almost impossibly beautiful, filled with grand Georgian houses and stately streets that could have come from a long distant age.
Holgate is a residential area and a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in york with kids. It’s close enough to the city center that you could walk there for a day of sightseeing and food, but far enough away that you’ll enjoy quiet nights without many tourists around.
York has a long history going back to the time of the Romans. And much of this history is still obvious when you wander its atmospheric streets and stay in the medieval buildings. It’s not a huge city and most of the areas you will see and stay in when you’re in York are close to the City Center. This is a bonus, because it means you can walk to everything you want to see.
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in York for your first time, you can’t go past the City Center. It’s filled with historic, atmospheric buildings and attractions, so you’ll never get bored. And most of the best places to eat and shop are in the center too.
Bootham is the best area in York to stay in if you’re on a tight budget. It’s close to the City Center, so you can walk to the middle of the city but is a more local neighborhood with cheaper accommodation and food options.
And the final area to consider is Holgate. This is one of the best areas to stay in York if you want easy access to the City Center and a more local neighborhood. It’s within walking distance of the City Center and has its own collection of attractions and historic places to see as well.
York neighborhood guide would be complete without the following areas.
York’s City Center is absolutely beautiful. There aren’t many city centers match its history and charm. And that’s a big part of what makes it the best area in York to stay in. It’s filled with amazing historical buildings, most of them from the fascinating medieval times, and offers a vibrant atmosphere. You will have to compete with other tourists when you stay in this part of the city as it’s very popular, but it’s well worth the trouble.
York’s City Center is where you’ll find lots of great places to eat, drink and shop. This combination of historic attractions and convenience is what makes it a good choice when you’re deciding where to stay in York for your first time. It’s also on the confluence of two rivers, so you have the chance to take river tours or just sit by the water and enjoy.
Best Airbnb in the City Center: Bella’s Room
Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in York for one night or for longer, this is a good choice. This private room offers comfortable surroundings inside the city walls but in a quiet area. There’s 1.5 shared bathrooms available for your use and the hosts take in other guests as well so you’ll always have someone to talk to.
Best Hostel in the City Center: Safestay York
This is the hippest, most convenient hostel in York. It’s set in a 16th-Century Georgian Townhouse and offers a dining room where you can get a great breakfast or a drink at the end of the day. It’s a few minutes’ walk from the train station and it’s right in the city center and close to everything. This makes it the ideal choice when you’re deciding where to stay in York for nightlife.
Best Hotel in the City Center: The Queen’s Hotel York
Located in one of York’s best neighborhoods, this hotel is a good choice for convenience and comfort on a budget. It offers free Wi-Fi and comfortable, clean rooms with an ensuite bathroom and tea and coffee making facilities. There’s an on-site restaurant that provides breakfast and dinner as well as a cozy lounge bar.
Things to See and Do in York’s City Center
- Just wander the streets and enjoy the medieval atmosphere.
- Visit the York Minister, one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Europe.
- Visit the art galleries inside the cathedral while you’re there.
- Make sure you see Clifford’s Tower, which is the central point of the city and was originally built by William the Conqueror.
- Take the kids to the JORVIK Viking Center.
- Visit some of the local museums like the award-winning Railway Museum or the Yorkshire Museum.
- Go for a ride along the rivers on a Yorkboat.
- If you have a strong stomach, then visit the York Dungeon.
- Go pub-hopping along Rougier Street and Coney Street
Bootham is a more residential area, where few tourists bother to go. It’s also almost impossibly beautiful, filled with grand Georgian houses and stately streets that could have come from a long distant age. This is the best neighborhood to stay in York if you want to be conveniently close to the attractions of the center but far enough away that you can enjoy some peace and quiet.
For people on a tight budget, Bootham is the best neighborhood in York to stay in. York St. John University is in this area, which of course means budget bars, pubs, and restaurants. In fact, the area around the university is a gem if you’re looking for cheap but delicious eats and indie shops with unusual souvenirs that you won’t find anywhere else.
Best Airbnb in Bootham: Modern Room
Suitable for up to 2 guests, this modern space with its private bathroom is a good choice if you’re deciding where to stay in York on a budget. The space is spotlessly clean and newly renovated, and the hosts are committed to ensuring their guests have a good stay. A free breakfast is included as well as free off-road parking.
Best Hostel in Bootham: Blossoms York
This comfortable hostel is one of the best places to stay in York. It offers ensuite rooms with free Wi-Fi, a bar, and TV and DVD player. The hostel is close to local attractions as well as restaurants, bars, and shopping, and provides a convenient base to explore the city and all its wonders.
Best Hotel in Bootham: The Beckett Guest House
This hotel in York offers an intoxicating mix of comfort and convenience. It’s within walking distance of the city center as well as attractions like the Barley Hall and the National Railway Museum as well as local restaurants and shops. The rooms have a pleasing touch of history and all the modern amenities like laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi, and a range of room sizes to suit every travel group.
Things to See and Do in Bootham
- Just wander the streets and take in the grand Georgian terraced houses.
- Visit the ruins of the 11th century St. Mary’s Abbey and wander around the beautiful Museum Gardens.
- Spend some time in the streets around the university for great shopping, pubs, and restaurants for cheap.
- Head down to see the medieval Botham Bar gate.
- Walk into the City Center to be in the middle of the all the tourist action and then retreat to your quiet base.
- Head down to Clifton and Gillygate for some of the best cheap eats, trendy tea shops, or friendly pubs in the city.
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Holgate is a residential area and a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in York with kids. It’s close enough to the city center that you could walk there for a day of sightseeing and food, but far enough away that you’ll enjoy quiet nights without many tourists around. This is also a local area, where you’ll get a much more authentic experience and be able to experience everyday life in the city.
The eating and drinking in this part of the city is just as good as you’ll find in the City Center. You’ll find a wide range of restaurants and cuisines from local pub food to Asian cuisine of all types. This is also a good area when you’re trying to decide where to stay in York on a budget as it’s mostly apartments rather than hotels.
Best Airbnb in Holgate: Self Contained Top Floor
If you’re looking for your own space, then this York accommodation option is ideal. You’ll have the use of three rooms on the top floor, a bedroom, private bathroom, and a lounge area as well as a microwave, grill, mini-fridge, and tea making facilities. There’s a shared entrance to the rooms but you’ll have your own keys so you can come and go as you please.
Best Hostel in Holgate: Astor York
This hotel in York is a good choice if you’re on a budget but still want atmospheric, comfortable surroundings. It’s in a beautiful Grade II listed building and only a few minutes’ walk from the center of town. The hostel offers free Wi-Fi, ensuite rooms, and a bar on the property if you want to have a drink at the end of a long day. It’s also close to local restaurants and bars.
Best Hotel in Holgate: St. Paul’s Lodge
This hotel is one of the best places to stay in York to enjoy the history and the atmosphere of the city. It’s close to the railway station, for convenient access everywhere, as well as to the city center and some of the city’s best attractions. The hotel offers a garden, free Wi-Fi, stylish rooms, and a delicious breakfast each morning.
Things to See and Do in Holgate
- Wander into the City Center for sightseeing and shopping.
- Visit the York Cold War Bunker and take a tour of the tunnels built in the 1960s to survive nuclear fallout.
- Take a trip to the restored Holgate Windmill, dating from 1770.
- Learn more about trains at the National Railway Museum York.
- Visit the local restaurants and eat how the locals eat.
Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in York
Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in York for families, with friends, or on your own, these areas will suit your travel style. They’ll position you close to the places you want to see and allow you to experience more than the attractions. They’ll also let you immerse yourself in one side of the city’s soul and heart, and isn’t that the real aim when you travel?
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