Only have time to spend one day in York, England? There’s a lot you can do in this English city in just a short amount of time! Check out these fun things to do with just 24 hours in York.
I visited York on a fantastic day trip when I studied abroad. My one day in York itinerary shows you the best of this historic city!
One Day in York Itinerary
1. Discover York Minster
York Minster is one of the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe, and its three towers dominate the York skyline.
The cathedral was built in 1220 and it took 250 years to complete. Inside are unique carvings and a great collection of Medieval stained glass windows.
You can also go up the 275 steps of York Minster’s Central Tower and enjoy views of the city and the cathedral’s gargoyles.
2. Visit Clifford’s Tower
Clifford’s Tower is almost all that remains of the 11th century York Castle.
The tower served as a prison and a royal mint. Today, not much is left of the original castle, but you can go up the steep steps to Clifford’s Tower.
The interior of the tower was destroyed in an explosion in 1684, but you can explore the roofless interior and go up to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the city.
3. Walk Along York City Walls
York’s preserved city walls are the longest medieval town walls in England.
If you wanted to walk the entirety of York’s city walls, it would take you about 2 hours. But walking the whole thing isn’t necessary on your day trip to York.
The walls offer a great view of the city of York and they’re also a convenient way to get from Clifford’s Tower to the famous Micklegate Bar. It’s also a great budget thing to do in York because walking the walls is free!
Related tour: York Walls Private Walking Tour
4. Visit Micklegate Bar
York’s city walls have four main “bars” or gatehouses. Micklegate Bar is one of the most important gatehouses that been the main gateway to the city and the route through which monarchs have entered the city for hundreds of years.
It’s also the place where the severed heads of traitors were displayed, particularly in Henry VII’s time.
You can explore the history of Micklegate Bar at the City Walls Experience at Micklegate Bar museum.
5. Visit the National Railway Museum
The National Railway Museum explores the history of rail transport in Great Britain.
This free museum has over 6,000 objects on display, including a collection of significant railway vehicles such as Mallard, Stirling Single, Duchess of Hamilton, and the only Bullet Train outside of Japan.
6. See St Mary’s Abbey Ruins
St Mary’s Abbey was first built in 1088 and at one time was one of the wealthiest and most powerful Benedictine monasteries in England.
But now, the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey lie in the York Museum Gardens. What remains are the walls of the nave, the gateway of the church, and the stone walls that surrounded the abbey.
It’s completely free to visit the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey, so this is another great budget thing to do on your day in York.
7. Indulge in York’s Chocolate Story
Located in King’s Square, York’s Chocolate Story unwraps the history of chocolate-making in York.
When you tour the museum, a guide takes you through the origins of chocolate, how chocolate is made in the factory, and the stories behind some of York’s most iconic chocolate brands like Terry’s (known for Terry’s Chocolate Orange), Craven’s, and Rowntree’s (the inventor of the Kit Kat).
Mapping Out Your One Day in York
Ready to explore the history of York, England? Use the map below to help plan out your one day in York.
I hope this itinerary for 24 hours in York helps you plan the perfect vacation!
Save on York’s Top Attractions
Want to save big on York’s top attractions? With the Visit York Pass you can save on the cost of entrance tickets to museums, tours, and attractions all around the city!
Visit bucket list attractions, enjoy top tours, and discover hidden gems handpicked by local experts. With one price and one pass, you have everything you need right on your phone. This is the perfect companion for your 24 hours in York!
Top York Tours
- The Deathly Dark Ghost Tour of York
- Private Historical Walking Tour of York
- York Dungeon Entry Ticket
Where to Stay in York, England
More England Resources
- Visiting Clifford’s Tower in York, England
- 18 Best Things to Do in Grantham, England
- 13 Best Things to Do in Cambridge, England
- 10 Incredible Day Trips from London, England
- Why You Should Take a Day Trip to Burghley House
Ready to visit York, England? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Book Your Flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find Accommodation: You can find top hotels in York using Booking.com.
- Start Packing: Check out my packing list resources so you’re prepared for your trip.
Did you find this one day in York guide helpful? How will you spend your 24 hours in York, England? Let me know in the comments!