With its Roman beginnings and medieval trimmings – York may be old, but this vibrant city still knows how to have a good time.

York has a long and unique history. Its Roman and Viking heritage is celebrated with the annual Eboracum and Jorvik festivals featuring craft stalls, street musicians, and battle reenactments. The small, twisting streets – The Shambles [is] a standout – and opportunity to walk along the walls make the city an exciting and interesting place to explore. Even as a third year, I'm always finding something new around every corner! It's a very small city centre, and can easily be walked end to end in about 15 minutes. (Third year student, University of York)

What York's famous for...

Festivals

From Shakespeare and Fringe theatre, to gardening and food, York has more festivals than any other city in the UK.

York nightlife, according to students

York is famous for having a pub for every day of the year, and the variety around the city is definitely impressive: from medieval pubs, to modern and unique cocktail bars. There is a range of clubs (Salvation, Stone Roses, Flares, Fibbers, Kuda, Revolution, Mansion, Lowther), and Salt and Pepper is always a popular place for good chips after a night out. (Third year student, University of York)

Walls

Majestic medieval walls enclose the city's spider web of streets.

York nightlife, according to students

York now has three main clubs: Salvos [Salvation], Kuda, and Flares. It’s not a massive club scene, and Leeds certainly has more clubs to offer. However, York has a great selection of pubs and bars. Lots of venues host live music nights regularly, and the drinks aren’t horrifically expensive. (Third year student, University of York)

Shambles

A medieval street in the centre of York. It's one of Europe's most visited streets, and it's no suprise – it's full of history and is said to be the inspiration behind Harry Potter's Diagon Alley.

Student life in York

Local gems, tips, and things to do, as recommended by students.
Low on cash
I love just walking around the city. Explore the city walls, and the world famous Shambles before getting into the Minster for free with your student card. (Second year student, University of York)
Friday feeling
Friday night in York is not officially a student night. However Club Salvation, or ‘Salvos’ as you will come to know it, is the place to be if you’re looking for a night out. (Second year student, University of York)
Sunday chilling
The Museum Gardens are always lovely to walk around. Gatehouse Coffee is a cafe on the historic wall, with a really nice view from the outdoor seating area. (Third year student, York St John University)
When family visit
Betty's Cafe is quite famous, and does really nice cakes and other food. The Jorvik Viking Museum and York Dungeons are also really good to visit. (University of York student)
Grab a bite
The York Roast Co is a favourite among locals, students, and tourists, as it is home to the Yorkshire Pudding wrap. (Second year student, University of York)
Feeling cultural
One of the most haunted cities in Europe, you can take the York Ghost Tour. On a lighter [note], there are experiences such as the York Chocolate Story, and the Railway Museum is a beautiful place to visit and learn. (Second year student, University of York)
Treat yourself
Evil Eye! It’s said to be Johnny Depp’s favourite place in York to visit. The bar is set up in a three-storey Tudor house. The owner would travel around places in India and China, buying objects from local markets, and shipping them to his bar. (Second year student, York St John University)
Catch up with mates
Bison Cafe and Brew & Brownie are both fantastic! Make sure you get to Brew & Brownie before lunchtime though, especially on the weekend as there will be queues. (Second year student, University of York)

York in pictures

York Minster

A view of York Minster on a sunny day, and is the photo that makes me miss York when I'm not there. (Georgia Wilson, second year student at York St John University)

York Minster

The York Minster is a beautiful landmark. It’s massive, and can be seen all over the city. It’s special to me as it’s the one place I take my visitors to see when they come up. (Megan Wilson, second year student at University of York)

Drakes Fisheries

The best fish and chip shop in York. (Leah, York St John University)

Living in York, according to students

I enjoy living off Heslington Road, as we are about an equal distance from the uni and town, so we don't need to spend money on buses (especially useful for clubbing). The street is relatively quiet, and the proximity to OneStop and Co-op is useful for food. Most restaurants and takeaways deliver to us through Deliveroo, Just Eat, or Uber Eats. There aren't many pubs around us, as it's mainly for student housing, but Wetherspoons is only a five-minute walk down the road. I would live here again. (Second year student, University of York)

Stone Roses Bar

The best bar in York, with great music and cheap student drinks. (Leah, York St John University)

Living in York

Housing, travel, and budgeting tips.

Living in York, according to students

Hull Road – lots of students live here. It's close to both [University of York] campuses – a 15-minute walk to either Campus East or West. There are a couple of pubs on Hull Road, but neither is particularly nice or friendly. Houses are nice, and a good price, but [have] no character – especially for one of Britain's oldest cities. Would recommend living in the Wellington Street/Wallis Street area [instead]. [It’s] only [a] five-minute walk from [the] city centre, and 15-minute walk to Campus West. Lots of buses going to Campus East as well (free for students). (Third year student, University of York)
Local transport*
  • £14.00
  • York FirstWeek
  • (Bus)
Where you'll find students*
  • Hull Road
  • Heslington Road
  • Fulford
*Average mean rents via Spareroom.co.uk (Feb 2017). Value for money via Which? University Survey 2016. Local transport via local operators' website.

Student money tips

If you go to the University of York, buy First Bus' student saver singles. They will be a lifesaver. It's £1 for a single anywhere around York. (Second year student, University of York)

The cost of living as a student soon adds up, us our budget calculator to find out roughly how much you'll need each month.

​Discover more savings on student life in York with UCAS student discounts. Find the latest deals, from fashion brands and eating fresh, to big discounts on tech and travel.