Living in York on a Budget: Sight Seeing and Restaurants

It is really easy to spend money here because there is so much to see and do. York is a wealth of museums and tasty treats. We have been here almost 6 months and I feel like we have barely scratched the surface. The trick is knowing where to find the deals ūüôā

York has a bunch of free or very cheap things to do:

Our favorite one is walking around on a weekend (Friday-Sunday) and watching the buskers. York is home to quite a few hilarious acts. There are great street musicians and funny escape artists. Cost: 2-3 hours and a cup of coffee. 

York Minster is a glorious sight. When visiting, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAyou absolutely must see it. While the Minster tour costs ¬£12 a person and takes you up to the roof, going to Evensong any night of the week at 5:15 or a Sunday morning service is free and stunning. Not only will you hear amazing music, you can walk around inside and see everything but the roof ūüôā Cost: 1 hour and happy eyes and ears.

The National ¬†Railway Museum is a free museum. It is really quite fun! Very interesting and perfect if you have small children. John and I enjoyed it without children, though and it was a happy Saturday afternoon.¬†Cost: ¬£5 donation if you would like, but it¬†isn’t at all¬†necessary.

Walking along the Ouse, through the Museum Gardens and into Rawcliff Meadows, is a great way to spend an afternoon. It feels like you are in the country even though you are less than a kilometer from the centre of York.IMG_4644 Cost: a sunny afternoon and beautiful pictures.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Wall. York is surrounded by a wall and it is free and open to the public. You can see out across the different parts of York as you walk. My favorite coffee shop, Gatehouse Coffee, is on the wall in Walmgate Bar. Cost: 3 hours and £2.60 for an iced caramel macchiato at Gatehouse Coffee.


Clifford’s Tower is the best vantage point to view the city in it’s entirety from up high. There is so much history surrounding the tower it is easy to get lost in it and the view.¬†Cost: ¬£4 a person and several¬†hours of learning some history.


The nice thing about most free things is that they don’t get old. Every time you take a walk you find something new. We just discovered an alley we had walked passed for 6 months and just saw for the first time.


Now restaurants are pricey here. BUT they are also very good! There isn’t a whole lot I can say except you can pretty much find whatever food you are in the mood for whenever you are in the mood for it.

You can grab a fish and chip dinner on almost every corner. Cost: £4-£10 

Early Bird Specials are your friend. Many restaurants have a discount if you eat dinner between 5-7.

Takeaway places can be a hit or miss with pricing. Some are very nice and cheap, others are kind of high for what you get. For those I just recommend trying things out and deciding for yourself. We have our favorite places and I am sure you can find yours!






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