Walk the walls, explore Viking homes and get chocolatey in this ancient city
Head out of the station and you're minutes from the iconic York City Walls. Standing for nearly 2,000 years, they're the best-preserved city walls in the country, boasting more than two miles of walkable brickwork. Take the tour and you can stop off at York's oldest pub, Ye Olde Starre Inne.
Step off the walls and take a stroll down The Shambles. This pretty lane with overhanging timber-frame buildings is York's most visited street and it's lined with cool shops and cafes. If you need to refuel, grab a hearty but healthy lunch in Shambles Kitchen, then head to York Castle Museum, where you can step inside painstakingly rendered olde-worlde shops, prison cells and even an entire Victorian street.
Saturday night in York is a real adventure. If you're enjoying the historic vibe, try the Guy Fawkes Inn for a bite to eat. This snug pub is built on the spot where Guy Fawkes was born and serves unpretentious pub fare, lit by candles and gas lamps. For something more modern book a table at the The Blue Bicycle, where you can enjoy an award-winning menu and some of York's best seafood.
After dinner, escape the winter in one of York's traditional pubs. The Punch Bowl on Stonegate is packed with character and boasts a roaring fire to keep you warm. For something a bit more extravagant, visit one of York's cocktail bars. Bora Bora in the winding alleys of the 'Latin Quarter' has an off-beat tropical atmosphere, while more sophisticated sippers might want to check out the Biltmore Bar and Grill in Swinegate.
If you wake up craving a full English breakfast, make your way to Café Luca, where the cosy chairs and generous portions will set you up for the day. From here, take a 10-minute walk through historic York and you'll get to Clifford's Tower. An icon of the city, this sturdy tower has been a prison, a mint and a gruesome gallery where Henry VIII displayed the bodies of his enemies. But these days it's simply the best place to view the city.
You can't visit York without dropping into the world-famous Jorvik Viking Centre. Head down the hill from Clifford's Tower and explore the homes of Viking-age York.
Back in the present day, and ready for lunch, head to Café No.8 Bistro in Gillygate, just outside the city walls, for a slap-up Sunday roast. Fancy some dessert? Take a tour of York's chocolatey past, at York's Chocolate History museum, then treat yourself to something sweet - what better way to end your perfect weekend?
Got time to spare?
Here are some more interesting and surprising places to explore inYork…
York's most haunted pub
In York for Halloween? Amp up the fear factor with a visit to The Golden Fleece. With five resident ghosts, this is the most haunted pub in York.
The York Cold War Bunker was built to monitor nuclear explosions in Yorkshire during the Cold War. It was in service from 1961-1991, and tours are
a spine-chilling experience.
Take a trip to the York Dungeon to explore the bloodier side of York's history. Theatrical actors bring gruesome history to life in frighteningly vivid detail.
Visit York's architecturally stunning Theatre Royal for
a cultural evening at one of the most renowned theatres
in the country.
Why not take our video Viking Tour of York here.