Things to do in Chester

A beguiling mix of the old and the new, Chester is a city that continues to grow on you long after your first visit. With 2,000 years of history, the city’s Roman walls are the best preserved of their kind in the UK and boast some incredible medieval, Gothic and Victorian architecture (not to mention the incredible shops, cafés, restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs and hotels in Chester). And thanks to new developments such as The Storyhouse and its famous Zoo, the city has some of the best attractions in the north west, meaning you’ll never be left wondering what to do in Chester.

Chester Zoo

There’s no denying that Chester Zoo is the city’s star attraction. With 15,000 animals and over 500 species, this is a dream day out for all the family, complete with an array of enclosures, educational talks and dining spots.


One of the best-preserved medieval cities in the UK, Chester’s Roman walls contain a treasure trove of sights and attractions, including the city’s cathedral, the Eastgate Clock and of course the walls themselves.


A unique retail experience, Chester blends medieval shopping arcades with miles of cobbled streets littered with a variety of shops and high-end shopping centres offering big names and all the usual favourites.


When the sun goes down on the city of Chester, its vibrant bar scene comes alive. You can drink and dance to your heart’s content at one of its many characterful and quirky watering holes, whether you’re looking for a neon-lit gin cave to unwind in or you want to enjoy high spirits on a soaring rooftop terrace.


Chester Zoo is a real must-see during your visit to the city, but there are plenty of other fantastic activities to keep you entertained. From three challenging escape rooms, including one of the UK’s first virtual-reality escape rooms, to the largest trampoline park in the country and more, there’ll never be a dull moment during your stay.


If it’s theatre, stand-up comedy, live bands, West End musicals or opera you’re after, Chester has it all. The Storyhouse is an excellent new addition to the city’s entertainment scene, while Alexander’s Live has weekly comedy acts and the Live Rooms host some of the best up-and-coming bands and tribute acts in the country.


Recounting Chester’s incredible history isn’t a difficult task! Blessed with Roman heritage and some incredibly well-maintained medieval structures, the city is home to some excellent museums, alongside theatres that showcase captivating performances throughout the year.


Take a step back in time at one of Chester’s excellent museums, including the Grosvenor Museum, Chester History Heritage and the assault on the senses that is Sick To Death; a fascinating attraction that looks at history through medicine and illness. From young families to history buffs, there’s something in the city to keep everyone entertained.


If you’re wanting to get theatrical, there’s nowhere better than Chester. Laugh along with a stand-up comedy routine, sing your heart out at a musical, get festive with a pantomime or simply be wowed by West End plays. With an array of performances at both the Storyhouse and the Forum Studio Theatre, the theatre scene is more vibrant than ever.

Premier Inn video guide to Chester

Places to eat

We could have written a book about Chester’s restaurant and café scene – they’re that good! The city is awash with superb restaurants serving up everything from Brazilian steak to French snails, while there are also cafés dedicated to serving up the perfect flat white and virtually any flavour of pancake you could imagine.


Powered by a large student population, Chester’s nightlife really comes alive after dark, with various venues open well into the next morning, plus dozens of cool cocktail bars, historic pubs and quirky backstreet drinking dens. So there’s bound to be a bar stool with your name on it somewhere in the city.

Getting around

With two international airports less than 30 miles away and some excellent road and rail networks, plus four park and ride venues around the city, getting in and out of Chester couldn’t be easier.

Our Chester map

Looking for a hotel in Chester?

There are plenty of options when it comes to Chester hotelsIf you're looking for a base to explore this historic city, there are three located in the city itself and a further four nearby in Wrexham and Wirral.