As the city with a church for every Sunday of the year and a pub for every day, Norwich boasts bags of history but blends it with some of the best nightlife in East Anglia. From the Middle Ages through to the Industrial Revolution, Norwich was the second largest city in the country behind the capital and it’s home to some of the finest examples of Norman architecture in the country, paid for by the city’s booming textiles and pottery industries. In fact, Norwich has more medieval churches than any other city in Western Europe north of the Alps. People visit from far and wide to see Norwich Cathedral, as well as the box on the hill – Norwich Castle – and medieval streets like Elm Hill, which with every cobbled stone feels like you’re stepping further and further back in time. Along with its heritage, Norwich is a city with a lot of culture. In 2012, it was designated as England’s first UNESCO City of Literature. The Theatre Royal dates back to the 18th century, as does the city’s annual festival, and the Jarrolds independent department store came not long after, so no matter what you’re interested in, you won’t be left wondering what to do in Norwich. The city is also well known for its shopping, particularly in the winding Norwich Lanes, where you’ll also find some of the best bars and restaurants in Norfolk. Our Norwich hotels provide the perfect base for exploring the city, which surely has something for everyone. And that’s before we’ve even mentioned The Broads, the world-famous man-made national park that’s home to some of the most stunning vistas in the whole of the UK.
Things to do in Norwich
Whether it’s one of Norwich’s many churches, either of its cathedrals, Norwich Castle, the medieval streets that take you back in time, the parks that provide the perfect picnic spot, the stunning Norfolk Broads, or Carrow Road; when it comes to attractions, there aren’t many cities better than Norwich.
Between Chapelfield Norwich, the boutiques in the Norwich Lanes, Jarrolds and The Royal Arcade, you’ll find all your favourite brands, designers and high street names. But beyond that, Norwich is home to one of the oldest and largest open-air markets in the UK and a 600-stall car boot sale perfect for a bit of bargain hunting.
If you ever find yourself stuck for something to do, fear not; we’ve put together a page featuring some of our favourite activities in Norwich. It covers everything from escape rooms to climbing walls and windsurfing to paintballing. Plus, we guide you in the direction of the city’s top walking tours and cycling trails that are ideal for explorers.
A cultural powerhouse of East Anglia, the Norwich Theatre Royal heads up our guide of places to see a show in the city of the Canaries. However, it’s not the only theatre worth your time. There are also highly regarded fringe theatres, and a church made famous for its puppet shows.
A city with what seems like a pub on every corner, and a couple in between, it’s perfect for a pint stop. We introduce you to the Fat Cats that have taken over the town and won over the hearts of CAMRA. Plus, there’s the most exciting pub in Norwich for new-age breweries and a drinking den with a dastardly past.
Join us as we play a game of top trumps to see how Norwich Cathedral compares to the rest of Europe. Hint: it manages to hold its own rather well. The focal point of Bishopsgate and the Cathedral Quarter is an 11th-century Norman masterpiece of Romanesque architecture that’s an absolute must-visit.
Places to eat
Get to know some of the best cafés and restaurants in Norwich, which celebrate the exquisite Norfolk produce right on the city’s doorstep. We’ll introduce you to a celebrity chef’s top-class restaurant, a legendary local chippy, a tapas bar that’s breaking all the rules, a veritable pizza palace, the best espresso in East Anglia, and pancakes.
Disclaimer: this section may lead to a sore head in the morning. To show you some of the best watering holes in Norwich, we’ve whipped up a bar crawl beginning in the Norfolk Lanes, weaving through the city before inevitably reaching the notorious nightclubs of the Prince of Wales Road. Fear not, though, there’s food involved too.
Discover the troves of treasures and masterpieces housed in some of our favourite museums and galleries in the city. We take you on a virtual tour of Norwich Castle, as well as the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, which houses some exquisite Bacons and some of the finest coffee in the city. Plus, you can find out about the festival that’s been taking over the city for nearly 250 years.
Radiohead, Oasis, The Stone Roses, Nirvana, Frank Skinner, Noel Fielding, Michael McIntyre; Norwich is no stranger to famous names from the world of showbiz and entertainment. The city boasts one of the best small live music venues in the entire country, as well as some exceptional theatres, Carrow Road – the home of Norwich City Football Club, and the best comedy club in Norfolk.
With so many fantastic attractions dotted around the city, the best way to see Norwich is on foot. Nevertheless, we’ve put together a page to help with getting around Norwich, with all the information you’ll need about the city’s public transport, including buses, the park-and-ride and Norwich Railway Station. If you’re flying into Norwich International Airport, there’s also lots of information on how to transfer to any of our Norwich hotels.