York may be full of history, but its nights out are the stuff of legend, too. The city famously has a watering hole for every day of the year. While we can’t confirm whether all of them are worth a visit, we can tell you which of the city’s pubs, bars and clubs you should definitely take time to savour. From upmarket bars to low-key pubs, its compact city centre has such a high density of nightspots that you could easily spend the evening hopping from place to place until the early hours. And booking into one of our city centre York hotels means you can do just that!
Nightlife in York
Often found on or near the city’s alleyways (known locally as snickelways), York’s pubs are one of the city’s greatest assets.
If you want a pub with a massive helping of history, head to Stonegate to the Grade II listed Ye Olde Starre Inne. The pub was first licensed in 1644 – meaning it has the longest continuous licence of any pub in York. Warm yourself by the open fire, enjoying a real ale while you hear stories about the pub ghosts - an old lady and two black cats.
Talking of spooky stories, the The Golden Fleece, a regular feature on York’s ghost walks, considers itself to be the most haunted pub in York. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, the pub is packed with character and charm so well worth a visit.
The Roman Bath is a pub with its own museum which, for a small fee, is open to visitors. Set in an 18th century coach house, it’s built on top of a Roman bathhouse. The novelty factor of the museum is something in itself, and there’s a Premier Inn hotel near the Roman Bath pub that’s only a 15-minute walk away.
Traditional pubs in York
Nightclubs in York
Cocktail bars in York
While clubbing may not be the number one reason to visit York, what the clubs here lack in number, they more than make up for in atmosphere.
There’s Kuda York, open Wednesday to Sunday nights which attracts stag, hen and birthday parties keen to book out the VIP booths.
Club Salvation, less than a five -minute walk from the train station, takes up three buildings and has a rooftop terrace. Students love it for its cheap drink deals.
Fancy a bit of cheese? Thanks to its music policy of ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and ‘00s dance anthems, the party atmosphere in Flares York is favoured by older and younger clubbers alike.
York’s bars fall into two camps: commercial chain bars and cool, quirky independents.
Evil Eye is possibly the oldest of the latter. A cocktail lounge, internet cafe and place to eat all in one, it serves a wide selection of wine, beers and spirits, and its cocktails are as bold and colourful as the decor.
Cafe by day, bar and live music venue by night, Fossgate Social is geared towards York’s indie and sophisticated side.
Vudu Lounge York is one of the city’s busiest bars. It must have something to do with 2-4-1 cocktails, nightly R&B, plenty of glitter and a 1am licence most nights. Revolution York overlooks the river and is smack bang in the city centre, close to our York hotels. Spread over two floors, it has a main bar, two private bars, a DJ booth and a terrace with a pizza shack.