Blog / 7 Places to visit in York

For a free day out in York

Whether it be the summer holidays or a winters day out. York can be super cheap destination for you and your family!

Parking is often a little expensive even with a blue badge. I always opt to park for free near the pinpoint on the map. The location is a housing estate 5 minutes walk from the National Railway Museum. You'll need to navigate up and down two flights of stairs to cross the bridge to the city centre. If you have a wheelchair or buggy..parking here might be a problem!


The following are 7 free or cheap destinations to visit in York :-)

National Railway Museum is free for anyone to visit


Explore over 300 years of railway history, find out what it takes to be an engineer, and experience the thrill of steam first hand. Spark your little ones’ imaginations with our family-friendly science shows and storytelling, or let off steam in our indoor play area.

Delve even deeper with our Treasure Hunters app—explore the museum and investigate the amazing objects in our collection as you compete with your family and score points by taking photos.

York Minster (free for the whole family with Max Card)


Young explorers are encouraged to get hands-on during a visit to York Minster with a range of activities to help them explore the cathedral’s stories and discover fun facts.

Grab a Little Explorer Backpack

Little Explorer Backpacks can be borrowed for free from our welcome desks and are packed with gadgets to help young adventurers explore the Minster including:

  • I-Spy challenge – can you spot these details around the cathedral?
  • Binoculars – to see those amazing features up-close
  • Torch and mirror – to investigate the nooks and crannies
  • Compass and map – to find your way
  • Magnifying glass – to spot those hidden details
  • Coloured pencils and paper – sketch what you see!
  • Tape measure and pencils – for measuring and recording


GET HANDS-ON IN THE UNDERCROFT MUSEUM

See the remains of an original Roman barracks through glass floors beneath the Minster and touch archaeological remains uncovered over the centuries, including objects from our Viking past.

Use our interactive, digital displays to explore 2,000 years of history at the site or get in character with outfits from the past and present from our dressing up rail.

Find out more about what the Undercroft has to offer.

GO ON A TREASURE HUNT

Our youngest visitors can collect a trail to join Monty the Monkey for a tour of the cathedral, spotting the Minster’s fun and quirky features along the way.

Those aged 7+ can collect a Treasure Trail to help them find special details around the cathedral which tell stories from the Minster’s rich history.

Both trails can be collected from our Welcome Desks or downloaded using the links above.

York Castle Museum (2 adults + 2 children enter free with Max Card)


York Castle Museum are family-friendly and we aim to be as inclusive as possible.

Younger visitors can enjoy our hands-on activities that are as educational as they are fun. We also offer a variety of activities, events and workshops available throughout the year with extra special offerings at Christmas time. Please click on the links below for further information.

And don’t forget, kids go FREE! (Up to four children free per one paying adult. Additional children aged 5-16 will be charged at £4.50 per child. Under 5s are free.)

The YMT Card gives unlimited free entry to the Yorkshire Museum and Gardens, York Castle Museum and York Art Gallery. With just one visit to each site you can save up to £5, and the more you visit the more you save. Our ‘kids go free’ offer applies to cards, too, so they’re great value for families

Jorvik Dig (2 adults + 2 children enter free with Max Card)


What is Dig??

“One of the best family days out. No other experience gets you as close to the excitement of archaeological discovery.”

The One Show’s Dan Snow

DIG is a hands-on archaeological adventure giving kids the chance to become trainee ‘diggers’ and discover the most exciting artefacts from 2000 years of York’s history!

With four special in-door excavation pits, all based on real-life digs in the city and filled with replica Roman, Viking, medieval and Victorian finds, children can grab a trowel and explore how people lived in these times.

Get the Low Down on Archaeology

Starting your training in our Briefing Hut you will learn about about the world of archaeology & what you will be doing during your DIG adventure.

Once you’re briefed it’s time to visit the DIG pits and start uncovering the past!

DIG, Delve and Discover…

This is where the fun really starts! Kids can dig down deep (in our synthetic, no mess soil) to discover artefacts from the four major periods of York’s fascinating history. An Archaeologist is on hand to answer your questions on your finds & help you piece together what it would have been like to live in past.

Touch History

Kids can get hands on with history and actually touch finds from previous YAT digs, including pottery, bone and even antlers! You will discover what these artefacts tell us about the lives of people who used them.

Jorvic Viking Centre (2 adults + 2 children enter free with Max Card)


JORVIK Viking Centre

At the world famous and award-winning JORVIK Viking Centre you are standing on the site of one of the most famous and astounding discoveries of modern archaeology. Between the years 1976-81 archaeologists from York Archaeological Trust, an independent educational charity, revealed the houses, workshops and backyards of the Viking-Age city of Jorvik as it stood nearly 1,000 years ago.

These incredible discoveries enabled us to build JORVIK Viking Centre on the very site where the excavations had taken place, creating a groundbreaking visitor experience where you take a journey through the reconstruction of Viking-Age streets and experience life as it would have been in 10th century York.

Discover Viking York

The remains of 1,000 year old houses are revealed beneath your feet, objects taken from the excavations are explored and Viking-age timbers are brought before your eyes.

With an updated ride experience and state-of-the art galleries showcasing our unique collection of Viking artefacts visit the newly re-imagined JORVIK Viking Centre and discover York’s fascinating Viking legacy.

York Army Museum (2 adults + 2 children enter free with Max Card)


The regimental museum of The Royal Dragoon Guards and The Yorkshire Regiment. One cavalry, one infantry; for over 300 years and on every continent; stories that are part of everyone's history.

Any planned museum closures will be listed in the news section of our website.

Yorkshire Museum (2 adults + 2 children enter free with Max Card)

The Yorkshire Museum sits in the heart of York Museum Gardens, in the centre of York.

The museum was opened in 1830 by the Yorkshire Philosophical Society and was one of the first purpose-built museums in the country.

Reopened on 1 August 2010 following a nine-month £2million refurbishment project the Museum houses five galleries showcasing some of Britain’s finest archaeological treasures and many rare animals, birds and fossils, in exciting displays.

Our aim is to make the Yorkshire Museum a must-see destination in a tour around the beautiful city of York.

The refurbishment work has also restored the museum’s Georgian building, letting in more natural light and opening up spaces that have been divided up over the years.