Christmas is a magical time of year, and there’s no better place to embrace the festive spirit than in the charming city of York. With its picturesque streets, historic buildings, and abundance of activities and markets, York offers a truly enchanting Christmas experience for visitors of all ages. In this guide, City Experiences will take you through the top festive activities and markets in York, ensuring you make the most of your Christmas visit.


York Christmas Markets

One of the highlights of Christmas in York is the city’s renowned Christmas markets. These markets are a treasure trove of unique gifts, crafts, and decorations, offering a perfect opportunity to find that special something for your loved ones. The festive atmosphere, twinkling lights, and delicious food and drink make the York Christmas markets a must-visit during your stay.


Ice Skating at the York Designer Outlet

For a truly festive experience, head to the York Designer Outlet, where you’ll find a delightful ice rink surrounded by twinkling lights and decorations. Whether you’re a skilled skater or a beginner, gliding across the ice while soaking in the Christmas ambiance is an activity not to be missed.


christmas in york


La marche des fantômes de York

Embark on an evening walking tour of York’s haunted and historic sites, with a festive twist. The York Ghost Walk guides you through the city’s dark alleyways and ancient streets, sharing chilling tales of the past. It’s a unique way to explore the city’s history while embracing the Christmas spirit.


Les Shambles

The historic street of The Shambles takes on an even more enchanting atmosphere during Christmas. Admire the beautifully decorated shop windows, adorned with festive scenes and twinkling lights. The Shambles at Christmas is a delightful sight that adds to the city’s charm during the holiday season.


L'histoire du chocolat à York

Indulge your sweet tooth with a visit to York’s Chocolate Story, where you can participate in a chocolate-making workshop and enjoy a tasting experience with a festive twist. Learn about the history of chocolate while creating your own delicious treats—a perfect activity for chocolate lovers during Christmas.


City Cruises York Festive Sightseeing Cruise

For a unique perspective of York’s Christmas lights and decorations, hop on a sightseeing cruise with City Cruises York. Relax on board as you glide along the River Ouse, taking in the picturesque views of the city’s illuminated landmarks. It’s a truly magical way to experience the festive atmosphere of York.


christmas packages and lights


The York Minster Carol Concerts

No Christmas is complete without the beautiful melodies of carol singing. Attend the York Minster Carol Concerts, where you can enjoy the angelic voices of the choir and the majestic setting of the historic cathedral. The carol concerts are a spiritual and uplifting experience that captures the true essence of Christmas.


Top Festive Foods and Drinks in York

York offers a delectable array of festive foods and drinks to satisfy your cravings during Christmas. Treat yourself to a warm cup of mulled wine, savor the roasted chestnuts sold at the markets, and indulge in the traditional mince pies—a true taste of Christmas in York.


Tips for Enjoying Christmas in York

To make the most of your Christmas experience in York, consider the following tips. Plan ahead and check the opening times of attractions and markets. Wrap up warm and embrace the chilly weather. It’s also advisable to book activities and tours in advance to secure your spot and avoid disappointment during the busy holiday season.

Christmas in York is a magical and unforgettable experience. With its festive activities, charming markets, and delicious food and drinks, the city offers something for everyone. Book your Christmas experiences with City Experiences to ensure a truly memorable and enchanting visit to York during this special time of year.




Are the York Christmas markets open on Christmas Day?
No, the York Christmas markets are usually closed on Christmas Day. For specific details and opening times, it’s best to check the website or local information.

Can I book City Cruises York tickets in advance?
Yes, City Cruises York offers online booking options for tickets in advance, including festive cruises. It’s recommended to secure your tickets early to guarantee your spot.

Are there any special Christmas events in York?
Yes, York hosts several special Christmas events, including carol concerts, Santa’s grotto, and festive fairs. Keep an eye out for these events during your visit.

What is the best way to get around York during Christmas?
York is a relatively small and walkable city, but during Christmas, public transportation, taxis, and park-and-ride options are available. Consider booking a festive cruise with City Cruises York for a unique and scenic way to travel.

What is the best time to visit York for Christmas?
York is charming and festive throughout December. However, visiting during the quieter weekdays or earlier in the month can help you avoid the crowds and fully enjoy the Christmas atmosphere.


Experience the magic of Christmas in York and create lasting memories. Embrace the festive activities, explore the markets, and indulge in delicious treats. Plan ahead, book in advance, and get ready for an enchanting Christmas in the charming city of York.