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York Minster

The city’s emblem is known for its superb stained-glass windows, underground treasure chambers and tall tower with spectacular views.

York Minster is a Gothic masterpiece and among the largest and most impressive cathedrals in Europe. Climb the Minster’s historic tower, tour its underground chambers and discover 2,000 years of history. The current structure dates back to the 12th century and features medieval stained-glass windows. 

When you arrive at York Minster, wonder at its sheer size and elegance. The cathedral’s Gothic façade appears golden and its many windows sparkle in the sunlight. Enter the church and gaze up at its grand arches, pillars and intricate ceiling design. 

Spend hours admiring the elaborate details of the stained-glass Great East Window. The restoration project has taken many years to complete, due to the complexity and quantity of the windows. Every colorful pane of glass has its own story to tell about religious figures and themes.

York Minster’s tower is the highest point in the city. Note the fearsome gargoyles jutting out from the walls as you ascend the 275 steps. When you reach the summit, enjoy unobstructed views of the historic city, its quaint alleyways, medieval landmarks and surrounding Yorkshire countryside. 

The cathedral’s guided tours will introduce you to the tower as well as the church’s hidden treasures. Discover Chinese silks, Roman tiles and ancient books among other historic gems. Meander through the underground chambers of the cathedral to learn about the site’s 2,000-year past. See artifacts that once belonged to the Romans, Normans and other dynasties.

The church is open daily, with extended opening hours on Sundays. Trips to the tower may be restricted during bad weather in the winter months. There is a combined admission fee for the church and the tower, with discounts for seniors and kids. Guided tours are included with admission.

York Minster is located just to the east of the River Ouse and several main attractions, such as the Yorkshire Museum, St. Mary’s Abbey and the Museum Gardens. There are bus stops dotted around the neighboring Dean’s Parks, which is a pleasant picnic area.


Guide to Exploring York Minster


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Top Hotel Deals

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Park Inn by Radisson York City Center £50
Park Inn by Radisson York City Center

Park Inn by Radisson York City Center

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    Located in the heart of York, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of York Dungeon, York Minster, and Jorvik Viking Centre. Shambles and Merchant Adventurers' Hall are also within 10 minutes.

    Holiday Inn York City Centre £52
    Holiday Inn York City Centre

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    53 Piccadilly, York
       
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      Located in the heart of York, this family-friendly hotel is steps away from York Castle Museum and Clifford's Tower. Merchant Adventurers' Hall and York Dungeon are also within 10 minutes.

      The Grand Hotel & Spa £99
      The Grand Hotel & Spa

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      Station Rise, York
         
        4.7
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        Located in the heart of York, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wheel of York, York Minster, and York Dungeon. York National Railway Museum and Jorvik Viking Centre are also within 10 minutes.

        Staycity Aparthotels Paragon Street £50
        Staycity Aparthotels Paragon Street

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          Dean Court Hotel, BW Premier Collection £89
          Dean Court Hotel, BW Premier Collection

          Dean Court Hotel, BW Premier Collection

          Duncombe Place North Yorkshire, York
             
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            Located in the heart of York, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from Church of St. Michael le Belfrey and York Minster. Shambles and Merchant Adventurers' Hall are also within 10 minutes.

            The Principal York £118
            The Principal York

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              Hampton by Hilton York £64
              Hampton by Hilton York

              Hampton by Hilton York

              Toft Green, York
                 
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                Located in the heart of York, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Micklegate Bar, York Dungeon and Jorvik Viking Centre. York Minster and Shambles are also within 15 minutes.

                The Churchill Hotel £63
                The Churchill Hotel

                The Churchill Hotel

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                  4.2
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                  Located in the heart of Bootham, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Bootham Bar and York Minster. Shambles and York National Railway Museum are also within 15 minutes.