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Leeds City Guide

One of the North's industrial powerhouses, Leeds came of age during the boom and bustle of the Industrial Revolution. From its humble origins as a Roman settlement and a medieval trading post, Leeds grew to a metropolis, flush with cash and eager to impress its status on the rest of Britain and the world. Today, Leeds boasts amazing Victorian architecture, the legacy of that brash civic pride, as well as world-class museums, shopping and other attractions.

Attractions

Victorian Architecture

Leeds is famed for its 19th-century architecture, most of which is in the pedestrianised city centre. The Town Hall, built between 1853 and 1858, has been called an example of “Northern civic bombast,” an expression of the city's Victorian prosperity and power.

The Town Hall plays host to concerts, performances and special exhibitions throughout the year. Also unmissable is St Anne's Catholic Cathedral, a beautiful expression of the 19th-century Arts and Crafts style. Another Victorian landmark is the Corn Exchange, the elliptical glass-domed shopping centre that stands at the heart of the quirky, vibrant Exchange quarter.

Museums

Leeds's most famous museum is the Royal Armouries Museum, located at Clarence Dock. This massive collection includes over 8,000 weapons and pieces of armour, from swords and maces to rifles and machine guns. The highlight of the collection is the stunning elephant armour, an intricate system of chain mail and metal plates that would have turned the animal into a monstrous medieval tank.

In the heart of the city, Leeds City Museum features free exhibits on world and local history, with exhibits ranging from Egyptian mummies to representations of Leeds's modern, diverse culture. The Art Gallery and Henry Moore Institute bring the best of art from around the world into the centre of Leeds – the Moore Institute focuses on sculpture in particular.

Dining and nightlife

You don't have to spend a lot to eat well in Leeds. You can if you want to, of course – Michelin-starred Anthonys in the city centre is among the city's best restaurants, and also one of the most popular. Be sure to book ahead. At the lower end of the price range, though, Leeds offers a bewildering diversity of different styles, from American pizza and burgers at the Belgrave Music Hall to North African delicacies at Cafe Moor in Kirkgate Market. A local favourite is the Greedy Pig, which adds sophisticated modern touches to the traditional fry-up. Don't let the presence of Spam baps on the menu fool you; this is a serious approach to the familiar bacon roll.

Leeds has a large and diverse night life, driven by the student population of its two universities, but thankfully not every bar is a deafening student hangout. The areas around Call Lane in the Exchange quarter are home to stylish bars, while the region around Briggate is a bustling centre of bars and clubs. One bar in this area, North Bar, was named the best place to drink in Britain by The Observer.

Events

Summer is when Leeds comes fully to life, with annual festivals such as the Waterfront Festival, which sees boats swarm the water around Armouries Square. A hotly-contested Dragon Boat race is the highlight of the festival. Late May and early June are also the time for the annual food festival, which attracts gourmets from all across the country. Perhaps the most famous of the city's festivals is the International Concert Season, which runs throughout the summer, with over 200 events in venues all around the city.

History lovers will enjoy the special events hosted at the Royal Armouries, where trained experts recreate medieval life and warfare, including jousting, hawking, the proper use of plate armour and hand-to-hand combat.

Where to stay

Leeds hotels range from the luxurious but pricey to the more affordable. The stunning Portland stone art deco facade of the Queens Hotel is a major city landmark. Other notable hotels in Leeds include 42 The Calls, a boutique hotel located near the Exchange Quarter.

Not every hotel in Leeds is a historic luxury building. There are good budget ones as well. For instance, the Express by Holiday Inn Armouries provides budget accommodation at Clarence Dock, moments from the Royal Armouries Museum and a short walk from the city centre. This area, once neglected, has undergone major renovation, with new buildings springing up along the banks of the canals that once brought coal to fuel the city's industrial heart.

When to visit

A visit to Leeds in autumn or winter is a good idea, as long as you don't mind some rain and cold weather. A better time to visit is from late spring to late summer. Summers in Leeds are mild and typically dry, with highs averaging around 21 C (about 70 F) during the hottest months of the year. May and September are also good times to visit.

Getting there

Leeds Bradford International Airport is mainly a destination for local flights, with few long hauls. However, it's relatively easy to get there from around the world by changing at Amsterdam.

Additionally, Leeds is easy to reach by train – around two to three hours from London's King's Cross station – or by car.
 

Recently booked Leeds hotels

Hotel Last booked Stars Price from
Radisson Blu Hotel, Leeds 42 minutes ago 4 stars £56.67
Leeds Marriott Hotel 3 hours ago 4 stars £49.17
Jurys Inn Leeds 16 hours ago 4 stars £46.49
Britannia Leeds Hotel 16 hours ago 3 stars £33.34
Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa - Part of the Shire Hotels Group 17 hours ago 4 stars £80.00

Recently Rated Leeds Hotels

Hotel Reviews Stars Price from
Jurys Inn Leeds
4.2 / 5
30 reviews
4 stars £46.49
Leeds Marriott Hotel
4.5 / 5
16 reviews
4 stars £49.17
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Leeds City Centre
4.2 / 5
17 reviews
4 stars £55.20
Crowne Plaza LEEDS
3.9 / 5
7 reviews
5 stars £44.17
Bewleys Hotel Leeds
3.2 / 5
6 reviews
3 stars £40.84

Featured Leeds Hotels

Hotel only £45.84

1 Novotel Leeds Centre

4 stars
4.3 / 5 4 reviews

4 Whitehall quay

Rate includes Breakfast

Inviting hotel with up-to-date facilities and central locationTravellers visiting the city of Leeds find convenient base at the centrally located accommodations of Novotel Leeds Centre. This cozy...

Good hotel, well located
This is a four star hotel with good sized rooms. Not upmarket luxury but deserves four stars. Car parking is limited so when busy it pays to get there early. Staff are excellent and service is...
7 Jan 2015
Lovely stay
This is the 2nd time we ve stayed at Novotel when visiting Leeds close to all shops and bars etc only thing was this time we didnt have breakfast which was another £13.95 each which we think was...
23 Dec 2013
Hotel only £49.17

2 Leeds Marriott Hotel

4 stars
4.5 / 5 16 reviews

4 Trevelyan Square, Boar Lane

Rate includes breakfast

Luxury four-star city centre hotel with indoor swimming poolThis four-star hotel more than holds its own amid strong competition. The Leeds Marriott is decorated to an exceptionally high standard...

One night stopover
Very friendly and accommodating staff, clean and comfortable hotel, and good central location though expected more from from such a star rated hotel and was disappointed by the quality and size of...
7 May 2015
Romantic break
We had a wonderful time in Leeds the location and staff were fantastic! The only thing that let the hotel down in our opinion is that the room was quite outdated! Although alot of people would like...
27 Jan 2015
Hotel only £46.49

3 Jurys Inn Leeds

4 stars
4.2 / 5 30 reviews

Brewery Place

Advance Purchase Rates

Contemporary hotel with fitness centre on Brewery Wharf in LeedsThe Jurys Inn Leeds hotel is ideally located on the Brewery Wharf in a newly developed area of Leeds city centre, and offers guests...

good hotel and location
First time staying here and is a Good hotel for the night before a trip. The only downside I can find is that it could do with better pedestrian links to the terminals, especially t2. Rather than...
9 May 2015
City centre bargain
The hotel was a lovely, our room a nice view of the canal, the room and hotel was very clean with plenty of space and all staff were very friendly. Located were just a 2min walk to plenty of...
17 Apr 2015
Hotel only £55.20

4 DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Leeds City Centre

4 stars
4.2 / 5 17 reviews

Granary Wharf, 2 Wharf Approach

Signature chocolate chip cookie at check-in

Award-winning hotel located in Leeds City centerFeaturing contemporary accommodations and top-notch facilities, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Leeds City Centre makes for an ideal base for business...

Very good
More tea making condiments in room Ordered two bottles of expensive champagne , disappointed that the server could not pour the champagne properly, also had to ask her to do this
5 May 2015
Disappointing room
king room turned out to be a very badly formed twin bed with two single duvets thrown into a cover making for a very restless night.
24 Jan 2015
Hotel only £56.67

5 Radisson Blu Hotel, Leeds

4 stars
4.7 / 5 6 reviews

No. 1 The Light, The Headrow

Grade II listed building in the city centre. 147 luxurious guest rooms in 3 styles (High Tech, Art Deco, Italian). Lounge and bar offering genuine hospitality and upscale food and beverage. Hotel...

Parking
Make sure on arrival you find the multi story parking called The Light, it's less than 2 min walk to hotel
5 Aug 2014
wonderful hotel
we booked this hotel in advance and got a good price for room only. We decided upon this particular hotel on its price and location as we needed it to be central for our needs, it was perfect in...
6 May 2014
Hotel only £40.00

6 Holiday Inn Express LEEDS - CITY CENTRE

3 stars
4.0 / 5 2 reviews

Cavendish Street,(Off Kirkstall Road)

Enjoy high quality accommodation with our budget-friendly Holiday Inn Express hotel in Leeds City Centre. Youll only have a 10-15 minute stroll to reach the lively street of Leeds city centre. You...

Hotel only £48.88

7 Park Plaza Leeds

4 stars
3.7 / 5 9 reviews

Boar Lane City Square

Save 10% on your stay

Modish four-star hotel perfect for exploring LeedsPark Plaza Leeds is a stylish four-star hotel occupying one of the best locations in Leeds. On top of the town centre, despite the many amenities...

Night in Leeds
Hotel location is fantastic. A short walk from Train station and to new city centre mall and restaurants.
21 Jul 2013
Okay, but expected more
In truth, I'd probably have better things to say about the Park Plaza Leeds if I hadn’t spent 4 days the previous week with a superior competitor. I got an excellent deal on a room for one night...
10 Jul 2013
Hotel only £40.84

8 Bewleys Hotel Leeds

3 stars
3.2 / 5 6 reviews

City Walk

Perfectly located hotel for your business or leisure break in LeedsWith easy access to the motorways, train station and airport, Bewley’s Hotel Leeds is located close to Leeds city centre. For...

NICE HOTEL
THE HOTEL WAS LOVELY AND CLASSY, VERY COMFY WITH NICE STAFF.
28 Apr 2015
Heaven for Hen And Stag Parties!
This hotel delivered less than we expected. Upon checking in at 2.20 pm we were told that the hen and stag parties were put on the first floor and third floor was for families which we are. When...
6 Apr 2015
Hotel only £51.66

9 The Queens

4 stars
4.0 / 5 2 reviews

City Square

Advance Purchase Rates!

As the most famous landmark hotel in Leeds, The Queens really does set the standard. Proudly positioned in the heart of City Square adjacent to the rail station and a host of other amenities, The...

Very central
Very pleasant stay and ideal for railway station with entrance via hotel.
28 Aug 2014
Great Location and staff
It was great. The staff was really helpful and friendly
1 Jun 2013
Hotel only £36.67

10 Holiday Inn Express LEEDS CITY CENTRE - ARMOURIES

3 stars
4.0 / 5 3 reviews

Armouries Drive,Clarence Dock

Make the Holiday Inn Express Leeds City Centre-Armouries hotel your base for events in the Royal Armouries centre. Our modern 5-storey hotel is in a peaceful location overlooking a canal, right...

busines trip
while it is not the Hilton, it is a very comfortable place to stay. Very generous hot breakfast, quiet (despite rumors there would likely be revelers at all hours...and maybe there will be on a...
5 Oct 2014

11 42 The Calls Hotel

4 stars
Not yet reviewed

42 The Calls

42 The Calls Hotel is located on the edge of the River Aire, in a vibrant area of the city of Leeds. The Calls is fast becoming one of the most stylish and trendy parts of the city. The hotel was...

12 Discovery Inn

3 stars
Not yet reviewed

Bishopsgate street

Modern inn located in the centre of LeedsThe Discovery Inn’s warm simplicity is perfect for a comfortable stay near the financial districts of Leeds. The inn is located 100 metres from Leeds...

Hotel only £103.13

13 Gateway Apartmements

4 stars
Not yet reviewed

Marsh Lane

Gateway Apartments are half a mile from Leeds city centre, Gateway offers 4-star luxury apartments with private parking.

14 The Merrion Hotel

3 stars
3.7 / 5 3 reviews

The Merrion Centre

Explore Leeds with ease from this hotel set in the heart of the cityWith contemporary units and convenient amenities ideally positioned in the heart of Leeds, The Merrion Hotel makes for a...

Hotel only £44.17

15 Crowne Plaza LEEDS

5 stars
3.9 / 5 7 reviews

Wellington St

Well established four-star hotel in Leeds City Centre This smart four-star hotel has long been a feature of Leeds' cityscape. A popular choice because of its location slap-bang in the middle of the...

one night stay
Me and my wife stayed one night very very friendly and nice staff excellent pleased with stay customer service excellent room nice staff polite and nice place to stay only 5 mins walk into centre...
29 Apr 2015
Girlie night out
Stayed 3 in the room, great staff, nice facilities
15 Jul 2013
Hotel only £46.10

16 Hilton Leeds City

4 stars
2.3 / 5 6 reviews

Neville Street

Summer Sale!

Business hotel with health club and spa in the centre of Leeds CityThe Hilton Leeds City is an easy to access modern Hilton hotel located within walking distance of Leeds Central Railway Station...

Hotel only £33.34

17 Britannia Leeds Hotel

3 stars
2.8 / 5 6 reviews

Millgreen View Ring Road

Retreat to Leeds and relax in modern, yet traditional luxuryHidden in the beautiful landscape of West Yorkshire, the Britannia Leeds Hotel offers the perfect blend of homely and welcoming...

Horses for Courses
Been here a few times now, and it's a decent place to stay, but dont expect 5*. The place is dated, and could do with a refurb of the rooms, but its cheap, fuctional and the bar area / coffee shop...
27 Jan 2015
Duty staff were very rude
Overall the hotel was good value I would recommend it
12 Jan 2015
Hotel only £80.00

18 Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa - Part of the Shire Hotels Group

4 stars
5.0 / 5

1150 Century Way

Book in advance and SAVE 10 GBP

Leeds is one of the North's most cosmopolitan cities. Thorpe Park is just a stone's throw from the best it has to offer - great shopping, vibrant nightlife and nearby, Harrogate, York and The Dales...

Hotel only £37.50

19 Britannia Hotel Leeds Bradford Airport

4 stars
2.7 / 5 6 reviews

Leeds Road, Bramhope, Leeds

Book in advance and SAVE

Great Value Outside LeedsThe Britannia Hotel Leeds is ideally situated with proximity to Bradford Airport as well as to all of the attractions on offer in the great city of Leeds. The 160 en-suite...

Laid back Leeds
Used this hotel previously maybe 3 or 4 times and all has been well. This past weekends visit was not so good. The room although of good size, as usual, and view across the countryside, was less...
26 Aug 2014
in need of updating
Cheap overnight hotel, but needs a complete refurbishment.
23 Feb 2014
Hotel only £44.00

20 Holiday Inn Express LEEDS - EAST

4 stars
4.0 / 5

Aberford Road,Oulton, Woodlesford

Choose the accessible Holiday Inn Express Leeds East hotel for countryside views and proximity to key motorways. An attractive golf course and rolling green fields surround the well-linked to hotel...

21 Weetwood Hall Hotel

4 stars
Not yet reviewed

Otley road

Built around a 17th Century Manor House, Weetwood Hall Hotel in Leeds is set amidst a 9-acre parkland estate. The hotel combines the original features of the 17th century Manor House with modern,...

22 Old Vicarage Leeds

3 stars
Not yet reviewed

Bruntcliffe

Situated just 15 minutes from Leeds city center, this family run Victorian built hotel offers free Wi-Fi, free parking, authentic decor and antique furnishings. Positioned near Elland Road, the...

Hotel only £33.34

23 BEST WESTERN PLUS Milford Hotel

4 stars
5.0 / 5 1 reviews

Great North Road, Peckfield

Located on the outskirts of Leeds, just off J42 of the A1 (M), BEST WESTERN PLUS Milford Hotel has excellent links to both the M1 and the M62 motorways. The shops and attractions of York,...

Friday night stay
Myself and my wife were highly impressed by all aspects of our stay. The hotels proximity to the A1 and comfort make a stay here perfect for a break in a lengthy car journey however the hotel is...
23 Oct 2014
Hotel only £35.83

24 Holiday Inn LEEDS - GARFORTH

3 stars
3.3 / 5 4 reviews

Wakefield Road,Garforth

Choose the inviting Holiday Inn Leeds-Garforth hotel, set in a rural location just minutes from the M1 and Leeds city centre. Colourful blooms in our landscaped gardens brighten your arrival at...

Great staff - booking process not quite right
When checking in was advised the room was smoking. I thought i'd booked a Non-smoking room. Staff at hotel did their best but as the hotel was full were unable to move us. I have double checked the...
23 Sep 2014
Needs re-furbishment
We saw a notice informing guests that the hotel would soon be re-furbished. This will be a much needed update - our accommodation, particularly the bathroom, badly needed a make-over.
9 Sep 2014
Hotel only £45.13

25 Mercure Leeds Parkway Hotel

3 stars
3.5 / 5 2 reviews

Otley Road

Rate includes up to 40% off, Breakfast and more

Choose the 3-star Mercure Leeds Parkway Hotel, set in a tranquil spot near the Yorkshire Dales. This Leeds hotel is just a short hop to the city centre, next to Golden Acre Park wildlife reserve....